The couple had been trying to get pregnant for months to no avail. When it was least expected, they suddenly received the miracle they had been praying for all along.
Danielle Howard of Thousand Oaks, California, always knew she wanted to be a mother. Her husband, Brian Howard, already had the job he was meant to do, a pastor for high school and young adult ages.
After the pair tied the knot, they started thinking about starting a family together, and in 2016 they began trying to get pregnant.
Unfortunately, 6 months later, they were still not having any luck, and the stress and emotional rollercoaster of the journey was starting to get to Danielle.
Danielle had been on birth control for a while, and people reminded her that it could take a while after coming off the pill, but she was impatient to start her family.
In January 2017, the couple took a group of high school students away for a winter retreat in the snow. Just hours after arriving, Danielle slipped on a piece of ice, and severely injured her back as she fell down a flight of stairs.
She was so hurt that she needed to be sent home from the camp that very night, and doctors scheduled an x-ray for her the next day.
It was at that point that a friend asked her if an x-ray was a good idea, given that she might be pregnant.
"I wasn’t going to find out for sure for two weeks, and I sure wasn’t about to get my hopes up again," she wrote on Love What Matters.
But she told her doctor anyway, and he instead confined her to bed rest, giving her strict instructions that she may only leave her bed for physical therapy. The two weeks passed, with Danielle overdosing on Netflix and DoorDash.
The day she returned to work for the first time since the accident was the day she was supposed to get her period. She endured the painful day sitting upright in a chair, and by the time she returned home she noticed she still wasn't bleeding.
She decided to take a pregnancy test, but without hoping for too much to avoid the disappointment if it was negative.
She went back to watching Netflix, allowing the test to sit in the bathroom. A number of hours later, she returned to see what it said. There, on the little stick carrying all her hopes and dreams, clear as day, read: Pregnant.
"I couldn’t believe that a baby survived my fall, the pain killers, the almost X-ray fiasco, and yet it had," she wrote. And her first reaction was that she needed to tell Brian immediately.
When she checked the clock, she realized it would be another hour and a half before he was due to return home.
"I was impatient that we didn’t get pregnant within six months of trying; I sure wasn’t going to wait an hour and a half for him to get home."
She decided to text him, telling him he needed to come home immediately.
"‘I am not doing well.’ (sorta true…. I am crying.) ‘Come home now.’ (He will because I have a fractured back!) He calls. I’m still crying happy tears, but they sound sad when I say: ‘Come home. I need you home.’ (not lying. Those are true statements) He is coming straight home. Success! Praise the Lord for this fractured back."
When Brian walked through the door, she was standing ready in the kitchen, with a note written out on the table. He immediately seemed surprised to see her standing upright, as she had told him her back was in agony.
He read the note, which said "You are a dad" and Danielle made sure to say the words out loud as well.
Brian was utterly elated, and his reaction in the video she recorded of the reveal said it all. He couldn't stop hugging his wife, and even - very carefully - picked her up in his excitement.
The couple announced their big news in the middle of March, with a sweet Instagram photo shared by Danielle.
On October 4, 2017 they welcomed their miracle baby who had survived a tough first few weeks in the womb. They named their perfect baby girl Grace Kelly Howard.
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