Learning How To Grow and Pump A Heart

It's my best friend Susan's birthday today. Aside from graciously indulging in baby talk with me, which is regrettably detailed in an earlier blog post, Susan constantly reminds me through her words and actions that she is the loveliest person I know. And when I say 'the loveliest' I mean she is so stinkin' lovely I can hardly stand it. I go cross eyed. Susan is the superlative of everything I like, really.

Susan is not only celebrating her birthday today, she is celebrating a life inside of her. A life! She created! (with Andrew's help of course and some miracle doctors and some magic universe stardust I believe). Susan and Andrew cried for a long time because life was being stubborn about manifesting herself, as she is wont to do. She wasn't showing up to the party, even when everyone was waiting, champagne glasses and noisemakers in hand. What I love about Susan's story is that for such a long time there was this empty space and this quiet place in her body waiting, waiting, waiting for life to settle in and then, one day, the heartbeat came. Susan wrote to me:

"I have a baby in my belly. A baby with heartbeat. I saw it – I saw the heart pumping, pumping. And then I heard it – thumping thumping. And that is MY baby. In my belly. Just growing and developing and pumping a heart. Pumping a heart and only 3.2 millimeters big….my baby’s so smart….only 6 weeks old and already knows how to grow and pump a heart."

I think that's the brilliance of us humans. Even in the empty places and quiet spaces when life feels ridiculously uncertain, the heartbeat comes. It may take longer than we're ever really comfortable with, but there is always that moment when the waiting ends, the void collapses and the emptiness is replaced by some great joy, some anticipated or unanticipated miracle. I don't think life is being coy in making us wait for the heartbeat. I think she is using that time to teach us how to grow our heart big enough to contain all the love she has in store.