Monday, May 09, 2005

Miraculous Conception

This time of the year always reminds me of a time many years ago, 25 to be precise, when I was disconsolate about not being able to have a baby. We had been trying for a long time, had been to specialists who didn’t find anything wrong, but it either wasn’t happening or I was having a series of very early miscarriages.

In early May 1980 I was scheduled to go on a 3-week work trip to Lesotho, a poor country completely surrounded by South Africa. It was a 36-hour trip, which took me through Rio de Janeiro, where I had a long layover in the middle of the night. As my mind was shifting toward this work assignment, I was still very much consumed by a concert my small chamber singer group was giving the night before I left. We were doing renaissance music in a very formal high Episcopal service, replete with incense swingers (or whatever those things are called). The setting was perfect and we sang as we had never sung before. It was a sound that will always be with me, especially when I hear renaissance music.

May 4 was the 8th day of my menstrual cycle that month and it never crossed my mind that I could possibly be fertile that day. After the wonderful concert David and I shared a time of intimacy, and then I left on my grueling journey. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Lesotho, working in really primitive conditions and exploring the countryside as work permitted. It was beautiful and very calming.

After I returned home (with the same grueling itinerary), I waited for my inevitable period to come and it didn’t. I thought maybe it was just the change of time zones, but still nothing. I experienced a brief spotting and decided to have a pregnancy test done. Sure enough, it was positive! But the spotting was already labeling it a “threatened pregnancy”. So I used progesterone suppositories and hoped it wasn’t a girl (since they can emasculate females). Soon the constant queasiness confirmed my pregnancy.

This was how Daniel’s life began. I’ll never know if it was the beautiful music or the sexual intimacy with no expectations that resulted in his conception. But whatever happened on May 4, 1980, was truly a miraculous conception and one for which I will always be grateful!

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