Holding my newborn granddaughter, Nova, caused me to reflect on God as the incredibly Intelligent Designer! Of course, it helped to sit next to her dad, my son-in-law, who had just finished medical school and was explaining to me how Nova began to breathe at birth.
During pregnancy, the placenta of Nova’s mom did the work of breathing, as well as offering blood flow and removing waste, all through the umbilical cord and umbilical vein. In Nova’s growing little body during the pregnancy, most of the blood went through two special shunts (small passageways) which unborn baby’s have—foramen ovale and ductus arteriosus, and away from the lungs.
And then at birth, a lot happened! As the umbilical cord was clamped seconds after her birth, and as Nova took her first breaths, her lungs, which had been deflated besides having some fluid in them during pregnancy, expanded and the fluids cleared. This dropped the resistance to the blood vessels in her lungs, while increasing the blood pressure in the circulation to the rest of her body. By the way, those two special shunts which Nova had during the pregnancy, which were critical to keeping most of the blood away from her developing lungs, they closed up and were no longer needed after her birth. God designed them for use just during pregnancy. (Confused a bit? I was too, which is why I am thankful God has gifted each person with a diversity of abilities—1 Corinthians 12 in the Bible. Nova’s dad hopes to eventually become a pediatric cardiologist—a heart nerd for children.)
From what I hear from moms, birth of their babies is a dramatic experience for mothers. But wow, it sure is dramatic for the baby, too! All of the above had to transition in just a few seconds following birth—reason to offer up a huge sigh of relief upon hearing first breaths, and the first cry!
“God, you are the great Engineer.”
Much of the medical information came from http://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/blood-circulation-fetus-and-newborn.