He grows deep inside of his mother, Adana Reyes, a coworker of mine from Puerto Rico. Whenever I see Adana at her cubicle, strolling down the hallway, or hurrying out of her apartment in only a nightshirt to fetch the newspaper, some force pulls my eyes to her midsection, that warm garden of grace. Imagine Him within. Those fine wisps of swirling hair. Golden vellum skin. Tiny budding teeth, white as porcelain. Delicate, broken baby parts all screaming together in the perfect darkness. But if we do not act, He will never see the light.
What makes Him an anathema—a medical oddity—is that His mother is not pregnant. Adana’s egg has not been fertilized by man. Yet, the gift of His life grows within her, blooming from her ovaries like hot cauliflower. Perhaps the story of a baby without an earthly father sounds familiar? Perhaps you are wrestling with the same déjà vu that struck me when Adana first told me her story? Some will call His conception immaculate. Some will call Him a miracle.
I call Him Jesús.
Medical science calls Him: an ovarian dermoid cyst.
My fascination with Jesús began when I learned of His existence. Adana used to stop by my cubicle at work to talk to me in staccato gibberish with a Spanish accent. She is one of those extreme extraverts, an opened, unabridged book to any- and everyone within shouting distance. When we first met, she used her smartphone to invite me to be her friend on Facebook before the conversation was over. She told us about her troubles with bearded men, counseled us on her mastery of PowerPoint, and, since the day when I first learned that she was taking vacation days this month, told of her plan for what she called a “procedure” to end poor Bebé Jesús. I will refer to this procedure, knowing now as you do all of the facts, as an “abortion.”
According to babybump.com, He is the size of a small tangerine right now. If left to grow, soon Jesús will be the size of a grapefruit. Then a cantaloupe. Then a larger fruit of some kind. Babies are not fruit to be aborted. They are gifts from the heavens!
His mother has not been very receptive to my protests. Not long after I implored her maternal instincts, Adana stopped visiting me at my desk, defriended me on Facebook, and turned our lowly vapid staff of call center ingrates against me. Last week, she took a new job and ceased all contact with me. My e-mails, voicemails, and blog posts have all gone unanswered. She made me follow her in secret from her apartment to an OBGYN downtown, just to get her to talk to me. Fifty minutes waiting in my car in that dank parking garage, alone with my copy of His ultrasound image.
When Adana finally came out of the elevator and strode toward her car, I tried to get her attention. I flashed my high-beams in Morse code: W-E N-E-E-D T-O T-A-L-K. Adana ignored me. I tried to think of something to say. What could I say?
Adana squinted into the light. Her eyes met mine. With a look I have never seen in her eyes, she stormed toward me. I rolled up my windows.
–You’re following me? I’m calling the cops, you pervert.
–Please do not abort Him.
–Him? There’s no Him.
–Don’t say that. You sound very foolish.
–It’s a cyst, you maniac. A big, ugly pimple on my ovaries.
I held up the ultrasound.
–Pimples do not have teeth! Or fingernails!
–Well, mine do. God, I wish I’d never told your tragic ass about any of this.
–If you will just allow little Jesús to grow—
–It’s on my ovaries. It’s painful. There’s nowhere left for it to grow.
–No, no, no. I will raise Him.
Adana leaned into my car window.
–Listen very carefully, you crazy mother fucker: Stay away from me. And stay away from Him.
Forgive her. She knows not what she does. This is why I have taken this story to you, the people. You might argue that a cyst, a little ovarian tumor, is not a person. That Jesús was born from only Adana’s DNA, a single-helix phenomenon in a double-helix world. But Jesús, our little dermoid cyst, has hair, skin, eyelashes, toenails, bones, eyebrows, the inner lining of intestines—and these are only the parts that can be seen strewn haphazardly on the ultrasound. Right now, He is a Mr. Potato Head with His parts in all of the wrong places, I grant you, but He has practically everything one would need to live. What else could be lurking inside Him, unseen to scientific eyes? A tiny beating heart? A miniature hand that reaches out to you? A soul?
Unless we act now to stop this madness, Jesús will be cut out of his mother and thrown away like so much operating room refuse. Jesús’s limp little body will never be seen again, unless it washes up on some destitute beach in a red hazardous waste bag filled with spent needles and latex gloves.
I have taken up this cause, Jesús’s cause, to give a voice to He who does not have a voice (He does teeth and gums, although in different places). My hope is that this missive has tugged at your cockles, and you will join this fight to save Him. Please forward this information to your friends and family. Now I must get into these scrubs I have procured. The abortion is scheduled for 11 o’clock here at Halifax Hospital. I will update my blog with the pictures and my story. Then people from all walks of life with a stable internet connection will know the story of Jesús!