Abigail Hope 1.2

Let me start by thanking each of you who have prayed, loved, and left comments for us. We have not gotten all the comments read yet, but we’re working on it. I’ve told this baby that she has many, many people around that world that love her.

Second, she has a name – Abigail Hope Maxwell. Abigail, meaning “father’s joy, women of beauty and discretion” – it brings tears to my eyes as I type this. She has brought and will bring joy to my heart. The “beauty and discretion” part comes from the description of Abigail in 1 Samuel. We chose “Hope” for her middle name as her time in the womb was a time of hope for us, at the beginning as we looked forward to meeting her, and towards the end as we sought to maintain hope for how things would turn out. This child did bring us hope!

We’ve had a girl’s name picked out for some time. I liked it, but when Abigail was born, I didn’t sense a peace about our original name. So, we waited and prayed. I told God that I would use whatever name He directed in. Names are important to God, and I wanted His will in this. At one point a day or two ago, the name “Abigail” came to mind. I thought it was nice, but didn’t think much of it. But, it kept coming back and coming back. I shared with Melanie last night that I wondered if God was directing in this and asked her to think/pray about it. This morning, when I woke up the name was still on my mind and it was like I was thinking of her as Abigail. However, being rather dense, I wanted to be sure it was God’s leading. Scripture says that the heart is evil and wicked, I know mine is from experience. I desired total confidence in knowing that this was God’s leading and not my invention. After reading George Muller’s biography, one thing he would do when he sensed God’s leading was ask for and wait for a definitive sign. A sign that he would see and his heart would confirm was of God. I walked down the hall this morning around 9:00 and prayed that God would confirm His direction in a clear way – a way that even I wouldn’t miss. As I walked over to the NICU I wondered how God would show me, I couldn’t think of a way for Him to do it.

I sat down in Abigail’s room, and opened to where my “Read through the Bible in a Year” plan (minus the 18 or so days I’m behind…) told me to read. I was a chapter or two past the David and Goliath story in 1 Samuel when I started. Within a chapter or two I was reading about David and Abigail, and sitting there looking at Scripture with tears in my eyes. I knew as soon as I started that section it was God’s clear, definitive direction. Melanie confirmed that her heart liked the name and thought we should go with it.

So, all that to say – Abigail Hope.


I share the above paragraphs because it is so encouraging for me to see God leading. He has directed each step of the way, even the c/section birth. It’s not been an easy path, but He has lead, and we are grateful for that.

Abigail decided to stick her foot outside the womb Saturday night which prompted the c/section. Due to the rushed nature of the c/section, and Melanie’s desire to be awake, Melanie had a very, very hard time with it. It was one of the worst experiences of her life. However, she was a trooper, survived and is recovering well.

Abigail is proving to be a very good nurser. We are grateful! I didn’t even know you needed to pray about things like that. However, she is doing a great job with it. The NICU has Melanie feeding her every three hours, so Melanie isn’t getting a huge amount of recovery rest, but that can’t be helped. Again, Melanie is being a trooper and working hard to take care of her baby. We’re pleased that Abigail will have the structure and benefits of the schedule when she gets home.

Abigail needs to show that she can gain weight and not trip any of the alarms for awhile to go home. So far, she has done great. The weight gain should start before too much longer and her health appears to be solid – no alarms so far. No ventilator, no IVs, she’s in a regular crib and out of the incubator! Just a cute little baby girl with a small NG tube (for nutrients if needed) and sweet little face. We’re getting to “parent” her by doing diaper changes and taking temperature.

I think that brings you pretty well up to date. Again, thank you for praying and loving Abigail. We’re thrilled to have her as a part of the family.



Big yawn. “I’m sleepy :-).”

83 thoughts on “Abigail Hope 1.2”

  1. So wonderful to hear this! And to think that some people think the Lord doesn’t care about “the details.” What a neat story of how He showed you His name for your daughter! (And, personally, that’s a name that is on OUR list, so we’re pleased to hear it. 😉 ) She is absolutely gorgeous. We will continue to pray for strength and growth for Abigail and for rest and recovery for Melanie. (And rest and strength for Nathan, too!!! 🙂 ) Many blessings to all of you in Christ!

  2. What an incredible blessing! Praise God for His bountiful mercy and grace! Nathan and Melanie, you and precious Abigail continue to be in our prayers as you develop a new “normal” as a family of three. She’s absolutely beautiful (truly!! :)) We are thrilled beyond measure for the entire family!!! Congrats over and over again!

