A Gift of Life
By Margie Wallis
When I learned I was pregnant in October 1996, I was less than happy. Harley and I already had two sons, one with significant health challenges. The idea of another child was more than overwhelming and impractical. It was highly unlikely.
I had been fighting bronchitis for several months that year, leading to chest x-rays and the need for stronger antibiotics and steroids. My doctor insisted I take a pregnancy test first. When completed, I had an odd–very fleeting thought–a voice saying, “You are pregnant, but the test will say negative.” It must be a figment of my over-tired imagination, I thought. When the doctor came back in, he confirmed the test was negative and I left with a handful of prescriptions.
Two days later Harley left for Tres Dias. In the next twenty-four hours, out of the blue, three people asked me if I was pregnant. Why would they even think that? Spooked by the memory of that “fleeting thought,” I dashed to the drugstore for a home pregnancy test. The results were a definite positive. I cried. I did not want another baby.
My husband’s fourth day began with a trip to the obstetrician. Yes, I had conceived a baby, but the pregnancy was not viable. There was no heartbeat, no yolk sack, and the fetus measured far too small for its age. I was secretly relieved. But when the doctor tied the loss of the baby to my medications, I realized the truth—I was to blame. Now, I was conflicted three ways. I felt guilty for not wanting to be pregnant, guilty for the relief that it wasn’t viable, and guilty for taking the medications that ended up killing my child.
Harley insisted I attend the upcoming Tres Dias weekend. My church friends urged me to take this time away, but being with a group of women I didn’t know while anticipating a miscarriage–it was the last place I wanted to be.
But, Tres Dias was exactly where I needed to be. The weekend’s theme was “rebirth,” and the symbol a butterfly. My tablemate had a newborn, and one of the rollistas shared a powerful story of her struggles with infertility. The Lord began healing my broken heart.
On Saturday night, a spiritual director prayed life over me. I felt certain of many things, especially that another baby was in our future. The next week, my physician called. “We need to discuss the need for surgery, to reduce the risks of miscarrying.” What? According to my lab work, which had been completed during my Tres Dias weekend, my pregnancy hormones had quadrupled. I was in awe at what the sonogram revealed–where there was scarcely evidence of conception, I now had a yolk sac, a baby, and a heartbeat.
Eight months to the day after Tres Dias, we birthed a healthy 10-lb baby boy. Many say that Tres Dias is a source of healing and new life. I have literal proof of that.