My friend Mandi (who blogs at A Blog About Miscarriage, and is expecting a baby in next few weeks – pray for her!) shared this article about the developing idea of microchimerism – the idea that fetal cells stay in the mother’s body, travel through the body and aid the mother throughout her life.
When we had our first two losses, they were anembryonic pregnancies, I came across the whisper of this idea and am so happy to see it developing in the scientific world. I came across an article that just briefly mentioned that anembryonic pregnancies are basically reabsorbed into the mother’s body. It brought me a lot of comfort – my little babies are actually still with me, at a tiny, microscopic cellular level. If you shifted through me bit by bit you’d find pieces of them.
We believe that when people die and are made holy they become saints (not angels). We venerate the earthly relics of saints as a reminder of their models of holiness. The actual bodies of these people are a particularly strong type of relic.
So if my children, who never had the chance to know or choose sin, died and went to Heaven that the remains of their bodies would be relics. If I carry those relics within me, I am a reliquary – a vessel that holds some sacred.
I see the fun pictures and meme’s a lot. “Breastfeeding is my Superpower.” “Making Babies is my Superpower”.
Perhaps this is a gift that God gives to mother’s who loose their babies too soon; who loose babies without much proof of their existence. Mother’s who are often the only ones who know or remember. God, the great scientist that he his, designed a way to bless those bodies that seem so broken and so powerless. He makes us walking vessels of holy relics. He gives the chance to bring the relics of beautiful little saints into our church, the playground, and the workplace every day. He uses us to bring a little more Grace into the world – a Grace that is not brought out only on special occasions or kept behind glass. It is a Grace that can hold your hand, cry with you and laugh with you.
My superpower might not be managing a gaggle of children, budgeting for a large family or anything else my friends with more children do. My superpower might be something quieter, but oh so powerful.