We drove through a recent area damaged by forest fire. Looking across the landscape at skeletons of trees peppering the once beautiful landscape. Hacked down trunks lay on the forest floor, barren of much foliage. Black scorched sides of others still standing was a stark contrast to the backdrop of green healthy mountainsides set afar. How sad. I thought to myself. I wish our lands were protected from this damage. I wish people would be more careful, as so much of this ruin is senseless…due to people’s irresponsibility.
But the truth of it is…wild fire isn’t always a bad thing. The density of tree growth can cause the underlying foliage to falter in growth due to lack of sunlight. The soil becomes stripped of its nutrients and new generations of seeds can’t begin their life. A fire comes along and creates more fertile growing capacity because the heat of the fire strips the nutrients out of trees and plants and replenishes the soil composition. New growth begins, the soil is restored, and the cycle of nature continues.
Cycles of nature. We learn and accept from a young age that the moon sets each night, followed by the sun rising, the seasons continue their pattern, tadpoles turn to frogs, and caterpillars to butterflies. As we age we learn about other cycles….children one day become their parents caregivers, life leads to death and so on.
Today, I intimately learned about other cycles in nature. Natural selection at the core. A built in biological population control, so to speak. Results of our genetic testing came back and we met with the doctor this afternoon. Our baby, a boy, had an extra chromosome. Number 7 to be exact. As it was explained to me, when egg cells go through meiosis and split their cells, then match up with a sperm cell with the other half of those split cells, a healthy embryo is created. Sometimes, meiosis doesn’t happen correctly, this particular egg didn’t actually split it’s number 7 chromosome. Therefore when matched up with the sperm cell it ended with three chromosome sevens. We were told that research shows that even in the healthiest most perfect eggs from the most fertile women….about 1/3 of the eggs have chromosomal abnormalities. It is so common. This baby would never have made it. Even if the pregnancy lasted and the child was born into the world, he would have died shortly after. Missing major portions of brain, or other critical body parts.
Knowing this information has done several things. It’s releasing me of the guilty feelings. I didn’t cause this miscarriage. It would have happened no matter what. Knowing the science behind it, and the commonality of this genetic mishap, has made me come to peace a bit. 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the doctor said it is likely higher than that because so many pregnancies go undetected. Knowing that most of those are caused by the mis-matched socks of genetics makes me feel like it was more normal than abnormal. Also, I’ve come to acknowledge that this was the best possible outcome for us and this baby. I would rather have an early pregnancy loss than a late, or an infant loss.
This loss was our wildfire. It is sad. Has left an ugly landscape. But under the burned debris of a destroyed forest will be a new seedling sprouting and reaching for the sunshine. It will have all the nutrients it needs and all the light possible. It will grow and thrive and it will change the desolate looking land. It will be the hope and celebration of life, and it will be much more appreciated due to the fire before. I believe wholly that the forest within me will begin to heal and recover. My soils will be rich and the sun will shine brightly.
“These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7
Want more of my story? Visit www.babyjailbreak.blogspot.com
Amanda Schlatter is a Reno mom of 2 year old Noah, a teacher for the school district, and an advocate for children and families. After seven years of suffering the disease of infertility, she and her husband finally succeeded in pregnancy through the help of a charity called Baby Quest. More can be read about her journey atwww.babyjailbreak.blogspot.com