And the earth was without form...

We stare into a mass of grey, as thick and as impenetrable as the clouds which have been casting rain upon the city, in such unrelenting fashion, for the past five days.

Huw Williams | 21:30, Saturday, 17 December 2011

And then suddenly the swirling mass on the screen seems to gather itself into some form of order. The familiar cradled-position body shape is before us – and an arm! Two arms! Swimming or waving? Or merely the involuntary exploration of movement? There’s a leg! And there’s the other.

The screen goes blank again while the nurse repositions the gadget on Ali's tummy. And now we see the soles of two feet wiggling themselves at us. Blank again, and now a heart in all its pulsing glory, we are zooming in, and I am time traveling, back to the Biology classroom – one, two, three… yes, there are four chambers to the heart aren’t there? And there they are.

The nurse of course, doesn't hold her breath. She does this how many times a day? But she is professional enough to appreciate that it is a remarkable moment for expectant parents and she keeps a respectful silence. We want to know what all those measurements are that she is taking, and that they are all "normal", but we know better than to ask, even though she speaks good English. That will be the doctor’s job next week. And so like our unborn child we remain in the dark, and try to look for any sense of ‘out of the ordinary’ in her expression.

But we can't leave without asking it – "is everything OK?" She smiles an understanding smile. "Yes". And we leave, past the screen (which is a chaotic grey again) and out, down the stairs and into the rain. As we quick-step between puddles in the car park, a quick glance up at the leaden clouds tells me that we have just been witnesses to a daily miracle.

Document Actions