  3. First congratulations again on your beautiful baby girl. I’ve been checking the blog all day for a possible update on her name and I kept having this strong feeling that Abigail may be your choice. I have an Abigail as well. Obviously, I think it is a beautiful, godly name. I know your Abigail will bring you as much joy as ours has. Many blessings to all 3 of you.

  4. Wow….When I heard the news of your bundle of joy, and there was not yet a name, and I was praying for her, an “A” name kept coming to mind, and as I ran thru A names in my mind, only a few came to mind….and when Abigail came to mind, it seemed to stick, so I’ve been thinking of her as Abigail for the past couple of days, having no idea of what you were thinking! So, when I read your post this evening, I am amazed at God’s direction in giving you a name…it is beautiful!!

  5. What a blessing that she is here safely! I have an Abigail as well and I love the meaning of the name, which is why we picked it. Congratulations and may the Lord bless your little family as you enjoy getting to know each other in the days to come!

    Darlene in TX

  6. Nathan, Melanie, and Abigail~
    We are so excited for you!! What a true blessing you have been given!! We want to thank you for sharing your story, your life, and your FAITH!! Our 12 yo daughter asked many times a day if you had your baby, so when you had posted on Sunday about the c-section I called her at her grandmothers to tell her that the baby was on the way 🙂 She was so happy for you!! We will continue to pray for a fast recovery for Melanie, weight gain and heath for Abigail, and strength and wisdom for the new dad/leader of this family!!!
    Love~ The E. Family

  7. What a beautiful story and such a blessing to my heart. Enjoy your baby girl and get plenty of rest. God is good and works in ways that are His own. May He bless you and Abigail in this special time.

  8. Oh, she is so precious! I love the name, but I’m a bit partial to the name Abigail since I have one of those myself. 😉 I am just so thrilled for you!

  9. Oh, how precious. Miss Abigail, you are truly wonderfully made!
    God is so good! He knows our needs before we do. He is our comfort and joy. He is our help in time of trouble.
    How wonderful!

  10. abigail hope is a beautiful name. we are so happy for you. keeping you all in our prayers. abigail is so beautiful and thank you for sharing your story of how you picked her beautiful and very special name.

  11. I love the name. We have an Abigail – (our second daughter) – and we have a Hope – (in Heaven with the Lord and your little one). So the name is beautiful for us too. Such a blessing to hear that all is going well. We told the kids that your little one was here and they were so excited and thanked the Lord at Breakfast this morning for His blessing to you all. We will continue to pray.

    Rob and Martie

  12. Welcome to the family Miss Abigail Hope Maxwell! I love her name and may she bring joy to her family!


    Gina W. and family in AZ

  13. Nathan & Melanie,
    She is just lovely! We are praising the Father with you for Abigail’s life and health. And we are praying with you for the days to come. May they be joy-filled! Love, Q & co

  14. Though I am on my spiritual journey being guided by your parents at this time, I too, have had the same experience – asking God for direction and then waiting for it to be shown to me. It is a wonder when it happens. My heartfelt congratulations to you and Melanie. Abigail is just lovely. I wondered last night if Faith or Hope might be in her name somewhere. I will pray for continued strength for both Melanie and Abigail.

    God’s Peace to you all~

  15. Dear Maxwells,

    Congratulations! She is beautiful! And the name Abigail and the story behind her name is lovely. It brings tears to my eyes to see how faithful the Lord has been to your family. Praise the Lord for His many blessings and His wonderful way of truly leading us in His path!

    Thank you so much for blessing us with such beautiful pictures of your new baby girl! May God continue to help Melanie in her recovery. My heart rejoices with you and my prayers will be continually lifted to God for your families!

    Sincerely, Wanda O.

  16. I’m absolutely thrilled for you both! What a miraculous, precious gift. Tears sprung to my eyes when I read her weight. What a blessing from God – my full-term daughter was not much bigger and was completely healthy. (She was also born by emergency c-section so I can commiserate with Melanie. It was horrible and traumatic but soon forgotten when you gaze into those eyes!)

    What a beautiful and loving family God has given Abigail Hope. I’m very, very happy for the three of you!

    Jackie (in Australia)

  17. She is absolutely beautiful! I love her name! She looks like a china doll. I know you both are so very proud of her and relieved to have her here! I’ve followed your journey through the past year or so. You both have shown such a strong faith in the Lord. May the Lord bless you and your precious family!



