Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Wonderous Day

Yesterday there occurred one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I came home from school, and my wife was lying on the bed, with her blouse pulled up. No, it wasn't that type of experience. There was a twinkle in her eye as she lay there watching her tummy.

"Honey, the baby is playing," she said to me as she gave a gratified smile and went back to watching her tummy.

I knelt beside the bed and saw a ripple go across her tummy, like what happens when you drop a pebble into a puddle.

She looked up at me, and was glowing.

"Was that it?," I asked.

"Yeah! See?! She's been very active. Every day around this time she starts moving around a lot. I think she knows that now is when you come home, so she starts playing."

"You think baby is saying hello to Daddy?"

"I think so," she said with a friendly little pout.

I could see movements of different sizes and durations happening in various parts of her tummy. Some movements were big, while others were barely visible.

"Does it hurt?"

"Nooo, but it feels a little funny. Sometimes it feels like she is tickling me, especially when she starts moving her arms. "

There were all sorts of little pings and vibrations going on. I put my hand on her tummy to feel them.

"I think our baby is dancing again," I said with a happy smile.

"Yah! You know, I really think so. I think we are going to have a very active baby. Remember the first scan we had to try to determine the baby's gender?"

During that time, the baby kept twisting and turning and kicking so much that the doctor couldn't tell if we had a boy or a girl. Every part of her body seemed to be in motion at one time or another.

"Yeah, I remember. I think we are going to have a healthy active daughter."

"She really could be a dancer, the way she moves so much!"

"Yeah. The doctor already said she has her Daddy's long legs. Maybe she is getting some practice in before she is born."

After a few minutes, I went to take a "shower", because I was covered in sweat from my walk home. It hadn't rained here for a few days, so it was as hot here as it as elsewhere in Malaysia.

All this was great, but it wasn't the most beautiful part.

That happened later that night, just as we were about to go to sleep. I had finished watching my favorite show, which is the "Law & Order" reruns from 1998. Before turning in, I was watching the current season of CSI. Trien squiggled around in bed to get comfortable. She had her "hug Pillow" by her tummy, and was trying to get pillow, body, and bed into some sort of harmony.

"Honey- she's playing again!"

I reached over and put my arm around her tummy. I could feel the little hiccuping movements.

"Wow! Hey Mommy, she is really going at it!"

Trien rolled over on to her back so she could face me.

"Yah, and I am trying to get to sleep."

"Can you sleep if the baby is moving?"

"No, not reaaaally . . ."

"Is it uncomfortable? Does it hurt?"

"It doesn't hurt. It just feels funny. I can feel her moving around, and I can tell what she is moving- her legs, her hands, or her butt. It seems like she is getting big-" she made a long line across her tummy with her hand, "-from there to there."

She saw the surprised look on my face, and emphasized, "Yeah! She's getting big, Honey!"

"Well, she's only going to get bigger. You're only about six months pregnant now. Maybe if I tell her to be still, like I did last time at the doctor's office, she will stop. She did that time, so we could tell her gender."

"If you want."

I was going to, but then I had a better idea.

That idea lead to the most beautiful and meaningful things that's ever happened in my life up to now. That one event that sometimes happens, and all the clouds go away, and suddenly all those years of pain and struggle become worthwhile, and have meaning.

I put my ear against Trien's tummy. At first it was quiet. Then I heard a low gurgling/sloshing sound. It sounded like a stomach rumble, so I wasn't sure what I was hearing. Then it happened again, but louder. I lifted my head, and looked at Trien.

"Did the baby just move?"

She smiled contentedly, and lifted her eyebrows in confirmation.

"I heard her!"

"Really? You sure it wasn't just my stomach?"

"No . . . I don't think so."

I put my ear back on her tummy.

There it was again, the same gurgling/sloshing sound. Sometimes it was low, other times it was louder. When it was louder, I would lift my head and look at Trien, and she would smile and nod her head.

"I really am hearing the baby! I am!"

"What does it sound like?"

I couldn't explain all the things that were wrapped up in those sounds for me. It was more than just a physical sound. It was one that made my souls vibrate with joy. What could I say? How could I explain that to her?

It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard in my life. There was no music, nothing in nature, nothing anyone could say, that could ever mean more to me than the sound of my daughter moving in her Mommy's womb. Nothing before that moment had ever meant more to me, nothing had reached spoken so deeply into my soul as the sound of those tiny little movements of life.

We had done it. We had created a life! Now it was living and growing and moving, and taking shape. I had felt the movements. I had heard the sounds. There was real tangible proof of life! It was a sweet song to the deepest part of my being.

"I CAN HEAR HER! I CAN HEAR HER!", was all I could say. The hugs and kisses I gave my wife seemed such a pitiful way to say thank you for something so divine.

Trien looked down upon me like a serene Madonna, and stroked my head.

Suddenly, I felt a deeper love for Trien than I ever felt before. She was bringing to fruition everything we had both hoped for.

I held her for a while, and eventually the baby stopped dancing, and Trien fell asleep.

I couldn't sleep, though, at least not right away.

Here was God's ultimate blessing on our marriage, the greatest gift he could give to us- a gift of impending life.

A new life is coming. I am to be a part of it, and it is to be a part of me.

The only thing I could do was lie back in bed, wonder at what was happening, and say:

"Thank you, God, for your Love."