Dear friends, it’s been a few weeks since my last post about Artis because I haven’t been quite myself lately.
Being dragged from one business meeting to another by mummy – meetings in which my participation was not appreciated – my writing inspiration dropped to a really low point. If it wasn’t for my biggest fans, I almost threw in the blog towel.
Luckily I realised in time that creative writing is exactly what has kept me going during some of the most lonely moments in my unborn life, so I pulled myself together and decided to make better use of my time than hopelessly trying to grasp what was discussed during mummy’s business meetings. I’m confident mummy is pretty capable without my help so that I can get on with my own “business”.
Thanks to mummy’s subscription to some interesting magazines on pregnancy, parenting, food and health, I have been able to read all sorts of amazing articles, all of which are not only preparing me for the life “hereafter” (in my case “hereafter” is something entirely different than what is usually meant by you grown-ups), but which are also helping me to understand better how to optimally facilitate my present foetus status.
In the September issue of the English pregnancy, baby and toddler magazine Mother&Baby, my attention was drawn to a topic which I reckon to be really important: bonding with your baby by touching your bump. In the article entitled “Reach out”, written by Louise Pritchard, reference is made to Dr. Viola Marx, who has studied how unborn babies respond to their mums rubbing and stroking their bumps in “Fetal Behaviour responses to the touch of mother’s abdomen: a frame-by-frame analysis, University of Dundee”.
Whereas Dr. Viola Marx is considered to be an expert from an “outer” perspective, I consider myself to be an expert from the “inner” perspective. Testimonies are being given by future mummies sharing their experience as to the topic, but I wished they had asked for my opinion as well. I could have given them interesting tips & tricks on what (not) to do. Unfortunately, they did not ask for my opinion. I therefore would like to devote a blogpost to this highly hot topic.
I must admit I totally agree that bonding with your parents, especially with your mum - who after all does all the carrying work - starts from a very early stage in the foetus development.
You can’t imagine the joy I felt when mummy for the first time caressed her pregnant belly, when all of a sudden, I realised it was actually me she was trying to bond with. It was the precious tiny foetus inside her that she – with some help of my future father - had conceived, that actually started growing and started to form the so-called “bump”.
It took a while for me to be able to respond to these caressing gestures as my hands and feet first had to grow a bit to be able to touch her from within. When I was still the size of a mouse, touching her had no effect whatsoever. However, when my feet and hands finally reached a reasonable size and mummy noticed me moving for the very first time, her joyful enthusiasm and proud motherhood made me shed a few tears. That was the first time I felt the bonding moment. Writing this down to you all still touches me to the bone, you know.
I shared notes on the subject with my Facebook friend George, who wrote to me it was actually his future father who accidentally witnessed his first bump movement. His proud father exclaimed the movement was that intense that he believed little George definitely was cut out to become a famous football player. Unfortunately, George hates football, he is more a tennis kind of guy, so now he is afraid he will disappoint his future father after the final drop-out. I tried to reassure him that whatever his profession will be, he will make his father proud. George, feeling the pressure, nonetheless, started kicking even more, convincing his father even more of his future son’s amazing football career with Manchester City … How hard the pressure on foetus’ shoulder already can be. Poor George.
Luckily my father does not place such a high burden upon me. It gives me such joy to witness his patient and loving strokes on his wife’s belly, showing he is not only proud of his future son, but also of his lovely wife, my mummy! They make a fine couple, my future parents. I can’t wait to finally meet them!
What I don’t like, however, is strange people trying to touch my mummy’s bump. Why on earth do they even think I would appreciate them touching me, is beyond me. I try to scare them off by keeping utterly quiet, hoping they will eventually give up, but when I don’t move at all, they almost succeed in convincing my mummy there is something wrong with her foetus, that “it is not normal for a foetus of my age not to respond to caressing strokes”. Will they please mind their own business! Did I ask them to touch me? In this “me-too” era, they should know better than to just touch a belly! Wait until I’m born! I’ll tell them that that was highly inappropriate. When they are close friends to my parents, I might just overlook this action, but otherwise I will definitely press charges. A matter of sticking up for one’s self.
An online article by moms.com mentions “A mommy-to-be can bond with her child through simple activities like talking to her baby bump, listening to good music, dancing, doing yoga, and meditating. All these activities don't work for all women, so each future mother needs to choose the ones she considers the most effective and interesting for her”. However, there you have a point: “good music” is objective. I have to tell you, I am truly fond of my future mummy, but her idea of good music is not mine! Whereas I adore quiet classical music by the late French composer and pianist Erik Satie, mummy hardly ever puts on classical music. Her favourite music is not exactly my cup of tea, so as to speak, and then I am putting it rather mildly. One song I can approve of though is Francis Cabrel’s (French singer-songwriter-composer and guitarist) beautiful love song called “Je l’aime à mourir”. You just have to find a way to listen to it! I found a link on YouTube so that you too can enjoy it.
I am so fond of that musical gem – perhaps of my partial French roots - that in spite of its simple melody uses so many original ways to describe love that I would like to share the lyrics, both in French with an English translation thereto with you. Even if you are not really into French, you’ll appreciate it!
I found an interesting article in a Dutch grandparent magazine entitled Trots (literally translated as “Pride”) stating that listening to classical music during and after the pregnancy has a positive effect on babies. Apparently, babies can hear from the twentieth week and can respond to sound. The music a foetus heard during pregnancy will also reassure him after birth, according to the article. As part of the grandparent bonding thing, I’ll have to find out who of my future grandparents is cut out the most for introducing me into the world of classical music.
That having said, I reckon it is time for me to have one of my precious naps, but not before I have been able to invite all of you pregnant mums to reach out for your belly and feel that connection with your future baby!
We’ll talk soon
PS 1 This is not a sponsored post. All opinions provided in this article are strictly those of LittleBoy2Be.com
PS 2 Mummy’s work colleague Wing allowed me to take a few beautiful bump pictures, for which I am very grateful. As Tom Cruise said to Val Kilmer in the 1984 movie Top Gun “You can be my Wingman anytime”.
PS 3 Sources I used for this article:
Mother&Baby, September 2019 issue, p. 22-25
Trots, September-october 2014 issue, p. 24-25
Fetal Behaviour responses to the touch of mother’s abdomen: a frame-by-frame analysis, University of Dundee