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Talking to baby

01/09/2013

Belle

Should I talk fetus talk to the fetus? Also, this kid is sporting some seriously short shorts!

Source. Should I talk fetus talk to the fetus? Also, this kid is sporting some seriously short shorts!

Last night my acupuncturist asked if I have been talking to my baby. I just stared at her and mumbled, “Not really. How do you talk to someone you can’t see?”

I have not been talking to the Chicken. I talked to Pip quite a bit, promising him or her all kinds of wonderful things and planning our first adventures. This lovely one sided dialogue only lasted a few weeks, though, and then Pip was gone.

I think I talked to the Chicken during implantation, urging him or her to snuggle in deep and promising to share daily walks, adventures, art and science experiments. And that promise still holds. I do not, however, continually remind the Chicken of my promise to help him/her separate pea DNA (coolest home science experiment ever, y’all!).

I don’t think this is an attachment issue: it is unbelievable how fiercely I love my baby. Since receiving a home doppler I have felt this bond grow even stronger – I can hear my child living. My eyes burn just writing this. It’s incredible. I smile like a silly drunk every time I hear the heartbeat and for several hours following. However, this has been the extent of my interaction with the Chicken.

I do think about my baby regularly. I try, often without success, to visualize my baby per my yoga instructor’s cues at prenatal yoga. I think about what my baby’s personality might be like as I plan out the nursery and hunt on Craigslist for a bike trailer. I consider names for my baby. I tear up when I think about meeting my baby.

I do not, however, talk to my baby. I’m not really sure what you say to a baby in utero?

“Hello, baby. It’s your Mom… I’ve been researching crib safety today and think I’ve decided on an Ikea crib. I sure hope you like cheap Swedish furniture as much as your father and I.”

Seriously, what kind of a conversation is this? I thought about reading to my baby but, honestly, I feel silly reading my adult historical fiction to a 15 week fetus. I considered reading a children’s book but I don’t have any nor am I ready to step into the land of “buying baby things.” (Unless, of course, it is a killer good deal on a used bike trailer – Mom has her priorities, you know?!)

My acupuncturist sent me homeΒ withΒ instructions to start talking to my baby. I always heed her advice and take her homework seriously but this time I’m just lost. Did you talk to your baby in utero? When did you start? And what on earth did you say to this little creature?

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32 Comments

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  1. January 9, 2013

    What about just recapping your day with Chicken at night? I mean, yeah, he was there, but he doesn’t know what happened.

    Just googled pea DNA…yep, that’s going on our list too! I’d never heard of that one. We can’t wait to start growing beans and turning daisies different colors and making volcanos and non-Newtonian fluids! Yay for science!

  2. JB #
    January 9, 2013

    I still don’t talk much to my baby. I talk to him and tell him I love him and that I’m excited to meet him, but that’s about it. Hubs and I started reading him a book but we are slacking on that too 😦 I guess I’m just not incredibly comfortable with it, though I do “pet” my belly a lot and I hope he can feel my touch πŸ™‚

  3. January 9, 2013

    I have the same problem in not knowing what to say. And I feel a little crazy talking to my belly when other people are around. So I’ve made my commute to and from work my special time with baby. Usually this just involves me putting on some music and singing along (badly) to it, but sometimes I’ll just make small talk with the baby – tell it what the weather is like, comment on how my day was, etc. Boring stuff, but at this point I don’t think the little one cares. πŸ™‚

  4. January 9, 2013

    I didn’t start talking to our Cozy until well into the 2nd trimester, though my husband did from the start. It got easier the bigger my baby has gotten, and as I got over the awkwardness and, of course, terrifying fear. Now I just rub my belly, picture gently stroking her head or bottom and tell her how excited I am to meet her, how much we love her, tell her about all of the family and friends who are looking forward to playing with her… stuff like that. I also sing lullabies to counter the possibly traumatizing effects of my husbands rendition of the redskins fight song. πŸ™‚
    But don’t worry, whether you chat all day long with your baby or not, he/she will know your voice.

    • January 9, 2013

      Stroking. Not striking:)

      • January 9, 2013

        Lol! I was about to edit that one for ya πŸ˜‰

  5. jak #
    January 9, 2013

    i’m not talking yet to peanut either. i dont really know when i’ll start. i like jenny’s idea of talking during her commute and i might do that if i drove to work. i commute on public transit though, and there are already plenty of people apparently talking to themselves and frightening the other commuters, so i dont really want to add to that.

    right now i guess the baby hears me talking to the dogs a lot. i talk to them like they are people living in the house. “time for this, time for that, let’s go here, let’s go there, ready for dinner? ready for walk? want to go for a ride in the car? see you after work, be a good dog. how was your dog day?”. so perhaps my baby hears all that and will end up being a pretty good dog one day and will have the daily routine down pat by the time they are born?

    i do need to work on this as well. and for me at least, it is still a little (or more) about fear. i dont want to become too attached. i am still afraid of losing this, but i am moving forward none-the-less, with cautious optimism!

