“GRACE. Her name is Grace,” Jacob decided there and Gabriella loved the name. Wasn’t she literally the God’s Grace, after almost seven years of their marriage and continuous failures? Truly she was! Her fragile custard-like skin, joints like the melted rubber and feather-touch softness was what defined Grace.
Gabriella and Jacob, both from Ireland, had met at Inistioge and instantly fell for each other. Rooted amidst the natural beauty, Inistioge is a very small village in Kilkenny, Ireland. Nestled in the midst of undulating hills, Inistioge faces the river.
Gabriella was sitting at the bench on the banks of River Nore, letting herself to be engulfed in the beauty of Inistioge. That was her own special way of relaxing when she was tired and stressed. Jacob, a geologist by profession, was as usual doing his research on some project. While studying the pebbles at the bank of Nore, Jacob looked at Gabriella and that was all! Love at first sight! There was something about that first short meeting of Gabriella and Jacob. As Jacob recalls it today, he says, “Gabby, when I first saw you, I don’t know why but I was struck by déjà vu. With those colorful fishes in Nore and green hills in the background; you appeared to me a natural beauty in the midst of that the nature’s beauty. Everything was so picturesque and I felt like capturing that moment with a camera instantly.”
After dating for just 3 weeks, Gabriella and Jacob walked down the alter of the St. Columcille’s Church and entered the nuptials in a very Irish style. Thereafter started their wedding life. Love was always in the air. While Gabriella immersed herself completely in the responsibilities of her family and home; Jacob, on the other hand kept going and coming to Inistioge because of his projects. But his devotion towards his wife and home were unmatched. After having lived through a wonderful one year of wedding; Jacob, while making love to Gabriella one day, said, “It’s time we have someone else in our life.”Blushed by the very notion of motherhood, Gabriella leaned in closer to Jacob and like always, accepted this command of Jacob as well.
Nevertheless, life is not always what we plan. It walks us down slowly, then instantly throws up at the strides and then again brings us down to walk slowly. But if there is one thing that life teaches us; it’s that you have to keep moving; even if you don’t want. Soon, Gabriella and Jacob were hit by the impression that there was something wrong because she had been trying to conceive for over six months, but in vain. Jacob and Gabriella immediately visited the doctor and it wasn’t difficult for the doctor to diagnose Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) on Gabriella.
The doctor said, “Gabriella, PCOS is a commonly occurring endocrine disorder in females, but largely it is a genetic ailment, you see. You understand it this way; it is the top most reason of sub-fertility in females. That is the reason you are not being able to conceive and after conceiving too, PCOS will lead to 40 percent higher risk of miscarriage during your pregnancy than usual.” Gabriella broke down after hearing this. “Sub-fertility?”Thoughts of not having a baby of her own started spinning in her head, but what hit her hardest was the fact that she would not be able to give Jacob that chance of unexplained happiness of being called, “Daddy.” Gabriella went out of the door as Jacob’s eyes followed her and then immediately that of the doctor.
“Jacob,” doctor continued, “not that I am saying you two will never have a baby of your own, but you need to understand that Gabriella will now be on the roller coaster of emotions and no one but you can help her. We can start the treatment whenever you wish, but before that I want you to go home and explain things to her. It will take time, but will happen. Give me a call when both of you are ready.”
On a drive back to home, Gabriella didn’t say a word to Jacob and looked outside the window with tears flowing continuously. Jacob gave her the time and after a short while, killed the engine of the car. Gabriella, unconscious of her surrounding kept weeping. Jacob came to her window and gestured her to come out. He took her to the same place. Bank of River Nore, the bench in front of it, undulating hills in the front and nature’s beauty. It was the same place where they first met. Gabriella, by default, leaned in the arms of Jacob and cried till her tears dried.
After a while, Jacob said, “”Relax. We are yet away from the baby-thing, you know? But can you just imagine? My brain, your charm and add to that our collective beautiful looks-we’ll have an unusually beautiful little angel. And Gabby, come on. Making of something like this is not an easy job. Give Jesus some time for that. Let’s get started on the treatment thing till then.” Jacob’s calm and composed personality always did magic on Gabriella and it did this time too.
Gabriella’s treatment started soon, but despite conceiving three times after that, there was no hope. If there was one hope that kept her going, it was her husband-Jacob. His calm face and forever positive attitude gave that strength to Gabriella to go ahead in life without disappointments.
They were now in the seventh year of their marriage and Gabriella was six months pregnant, the longest she ever had been, which meant that her chances were bright this time. With each passing day, her heartbeat relaxed a little as she prayed, “three more months Lord, just three more months. Not this time.”
Jacob and Gabriella went to St. Columcille’s Church one day and sat there for long. As Gabriella watched Jacob pray, she felt the same emotions overflow like the ones during three weeks of their dating. Her eyes wandered from Jacob at her side to Jesus in front. She immediately closed her eyes and prayed, “A baby is your way of conveying to humans that life goes on. We keep moving forward- baby to adult- adult to oldy-oldy to dead and then again a baby. Generation to generation- we keep moving ahead. We don’t stop. It’s a great honor for a woman to be rewarded with motherhood; then why am I being deprived of this privilege Jesus? You allowed me to enjoy all the titles of Jacob’s life- his lady, his wife; and now, for once, I want you to bless me with yet another title- his baby’s Mama.”
Gabriella opened her eyes and Jacob held her hand. In the church that day he said, “This time, trust me. The miracle is on its way. She’ll be an angel. Jesus’ grace on us. And I know the baby will be a girl- my brains, your charm and together- a beautiful miracle.”
After three more months, Gabriella was admitted to the hospital and waited impatiently for a miracle. The last she remembered before going on anaesthesia was Jacob holding her hand and saying her, “miracle you see. Jesus’ miracle.”
After sometime, a nurse shouted with joy- “Congratulations, she’s beautiful!” Gabriella, after a tiring session at the hospital, was holding this little baby in her arms when she came back to life, while Jacob was standing next to the two most beautiful women of his life, with the brimming eyes.
“Look closer. She is just you, Jacob,”Gabriella exclaimed with a touch of excitement and emotion in her voice and tears of happiness in her eyes. And when Jacob leaned in to have a closer look, he was astonished to see how their daughter was a true replica of what he used to say- the collective charm of Gabriella and Jacob; but her beauty more inclined towards her father! As Jacob politely kissed little Grace, his lips sank down as if searching for any bone in her. Holding her easily and sitting next to Gabriella, as he held little hands of Grace, all his fears, all the pain melted away and he silently said, “Thank you Grace for the joy that you brought to Mama.” Gabriella looked at Jacob and then to Grace and then back to Jacob, feeling thankful towards Jesus for giving her that last title she was craving for- ‘’MAMA’’