Pregnancy
Mom induces labor early so that sick husband can hold newborn for first & final time before passing
She gained a son on the day her husband passed. 😢
Colby Maxwell
12.17.21

Life, as often as we try to make it so, is never just one thing or the other. Joy comes wrapped in a package of grief. Peace comes after a battle with anxiety. Life comes after an embrace with losing a loved one. For one new mom, that has never been more true.

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Haley Parke lost her husband on the same day she gained her son.

Only a few weeks ago, Haley Parke went through one of life’s biggest celebrations mere moments before grieving a terrible loss. For Parke, still in a season of grieving and shock, the story is truly heartbreaking. It all began two weeks ago when she got news that her husband’s cancer had progressed.

Parke’s husband, Jb, was diagnosed with cancer in January 2021.

Cancer is rather unpredictable and suddenly, the couple learned the prognosis had changed. The cancer had spread, changing the timeline drastically.

“The doctor told us cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. His lungs were filled with fluid,” she said.

Jb went from a six-month prognosis to mere days to live.

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That alone is wrenching enough, but Haley was pregnant with their second child. She was nearing the end of her third term when the updated prognosis came through. Unless something drastic happened, Jb wasn’t going to be able to see his son.

Knowing that Jb could never see his son galvanized Haley to action.

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The ICU team offered her an induction to make something happen as Jb continued to decline in health. Haley jumped at the opportunity.

I kissed my sweet husband goodbye and told him to be strong and hold on for me and the baby – he said he would. – Haley Parke

The baby was going to be three weeks early with the induction, but everyone was willing to take the risk in order for Jb to see him.

The planned vaginal birth turned into a c-section when things weren’t moving fast enough.

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As soon as the procedure was complete, the doctors and nurses ran with the baby as fast as they could up two flights of stairs to be with Jb in his final moments. Arriving, they placed him on Jb’s chest and were shocked when his vitals improved.

Weakened but aware, Jb nodded, acknowledging that his baby boy was on his chest.

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Through that day, Haley was wheeled up to be with her husband in his final moments. As she sat looking at her husband, she held his hand. In those final moments, he passed away with the peace of being able to see his baby and his wife totally healthy.

“I spent my recovery time gazing at my husband. I was gazing at him in sadness, but in awe of his strength. He took his last breaths with our son on his chest and my hand in his hand.” – Haley Parke

Haley decided to name her baby boy after the one she loved most in this life – her husband.

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“Up until the moment of induction, we had not had names picked out. I knew in my heart it was only right to honor my husband. So, it is my pleasure to announce the birth of our brave, amazing son, John Beeson Parke (Jb). Welcome to the world baby Jb.” – Facebook
We often get just enough of what we need to make it through the season we are in. For Haley, it isn’t easy, but she has a baby boy to remind her to be strong.

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By Colby Maxwell
hi@sbly.com
Colby Maxwell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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