Blog Written By Brianne Polk
“Let me go get the doctor.” These were the words spoken to my husband and I as we nervously stared at the ultrasound screen. Soon after the doctor and nurse returned to the room we were waiting in, “Your baby has a rare condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). Around the 8th week of gestation, the diaphragm doesn’t form properly, leaving a hole and allowing the organs to make their way into the chest. When the lungs begin to form the growth room is limited, causing long term issues.” I can still remember the long walk to the elevator, my husband and I were completely broken. The only thing we knew to do was call our mothers; fully knowing we were not strong enough to help each other through this awful situation. Growing up in a Christian household, gripping to my faith came naturally to me. In these moments, family, friendships, and our faith is what meant the most to us as we navigated through what we knew would be the roughest season of our lives.
The doctors sat us down and explained the seriousness of the situation. Babies with CDH are given a 50% chance of survival, but after reviewing my MRI, our baby exhibited severely underdeveloped lungs. “Your baby has a 10% chance of survival.” I spent hours begging God to intervene in some way, obsessing over that number. I never understood the saying “Pray without ceasing” until I was in fear for my child’s life. I could do nothing but pray, and this was so hard for me. My biggest struggle was relinquishing my control, giving all of my worries to God. I remember the song I sang as a child “We are weak, but He is strong.” The second I surrendered; I was overcome with such peace. He promised me that my daughter would not only live but also thrive despite the bad report. I was so sure of His promise that I fully expected the hole to be gone at our next ultrasound, but this was not His plan, this would be our testimony.
God places people in our paths for a reason, and we were truly blessed to be surrounded by an amazing group of people during our trying time. Whether it was the nurses who took such great care of our baby while she was in the NICU, or to our family and friends who were there no matter what time of day or night for a shoulder to lean on, or for moral support. We certainly wouldn’t have made it through this situation without the prayers and sense of community that was offered by Wave Church. We were able to see our marriage and our relationship with Christ grow, not only this, but people around us were so moved by our faith that nurses often asked us to pray for other babies in the POD. What could have been a dreadful journey quickly became a wonderful way to share God’s love with those around us.
Years ago, God spoke a promise to me, “Your daughter will not only live, but she will thrive.” To this day, doctors are astonished by her improvements. Her life today is as if she never endured those pains. Lilliana often looks at her belly and says, “Mama, this is my survivor scar!” She is a normal little girl with only the scars to prove what she has been through, and the testimony to share what God has done in her life. Lilliana’s journey felt long and drawn out with multiple surgeries, intubations, feeding tube, and therapy, but it was all for the purpose of reaching people. Sometimes God uses our struggles to touch the hearts of others.
A few years later we learned that our second daughter was born with the same condition. God saw us through every trial with Lilliana Grace, and we KNEW that we could count on that same peace and love that only He can provide with Kinsley Faith’s journey as well.
God is so faithful. No matter what you are facing, I encourage you to truly surrender the situation to Him. He will never let you down! He will raise you up and where there are trials there will be a testimony of His faithfulness!