Of Babies and Unicorns

Recently, I have found myself amazed at the sight of a woman with a baby or toddler. Amazed, filled with wonder, even blown away. Over the last few years, and especially the last six months I have learned much more than I ever wanted to know about the miracle that is human life. While millions of sperm fighting over one egg makes it sound like a no brainer that the egg will be fertilized, resulting in a baby being born nine months later, the actual story is a lot more complicated. Hormone levels, a sufficient number of quality sperm, a quality egg matured for just the right amount of time, healthy fallopian tubes, and a suitable uterine lining are just a few of the things that need to be just so in order for an egg to fertilize and implant in a woman’s uterus.

As if all that weren’t daunting enough, once a positive pregnancy result occurs, there is a score of other things that could keep the pregnancy from progressing properly and resulting in a live birth.  These can include factors caused by the mother’s body such as immune responses, blood clotting issues, or an abnormally shaped uterus; or chromosomal and/or physical abnormalities with the growing baby, all of which can lead to pregnancy loss. And sometimes, the baby’s heart will just stop beating for no apparent reason.

Knowing all of this, a newborn baby (especially one of my own) has become akin to a mystical, elusive being much like the mythical unicorn.   And the question remains – how much magic will it take to conjure it up?