I’m not religious in the slightest. I don’t say this to get the backs up of people who are. And I don’t think those who adhere to a religion are qwonks or nutters. I think religious belief serves many good and noble purposes (and a good few that aren’t so great but I’m not getting in to a deep philosophical debate and I don’t write this to offend anyone, believer or not). My personal belief is not in a deity and I don’t believe in miracles.
I always thought I kind of had life explained to a greater or lesser degree- I’m in more of the Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin, Tim Minchin (a different video than previous) club than the more standard religious clubs. I also figured I knew me and what I was doing and my path was pretty much sorted out (by me!). So it comes as a whopping surprise to realise that not only do you not know you, you don’t even know how awesome your own body is. Your body is so damn awesome that it can conceive, protect, nurture and grow another human. Have you any idea how utterly utterly awesome that is. Say it again… your body is SO damn awesome you can grow another human. GROW another human. This body which you have run around in, flown across seas, danced the night away, poisoned with some form of substances (alcohol, chocolate, the wrong type of carbs etc), bruised, battered, depended on, broken and generally taken for granted- this body is capable of performing the only true miracle on the planet. You can carry life within you. And it is awe inspiring and terrifying and magnificent, all at once.
So when you see pregnant women stroking their bump.. yes, they are doing it because it is comforting. But they’re also doing it because they are in awe of themselves and the body they thought they knew. And they are terrified that it is they and only they who are nurturing a tiny life entirely dependant on them. And they are magnificent because despite their fear, despite the infinite possibilities, despite all of this, they and their body is doing exactly what it is meant to do. Perform the only miracle on the planet. The privilege of pregnancy and the miracle of new life.