  18. Dear Maxwells,

    Abigail Hope is beautiful! Congratulations!

    God is so good.

    Rejoicing with you all,

    Lorri W. in CA

  19. Congratulations! What a beautiful name and a wonderful story that points to G-d. I too think names are very important and take great care when naming my children.
    G-d Bless you and your family.

  20. Congratulations, Nathan, Melanie, and Maxwell family! Babies are such a blessing from the Lord, and we are praising Him along with you for the blessing of Abigail Hope! (By the way, you’ll find in parenting that there are many things you never knew you needed to pray about!! Get used to that, and thank the Lord that the Holy Spirit is already interceding for us in our weakness– and our ignorance!)

  21. I love her name!!! The Lord blessed us last year with a baby girl and we named her Abigail Faith for very similar reasons. I was diagnosed with breast cancer during my pregnancy and it was a time of real faith for both my dh and I. You’ll never regret using that name as you will be reminded each time you say it of our Saviour’s great love for us.

  22. What a beautiful little girl! She is so precious!
    Nathan and Melanie, we’re so happy for you! You’ve been in our thoughts and prayers. We’ve been following your blog, awaiting your good news. We’re excited to meet our newest little neighbor!
    Welcome to the world Abigail Hope!

  23. Praising God with you!
    Can’t wait to meet you Abigail! See you in October!
    We love you!
    Jon, Kelly, Ethan, and Emma D.

  24. Abigail Hope is a wonderful name! Susannah brought so much joy to all of you in her short life…you all have a lifetime of memories for those three days. And with all the “JOY” you have received abundantly, the sorrow you have endured from Susannah’s leaving this earth; to now receive God’s blessing, that He is the only one that can offer us HOPE!! Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

    Abigail Hope will continue to be your joy, and will grow up to be aw woman that loves the Lord with all her heart, all her soul, and all her mind.

    With my last baby, I had a uterine rupture as well. My Jack’s arm was weaved through the rupture and sticking out into my abdominal area. It was not discoered until the cesearean section delivery, however. I thank the Lord that He had his hand on my Jack , and kept the bag of waters intact until delivery. Things would have turned out a lot differently, had my water broken prior to labor.

    I am thankful that Melanie was in the hospital when it happened. I will pray that she continues to recover well.

  25. Congratulations!!! We are so grateful that Abigail has arrived safely, and for God’s leading in the choice of her name. Praying for God’s continued blessing over your family now and always.

  26. My family has been praying for your family for SO long. We have cried with you, prayed with you, longed with you, and now we rejoice with you. We don’t always understand the ways of the Father, but we DO KNOW, that HIS ways are perfect, and He never leads us wrong. There is no greater gift after Jesus and Salvation, than the gift of a child. Praise be the the Lord, for He is the maker of ALL things Good. Hug that little one close, for she is a BEAUTIFUL blessing,

    With Christian Love and Continued Prayers,

    John, Corin, and Lily (OUR miracle child) S.
    Corunna MI

  27. Thank you for sharing your journey. We serve such a glorius God! What a joyful time this is for your family. I will continue prayer for the nursing and sleeping (baby, mom, and dad 🙂

  28. THANK YOU, GOD!!!!! Congratulations…she’s beautiful! Continuing to pray for quick and complete healing for Melanie and a trip home for you all very soon. Blessings, Amy and Family

  29. So happy to hear how well Abigail Hope is doing! I like the name, especially as our oldest daughter is also an Abigail. Will continue to pray.

  30. What a lovely name for little Miss Maxwell. Praise the Lord!

    We’ll be praying for both mommy and baby.

  31. I got up this morning and was so excited to read that she has a name! 🙂 And, what a BEAUTIFUL name! My dh and I are also believers that a person’s name is HUGE — I respect you for taking the time to pray/think about it and take it seriously. I love her name — it’s so beautiful and the meaning is so awesome! 🙂

    She is so beautiful! I can’t help but just smile when I stare at her pictures! My heart is so full for you all and rejoicing in God’s goodness to you. Thank you for ‘sharing’ her with us. 🙂 You are both so blessed and she is blessed to have you for parents. 🙂

    I believe that Song of Solomon can be a picture of Jesus’s relationship with the church and in there (don’t have the verse in front of me) — it says that His head is ‘as pure Gold’ — meaning His Headship, or His leadership, is PERFECT. And, this verse came back to me as I read your post — His leadership over your lives is perfect! Thanks for honoring Him with your trust! 🙂

  32. Oh, I’m SO delighted for you!!! I have been so touched by your journey and so blessed by your humility in letting “all of us out here” join you. I remember your journey with Susannah Joy. I sobbed and sobbed when I read that the Lord took her home. My heart just broke for you. Yet I was so encouraged by how you handled the situation. What precious faith.