  6. January 9, 2013

    I didn’t… Maybe a little at the end but it just didn’t come naturally to me so I didn’t push it. The hub did occasionally but I figured he heard me talking all day long to everyone else. I did make a point to sing a little louder in the car so he’d hear me though πŸ˜› I do remember thinking things to him… If that makes any sense. Like I would tell him I loved him in my thoughts. Your chicken knows you and knows you love him or her, just do what feels right!!

    And I keep meaning to write you but I already ordered and recieved my uncheese cookbook and am SO excited to get started. I also picked up ingredients to try your Mac and cheese recipe. I coukdnt find tahini sauce, only tahini butter… Think that’ll work? I’m hoping to try it tonight but cooking when arch is awake is a trick, but I’ll be sure to make it soon and let you know how much I worship you and your uncheese amazing-ness soon!

    Xoxo

  7. January 9, 2013

    Lol, I just think this post is too funny. I know how you feel about feeling awkward talking to something you cant see. It was weird to me at first, but now I read to my baby almost every day. I set aside about 5-10 minutes to have “play time” pushing her to see if she pushes back, and she does, every single time. You’ll get the hang of it! Btw, congratulations ❀

  8. Talking preggo girl #
    January 9, 2013

    I’ve had several miscarriages, so I understand your hesitation. I’m currently pregnant and have been talking to Baby. I tell him/her that I love him/her so much. When his/her dad is away, I talk about him, saying things like “Your dad is awesome. You’ll see; he’s a great guy.” I went skiing a few weeks ago and was scared. I talked to Baby, then. “Look at your mom. She’s scared, but she’s gonna show you how she kicks ass. Your dad kicks ass too. You’re a kickass baby. We’re a kickass family.”

    Yesterday, I caught myself talking to Baby when thinking of cleaning the house. “Alright, Baby. Wanna help me clean the house? It goes faster if there are two of us. Of course, you can decide to sleep instead. Your choice.”

    By the way, I don’t think that your acupuncturist necessarily meant talking out loud. I sometimes talk out loud, but sometimes talk in my head while holding my belly.

  9. January 9, 2013

    Ummmm no, we didn’t talk to the babies, I don’t know what we would have said. Maybe we could have played music for them? I don’t know. The baby will recognize your voice no matter if you talk to him/her or if you’re just out to brunch with a friend haha.

  10. January 9, 2013

    I sometimes talk to our baby, although it’s usually in the context of “ouch, can you not punch my hip?” Or, “come on baby, let’s hoist ourselves out of bed.” I don’t read it books, or sing to it or anything. (I did sing to our embryo from the first IVF and I think the failure of that cycle did lead me to be a bit more detached in the beginning. That, plus all the bleeding. But, like you said above, I don’t think this is a sign that I am not completely filled with love.)

    Also – how would the baby know if you’re talking to it, versus someone else, or just yourself. I do talk to myself sometimes. Maybe that counts? πŸ™‚

  11. January 9, 2013

    I’ve felt as awkward about talking to them as you seem to feel. I guess I talk to them sometimes, just telling them that I can’t wait to meet them, and how awesome their dad is, and yes – sometimes telling them to be nice to me and stop jumping on my bladder! I don’t hold conversations with them or anything. Son you’ll start to feel the Chicken move (if you haven’t already) and your connection will deepen even more and the reality will really start to set in – at least that’s how it was for me.

    Also, I’m totally with you on the Ikea crib! We looked around and decided that two white Gulliver cribs were the way to go! We liked the simplicity of the design, as well as the price!

  12. January 9, 2013

    Here’s the thing, I’m sure your acupuncturist means well, but my thoughts are that if you don’t feel like talking to your baby in utero then you shouldn’t force yourself to talk to your baby in utero! I didn’t talk to baby unless you count “quit kicking me baby!” as talking, I didn’t buy baby things until the end, I believe you should let it all happen organically. One day you will feel like buying a crib, one day when you feel baby kicks you might feel like talking to baby, or you might not, none of it is going to change the outcome of your pregnancy so my thoughts are do whatever feels natural to you and don’t add this to the list of things to worry about!

  13. January 9, 2013

    I am not pregnant yet, but it is not really something I see myself doing except in a jokey way. Knowing my hubby and I we will joke talk to the baby when we are really talking to each other, ‘ie – your daddy says the stupidest things doesn’t he – or – Mummy really is hogging the remote tonight isn’t she, I bet you would rather be watching the football wouldn’t you?’ This is the role the dog takes at the moment. I imagine I may sing to the baby, but only because I love to sing anyway.

    I don’t think you should put any pressure on yourself, just go with what feels right and natural. There are all sorts of different ways of bonding. Chicken will hear your voice every time you talk anyway.

  14. SRB #
    January 9, 2013

    I don’t really talk to TBD, and I don’t think I did with HGB either. I figure that he hears me talking all day, so he knows my voice! I *think* about him a lot, and pat/rub his housing, poke him, etc. though. I think I put headphones on my belly a few times for HGB, but it made me feel weird, so I stopped. If you want to do it because you think it’s important or it brings you peace, go for it! But if you don’t, for *whatever* reason, feh. It’s fine!

