There was a peace inside their home.
A quiet resolve, steadied by storm.
Because faith stays under seed husk until the clouds come, and until the rain falls, will not sprout, reach, bury, bud into root.
See, four months of her life had held more than many a lifetime,
and today what is left after the flood of tears and thunder of chaos is only the beginning,
of the harvest stored up by a warrior’s perseverance to stay hopeful for the sun.
And while some would tuck their head down as so much is still to be understood,
ramifications unknown, each day new in what it may hold or hold unmet,
tenderly yet unwaveringly, Laura tells her story again and again, unashamedly sharing her heart, heartache and hope alike for one purpose,
“We choose to share so that God will be glorified, His provision and love and mercy, evident.”
See, we named our second daughter Whitney because it means protected.
We chose her name after finding out at 23 weeks pregnant that our daughter had gone into heart failure in utero because of something called TRAP sequence.
In short, Whitney was a twin but her twin didn’t have a heart, which meant Whitney was pumping blood for two babies.
Statistics say she shouldn’t have survived in the womb
but God had other and bigger plans for her life.
Two weeks later at 25 weeks pregnant, while being monitored in the hospital and awaiting a procedure,
in a moment of chaos, my water broke and the nurses couldn’t find Whitney’s heart rate on the monitor.
Whitney was breech and her feet were clamping the umbilical cord.
Immediately, an emergency C-section was performed, the scariest thing we have ever been through.
Whitney Parke was born on November 22, 2016 at just 25 weeks gestation.
She weighed 1 lb 12 oz and though she was tiny, she came out fighting for her life.
Those crucial first few days were a mix of emotions. We were so elated to have our second daughter here in the world, but scared for the long, difficult road ahead.
A brain ultrasound showed a level three brain bleed, her heart was in distress after working so hard in utero for such a long time, and many of her systems were underdeveloped. She was quickly transferred to the NICU where she overcame so many obstacles including heart failure, an open PDA and much more.
They say life in the NICU is a roller coaster and it certainly is, but we know God carried us through, we were watching Him heal Whitney.
I got to hold Whitney on her sixth day of life. She could fit in one hand.
This was the first moment I remember feeling like Whitney was real and that she was ours. It was terrifying to see such a tiny baby, but we were so grateful for the strides she had already made in her short time. As the days wore on, they full of progress and setbacks.
Throughout our time in the NICU, we became accustomed to watching the numbers — to understand her condition but trying to not obsess over them. It was exhausting, and we had to try not to get overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown.
Through it all, we believed God held us tightly every step of the way, and that helped us cope.
In each step we were met by our God who is gracious and never wavers.
After 86 days whitney came home and we felt like we could begin our lives as a family of four!
Our first daughter, Claire, has been the best big sister, always helpful and loving and attentive.
We are so grateful for these girls and while no parent would choose the road God had for us, we know there’s a purpose and we are better people because of it.
Whitney has already taught us so much about determination and God has shown us infinite provision, love and mercy!
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”