The Miracle of Triplets
By James R F
On Monday night, February 6, 2012, between, 8:22 and 8:24 P.M., triplets were delivered by Cesarean section, to Eric and Brianna R, of Pelham, New Hampshire. And what makes their delivery so special? To answer this question it is necessary to return to the beginning months of 2011.
Around March 2011, I was fortunate to be in the Ave Maria Religious Bookstore, located on Bryan Rd. Brandon, Florida, where I first learned of the Scapular of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces. This scapular contains the Icon of Our Blessed Mother as she appeared in a dream to Father David, a miracle working Capuchin priest, who has Stigmata wounds on his hands and feet! Blessed Pope John Paul II in a Private Audience witnessed and acknowledged Father’s Stigmata, which was confirmed by the Vatican physician! According to my research this Icon was blessed by late Pope John Paul II - twice. Each scapular is manufactured in South Korea and then is completed in the United States. When fully assembled volunteers touch each scapular to relics of seventy-five saints: the Relic of the True Cross of Jesus, The Veil of Our Blessed Mother, Padre Pio, etc. Each of these relics is a first-class relic, making this Scapular a third-class relic. (See http://www.marysway.net)
My immediate thoughts went to my sister Nancymarie, and her husband, Bud R. Bud has been very sick for the past three years (hospitalized and placed in ICU on several occasions). I know how devoted my sister is to the Blessed Mother and the devotion my Brother-in-law a non-Catholic has especially to Our Lady of Lourdes. Naturally, I immediately thought of them because of the sufferings they both have endured as well as the many critical hours of life and death emotions. After speaking with Francis Slinsky, Co-founder, Mary’s Way Apostolate, Inc., I ordered several scapular packets with the sole purpose of presenting not only my sister, her husband, Eric and Brianna, Amy and Kevin (daughter and son-in-law of Nancymarie & Bud), but my children and grandchildren (Michelle and Saul, Danielle and Bruce, Jimmy, Jonelle and Joe) as well. (For more information see http://www.marysway.net/icon-showcased-in-rome-signed-by-1-000-clergy)
In May of 2011 my family and I traveled to Nashua, N.H. for the First Communion of my grand niece. When I had the opportunity to speak with my nephew and his wife, I gave them a packet that included the Scapular, prayer card (which is also blessed and touched to each of the first class relics) and additional information about the icon. It was at this time I discovered my niece had just suffered the last of three miscarriages. Needless to say the atmosphere was very depressing. However, I spoke to them not only of the miraculous occurrences surrounding this Scapular, but more importantly the true and devout reverence for it. I spoke with confidence when I said the Blessed Mother would definitely intervene and that they would experience Her intervention. My nephew’s wife is not Catholic but she opened her heart to this.
Where they live in New Hampshire is Pelham, a town outside Nashua. There they joined the parish of St. Kathryn, a small but spirit-filled congregation that I relate with St. Stephen’s, in Valrico, FL. They were overwhelmed with the warmth and compassion of the people and immediately felt the attraction. Ironically, the priest who performed their wedding services in the Cathedral in Manchester, N.H., Fr. Joseph C, was transferred to St. Kathryn’s as its new pastor. My niece was overcome by the spirit and made her decision to begin RCIA instruction. Within a few weeks of this small miracle she informed us she was pregnant.
|Pictured from left to right: Anthony Eric, Brianna and Eric.|
With their new and increased devotion to Our Lady came prayers from many family and friends that this pregnancy would be carried full term and the birth of a healthy baby resulting. Roughly three months into her pregnancy my nephew called and what he told us was more than the expected news we anticipated. He said the doctor told them there was more than one embryo. He quickly asked the doctor “twins”, and was told no, “triplets.” The moment he informed us of this tremendous blessing we were caught between excitement and concern. The concern, of course, is for the health of each of the babies and their mother.
