“WHERE THERE IS GREAT LOVE THERE ARE ALWAYS MIRACLES.” – Willa Cather
When I was able to find work and keep it, I often dropped Bree off at her mother’s or one of her sisters’ houses. This provided me with peace of mind, knowing that if she had a relapse there would be someone there to help her or get her to a hospital if it was bad. It also provided her with distractions as she usually got to see and play with her small nephews Ty and Braydon and Gage. Bree has always loved and had a way with kids, and she sure loved spending time with her nephews. I also believe that time with them really helped her cope with the emotional pain of all that she had endured.
On a day like any other, I dropped Bree off at her mother’s house on my way to work. Upon my return later that day, I found Bree sitting on the trampoline in the backyard playing with her nephews. Only sitting wasn’t quite an accurate statement, rather she was sort of sit-bouncing with them so they would feel like they were making her bounce. To an outsider this might have seemed like such a trivial action, but over the months Bree and I had come to realize that even semi-rigorous physical activity always aggravated her condition and always caused her to relapse. So needless to say, when I saw her bouncing on the trampoline with her nephews, I was more than a little upset because I knew it would cause her a relapse that might involve a hospital stay. Expecting the worst, I took Bree home and did my best to make sure she did absolutely nothing for the rest of the night.
When morning arrived, I was expecting her to be unable to stand let alone walk, but to my astonishment she got out of bed and, while I prepared for work, made me breakfast. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised and grateful that she was feeling well and that the activity from the day before was having no perceivable effect on her. What was even more astounding is that as the days came and went her condition only seemed to continue to improve. It was extremely strange, awesome and welcome, but inexplicable to the both of us, until…
Our Tiny, Little Miracle
We were completely unaware that something more amazing was in the works. After a couple of weeks with no relapse we were really starting to enjoy our new found freedom with Bree’s health and mobility. We started including activities that we enjoyed but hadn’t been able to do as a way of experimenting to see just how much she could do, never knowing to what we could attribute this miracle. Then, one day, Bree realized that it had been some time since she had had her monthly visitor, and suddenly the words of her doctor flooded our minds. You see, given the precarious nature of Bree’s condition we had a discussion with one of her doctors regarding whether or not our future would or could involve having children. The doctor told us that it could go one of three ways, it could make her condition worse, it could kill her, or it could improve her condition. The doctor then explained that there are documented cases of women whose bodies, after conception occurred, flipped a switch turning on a mysterious almost magical ability that, to protect the fetus growing inside, allowed the body to repair conditions that are known to be medically impossible to correct. After that discussion and as a couple, we decided to let fate take us where we were supposed to go and we did not try to get pregnant but we also did not try to stop it from happening. So with much excitement and anticipation we drove to the grocery store and bought several pregnancy tests, and used every single one just to be sure. They all returned positive results, we were pregnant!
It was a true miracle by any definition. Bree becoming pregnant with our first daughter, Liesel, had started working its healing powers within weeks of conception. Bree still has some lingering effects from being paralyzed, but we gladly accept them in exchange for all we have gained back.
After Liesel, we were able to have two more children before the lingering effects of Bree’s illness robbed her of that ability. Calix, our son was born 15 months after Liesel, and Ellie, our youngest daughter, was born 15 months after Calix. Although not planned to be 15 months apart we were lucky our babies came when they did. In fact, it is pretty funny because the last two came to us despite the birth control we were using to preserve Bree’s health after the trouble she had throughout her pregnancy and giving birth to Liesel. Both Bree and I believe that both Calix and Ellie were meant to be a part of our family. All three of our beautiful children were sent to fill our lives with joy and happiness.