    I prayed to God at that time (I was due the next month with our fourth baby) that He would let my faith grow to that stature, to not be offended at Him, to not ask “why” if something were to come down the pike for us. Well, almost no sooner said than done (He loves those prayers, doesn’t He?) We found out that our third son (15 mos. old at that time) had bilateral cataracts, was legally blind in one eye, and had to have his lenses removed urgently, and it was going to be 2 surgeries. We had 3 healthy boys. This news came like a punch in the gut. When the doctor covered one eye to test the other and held a toy up for him (which days before he would’ve grabbed) he just sat there and didn’t see it. What made it worse was that he went almost completely blind in the days following. As you can imagine, there was nothing he could do, wouldn’t play, look at books, even watch his videos. He would just get so frustrated he would sit down and cry. We had a blind child. It was horrible. Oh, and we were also getting ready to move before the baby came!!

    BUT, by God’s grace and answer to my prayer, we DIDN’T ask why. We DIDN’T get offended!! It came to my husband in a precious way that God said to Satan “Have you considered my servant Job?” We knew that God was behind the whole thing. We were chosen for this because God was going to take us through it. And we felt as though we were being carried on the shoulders of all of our loving friends and family during that time. People emailed us verses which sustained us along the way. We were sort of just putting one foot in front of the other at that time living from minute to minute.

    All of this to say, months before, after we found out we were having a girl (we, too, were surprised!) the name Hope came to us – which we later discovered why. While we were going through all of this we just kept saying “Hope is coming!!” And she was our little Hope through all of that. It’s been a rough road but He totally graced us through it. I don’t know how people make it without Him!!

    So anyway, I cried tears of joy looking at the pictures of you with your new baby. She’s just beautiful and I LOVE the way the Lord gave you her name and then confirmed it for you. That’s precious.

    May God bless you richly and bring you all home soon as a family.



  33. Oh, I also just wanted to say that my really good friend just had a c-section (twins!) a couple months ago after being on bed rest for a month and so I have a bit of an idea of what Melanie is going through right now and so I will be praying for much grace for her as she tries to rest and recover and yet be a new Mommy to her precious blessing. 🙂 My best advice — take it more slowly than you think you should! 🙂

  34. I have been following your story for many months now but today I felt compelled to write. Congratulations on the birth of your child, a beautiful baby girl with a beautiful name to match! What a blessing! May you both rejoice in all the splendour of parenthood!
    M. in Queensland, Australia

  35. Thank you so much for posting and sharing how you named Abigail Hope. You have been in my prayers and I am rejoicing with you. I will continue to keep Melanie and Abigail in my prayers for their health. Please continue to keep us updated on both.

    God Bless,
    Kim in NC

  36. She is beautiful.Praying for Melanie to get the rest she
    needs.The Lord is faithful and good, even in the midst
    of traumatic deliveries. My last delivery was very traumatic
    but I am ever so grateful for my ten year old son. He was the
    last child of six and a tremendous blessing in my life.
    We love that big yawn…


  37. Abigail Hope…you have brought so much happiness to your mama and daddy, first; grandparents, aunts & uncles, second and to all of us who have been praying and waiting for your safe arrival, third. You are a true miracle and a blessing from the Lord!
    Nathan & Melanie…we are so very happy for you!!! You have been a tremendous encouragement to us just by the way you have waited on the Lord and trusted His will through all of this. We don’t know you personally, but through this blog and all of your families books/cd’s, we do. We have followed along since last year with Susannah Joy and are praising the Lord that He has chosen to bless you with Abigail Hope. We know she won’t take the place of Susannah Joy but the Lord can use her to help heal your hearts. May the Lord continue to bless your family!!
    The MC Family

  38. What a beautiful name for the lovely baby girl! I had the idea that her name would include the name Hope in it too. 🙂 Praise God for Abigail Hope and may she continue to bring you much joy. I’m so happy for you and Melanie! God is faithful! Will keep praying for you, Melanie, I’m sorry to hear you had such a hard time. Praying for your recovery from the c-section. May the Lord be with you during this time of great joy and happiness. God is so good!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  39. I almost wrote in my post that I feel like now I can rest. But something checked me in my spirit and said “no”. No, now is not the time to rest and not continue to pray for you. I know that God did many things and that Abigail is healthy and strong (Praise God). But my prayer today is that people who so strongly took up the family story of you two will commit to prayer for you for a life time. That we will keep you and Abigail in our prayer each day. That your life will be covered in prayer from people you don’t know for a very long time coming.

