A new life will begin today. My niece is having her third daughter. She will be the 17th of her generation. Right now, I have 8 grandnieces and 8 grand-nephews, so this baby will tip the balance for the girls – at least, for a while.
Babies are a whole different game these days. New parents have the option of knowing the sex of their baby well before the actual birth. They can get used to saying “he, she, him and her” instead of “it.” They can do the pink-for-girls and blue-for-boys thing if they want to. Or they can choose not to know. Or… they can choose to have the baby’s sex sealed in an envelope by the ultrasound technician, and have the envelope opened with drama and a flourish at a “gender reveal” party.
These days, babies born by Caesarian section are also not unusual, even though the trend is for a natural birth if it is at all possible. That’s what my niece will have this time, since she has a bit more amniotic fluid than the doctors are comfortable with, and the baby is over 10 pounds. A C-section may be easier on the mother, hopefully easier on the child, and definitely easier on the doctor, since it can be scheduled, but it certainly takes the drama and excitement out of the whole process. We have a firm date – no more waiting. We can already put her birth date on our calendars – we just don’t know her name, yet.
Because the baby’s gender can be known ahead of time, a lot of babies are known by name well before they’re born. This one won’t be, because her mother is famous for not being able to decide. Her last child was given a first and middle name at birth, but the names were switched two or three weeks later. This time, although my niece has trotted out a few names for comment, she doesn’t seem to have chosen any one in particular. Therefore, like babies of old, she will be Nameless Until Named.
She will be born into a world very different from the one I came into, and certainly different from the one her mom came into. The world is changing so fast that, by the time she is able to read these words, the world will have changed yet again. When this baby’s mom was born, desktop computers were still almost unheard-of, and although a few geeks were able to communicate long-distance from computer terminals, the Internet as we know it today was some science-fiction writer’s brainchild. Now, this little girl’s great-aunt is writing about her on the Internet using a laptop computer – before she’s even been delivered from her mother’s body. The blog entry will be placed where, potentially, thousands of people might read it, people that her auntie will never know, from countries she will never have a chance to visit. Meanwhile, the baby will grow up in a world where using a computer is commonplace. By the time she is an adult, the computers that people used when she was born will no doubt be replaced by newer and faster methods of electronic communication.
This baby’s world is, and will be, both exciting and frightening. The more certain things change, the more other things will remain the same.. What will humanity learn to do while she is on this planet? What will humanity forget during her lifespan? What will we discover about the past? About the future? Only time will tell.
I wish her a wonderful life. I wish for her all the blessings of God that she can accept. I wish for her all the love her heart can hold. I hope that she will be able to figure out at some point why she came, and what she agreed to do here on earth, and I hope that she can meet her goals and fulfill her dreams. 🙂