After leaving the pediatrician’s office today with the simplest possible diagnosis and a smiling boy, I realized once again just how blessed I feel that Henry has been and continues to be so healthy. I don’t take it at all lightly that he was born without complication, that he proved to be well from day one, or that he has moved through each day thus far without any significant health hiccups or snags. Lots of babies are born healthy, but so many are not, and while a lot of our decisions as parents play into the wellness of our children, it is no small thing when we are privileged to watch them grow without major incident.
I know that there will be scraped knees and plenty of bruises in Henry’s time. Perhaps even a broken bone or two, and colds and viruses galore. Those issues though, are par for the course as we grow up. No one manages to escape them all, and I don’t expect Henry to be any different. When I say I’m thankful that Henry is “healthy,” I mean so many aspects of his development that, for many children, are bumps in the road early on. It is truly something that a baby is born perfectly healthy when so many factors (both controlled and uncontrolled) have an impact on our growth in-utero.
The reality of all of this is so striking to me as a mom. When we get pregnant, portions of our baby’s health have already been established through the gene pool–then, even more of his or her future wellness begin taking shape at conception. As every aspect of an embryo (and then fetus) develops, each cell and nerve and organ and vessel must shape and grow in the exact right way in order for a healthy baby to enter the world. Does this not amaze at every turn?!
At five weeks along, an embryo has a heartbeat. At ten to twelve weeks, that same, tiny heartbeat is most often audible by Fetal Doppler to those of us outside the womb. Cells multiply at rates we can barely conceive, and only nine months later, an entire human being enters the world. How can I not fall on my knees in gratitude at the thought of our Creator, who has done such good and perfect things!?!
And then, to consider that He has entrusted one such healthy and joyful tiny person into our care. An entire being. A soul. A life that, in many aspects, we are responsible to sustain. A perfect blessing from God.
In moments like today’s, re-acknowledging the ways that God has met the desires of our hearts seems somewhat trite, but wholly necessary. For every day that Henry has been a part of our family thus far, he has also been the impetus for countless prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving. When he laughs, my heart whispers thank you. When he smiles, thank you. When he cries and I get to be the one to comfort him, thank you. As he grows and learns and changes, as he sees and feels and tastes and hears and touches the world around him, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
As a mom, I will spend my whole life doing this. I marvel at the thought.