Saturday, September 15, 2012

"But there’s something beautiful about this too."

Sharing this article now because it just seems like the right time. A good friend (thank you Alisha) and Myers both found it and shared it with me a while back... and needless to say, I found it wonderful and fascinating. My heart already believed this but now science is supporting this beautiful reality. I love it when science and the heart align.

"Our Selves, Other Cells"

"Is it any solace to sentimental mothers that their babies will always be part of them?

I’m not talking about emotional bonds, which we can only hope will endure. I mean that for any woman that has ever been pregnant, some of her baby’s cells may circulate in her bloodstream for as long as she lives. Those cells often take residence in her lungs, spinal cord, skin, thyroid gland, liver, intestine, cervix, gallbladder, spleen, lymph nodes, and blood vessels. And, yes, the baby’s cells can also live a lifetime in her heart and mind.

Here’s what happens.

During pregnancy, cells sneak across the placenta in both directions. The fetus’s cells enter his mother, and the mother’s cells enter the fetus. A baby’s cells are detectable in his mother’s bloodstream as early as four weeks after conception, and a mother’s cells are detectable in her fetus by week 13. In the first trimester, one out of every fifty thousand cells in her body are from her baby-to-be (this is how some noninvasive prenatal tests check for genetic disorders). In the second and third trimesters, the count is up to one out of every thousand maternal cells. At the end of the pregnancy, up to 6 percent of the DNA in a pregnant woman’s blood plasma comes from the fetus. After birth, the mother’s fetal cell count plummets, but some stick around for the long haul. Those lingerers create their own lineages. Imagine colonies in the motherland.

Moms usually tolerate the invasion. This is why skin, organ, and bone marrow transplants between mother and child have a much higher success rate than between father and child.


How many people have left their DNA in us? Any baby we’ve ever conceived, even ones we’ve miscarried unknowingly. Sons leave their Y chromosome genes in their mothers. The fetal cells from each pregnancy, flowing in a mother’s bloodstream, can be passed on to her successive kids. If we have an older sibling, that older sibling’s cells may be in us. The baby in a large family may harbor the genes of many brothers and sisters. My mother’s cells are in my body, and so are my daughter’s cells, and half my daughter’s DNA comes from her dad. Some of those cells may be in my brain...

But there’s something beautiful about this too. Long post postpartum, we mothers continue to carry our children, at least in a sense. Our babies become part of us, just as we are a part of them. The barriers have broken down; the lines are no longer fixed. Moms must be many in one."

-Full article here-

Gwen is always with us in many ways. we know that - and now we know she is with us in a weird-special-way. She is with her baby-brother-on-the-way even as this little guy will never have crossed paths with her in his lifetime, nor her with him. So that's kinda sweet to think on - that she is with him and with us in this mysterious way.

We are setting up her little brothers blog (waiting for blogger to fix a problem) and just trying to wrap our brain around the new big change coming soon! Back to two kids again. Switching, if you will, from being parents of two little girls, to a boy and a girl (here with us, that is). And feeling as if we are holding our breath - because we don't know what tomorrow will bring - we stay safe in each day and are hopeful about what's next, but we know that we are not promised anything, that there is a bigger picture beyond our little world of wishes, dreams and wants and needs. It's not that we don't trust God - it's that we have no choice but to Trust - to trust what is behind us and ahead as all that will be worked for Goodness -that it already has been - and at the same time, to do what we can to that end while existing in our tiny moment here.

I'm trusting that beyond, beyond the weak and fearful, doubting and cynical aspect of my nature now that when I let my heart speak, even as it seems totally naive, that is when I'm letting Trust lead. "Faith like a child" and believe me, when you witness this in a child you really see what that means - I admit jealousy when I see Lil's complete trust in God, that Gwen, and "the list"...are all with Him. She spouts it out as if it is an innate part of who she is to Believe and Trust God. So, I'm an trusting, that in those moments, when I settle down and turn to what is God - which is Love, that's when truth is speaking to me... as I do believe that Love is beyond humanity, not natural, not our inclination but something we have to constantly work towards, anew everyday - elusive because we are not naturally able to host it - except for the grace of God (the gift of the Holy Spirit...).

Some favorite lyrics of mine read:

"The heart can see beyond the sun
Beyond the turning moon
And as we look the heart will teach us
All we need to learn ]
We have dreams, we hold them to the light like diamonds
Stones of the moon and splinters of the sun
Some we keep to light the dark nights on our journey
And shine beyond the days when we have won

The heart can see beyond our prayers
Beyond our fondest schemes
And tell us which are made for fools
And which are wise men's dreams

Trust your heart"

It is beautiful to think, that beyond our prayers, the heart can see... and I'm am Trusting in something science will never touch. But to live, we need beauty, not just science - and I find beauty - beauty even and especially in science (because it is there too), is what causes me to step back in awe and think, "God."  - I don't confess to know or understand more than that... and I also, really, truly don't have to - there is no time - because love is elusive and I'm human and "our days are as grass." 

Gwen, we think of you everyday. Everyday. As we welcome your new brother soon, you are no less a part of our family. You are ours to miss, here. Your life will always be a blessings - we are better for having known you... we have more love to give because of the way your tiny lifetime deepened our hearts - both by way of joy and sorrow - albeit not ever the way we wanted or dreamed - but I Trust that "my heart can see beyond"...and there is Beauty beyond, there is Beauty here now, even as I'm always aware of the empty place where you once lived - I claim your life as beautiful and I will always hold it dear...don't let the tears fool you. 

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