Throughout the next several months, prayers for each of the aforementioned was expanded beyond the little parish in Hudson N.H. and the immediate family, to prayer lists that encompassed the entire United States and Europe. Furthermore, Brianna, Eric, my sister and brother-in-law attended a healing mass service and were touched by the Holy Spirit.
Early in her pregnancy Brianna experienced a small sub chorionic hemorrhage. This potentially could have caused one of the three babies to be “wiped off” the uterine wall due to the excessive blood flow. Based upon multiple births statistics my niece was encouraged by the Chief OBGYN of a major hospital to make a “selective reduction” decision. At first we had no idea what this meant, however, the explanation was traumatic. This is the new term describing the voluntary abortion of the weakest baby. Apparently, many obstetricians offer this suggestion to pregnant women carrying multiple embryos. My niece made her decision: “this is abortion, and abortion is murder!” “There is no way I will selectively reduce my pregnancy, no matter what the cost to me personally!”
This decision weighed heavily upon the family as Brianna went through the proverbial “mill” or as others state, “rode the rollercoaster ride” as she began to gain in weight, size and pain. Each conversation we had, we reminded both her and Eric, to place their trust in God and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After all, She was the one to intervene and helped grant the pregnancy. She is the One the Scapular represents. And they did!
As time was winding down for her due date Brianna was told she needed to hold out as long as she could so the babies could develop their lungs, brains, etc. Exactly what did that mean? Each week she did not go into the hospital to deliver in spite of contractions, meant the babies survival chances after birth increased. There were many times she was rushed to the hospital but she was determined to hold off as long as she physically was able. The obstetrician kept encouraging her as week number thirty approached, and then passed. The same held true for the weeks that followed. The goal was to get as close to week forty as possible. Unfortunately, Brianna developed medical problems associated with a multiple pregnancy and now her kidney and liver were creating problems. Furthermore, she developed an uncontrollable itching throughout her body, which was a concern to her personal physician because it too, was related to her pregnancy.
|Brianna nearing her 35th week||Brianna: Saturday before the birth of the triplets.|
The babies’ weights were nearing four pounds and the uncertainty regarding their development kept Brianna determined to give as much as she could for the sake of her three babies. Then the conflict arose between her obstetrician and the perinatologist (Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist), keep holding off as long as possible, or deliver now because Brianna’s health was deteriorating. This indecision would last about a week. Finally, during the thirty-fifth week of her pregnancy, the two doctors came to realize this had to be done now. On Monday, February sixth around eight thirty, Brianna was taken to the operating room where she underwent a “C-section”.
Baby “A”, a boy, weighed in at five pounds, six ounces; Baby “B”, a girl, weighed in at five pounds ten ounces, and Baby “C”, another boy, weighed in at five pounds, five ounces. With a little math it is easy to see Brianna was carrying over sixteen pounds of babies! Then, their sizes were given as: Baby “A” - eighteen and three quarter inches long; Baby “B” – nineteen inches, and Baby “C” – eighteen and a half inches. Brianna is just five feet one inch herself!
|Baby “A” being held by his “Nonni” Nancymarie.|
|Baby “B” smiling for the camera.|
|Baby “C” exhausted and tired just wants to sleep.|
After receiving the super news of the triple births, I reminded my nephew that his late Godfather; Thomas L P, Jr. also celebrated his birthday on February sixth. Might there have been some spiritual meaning in this occurrence? The babies’ names were selected well after their genders were identified. Baby “A” is Reagan Walter, Baby “B” is Arianna Catherine, and Baby “C” is Colton James. My nephew and niece chose to honor my brother-in-law by adding his name as the middle name of Reagan Walter, and me, with Colton’s middle name “James.” My nephew wanted to name his daughter after his wife, and chose Arianna so there would be no confusion with Brianna. The middle name “Catherine” was in honor of the patron saint of the little parish in Hudson, NH. - St. Catherine of Sienna (The spelling of “Kathryn” is the name of the wife of the donor of the land for the congregation to build its current Church, a stipulation made before the donation.) Brianna’s newfound love for the Catholic faith and the warmth the parishioners showed through their prayers and actions, convinced her this was the name for her daughter.
