TessiJanuary 31, 2008 was the day Mara Breigh Wilson was born at home. Mara’s mother Tessi was my client and I had the privilege of delivering Mara, who was Tessi and Joel’s firstborn child.

Tessi and her husband, Joel, are two of the sweetest people you will ever meet. I really enjoyed the time I spent with them during Tessi’s pregnancy. Her birth was beautiful. Tessi’s birth story would be a lovely one to tell. But this isn’t a birth story. I want to tell you a little different story. This story is about Tessi, her God-given talent and a wonderful gift that she gave to me.

Since Tessi lived in Edinburg, Texas (2 ½ hours south of me), I did most of her prenatal care in her home. I usually have several clients in the Rio Grande Valley. So I make trips to the Valley often to do prenatal care in the client’s home.
The very first thing that caught my eye when I first came to Tessi’s home was a beautiful large painting that was in her living room. I knew immediately that it was an original piece of art work. The painting was a lifelike depiction of a small girl. I commented immediately on the painting and Joel told me that Tessi was the artist who had painted it.

Art With Tess

I was so impressed. Tessi had managed to capture the heart of this child. She was a serious child and her eyes seemed to be looking right into mine as if she wanted me to speak to her.

I’ve always loved art. I have even painted a little bit myself. I recognized immediately that Tessi was truly gifted as an artist. I wanted to know more about her art work. Joel was obviously proud of his wife because he immediately began to show me other works of art Tessi had done. He showed me several other paintings throughout their home. After showing me around the home, he brought up Tessi’s website on his computer to show me even more.

Among the art on the website was a life size sculpture of a pregnant woman. She was absolutely beautiful and of course the subject matter was of particular interest to me since I am a midwife. I asked Tessi about her. Tessi told me that the sculpture was of her sister. As soon as she said it, I could see the family resemblance.

When I asked what it was made of, she told me ceramic. Since I had done a little work in clay myself, I knew what an undertaking such a large sculpture must have been. So I asked Tessi to tell me more. When I asked if the sculpture had been fired, she said it had been. And so I asked, “Didn’t it make you nervous to fire it?” I knew that firing can end in disaster if there is even the slightest imperfection in the piece. A single accidental air bubble can cause your work to explode or crack, destroying all that you have done. Tessi admitted to me that she had been nervous to fire it but obviously her masterpiece had survived the firing process without any problems. This was just more proof of the care and perfection that Tessi had given in the making of this lovely sculpture.

Well as I said Tessi’s baby, Mara, was born in January of 2008. I hadn’t heard from Tessi in months but as I continued to travel to the Valley almost weekly to see clients, I often thought of Tessi, Joel and Mara. I wondered if Tessi and Joel would need my services again. It’s hard to loose touch with clients when you grow to love them as much as I did Tessi and Joel.

Mara - a little older.Almost one year after Mara was born I received an email from Tessi. She sent me the most adorable pictures of Mara. It was then that I found out that she and Joel no longer lived in Texas. They had moved to Indiana. And as it turns out they are expecting again. It was kind of sad to realize that I wouldn’t get to be Tessi’s midwife this time. But I was glad to learn that she had found another good midwife.

But Tessi wrote me for a different reason. She wrote to ask me if I remembered the statue she had made of her sister. Remember it? Of course, I did. How could I forget?! I loved that statue. She went on to tell me that she would like to give me this lovely statue, if I would like to have it.

Would I?! I was so excited and so honored. I wrote her back immediately to let her know how I felt about her generous offer. The statue’s name is “Blessed.” When I learned this, I thought “How appropriate… in so many ways.”

Tessi made the arrangements for me to pick Blessed up from an art studio in McAllen the next week. My husband, Larry and grandson Zachary went with me to get her. But I was so glad the studio owner asked two of the men that worked at his studio to load her into my car. They seemed to know what they were doing and she looked so fragile to me. I was terrified of damaging her in the transport.


They loaded her into the back seat of my car and I placed several bed pillows around and behind her and then seat-belted her in safely. I smiled at the thought of taking her through the border check point station because she made such a strange looking passenger in my car. When we were asked if we were all US citizens, I was tempted to say, “Yes, even her” (but I chickened out).

Once we got “Blessed” home, we had to figure out how to safely unload her and get her inside my office. My office is located behind my home. My husband came up with the suggestion to use a wagon to move her from the car to the office door. Boy was I glad he thought of that idea! She was extremely heavy! I placed pillows in the wagon and we carefully maneuvered her out of the car which was no small task.

Once we got her to the office door, we had to lift her up onto the porch where we could then take her inside. It wasn’t very far but I was still quite nervous. If I had to guess her weight, I would guess she weighs 200 lbs but it’s hard to know for sure, maybe more, maybe less.

As soon as she was safely inside my office, I wanted to go shopping for a table for her to sit on. Larry agreed. So we measured her and then we left to go shopping. I wanted to find a table that was approximately 22 inches square. I found one that was perfect!

She now sits in my office and I believe she looks perfect there. One of my other clients is married to an electrician, so I’m going to hire him to install a spot light in the ceiling above her so she can be given the perfect lighting she deserves. I also have plans to have a small plaque made with her name and Tessi’s name on it. This will be placed on the edge of her table. Also, Tessi is planning to create a Certificate of Ownership for me, and my husband suggested that when it arrives we have it framed and mounted above her.

If you’ve ever been to my prenatal office, you know that it is decorated with many prize possessions that were gifts from my clients. They are all special to me from the smallest to the largest, I love them all. Tessi’s gift will always be dear to me. She is grand and beautiful and I am certain she will be admired by everyone who sees her. I am truly the one who is “blessed.” Thank you Tessi with all of my heart! May the Lord richly bless you as you have blessed me.