I was put in touch with the Moul family through two nurses at the Children’s Hospital and had the incredible honour of being invited into their home to photograph their family. I was also lucky enough to be there the moment Ashley’s namesake, and the woman who saved Megan’s life got to meet her for the first time. It was truly touching. This is the story of Megan, Rowan and precious baby Ashley.
After struggling with her mental health for years, Megan stabilized and married Rowan in August 2015. At the time he was familiar with her struggles and he loved her anyway. They had hoped that things were looking up as she had been emotionally stable for several months but by fall only a couple months after getting married Megan fell into a depression. For the next two years they saw ups and downs with her mental health. She would do well and then would sink into depression and become suicidal and relapsed into anorexia several times. She couldn’t seem to find lasting change in any of her attempts at treatment. In February of 2017 she finally found the strength to choose. She chose to go into the hospital and gain back the 20lbs she had lost, she chose to apply to a Christian residential mental health program, and she chose to attend and complete the 6 months in Vancouver after finding out she was pregnant.
They were so excited and so hopeful for this new life. As hard as it was to be apart from each other during her pregnancy, they both knew Megan needed to work toward healing.
Megan returned home just before Christmas 2017 and awaited their little girl’s expected arrival, January 28, 2018. At their 36 week appointment Megan was told the baby was measuring a bit small and sent for an ultrasound to check. It turned out that she was very small and there was something wrong with her brain. Megan and Rowan were completely blindsided. They left the clinic with appointments scheduled for the next week to do further testing and the fear that their little girl might not survive.
Before any tests could be completed, Ashley Victory was born January 7, 2018 and was whisked away for immediate assessment. The doctors determined that Ashley was missing brain tissue and had significant damage to what she had left. Extensive testing turned up no answers. The doctors still have no diagnosis for Ashley.
It has been a hard 6 months adjusting to their new reality as Rowan finished his software engineering degree. In this time they have been in and out of hospital for Ashley’s seizures, been in a serious car accident, and are continually confronted with the real possibility that their baby may not make it to her first birthday.
“Ashley, who is named after my counsellor from Mercy who led me to Jesus on my path to Victory. It seems like every other day that I flop between fearing my baby’s death and determined faith in God’s promises. I’ve learned to trust His faithfulness but still allow myself to feel fear without letting it control me. I also know that He doesn’t condemn my emotions but leads me through them. I’ve been free of mood swings, suicide attempts, and anorexia for a year and a half now. I believe that Ashley Victory will see the same healing and victory that Rowan and I have seen as I’ve been brought from death to life. “