Friday, January 23, 2009

MY LITTLE MARIPOSA By Christy Wall


The technician's hand is poised over my swollen belly like a child standing with a net, waiting to catch the butterfly. The baby flutters and turns in the warm water, I can almost see her pretty face laughing. There is a wild trail of goo on my skin marking the dance of my daughter as she cavorts within my womb. I am breathless with her beauty. My daughter. My daughter, Clara. It is music to my ears to say her name. She pauses for a moment and the technician starts measuring with clicks and whirls of the machine. I am so enamored with her pretty little round head that I do not see the horrendous cysts taking up the space where her brain ought to be. Her arms wave in front of the camera like a sweet greeting and my heart swells with love, but I do not see that the other one lies floating in sea, for it has no bones. The misty floaty thing, the technician says to me, as I admire her curved spine, is her bowels. I can not even process this information, for she has taken off again in a flight of fancy, swirling and leaping in joy. And finally, the technician mentions the heart that is doing nothing because it is broken. I look at the technician with wide eyes "But my heart is all she needs." "Yes", she agrees slowly. "But your baby will die once she leaves your womb." Tears well up and in a moment I am sobbing. I am overwhelmed. My little daughter is alive and rejoicing in life. She knows my voice, the beating of my heart, the measure of my step. She knows the deep voice of her father, the laughing voices of her nine brother and sisters. She is home and has a family. My womb gives her the only life she will ever know. Every moment within my womb is a moment of joy and love and comfort that she would not otherwise have. Because the minute she is born, the world will kill her. What mother does not wish to protect her child with her very body? And I am given the unique privilege of giving her the only life and protection she will ever know. But there is more. With God's grace, I will carry this baby in my womb for 20 more weeks. 20 weeks to know her better, for the children to talk to her, for her to kick with her two good strong legs, for her to laugh as she plays in the waters which belie her floating intestines and arm, for her to love because she does not need a brain to love. And after that, I will bring a priest and the family to the hospital. And I will deliver this baby into the arms of the priest who will baptize her. She will be born into Life, then. Eternal life. What greater blessing can a parent know?

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