“Contemplation is learned at the mother’s breast.” St Bonaventure
I was delighted to discover that it is possible to connect with infants, not simply with their hearts but with their spirit as well. It is a gift to connect with a newborn, knowing that they know, that I know, that they are not idiots but vibrant souls who are in communion with God.
Michael and I were lucky because we somehow understood, right from the start, that we were relating to another human being when we communicated with our babies. I stopped and listened when they cooed and then I answered them when they finished cooing. It might sound foolish but I believe that this attitude instilled respect for themselves and others. I tried to treat them as people, albeit little people.
I learned that we can bless our unborn child. pray over them, relate to our babies while they are in the womb just like the women in the Old Testament who prayed psalms and were often in seclusion. An unborn child hears and reacts emotionally not only to his mother but also to the people and activity around him.
Prenatal babies have personalities before they are born. As any mother can tell you some babies move around energetically both in and out of the womb, while other infants are physically passive. Some infants are night owls both in and out of the womb and others actually sleep well at night.
Nurses will point out to new parents that their newborn quickly turns towards the voices of their mother, father, siblings and even grandparents. So that means that an unborn child hears what is happening and remembers what he has heard while he was still in the womb. These memories are conscious for the first couple of years of a young child’s life but later they lay deep within their subconscious. For example, some musicians, when first introduced to a piece of music, already know how to play it without even rehearsing. Later they discover that their mother had practised that very same piece of music while she was pregnant with him.
Understanding the implications of these tidbits of trivia, I convinced my son to try this experiment with his pregnant wife a couple of months before the birth of their first child. Actually, this is something I did during all my pregnancies. Often my kids laugh and dismiss some of my beliefs but this time David took my suggestion and put it into action.
Daniel gently placed his hand on one side of his wife’s stomach and then talked loud to his unborn child, welcoming her into their family. He told unborn Mary that both of her parents loved her already and that they would protect her and supply all her needs, physically, emotionally and spiritually. He concentrated on pouring love into his unborn baby’s spirit. As Daniel loved his baby by talking and placing his hand on Erin’s right side, unborn Mary kicked and pushed on that side of the womb! When Daniel placed his hand on the other side of Erin’s stomach and repeated the ‘prayers’, their unborn daughter placed a few good kicks on that side instead! Obviously, pre-natal Mary heard everything and she was happy and excited by what she heard.
As a result of Mary’s parents consciously soaking her with nurturing love while she was still in the womb, she is a peaceful, content baby who is a joy and a delight to everyone she meets. None of their friends can quite understand how Mary can be such a good baby. Basically the answer to their question is that my son and his wife connected with Mary’s heart, mind and spirit before she was born. After birth they knew how to respond to Mary’s none verbal communication. Daniel and Erin were in fact Baby Whisperers.
In the hospital, while holding his newborn daughter, Daniel turned to his dad and said,
“I think this is the best thing that I have ever done!”