July 16, 2012

On bonding and psychic connections

Celebrating my bday at home with Chris... the gifts were all family-friendly and family-themed.

The "pregnancy, week by week" emails include two things consistently: a produce size comparison of the fetal growth and suggestions for how the pregnant person should be bonding with the fetus. Chris's (and my) favorite part about these emails is the former. I find myself generally ambivalent when it comes to the latter.

I understand the purpose of these bonding tips is to try to make more "real" what is otherwise a fairly abstract and surreal existential state. But I am not sure that I'm ready to be singing songs and reading stories to my abdomen. I guess I am skeptical that doing so would produce a more "bonded" maternal identity. It isn't that I feel a disconnect either. I just find the suggestions to be bizarre (and politically unnerving) in their subtextual assumptions about personage.

The increased feelings of fetal movement have made far more real my experience of (an otherwise fairly low symptom) pregnancy than anything else. Those brief encounters of sight and sound in earlier weeks were helpful too.

I have heard women describe pregnancy as a feeling of being haunted (by a presumably friendly spirit). Being haunted wasn't my experience early on, when I was having dizzy spells and couldn't drink coffee. That felt much more like an enduring hangover. But lately there is a feeling of something abstract and omnipresent that stays with me. I find myself unconsciously resting a hand on my abdomen. And I'm discerning with ease my stomach's own grumblings from the "quickening." I may not be reading books or singing songs but I catch myself communicating psychically and occasionally aloud to that looming presence. It feels silly to admit that on some subconscious level my brain thinks that a psychic connection is possible but because the fetus is internal to me, I guess it makes logical (albeit irrational) sense.

Wait, do I actually believe a fetus is capable of reading thoughts the way I have presumed a ghost (or at times in my life when I was feeling spiritual, a higher power) could? This doesn't jive with so many of my actual (rational) beliefs. Pregnancy is so weird.

4 comments:

  1. Perhaps this is a different way to think about it. What if you were the fetus--hearing all the jungly sounds of your belly? I'll bet it is surreal for the foetus as well.

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  2. I found myself very unnerved by how I felt the "spirits" of my children right away. It didn't jive with my political beliefs at all and that troubled me. That being said, I have various ways of rationalizing being 110% pro-choice, etc, while also acknowledging that some of intuitions I had about my children were EERILY accurate very early on.

    Of course, I am more "into" the spiritual or whatever, but I do think there is a way to acknowledge the peculiar link between mother and child (did you know that your baby's cells will STAY IN YOUR BODY even after s/he is born?!) and also not get mired in "pro-life" arguments.

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  3. pregnancy is a wonderful period in to women.for their first pregnancy they are so eager to that the baby growth and development.

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  4. I did not follow any of those guides on how to "bond." I just did what felt natural. You're already bonded and i think those "tips" simply make mothers feel like they're doing something wrong for not feeling a certain way or not doing certain things. This is where your mother's instinct develops and it will be unique to you and your baby. I hope that made sense.

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