Clovis mother Becky Whitmore’s pregnancy was almost over, and the anticipation of bringing about child into the world was starting to become an exciting reality.
Just about 2 months left.
Becky and husband Bennett Whitmore, who’ve known each other since their days at Clovis High and have been married for five years, were all set to have their third child.
Big brother Brooks, who is 3, already was asking to share bunk beds with the baby. Sister Reese Rebekah, who is 1 1/2-years-old, also was anxious.
But during a routine checkup and ultrasound at the 27-week mark, the joyous anticipation turned into heartbreaking uncertainty.
Becky and Bennett were informed their baby had non-functioning kidneys, called multicystic dysplastic kidneys.
They were given two options: Terminate the pregnancy early, or go along with it and “wait and see what happens.”
Doctors also warned the Whitmores of the likely possibility their son would merely “take one breath then pass.”
Though knowing the odds of survival, as well as the difficult path that awaited if the baby did make it, the Whitmores elected to go ahead with the pregnancy.
“We’ve been told that there isn’t a lot of hope — that all we can do is pray and see if this baby will make it when they arrive,” Becky wrote on her Facebook page, documenting her journey during the pregnancy. “I write all of this to tell you that we have hope. Our hope is in the Lord!
“We are praying for a zealous miracle for our precious baby. ... We commit to holding on to hope even when the tears won’t stop.”
In the days leading to her due date, which doctors moved up three weeks to avoid the possibility of giving birth to a stillborn, Becky described the final stretch being pregnant:
“What a journey this has been! Not every day has been easy, but every day has been filled with thanks. Thankfulness for this sweet babe kicking, hiccuping, and wiggling around, for the hope the Lord has placed within us, for the gentle waves of peace that surpasses any bouts of fear, and for the knowledge of healing that WILL take place — whether in this life of the next. We are so incredibly thankful for all that we’ve been able to do together.”
Then on Oct. 26, 2018, at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, parents Becky and Bennett got to experience the joy of having another baby.
Bennett proudly announced to all in the delivery room that the couple just had a boy. They hadn’t known the baby’s gender prior to delivery.
Brandt David Whitmore measured at 5 pounds, 10 ounces and 18 1/2 inches long.
He even cried aloud upon delivery.
“We had much more than seconds with our sweet boy,” Becky wrote. “It was an answer to prayer.”
But it wouldn’t last. Within 24 hours, Brandt passed.
The newborn was surrounded by his mom, dad, brother and sister, who sang the Contemporary Christian song “It is Well” in the intensive care nursery.
“Thank you to each one of you for honoring our sweet Brandt and praying over our family as we have walked this journey,” Becky wrote. “God is so faithful and He will carry us through this next phase of life. ...
“Our zealous miracle was answered — Brandt is fully healed. Life is truly a blessing. “
Friends of the Whitmores set up a GoFundme page to help out the family.
In an interview with The Bee, the Whitmores said the family still is grieving the loss, but they have no regrets about going through with the pregnancy.
“I can’t image what it’d been like if we had gone through with the doctors’ advice,” Bennett said. “We would have missed out time with our son. It was brief, but it was so amazing.”
Added Becky: “If I had the opportunity, I would do it all again, to hold my Brandt and share his life with people.
“Absolutely I would do it all again.”