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May 12, 2023

Never losing Hope: Couple welcomes daughter after loss

IU Health North Hospital

Never losing Hope: Couple welcomes daughter after loss

By Emma Avila,, writer for IU Health’s Indianapolis Suburban Region

After the loss of their daughter, Lily, the Liphard family welcomed their daughter, Hope, into the world at IU Health North.

When Ali Liphard gave birth to her daughter, Hope, she felt a mixture of emotions. She was happy and excited to meet her new baby, but she also couldn’t help reflecting on her first labor experience.

Ali and her husband, Ryan, lost their first daughter, Lily, after Ali went into pre-term labor at home in the spring of 2022. By the time they arrived at IU Health North Hospital, Lily had already been born. She passed away later the same night.

Ali and Ryan Liphard holding their daughter, Lily, after she passed
Ali and Ryan Liphard holding their daughter, Lily, after she passed

So, when Ali found out she was pregnant later that year, she had to cope with her loss while also allowing herself to be excited for the baby she was carrying.

“I guess my biggest fear was I didn’t want Lily to be forgotten,” Ali said. “I try to tell people this is my second baby. I’m a mom of two.”

IU Health North offers bereavement support for those who lose a loved one. When Lily passed away, the bereavement team prepared a box of photos and mementos to help the Liphard's remember their daughter. The couple also attended the hospital’s bereavement support group and a holiday gathering for families who lost a child.

Read more about the Liphard family’s journey with Lily here.

Preparing for Hope

While they were preparing for their second baby’s arrival, she and Ryan were struggling to think of a name. The word “hope” kept reappearing in different aspects of their lives. Ali believes it wasn’t a coincidence.

“Really weird signs were happening, which I know was Lily.”

Ali was induced on April 19, 37 weeks into her pregnancy. Hope Ellen Liphard was born on April 20, weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces and just shy of 19 inches tall.

Ali and Ryan with their second daughter, Hope
Ali and Ryan with their second daughter, Hope

Support from the nursing team

Though her induction and c-section went smoothly, Ali still struggled with the different emotions they brought up.

“When they broke my water, I felt a lot of trauma,” she explained. “I broke down and was sobbing.”

Thankfully, she had some familiar faces to help her through the process.

A few of the nurses who were at the hospital when the Liphards lost Lily were able to be there for Hope’s birth. Ali kept in touch with them as she navigated Lily’s death, and the nurses wanted to show their support.

The Liphards with IU Health North nurses Sarah Wenzel and Lauren Watson
The Liphards with IU Health North nurses Sarah Wenzel (right) and Lauren Watson (left)

“This experience would not be the same without them. I can’t say enough about the people at IU Health North,” Ali said.

Never forgetting Lily

Now that Hope is home with Ali and Ryan, they are honoring Lily as well. They took Hope to visit her sister’s grave after they left the hospital, and the couple plans on telling Hope all about Lily as she grows up.

“I’m a mother to Lily and to Hope now. Hope is a little sister and Lily is a big sister,” Ali said. “I hope that Hope can look back at all of the things we’ve done for Lily and know they were in preparation for her too.”

Hope visiting her big sister's grave
Hope visiting her big sister's grave

Enjoying time with their daughter

The Liphards are now enjoying time with their baby. They split duties, including at night. Ryan stresses that communication in their relationship has made them stronger parents.

For Ali, she can’t believe Hope is real.

“People think I’m crazy, but it’s just been so much easier than I expected,” she explained. “This is a miracle to me. This is a dream.”

HAli and Ryan holding their second daughter Hope

For Mother’s Day this year, she is excited not to feel sadness and grief like she did last year. She hopes parents who have also experienced loss will get their own sense of hope from the journey she and Ryan have gone through.

“There can be long seasons of waiting, and I just think people in general will have a time to feel this way. It might be a long journey or a short journey, but it will all be worth it.”

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