First post, using WordPress’ welcome title.
“Hello world!” I imagine the prelingual thought of this wet lavender-skinned newborn hesitantly taking her first cold breaths, while snuggled upon her mother’s abdomen.
The new mother’s universal first embrace, palms resting on her daughter’s damp body, freshly emerged from the warm constricting womb. This small infant worked as hard as did her mother to traverse her first voyage – birth, the longest six inches of her life!
The mother’s head drops backward upon supporting pillows, glistening with perspiration,. The infant’s father openly weeps as he gingerly cuts the umbilical cord.
“You’re free now!” I smile aloud, after the new father severs the spiral umbilical cord.
After expulsion from the birth canal’s tight compression, the baby’s chest expands, her newborn lungs inspire oxygen directly for the first time. Her heart automatically pumps fresh blood toward pulmonary (lung) circulation.
In a few brief moments, the newborn’s blood streams through newly opened channels. The original vascular pathways close forever, tunneling through the small body and the umbilical cord, to her placenta for secondary oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange via her mother’s bloodstream. The fetal circulation now becomes an abandoned bio-aqueduct.
While now-needless pathways close, blood courses to moist previously unused lungs, until the now-needless umbilical cord ceases its pulsations. The cord is cut and lungs assume their lifelong role of keeping this body alive.
As the newborn breathes oxygen, her color changes from the lovely fetal lavender to her genetically predetermined color.
While drying the newborn, the nurse whispers, “She’s turning pink now. Congratulations!”
Pink is a medical term, applied equally to all ethnicities of babies, referring to the disappearing fetal blue color, as lungs oxygenate this body. In a matter of moments, this little girl’s metabolism completely changes.
Lavender fades like a tactile sunrise. Fresh lavender skin is indescribably beautiful for a few fleeting moments. If the otherworldly color endures only a few seconds longer, we worry the baby is not breathing.
I wonder, “Did newborn skin inspire Hinduism’s blue deities? It this why I painted my bedroom lavender? Do I unconsciously strive for the security of fetal life?”
The new mother wearily lifts her head from the pillows, her energy slowly returning. Tendrils of moist hair cling to her forehead, wet with perspiration from childbirth’s expulsive efforts. She smiles while nodding toward the blinking, warm babe in her arms.
The baby’s father wipes away tears while leaning down, forehead to forehead with the new mother.
“You did it!” he says, “I love you!”
Welcome to “Coming to Life” blog!
We each survived our own amazing odds-against-us conception and birth.
Life continues to challenge and bless us with personal struggles. We may find ourselves suddenly redirected, just as fetal circulation redirects itself for extrauterine life.
My hope is that through stories of others’ births and rebirths, struggles and overcoming, readers will find personal inspiration to help traverse their bridges.
Happy Spring – the season of renewal!