Since January, I've been following the stories of two little girls, Gwyneth Rose and Audrey Caroline.
Gwyneth Rose was born in early January at approx. 25 weeks gestation. Her entire story is a miracle. Her mom, Trisha, has CF (cystic fibrosis) and was getting ready for a transplant when she found out that her secret prayers had been answered--she was pregnant. Despite some of the doctors' advice and the incredible odds against both of them surviving, she and her husband, Nate, continued the pregnancy. Because of Trisha's health, she was admitted to Duke University and has been there since. Shortly after Gwyneth was born, Trisha was placed on the transplant list, and she just received her new lungs last week (on Nate's birthday!). Both Gwyneth and Trisha are continuing to do well.
Several times a day, Nate writes about his girls. I have witnessed the excitement over new lungs turn into disappointment when they were not a good enough match. I have seen Gwyneth grow and start to breath room air and eat from a bottle. I've listened as he's poured out his heart and his story to everyone who is listening.
The other little girl, Audrey Caroline, is being born today at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. Her story started several months ago when the doctors told her parents, Todd (from the music group Selah) and Angie, that she would not survive. In fact, she has several conditions and each is fatal. Her kidneys are non functioning. She does not have enough fluid in the anmiotic sac. Her lungs aren't developing. Angie has been sharing her story, and I feel like I was there in the hospital getting the updated ultrasound, praying that Audrey would be healed.
I've followed along as they have taken Audrey and her three sisters to Disney World so that she too could experience it. I've listened as they describe the ways that they show Audrey love--eating peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches so they can feel her jump and move. And I've prayed along with them and for them as they have had to do the unthinkable--pick out a burial plot for their little girl, even as they could feel her moving and hiccuping inside of Angie. I've watched them try to explain to their 4 year old twins and 2 year old girls that Audrey is hurt and that this is the only time they have with her.
Gwyneth and Audrey are two little girls, both very much loved by their families, both with incredible medical needs. One is thriving, and the other is not expected to survive. But both of them are testaments to God's amazing grace and power. Both families have an unshakeable faith in God. Both families are praising Him through their stories.
Two little girls. Two families. Two drastically different outcomes. One amazing God.