My Grandchild’s Journey:
A little over 3 years ago, upon learning of the impending birth of my first grandchild, I decided to document my thoughts so I could share them someday with what I didn’t know at the time would be my first of 2 grandsons. I ended up writing 8 short pieces over several months and then got busy on other projects and discontinued my journal. Over the next few days I’ll publish these raw drafts as a tribute to my first grandson and his little brother who is now closing in on his fourth month among us. Since they were short entries, I’ll be posting them 2 at a time.
My Grandchild’s Journey: Part 1
Beginning with this post, I will be chronicling my first grandchild’s journey from 12 weeks after conception to birth, and beyond.
My daughter and son in law are complicit in a miracle; a miracle that the greatest minds the world has ever known cannot explain. No one can explain how the miraculous spark of life began my grandchild’s journey to birth where he or she will join over 6 billion other human beings. This child will be one of us and at the same time will be totally unique and different from any other human being that ever has or ever will exist. On or about the middle of next March, we will welcome this one of a kind bundle of joy to the world.
At 12 weeks my grandchild was 2 ½” long, about the size of a peanut. Even at this stage of life he or she already presented an image that was unmistakably human.
As this special gift continues to grow and flourish in my daughter’s tummy, we have started to lobby for our choice of names, while we all know the final choice will rest with the parents.
My daughter and her husband chose life. They could have seen her pregnancy as a horrible mistake or an inconvenience and ended the life of this child under our laws. They could have gone about living their lives without the responsibility of having to care for a child and worrying about runny noses and dirty diapers, but they didn’t.
None of us knows what the future holds for this child but we do know my grandchild will be given a chance to have a future.
The sad reality is that millions of babies in America will have the chance for a future denied them for all the wrong reasons and to all our detriment between now and the time my grandchild is born.
I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. It’s not a choice, it’s a life.
My Grandchild’s Journey: Part 2
At 16 weeks my grandchild is developing at an incredible rate. In the past 4 weeks he or she has doubled in length and increased in body mass from the size of a peanut to that of a large pear.
Even at this early stage of life, a strong heartbeat is easily detectable and my grandchild is irrefutably a living, unique, human being, having been endowed by our Creator with the very same right to life as you and me. My grandchild is, at the same time, evidence of the fragility of life and the relentless nature of a new life seeking its place in the world.
Just 16 weeks ago my grandchild did not exist. Today this child’s DNA is directing its development with a precision that dwarfs the ability of all the world’s super-computers. The unseen signals emanating from my grandchild’s DNA will orchestrate his or her journey to birth, and has already programmed its bodily functions and characteristics for its entire life.
Just like the miraculous spark of life that started my grandchild’s journey, the intricacies of the genetic code, while slowly being unraveled, are still not fully understood. And just how a human being’s genetic code and DNA is originally programmed still defies explanation.
In less than 2 weeks a sonogram will be performed to confirm that all the body parts of one of the world’s newest citizens are developing properly. From that point its development and preparation for live birth will continue to accelerate.
The more I ponder the impending birth of my grandchild, the more questions I have. When the universe was created it contained a finite amount of iron. Where did the iron in my grandchild’s blood come from? What is the animating life force that is controlling my grandchild’s heartbeat as I write this, and where does it come from? What will make his or her hair and fingernails grow and how will every scrape and bruise my grandchild ever gets begin to heal and continue to heal without him or her even knowing it is happening?
Maybe my grandchild will be the one who can finally answer these questions.