Getting back to the hospital, the births occurred on Monday, February sixth. There were the usual concerns about the weight loss of each baby after birth and that they were not feeding properly, just an ounce or so. The expectation was they would be placed in the neonatal intensive care (NIC) unit for at least a week or two, Brianna would be discharged and get that time to recover. However, it didn’t work that way. In fact, all three babies and Brianna were released on Friday night, February tenth. Imagine the confusion and difficulties associated with three new lives coming into their home with an older brother who is just as confused about his tiny siblings? Exhaustion prevailed the first few nights. In the words of my nephew, Eric, “God will provide the strength and help to cope with this.” Help came in the form of immediate family and friends for the ensuing days and nights. More lovingly came unexpected volunteers from St. Catherine of Sienna parish. Meals, help with the infants, help with the five year old brother, Anthony, and help by letting the exhausted parents get a few hours of continued rest came knocking at their door.
Today, they are getting into the daily routines associated with triplets. Help is still coming their way. Is this all by coincidence? I choose to believe not! I know my family accepts the rationalization that prayers directed to Our Lady Mediatrix of all Graces has granted several miracles to occur. The first was the conversion of Brianna, followed by her becoming pregnant. The births are yet another miracle. Brianna held the Scapular right up to the moment she had to remove it prior to entering the operating room. It is unfortunate the hospital staff took the garment into which she placed the Scapular and it was lost from that moment on. I have since replaced the lost one with another, especially knowing their newfound devotion to Our Blessed Mother. What I consider another miracle is the defiance Brianna exhibited by refusing to abort any one of her babies. Each one is currently building the body weight and size appropriate for their age. Yes, I reiterate the statement, this is another miracle, especially because Brianna could not and did not kill any one of her babies!
|Eric & Brianna Anthony Eric, Reagan Walter, Arianna Catherine & Colton James Rolfs April 2012|
|Each baby is now at least 10 lbs.April 10, 2012
They are truly a miracle!
For a slideshow depicting this "miracle" please go to the following web site
To contact Brianna and Eric, they have the following blog site: www.brieplus3.com
FOOTNOTE: From Francis Slinsky:
"I have received your precious “testimonial” about the triplets born after three miscarriages to your nephew and his wife. I must add this footnote to your wonderful recounting of the events leading to their birth.
I mentioned to you that my birthday is February 6. At the very hour of the birth of the children – 8:22 PM – my wife and I were celebrating my birthday and it was at that hour I was being sung my “happy birthday” song. This coincidence prompts me to consider myself a “spiritual godfather” to the children as Padre Pio was to those who entrusted themselves to his prayers and called them “spiritual children.” I consider myself a “spiritual godfather” because at our Apostolate www.marysway.net, we pray for all our patrons in our daily masses, and our Brown Scapular of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces was central to all these miracles: Briana coming into the Catholic Church, the wonderful coincidence of having the priest who married Briana and Eric move from his old parish to Saint Kathryn’s, their new parish. The second reason being that Briana conceived three children under the protection of the Brown Scapular. The third reason being that I had been lighting votive candles at the Monastery where all our 12-Way All Protecting, Double, Brown Scapulars are blessed, praying for my son and daughter-in-law to have triplets – they have been married for 15 years and they just gave birth to their first born in March – and instead I hear of triplets linked to our Apostolate through our very own Brown Scapular, born on my birthday! God speaks to us in wonderful ways."
Below is the Icon of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces.
In the following photo, Francis Slinsky holds the Icon for Pope John Paul II to bless (a second time).
Francis, with the help of Our Lady, will be traveling to Rome this fall, to meet with Pope Benedict XVI to attempt to have the Doctrine of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces elevated to the highest honor the Holy Catholic Church can offer: Proclamation of the Dogma. Currently, the Church has four, and this will make the Fifth.
Used with Permission from Author