Before Magpie was born, I used to think of a gestating embryo as a wind-up toy: as this fantastical creation that had a certain amount of energy that might fizzle out at any moment.
From a prior blog post during my 7th pregnancy:
"I still have some moments where I perceive this baby as a wind-up toy, one that was better wound up than any of the previous ones, but that will still inevitably run out of steam, move sssslllloooowweeer and slllloooowwweer until it finally comes to a complete stop.
[The embryo] sure wasn't moving slower and slower yesterday, though. Yesterday, this baby looked like a maniac. Looked like it would squirm out of my hands if I were holding it and shimmy across the floor and out the door.
"I know there is no evidence for the wind-up toy theory, except for the prior losses. I think a lot of the wind-up theory actually stems from a failure of imagination on my part. From the fact that it seems incredible that two cells, an egg and a sperm, could come together and make something that would then take on a life of its own. Have all this energy to grow and divide, and grow grow grow, and now move! Twisting and turning inside of me."The aliveness of that baby was beyond my imagining then. And now that Magpie is here, almost 18 months old, whirring around our apartment like a dervish - toddle toddle toddle at breakneck speed, always so busy, my girl! - it remains beyond my imagination.
But she is definitely here, and it certainly does not seem she is about to run out of energy anytime soon. And yet still sometimes, I think I conceptualize her as some living version of a wind-up toy. Sometimes I tiptoe in to her crib while she is sleeping, just to check - is her chest still rising and falling? Is she still "wound up"? Yes, she is still living, so far, always. And when she is awake there is no question, as she is on the go constantly, exploring, climbing, oh my goodness this weekend actually jumping up and down on the couch (how is that even possible at her age?!). Just as I saw in that very early ultrasound, when she was 9 weeks and 5 days along, she is a mover, my girl. She is still, as she was then, a bit of a maniac.
And I as her Mama am still stunned in some way that she could ever have come to pass. Still in awe that she could be with us now, so here, so fully present, so undeniably alive.
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