"Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be."
"It's a baby boy."
The text flashed on my phone and the moment I read it - and in the split second I understood what it meant - is the moment the fetus becomes a real person for me. There is a continuum from the day he was conceived, when he was just one cell silently and rapidly fissioning in my wife's body without either of us realising it until weeks after it had begun, to the very point I learned that he is a boy. Before then, he was more concept than flesh. Now, almost abruptly, he became defined. He is a boy. I do not yet know his gender or his sexuality; I do not know how he will look like, or what his likes and dislikes are; I do not know his hopes and fears and dreams, or even his name because we haven't thought of one yet. Neither does he. This is the beginning of discovery. This is a person whom I love to know more and more of. It's like I have moved past the first chapter of a new book - it took awhile to get going but the story finally had me hooked.
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"It weighs two-hundred plus grams. And it's kicking."
He is slightly heavier than a good-sized orange and is quickly outweighing it as I write these words. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel his weight in my hands. I can feel the unimaginable potential of all he can be, and all that I can be for him resting upon my palms. And he is kicking! I never knew how "alive and kicking" came about as an expression but it felt like it's meant to describe the moment an unborn child test his tiny limbs for the first time, reaching out to its tiny world. My son had arrived. He had made contact with physical reality and touched his mother.
"We made a human being. We made a person," I said to my wife. I am in a state of wonder at the sheer unlikelihood of it all. Our kid made it. I may not know very much about him yet, but I do know that he came from a 3.6 billion years long unbroken chain of life stretching all the way back to the very first ancient cell on primeval Earth. The mitochondria that sustain him, strewn uncountably like stars through the cosmos of his body, are heirlooms from his mother's side - from his greatest and grandest of mothers living more than 1.6 billion years ago. The Y-chromosome he carries in the centre of each and every one of his cells were bequeathed to him, handed down from father to son, by a continuous line of fathers representing more than 160 million years of legacy. He is the distillation of life itself, and - dare I suggest - its meaning. He was born from my love for Cheryl and her love for me, and it is a love that echoes from the past and whispers into the future. I believe that a child is the closest thing two person in love could ever get to become one. That is a scientific fact. Hereafter, every child that is born after us into perpetuity is proof and testament that for a single brilliant moment that belongs to us in the timeline of eternity, there was love and it lives on still.
And this is what makes our baby a real miracle.
k0k s3n w4i