There have certainly been a lot of changes in the Majik world recently. Firstly, Majik is going to be a dad. The picture on the left is the first photograph of the life growing inside Mrs. Majik as we speak. The picture is a little out of date (there has been one more scan since then), but this was the scan where the heartbeat was observed for the first time. I was, unfortunately not present during this scan, but I was present for the second one. It was quite the most amazing experience of my whole life so far, to see the heartbeat of this small being, strong and steady on the screen. S/he had tripled in length in two weeks' time and it was possible to make out definite features such as the split in the scalp, the brain, the cartilage for the nose and tiny protrusions for the arms and legs. Standing there in wonder, looking at our creation, I was amazed to see the baby actually move as if saying, 'hello dad'. It was indeed a 'moving' experience.
The next scan is on Friday and that is really a watershed. It may be necessary to perform an amniocentesis (removal of some of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb) in order to check for Down's syndrome. First they will take measurements of the ratio of head to neck size and combine this with results from blood tests and other info to determine the risk of Down's. If this risk is above a certain level (more than 1 in 150, I believe) then we will most certainly be advised to do further definitive testing. I am not sure at the moment how I will react to this news. On the one hand, I am fairly sure that we will keep the child no matter what, but it will still be a big blow. I think it is not difficult to love a Down's child, but I have heard that the problems come later in life with aggressive and even violent behaviour, especially in puberty. Furthermore, such a child would need care for his/her whole life and that means that when we are no longer around, the care will pass to another, as yet unknowing, party.
I have also moved to Amsterdam for the time being and depending on the job situation, I may take up permanent residence in or around the Dutch capital city. I love Amsterdam and not for the reasons for which this city is most (in)famous. It is a truly vibrant city and walking along the grachten (canals) always gives me a feeling of being at home, of belonging. It is beautiful and cosy but yet still cosmopolitan and almost certainly one of the entertainment capitals of Europe, if not the world.