Mandy was devastated when the doctors told her that her baby was stillborn. Desperate for one last moment with her daughter, she held the little girl close to her chest and experienced something miraculous, sure to bring you to tears.
As a child, Mandy loved playing house or grown-up—a game where players, mostly kids, take on the roles of a nuclear family. Mandy adored playing the role of the mother and wife. She would care for her friends playing the roles of the kids; she would sing them lullabies and give them her toys to play with. Once, she almost burned down the house while trying to cook for her “kids.” Being an only child with no siblings to care for or play with, Mandy extended her kindness and warmth to the kids in the neighborhood.
It wasn’t until Mandy’s junior year in high school that she discovered her passion for building and designing. This newfound clarity gave her the confidence to apply to college programs in architecture, and she soon got admitted to the school of her choice.
Mandy partied like any other college kid, but one thing she didn’t do was date around. She turned down so many guys that she even got the nickname “Ice Princess.” It wasn’t that she was a snob; she just didn’t like any of them. She liked telling her friends that she would recognize the right man when she met him, and she had no intentions of dating just anybody before meeting the one.
Mandy’s friends had different opinions when it came to relationships. They believed that if they spent more time dating, then it would be easier for them to identify the good and bad guys, as well as the liars and pretenders.
Since Mandy had never been in a relationship before, her friends just didn’t trust her judgment in picking the right man for herself. Hence, they kept trying to set her up with men whom they thought would be suitable for her. Even though she rejected all of their offers, eventually, Mandy agreed to go on a blind date with a guy named Dylan.
The plan was simple: she would go on a dinner date, spend about 15 or 20 minutes with this Dylan guy, and then leave. Afterwards, she would tell her friends that she appreciated the effort, but it was time they stopped trying to set her up with a man, for God’s sake. On the morning of that fateful day, nothing seemed to be going right.
Mandy felt like her luck had run out. She woke up late for class, then spilled coffee on her white shirt while rushing out. Just as she thought things couldn’t get any worse, she realized that she had left her purse at home. Fortunately, thanks to a kind stranger’s help, Mandy didn’t have to worry about being stranded without money.
At one point, Mandy got so fed up that she thought of canceling her date. But the thought of waiting until another day to meet someone she would definitely turn down annoyed her, so she decided to still go. Mandy arrived at the restaurant a few minutes late that evening, ready for her date with Dylan. As soon as she saw him, though, she knew it had been a mistake to come. She didn’t even feel any sparks or butterflies. It seemed like the date wasn’t meant to be.
Usually, Mandy wasn’t the type to hurt anyone’s feelings, but that night, she threw caution to the wind. As she took her seat opposite Dylan, she frowned, letting him know that the date was a terrible idea. However, things were a bit different for Dylan. He was immediately attracted to Mandy. As they ate, Dylan gazed into Mandy’s eyes and said with a mischievous glint, “Don’t be surprised if I ask you to marry me someday. Wanna make a bet?”
Mandy reluctantly accepted the dare, and thus began their playful game of cat and mouse. For the next few months, Dylan did everything he could to capture her attention, while she tried her best to elude him. Sometimes, though, they joked around and teased each other. The game brought them closer, and they soon found themselves confiding in one another. This went on for a while until the rules of the game slowly changed. They began yearning for each other, and before they knew it, they were helplessly in love. They eventually started a relationship, and it was the best decision of their lives.
After they graduated, they went on a trip to Bali, something they had always looked forward to. When they returned, their parents sponsored their wedding and gifted them a fully furnished apartment. The couple also secured jobs at top-tier firms in their respective fields. A few months after getting married, Mandy and Dylan decided it was time to start a family. Mandy wanted four kids, while Dylan wanted six. They eventually settled on five. Sadly, the joy with which they planned the number of kids was soon replaced with despair and frustration.
Despite their best efforts, Mandy and her partner were unable to conceive a child. At first, it was only mildly upsetting, but after several visits to doctors and tests showing that there was nothing wrong with either of them, they started getting really frustrated. Two agonizing years went by in a flash, as it seemed. Yet, their condition remained the same. The couple later chose IVF as a way to start their family, but unfortunately, the procedure was unsuccessful.
The couple was so focused on trying for a baby that it started to take a toll on their once adventurous and bubbling marriage. Even their intimate moments became tedious work that both parties just wanted to get done with. Their parents noticed this and advised them to stop stressing about having children and focus more on building a loving home for their future kids. This advice made the couple realize that they had truly grown apart.
To rekindle old flames, they decided to go on another honeymoon, or at least that’s what they called it. And what a fantastic trip it turned out to be! The couple had fun, I mean lots of fun. Just three months after they returned from the trip, something incredible happened: Mandy discovered that she was pregnant. The news brought joy to the couple and the people around them. Mandy hadn’t even started showing before she began receiving baby gifts from her family members.
The pregnancy period was a smooth one. Mandy experienced no morning sickness, no bloating, or any other pregnancy symptoms. She just glowed; she radiated joy as the months flew by, culminating in her baby shower. At the gathering, everyone was beaming with joy. There was plenty of food to go around, and the house was filled with gifts for the baby. Just before the baby shower came to an end, something shocking happened: Mandy suddenly started having contractions.
It was time for her little one’s arrival. Dylan was filled with fear and anxiety, as Mandy wasn’t due yet. Wasting no time, he rushed her to the hospital. He watched helplessly as the nurses rushed her to the delivery room, not allowing him in for fear that it could destabilize her. Dylan struggled to contain himself; he kept screaming, “Mandy, tell me you’ll be okay!” It was an emotionally wrenching situation.
In the delivery room, the nurses busily prepared for Mandy’s delivery as she steeled herself to endure the pain and push with all her might. After what seemed like an eternity, Mandy felt a baby slip out of her body
, and she heaved a sigh of relief. However, that moment of joy was soon overshadowed by sorrow, as something went wrong immediately after the birth.
Mandy’s world came crashing down when the doctor’s countenance changed, and he uttered the words, “The baby isn’t breathing.” In a state of panic, she watched helplessly as the medical professionals desperately tried to resuscitate her baby. Despite their best efforts, they eventually had to tell Mandy that there was no hope and that her baby was stillborn. Mandy was broken; she almost went nuts. She bit hard on her fingers as she shed bitter tears.
The nurses had brought Dylan in by then, and he was crying at the top of his voice. It was a messy situation. In a desperate attempt to spend one last moment with her dead daughter, Mandy asked the nurses to place her baby on her chest as she rocked the girl. Mandy whispered, “Mommy loves you so much. Why didn’t you get to meet Mom? We would have shared so many beautiful memories. I miss you so much already.”
Mandy was so absorbed in the moment that she didn’t even hear when the baby, who was medically dead, softly sneezed. It wasn’t until she heard the doctors’ laughter and applause as they pointed at the baby that Mandy realized what had happened. Looking down, she saw the little girl’s chest rising and falling as she breathed. It was nothing short of a miracle.
Dylan rushed towards his little girl and dropped precious kisses on her forehead. “You’re alive! You made it!” he screamed happily. Mandy and Dylan named their baby Grace because she was the manifestation of God’s grace in their life. The couple showered their girl with lots of affection. Two years later, they welcomed a set of triplet boys. Afterward, they sold their old house and moved into a bigger one.
Mandy also quit her job to become a full-time stay-at-home mom, something she adored and had always dreamed about.