For any expecting parents, the birth of your first child is the happiest moment of your life. This was no different for Wisconsin woman Aleece Giest. On August 4th 2013, she welcomed her first baby, a girl named Zentavia Jean Marie.
However, tragedy struck just months later when Zentavia was rushed to the hospital.
"She passed away on Jan. 3, and these are New Year's, so right before. She was just a happy little girl," Giest said. "We had her in the emergency room that night and she had an ear infection. And we went home thinking everything would be fine, and she just didn't wake up the next day."
"I remember the first time she laughed. She was taking a bath and it was just out of nowhere," Giest said.
Ever since Zentavia's death, family and friends would gather to commemorate her short life. This year, though, something happened that will change everyone's life forever.
What could be so special as to make a previously sad day a happy one?
At around 5 p.m. on what would have been Zentavia's 4th birthday, Aleece began experiencing abdominal pains.
"I didn't realize it at first actually, but the pain was familiar to me," she said. Giest and Rector went to the Mayo Clinic Health System, where it took almost 2 hours to figure out what was happening. At the end of the two hours it was pretty clear: Aleece was giving birth.
Aleece and Cassidy Rector, her boyfriend, welcomed a baby girl named Mira (short for Miracle), the most unexpected surprise they could have imagined.
"For Mira to come that day, on her, own, I don't have words," the mom said. Neither she nor her boyfriend had any idea they were expecting a baby, but take comfort in knowing Zentavia shares the day.
"It's just amazing that she has a sister to share that celebration with," Giest said.
"My parents said they could never have enough grandbabies," Rector said. "I was freaking out. I don't know what to do, what can I do? The only thing I knew what to do is I just grabbed Aleece's hand."
Aleece says she never knew she was pregnant because Mira was so calm in the womb.
Congratulations to Aleece and Cassidy. And welcome to the world, Mira! You have a guardian angel looking down on you.