During our gestational surrogate pregnancy, one of the things that has come up for me is whether or not our baby will feel connected to me and if I will feel connected to the baby once he/she is born. I know it's a perfectly natural concern and I think particularly when you are starting your family in an "unconventional" way. And, I know that many expectant mammas share this same concern even when being pregnant themselves. When we made it to 16 weeks of pregnancy, Jeffrey and I read that Baby G can likely hear noises outside of Stephanie's womb. So, I started thinking about the importance of staying connected to Baby G with sound while he is in utero.
We immediately started researching belly bands for Stephanie to wear every night and came across the book Origins, by Annie Murphy Paul. It suggests that a Baby's environment while in utero, plays a larger role than previously known and can affect everything from health to relationships for decades to come. Interesting information to come across, and of course there are the obvious things like the importance of nutrition, limiting exposure to harmful chemicals in the environment and how stress can affect your pregnancy and your baby. We also found that evidence shows "cooing" and "ahhing" to the baby while in utero, stimulates the baby and helps to develop brain growth.
A lot of these concepts seem pretty common-sense and we have no doubt that Stephanie is the greatest, healthiest vessel for Baby G to grown in! Although, I have jokingly told Stephanie that if the baby comes out with a Boston accent and says "wicked" all the time, I am going to be a wee bit annoyed. However, I wouldn't mind if Baby G somehow retains some of her beauty!
We have a mini iPod that we are loading with recordings of our voices and gentle songs for the baby. Stephanie will slip the iPod into her belt and connect the audio piece. The volume is controlled to limit the sound to a safe level for Baby G. And if Stephanie is interested in joining in there is a splitter for her to connect her earphones. But we don't blame her if she decides to find other things to entertain herself for an hour - it's pretty sappy stuff! We have had quite a bit of fun recording some stories for Baby G, reading books to the baby and choosing songs to play. This one is about 8 minutes long and we call it "How I met your mother..."