I hope this is not sheer laziness on my part. But I don’t think it is. I often go to St. Joseph’s Parish in Port Elgin, where a great Spiritan friend of mine – Father Bob Hudson _ is Pastor, I have many friends there, but if I were suddenly asked to mention two of them I would probably say, “Melanie and Nicole.” They are sisters. Melanie is 14 and Nicole is 11. They are charming young girls and they treat me as a modern version of Father Christmas.
I was at St. Joseph’s for Holy Week and one day Nicole said to me, “Father. You might be interested to read my essay, ‘Where Did I Come From’” She handed me the essay and departed. When I read it I decided that Interim readers would be interested.
Where did I come from? By Nicole Reinwald
“Where did I come from?” I once asked my Mum. “What was I before I was born?”
When I was little I thought a stork brought me. Boy, was I surprised when I found out what really happened! We all begin as one egg from our mom and one sperm from our dad. They join together to form one cell and that’s when life begins. At that moment everything is decided – hair colour, sex, height, everything!
From the first month you basically just grow. Actually you grow 10,000 times bigger, but you looked an awful lot like an inch worm. After that you got pretty busy with other things. You are still growing but not nearly so fast. If you did you would be as big as a pair of overfed elephants (five billion people of that size would never fit on the earth!) Anyway, in the next few months you also became very athletic. You probably swam farther than most of the wonderful swimmers in the world. That surprised me because I hated swimming lessons and was never much good. I never knew that I swam like a pro before I was born. Actually, there are a lot of things you were able to do inside the womb that you couldn’t do now. For example, you were upside down for the last two months before birth and you never got dizzy at all. You also lived in amniotic fluid which contains sugar you needed to live on. (Now you would need an air tank for oxygen). You would swallow the fluid and purify it. You would purify the whole sac in only three hours. You were like a small filtering system. I know that sounds disgusting but you needed to do that to develop your digestive system.
There are also some things that you did inside the womb that are natural to do outside, like sucking your thumb, curling up, crossing your legs and hiccupping. When you hiccupped inside the womb, your mother probably felt it. They would be like little pulses. Scientists have also proved that people like to be hugged because inside the womb, it’s like being in the constant hug.
Another part of the womb is the placenta. My mother always thought that she made the placenta along with the umbilical cord. But really the child builds it. That means that we were not only professional swimmers but clever builders too. Even if we don’t look it, we must have been pretty smart before we were born! Too bad we aren’t still that smart. Then we could go to school maybe once a year if we felt like it. You even had brain waves in the womb. I wonder what I was thinking about?
A lot of people think that life begins at birth, but really it begins at conception.
Thanks Nicole for writing my article for me! It saved me a lot of time at thinking. I am having it printed in The Interim because I think it is an excellent description of life before birth and should convince your readers of the undoubted humanity of the baby in the womb.