We didn’t expect to get pregnant. My husband and I have been married for 12 years, and it hadn’t happened yet, so we just assumed it wouldn’t happen. Then suddenly, walla! I’m with child. 32 weeks along as I’m writing this.
My first reaction when I found out was “oh shoot!” I know, not like the movies at all. The first 12 weeks were a blur as I was away on Sabbatical getting my health back after experiencing chronic burnout. We heard the heartbeat and “saw” her for the first time at 6 weeks. Pretty weird.
No, I didn’t cry – I was more stunned than anything. At 12 weeks, we got another heartbeat and “saw” her again – this time instead of looking like a wormish creature from some bad sci-fi movie, she actually looked like a tiny human being with an alien head. Wow. That was fast.
Throughout the weeks and months that followed, we “watched” her grow and fight her way into existence, looking more and more human. It’s been cool and weird to finally feel her movements, see her kicks and turning in my belly from the outside. It’s been crazy to watch in helplessness as my abdomen balloons out to make room for this growing human being. And I’m doing nothing to make it happen – except eating, exercising and trying to sleep.
Surrender. That has been the beautiful thing throughout this process. I’m not “in there” examining and micro-managing the process of her creation in my womb. I’m not leaving comments about how her toes need a different shape, or pressing a “like” button as I examine the process of growth. It’s just happening. In fact, we have no clue what she will look like. This is probably one of the longest things we as human beings living in western civilizations have to wait for. We’re so used to taking an early peek, putting something on credit card so we can have it now, or over-nighting a product so we don’t have to wait. But not with a human being. 9 months of waiting, wondering, fearing and hoping. I’m not controlling a thing, and it’s still happening. It’s pretty mind-blowing.
So I’m at week 32. Haven’t “seen” her since week 18, but I know she’s there. It’s fun to watch my belly move after I eat, as she dances (hopefully) from the delicious sustenance I’m providing her. It’s cool to play music and feel a jab or kick, or perhaps it’s a twirl. I can only imagine what it would be like to be a human in the womb. Can you imagine? The first time hearing something – ever! Is it scary? Is fear even realized yet? And to start to see light coming through the pink lining of your world as your eyes open for the first time ever! What is that like to experience as a human fetus? Is there any wonder or joy at that stage? Is there curiosity? Do fetuses have bad days? I actually looked up if babies cry in the womb before they’re born. There’s substantial evidence that they do. But what are they crying about? Do they have dreams yet? Are they aware of danger, or surprises, or love?
All these thoughts have led me to other ponderings. As they get used to their world, their routine, and their existence, do they imagine another world? Can they fathom this world that they’re about to enter? When birth happens, what the heck are they thinking? Does it feel like they’re dying? Are they disappointed to leave their comfort zone – forever? In the resurrection of being born, can they fathom that this world is even possible? As they take their first breath, does it hurt? Is it scary to breath in air, and not amniotic fluid? How does it feel to suddenly be flailing around, with no womb to push against? Does it feel like they’re falling because of the expanse of space to move around in? What’s it like to actually eat for the first time through the mouth? Does it hurt to have the digestive system work for the first time with food-to-mouth? What’s it feel like to experience touch on your skin for the first time as a newborn human? And the brightness! Can you imagine how the eyes must feel seeing the outside world?
So many thoughts and questions and wonderings! Which makes me think of the Divine and the correlation between pregnancy, birth, and life on this planet and beyond. Is this planet like our womb? Do we think we know everything about it? Do we feel scared when we experience something supernatural, like the fetus hearing noise for the first time but not knowing where it’s coming from? If we haven’t “heard” God’s voice, does it mean He doesn’t exist, or maybe our spiritual hearing hasn’t developed yet. Are there moments when it seems like we’re stuck and can’t breathe and maybe we’re ready for a birth into a new reality? But are we afraid to leave our comfort zones, be it work, religion, etc? Are there times that we feel out of control, when in reality perhaps we’re being born into a new experience that will bring us greater life, greater depth, greater love? Just because some are not conscious of the Divine, does that mean the Divine does not exist? Is my baby completely conscience of me? Or is she happily living her life, doing whatever she does in that confined space all day, and not even thinking about me? And yet, I’m in awe of her and her growth and movements. Is the Divine even more in awe of us than a mother is for her growing child? Is God mesmerized by our movements, our growth, our “becoming”?
As I hold my belly and feel the kick of this tiny human inside me, does she feel my hand cradling her punches and kicks? Does she know she’s not alone? As we think about where we are in our life and existence today, stop for a minute. Have you sensed the Divine in some way? Have you heard a faint voice? Have you experienced some form of sustaining strength, comfort, wisdom or love that has fed your soul? Have you felt the labor pains of change encouraging you to take that next step, even if it’s scary, because it might just be a breath of life that will expand your lungs and your horizons? And if you haven’t sensed anything at all lately, could it be that you’re at some point in life where you are developing sight, sound and spiritual muscles that will soon open up worlds of wonder for you?
I still have a lot more expanding (literally) to do before this tiny human emerges upon the earth. And then, as I’ve been told, the lesson of life will continue. Lessons of surrender will deepen. But ultimately, I find comfort knowing that the Divine carries me within this womb we call life, cradles me within the Almighty arms of ultimate Love, and sustains me whether I acknowledge the existence of a Higher power or not. May we continue to live in awe of this life, and may we find hope that there is a possibility of another world to be born into.