Have you heard of human microchimerism? It’s when cells from a fetus pass through the placenta and establish cell lineages within the mother. Women carry fetal cells from babies they have carried. Those cells mix with the mother’s own cells – the fetal cells circulate in the mother’s bloodstream for decades after each birth. A mother’s body incorporates into her own the cells of her children as if they recognize each other, belong to each other.
Additionally, maternal immune cells can sometimes be found in their offspring. My children carry me in their own bodies, mother and child joined forever, both beings bumping against each other every day. Mother and child do not fully separate at birth. We do not lose each other at that moment of severance. We are joined in an us, past, present, and future.
~ Without a Map by Meredith Hall
– The scientific data is courtesy of Wikipedia
It’s been eight years since I gave birth to Gracie. Eight years since our moment of severance. And now, states apart and nearly a decade later, she is still a part of me. And I am a part of her. Miles and time create distance, but do not separate us. She is a part of me and I of her. Her cells are a part of my blood, coursing through my veins every day. That blood transports the oxygen I breathe through my body and keeps me alive each day.
I know that Gracie is a part of me still: literally, scientifically, and actually in a way greater than circumstances can dictate otherwise. I am with her. She is with me. We course through each others bodies every day. Distance and time separate us. But underneath everything within our control is a strong bond that can not be permeated. And we will continue to course through the others blood for decades still – mother and daughter – then, now, and always.