  15. January 9, 2013

    If it were me, I’d be getting a head start on teaching my kid it’s first word. πŸ™‚

    • January 9, 2013

      That would probably be “cat” and I think we have that one covered πŸ™‚

      • January 9, 2013

        I dunno. I wouldn’t be surprised if the professor starts working on chicken to say ADD first! πŸ˜†

  16. January 9, 2013

    I think at this point it is more about what your baby feels than what they hear, as that ability is not entirely well developed until around 20 to 25 weeks or so. The baby shares all of your emotions, so you said you have strong emotions of love toward the chicken, and the chicken can feel all of that. Feelings of love, hormones like oxytocin, are flooding through your baby too. The same goes for stress hormones, but don’t worry, these have no long lasting effects on your baby’s overall well being unless you are in a constant state of fear or anger, like in a bad or abusive home situation for example. A little sadness or anger or anxiety in very small doses can even be beneficial for the baby in utero to prepare them for life in this world.

    When I have a song stuck in my head I feel like my baby can hear the song too lol! I did not talk much to my baby until I started feeling her move, and even now I don’t talk a lot to her directly, I have been trying to send her more loving thoughts though. Maybe you could start with questions, like when your cat is doing something funny, you could say aloud (since we talk to our pets anyway, right?), “Oh my gosh you silly cat! Chicken, don’t you think kitty is being so silly right now? She is doing so and so, why do you think she is being such a nerd!?” Lol.

    Your baby WILL recognize your voice, neither I or my husband actually spoke much to our first daughter in utero, but she recognized our voices at birth. When she heard my husband’s voice she snapped her head quickly towards him, it was amazing. You don’t have to worry too much about this yet if you don’t feel comfortable, as you said, it IS hard to speak to someone you can’t hear or see. But take comfort in knowing that chicken can feel every bit of love you feel toward him/her.

    I just watched a fascinating interview that you may be interested in if you have not heard of this woman already. She is part of the Conscious Birth Movement and she has very interesting things to say about our process of pregnancy as women. http://youtu.be/b3gPysrChI8

  17. January 9, 2013

    I never talked to Matthew in utero, and haven’t with this baby either. Well, I would talk to Matthew when I’d feel him kick or see him move, but those were very brief conversations!

  18. January 9, 2013

    I always did. But I think it was mostly because I was on bed rest, bored, and lonely during the day. I did read adult books out loud. I figured the girls woildnt care whether or was Dr. Seuss or a good novel.

  19. Amy #
    January 9, 2013

    I didn’t. I had a helluva time, even the last half of my pregnancy when it finally started to feel real, actually picturing myself with a baby, so it felt insane to me to try to speak directly to him when I still could hardly believe I was going to get to bring him home. I think that whether you talk to the Chicken or not, he/she is hearing your voice all day long, and will still recognize it when he or she hears it from the outside. I did sing along loudly in the car to my favorite songs, hoping that he would not be disturbed after birth by my somewhat disturbing taste in semi-heavy metal. πŸ™‚ Seems to have worked. At one point I could use a really rocking Tool song as a lullaby. Totally absurd, but that’s pretty much what I wanted out of motherhood, haha!

  20. stupidstork #
    January 9, 2013

    Not that I’ve ever gotten this far, but I think it’d be awesome if you read your adult fiction to him. Or discussed crib safety. I think maybe it’s like awkward first-date chat where at first it feels silly and forced and then it’ll become natural.

  21. January 9, 2013

    Get the professor to talk to chicken. It feels more normal…and I found singing easier at first. πŸ™‚

  22. January 9, 2013

    You like food, and I’m sure chicken likes food, so how about you talk about that. If you want to of course! For example: “Beans are coming bubba, how awesome are beans! Be a dear and don’t kick for a while so any resultant gas is voluntary.” πŸ™‚

  23. January 9, 2013

    You could start with “I love you.” ❀

  24. January 9, 2013

    i never knew what to say either so i just sang πŸ™‚ i was given this book “oh baby the places you’ll go”…its designed to be read in-utero but OMG I cried through the whole thing!

  25. January 10, 2013

    I never really talked to Paxlet much while in utero..Maybe a bit towards the end I talked a little, but I just always found it strange. I read/heard somewhere that the baby hears your voice anyway as you do your daily talking to others, so you don’t really need to specifically talk to it. Now that Paxlet is here, I talk to him all the time. That’s easy! πŸ™‚ Good luck talking, if you so choose so.

  26. January 10, 2013

    I usually just stick to a set of positive affirmations. Mostly centering around: We want you. We need you. We love you. We can’t wait to meet you. That makes me feel good and heck, who wouldn’t want to hear that?!

  27. January 11, 2013

    I think you you think about it too much or take it too seriously it can feel strange. I ask them daily what they feel like eating. I apologize for squishing them when I bend over. I talk to them about bloggie friends and tell them what is going on. Hubby and I both tell them daily how much we love them. It slowly has been getting more natural. I don’t think the Chicken cares what you say, but will just love hearing your voice.

    • January 11, 2013

      Oh and tell the Professor that at this point the Chicken can hear deeper voices better so he should talk too.

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