The other day, I received news that someone I love very much is carrying a new life.
She and her husband have wanted a child since their wedding day.
And God agreed with them. He joined them in the act of creation and breathed a living, eternal spirit into the joining of egg and sperm.
It takes my breath away.
for those of you who don't know, before my illness I was an RN. For 20 years I worked in maternity, labor and delivery, with the really sick ones. I was also a Perinatal grief counselor, so I worked with those who had a stillborn, or a child whose development was incompatible with life. So I know a lot that can go wrong..
But the everyday miracle is that problems like that are rare. And the system itself , the incredible design, always left me breathless with wonder. No less now, at this moment, while once again, the celestial dance of Creator and created begins,
From the moment of conception, the child develops his/her own circulation system, separate from the mom. Their blood type is their own, not the mom's. But mom's blood washes the baby's blood, pulling out what needs to be eliminated and filling the blood with oxygen mom breathes and passes on to the baby. By the end of the first month, the cells that will become the heart - which beat independently, each cell throbbing alone - begin to pull together and the beat of the cells synchronize, forming the heart.
Each cell in this wee little person knows to find other cells with the same signature and they gather together to form the eye, the spinal cord, the fingers, the toes. All by chance, of course - everything sort of evolved into these incredibly complex features necessary for survival.
Even the placenta, which the body will dispose of when it is no longer needed, is amazingly complex. When the baby is created, the placenta is formed along with it. Think of how a carrot grows - that is how the placenta attaches. The carrot-like parts are called "villi" and they imbed into the musculature of the uterus.
The thing is, as the baby grows, it needs more oxygen and creates more waste products. So the covering of the villi begin to thin out. Mom's blood bathes the villi, and the thinner the layer of cells, the more easily the oxygen/waste product exchange takes place. By the time of delivery, the covering is only one layer of cells thick. And yet, mom's blood and baby's blood never mingle.
And because the villi covering is only one cell thick, at delivery the placenta can easily detach and be discarded. The womb clamps down tightly so the blood vessels that washed the villi are squeezed shut and only a small amount of blood is lost.
And with the baby's first breath, the circulation changes direction.
Before birth, the blood doesn't need to all go thru the lungs, because the placenta works as the baby's lungs. So there is a hole in the heart where most of the blood passes thru without going thru the lungs. The first breath, however, closes the hole in the heart, and the blood changes direction, going thru the lungs with every heartbeat.
All by chance.
But that is what evolution would say.
On the other Hand, the Bible tells us that God knits the baby together. It is His Hand that moves those cells into the correct groupings to form organs, to form the placenta, to develop the baby. The Hebrew word used is "embroidery by a master".
And indeed, He is exactly that.
So inside my dearly loved one's tummy, right now at this moment, God is knitting and embroidering the traits He desires to be in this eternal soul He has designed. He knows where each dimple will go, what eye color He wants, how delicate or rugged and sturdy this body will eventually be. His/her heart is already beating, s/he is moving in the amniotic fluid, and by 12 weeks, this person will be perfectly formed, all that will remain is a period of growth and maturation - the eyelids will separate later in development and the eyes will open. S/he will suck his or her thumb, kick, urinate, even have the hiccups. S/he will have sleep periods - in spite of the noisy environment s/he floats in - mom's voice amplified in fluid, the sound of her heart, her laugh, her cough, the gases moving thru her bowels, her bones creaking as the ligaments soften to allow the bones to stretch and the baby to fit thru the pelvis. S/he will learn to recognize dad's voice, to recognize music heard regularly, to nestle securely as the muscle of the uterus reaches its limit of stretching and becomes more snug.
And then, as s/he is squeezed thru the pelvis, the amniotic fluid s/he has been breathing in and out is squeezed out and suddenly cold air hits his/her face as the rest of his/her body swooshes forth - and the first separation from mom is completed.
Now baby has to learn how to deal with gravity, how to eat, how to poop, how to coordinate muscles and roll over, stand, walk, run - and how to find the One Who made him/her for His own joy and delight, and be connected with the great Father-Heart Who dreamt this person into being, putting that sparkle in papa's eye that answered the sparkle in mama's eye and were joined in the everlasting sparkle in God's eye.
All the years I worked in labor and delivery, it never got old, got boring - every baby made a miraculous entry.
And I can't wait to see this new one, percolating away safely in mom's tummy. Godspeed, wee one. May the Father's joy in you be made full as your mama's and daddy's joy explodes and their arms never tire of holding you close.
May you seek your Papa early, come to know His Son, and serve Him with joy, all the days of your life.