    Things will come up as time goes by as it does in every household. You are very special people with a great testimony for the Lord. And especially because of that, now is not the time to stop and rest and not pray. I wonder how many people will commit to praying for your family for a long time coming.

    God bless you and I will continue to pray for you. Added strength and great continued health. Wisdom beyond both of your years. Peace that passes all understanding…and much much more.

  40. Abigail Hope!!! What a beautiful name for a beautiful little girl!!! Please tell Melanie, I understand her disappointment and hard recovery from emergency births. I am a Mama of 5 emergency births… 4 c/s, one hemorrhage, two NICU stays, anda 5 week preterm labor hospital stay (with four other children at home/2 hours from home). I would not choose have choosen these births but God has given me a testimony through them. Nurse and doctors are watching and noticing your faith even if they don’t say it outloud. God is glorified!!! Oh and my NICU babies were my absolute BEST sleepers! 🙂 Praying for rest and an easy recovery. We’re so THRILLED for you!!! My children are enjoying the pictures and updates. My oldest daughter is 12 years old and understands the NICU experience. She’s excited to hear your wonderful updates. God bless and congratulations! We hope you are all home soon.


  41. What a beautiful name! Name meanings are very important to us too..I can totally understand why you had to wait for the right name. I will continue to pray for you, Melanie and little Abigail.

  42. What a sweetie, I am so happy for you all, what a beautiful outcome and a lovely name. Praising God for all his mercies and for a swift exit from hospital to home.

    Shelley P
    from over the pond

  43. A beautiful name for a beautiful little girl! She is a sweetheart 🙂
    Our hearts are overjoyed for you and your family. Thank you Lord for this wonderful miracle!

  44. A beautiful, perfect name! She sure was doing summer saults in there wasnt she? I’ll pray for Melanie, as she well knows already being a mom doesnt always work the way we want it to…even the birth of our little ones, I had hoped that this birth would be perfect for yall…but whats important was that it was perfect for Him. I pray Abigail gets to come home very very soon!

    You did a great job Melanie!

    With Love
    Audrey for family.

  45. Congratulations!!!! I am sure Abigail will love hearing how God (and her daddy) picked out her name when she gets bigger! It seems to fit her perfectly! I will continue to pray for your family as you go through this recovery time.

    God Bless!

  46. A beautiful name for a beautiful little girl! When I saw the last picture on your previous post, the one of Nathan holding Abigail, I thought to myself, “Abigail would be a perfect name for her…her Daddy looks so very happy”.
    Of course, we may be a little partial too since our second little girl is named Abigail 🙂 (plus we have a Susannah!…you can name your third girl Rebekah if you want 🙂 ). We too spend much time in prayer about our children’s names and as they grow, they truly seem to reflect the meaning of their name in their life! Our Abigail is truly a joy…everyone says this. She is almost constantly smiling and has the most radiant smile. All our children are very happy and smily, but she just has an extra “joy” it seems.
    Melanie, the first c-section I had was the hardest and most painful. It will take you time to recover, but each day should get a little better. I am praying especially for you and your recovery as well as for your sweet Abigail.
    Thank you so much for sharing those precious pictures. They really make me cry…for joy! Okay…our little Eliseo is crying for food/mommy. We all love you and are praying and rejoicing!
    Daniel and Jaynee,
    Timothy, Elijah, Rebekah, Benjamin, Abigail, Isaiah, Josiah, Noah, Susannah, Nehemiah, and Eliseo 🙂

  47. What a beautiful name given to you by the Lord, how fitting. Lifting you up daily in Him.

  48. Congratulations on Abigail Hope! A beautiful name. This means that both of the babies that we had been praying for that were expected soon were born on Sunday and were named Abigail, though the middle names are different! Actually, when I mentioned the other Abigail yesterday morning in my comment, I did have the stray thought, “Hmmmm, wouldn’t it be neat if this baby were named Abigail as well?” 😀

    Please do keep us updated on Abigail and Melanie, so that we know best how to pray.

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