The MIRACLE

Have you ever read an amazing story, true or fictional, and been enthralled and thought, “How COOL would that be if that happened to me”? Read biblical stories about the miracles of Jesus and felt a tug at your heart, wondering how it would feel to meet Jesus or to witness these miracles unfolding? (every religion has its stories of fantastical events) Even fictional stories….I watched Harry Potter and dreamily wondered what it would feel like for someone to swoop in and tell me that I was extraordinary and take me away from the mundane and whisk me into the spectacular. We are all drawn to the incredible….that is why movies are made and why we enjoy them so much! We dream of what it would be like to take part in a miracle.

And yet, so many many times, I see people given the opportunity to take part in a real life miracle, and they close themselves off to it!! I can’t always blame them…sometimes they don’t realize that what’s before them is a miracle until it’s past, sometimes they go into denial, sometimes they feel unworthy, and yet sometimes I think that they are just refusing it out of fear. I still find it a shame that those who are chosen to take part in this miracle are, for whatever reason, unwilling to recognize the spectacular when it actually happens to them in their lives.

And it’s a miracle…after miracle…after miracle…revealing itself over and over again. A man and woman meet and after one night of sex these tiny little sperm swim their way up into her body and meet up with the one egg that she will release this entire month! That one egg will only live and be able to be fertilized for 24 hours…for the entire month! The vaginal PH is hostile to the sperm, the swim up through her cervix difficult, they have a 50-50 chance of swimming up the correct fallopian tube – and yet this tough and lucky sperm meets with this freshly ovulated egg and penetrates its shell.

It’s a miracle!! Amazing to me that this meeting ever takes place, more yet as frequently as it does!

This fertilized egg, still in the fallopian tube, will be ushered down this tunnel and lands inside the uterus. This takes DAYS to accomplish and it’s HER BODY that gently sweeps it the correct direction. While this is occurring, another miracle happens inside the egg shell. One cell splits and becomes two identical cells (inside the original egg shell). They split again and two become four…four becomes 8…8 becomes 16…splitting happily again and again until it looks like a bunch of marbles inside the original egg shell. Each cell is identical to all of the others, indistinguishable. There is no hair cell, no muscle cell, no red blood cell or heart cell – just a collection of identical stem cells. AND THEN IT HAPPENS…on the 5th day it happens! The cells collect and become different! We don’t know how…but it becomes a blastocyst! Gone are the marble clusters of identical cells and inside that same egg shell we can look and point and say, “Whoah! Those cells right THERE will become an entire baby!! Oooo…and look down here…THOSE cells will become the placenta!”

Left: 8-cell embryo, all cells identical. Right: blastocyst

THAT is a miracle to me! And all of this has happened while you’ve gone about your week, having no idea that this has happened inside of your body!

The embryo floats into the uterus and the now-different cells spill out, finding a home among the perfect environment of your uterus…and a baby begins to grow. A spine…a heart (how does it know how and when to start beating?)…a brain…skin, fingernails, eyelashes, ears….all perfectly formed and all without any of your direction or guidance. All you need to do is keep YOURSELF healthy…your body is doing all of this perfectly, and rarely do we doubt that our bodies can grow these perfect creatures. All the systems that need to be created, all the nuances that go into an entire person….

A miracle! And you are a part of it!!

Here is where I get sad….most (in this country at least) will not look at the miracles that are unfolding inside of their body and rejoice that they are now a part of the spectacular, learning that their body is even more amazing than they could have imagined! No….instead, most will begin to doubt their body in a way that they never doubted before. “will I go into labor on my own?” “will my body know how to birth this baby?” “will my baby get too big to come out?” “will I be strong enough to birth my baby?”

Fear…fear…fear….when, now more than ever, your body has PROVEN to you that it is strong and capable and MIRACULOUS! More than ever your body has spent months proving to you its full capability – and NOW you doubt it?

Why do we have these fears? They are an unfortunate legacy passed down to us from our societal forefathers (foremothers?). I’m not saying that things can’t go wrong, they certainly can! But things can go wrong at any moment in our lives – you can choke on that bite of banana, you can slip in that shower, you can become so constipated that you require medical intervention…things can always go wrong in any facet of life. The difference is that we live life expecting them NOT to happen, but prepared to deal with them if they do.

Pregnancy is the only time a perfectly healthy woman will willingly admit herself to a hospital. There is nothing wrong with her, nothing that needs to be fixed, and yet she will admit herself to the hospital out of some sense of fear that her body will break, fail her…EXPECTING problems to happen!

She will do this rather than embracing the fact that her body, right here and right now, is perfect and done everything it can to prove that it works and is amazing. She will deny the fact that she is swept up into the fantastical – and instead turn it into a medical event that she will try and NOW control. This journey that she been handed like a gift…she will often times reject and try and remove herself from…the miracle becomes medical.

What more can your body or any of us do to prove to you that your body works? To free your fears and allow you to embrace this that can be the most amazing time in your life? To recognize this fleeting moment in time and want to take an active part in this miracle?

What can YOU do to free yourself…do you want to take part in a miracle?

7 Comments

  1. Denise wrote:

    This is beautiful and thank you for writing it. Thank you for reminding us of the true miracle that pregnancy and birth is and how wonderous and amazing the way womens bodies are made to carry and nurture and birth babies!
    I, for one have chosen to take part in the miracle. I am greatful for it every day. This pregnancy is my 5th, and even still it is a wonderful miracle that leaves me in awe of the wonders of life!

    Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:47 am | Permalink
  2. Julie Westover wrote:

    I needed this today! For someone dear to me who is considering her miracle. Needing prayers for her!!!

    Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  3. rosie_kate wrote:

    Thank you. I SO needed to read that.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
  4. Trena Brown wrote:

    These words come from you just as I sit here writing out questions to ask you at our first meeting in just two wee little hours. I realize that fear is the motivation of most every question, and I’m ok with that. Being a first time mom, I recognize the fear and let it pass, just as I would fear the first day of a new job. I’m glad to see that you also recognize the fear, often something that springs up without realization, and give kind words of reassurance that life is never guaranteed, and to miss the opportunity to experience the miracle of life and birth, is truly what should be feared.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink
  5. Tangie wrote:

    Thank you….I needed to read this! I will refer back to it as I get further along and as those sneaky little doubts creep back into my head.

    I can, my body can and my baby can!!

    Friday, June 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  6. sara wrote:

    What a lovely post! I totally agree with the point that only a pregnant woman will go to a hospital when she is not sick! I hate hate hospitals, but I somehow ended up there anyway, thinking that it would be cheaper, or something. She was halfway born; I should have just stayed home! But I just didn’t trust that after a perfect, wonderful pregnancy I could have a fast, uncomplicated labor. At the end I lost my confidence in myself, even after months and months of research. It just shows how ingrained that feeling is in women.

    Friday, June 25, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink
  7. Heather wrote:

    What a beautiful post. I wish from the very bottom of my soul that there was a way we could REALLY help all women remember this. I know that my perspective on life has been TOTALLY changed by understanding snd SEEING the miracle of life that occurs around us all the time. I can’t walk by a pregnant lady without getting SO excited and wanting to ask her… “Do you really know what an amazing thing you are a part of… do you REALLY know?”

    Thanks of your beautiful blog.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

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