Today I am 19 weeks pregnant. Another milestone for us and especially for Molly! 🙂
I read in a weekly pregnancy email that I got today that at this stage of development that she can hear outside sounds, so that we should feel free to talk to her, sing to her, etc. I use to do this all the time when I was pregnant with Sean. When I would drive to and from work I would tell him all about our family, our life and what he had to look forward to when he was born! In light of our situation with Molly, I was a little hesitant at first to do this with her, but realized that I owe it to her and in effort to be positive and optimisitc, why not?!
By the same token, I decided to share with Sean tonight that Molly can now hear us and that he can talk to her if he wants to. He asked before bedtime that we read his book called “What to Expect When Mommy is Having a Baby.” In the book when it talks about the baby being able to hear you, it suggests that if you want, that you can get close to your mommy’s belly and talk or sing to the baby. We never really focused on this part of the book before, as we had explained to Sean that Molly was too little to hear us. But tonight I told Sean, that she probably can hear us now. The book suggests that the big brother-to-be sing their favorite song to the baby. So we asked Sean if he would like to sing Molly a song and he said “yes!”
Sean asked if he could go and get his toy kazoo and then proceeded to use his kazoo to sing Molly the theme song to “Planet Heros” one of his current favorite animated DVDs! It was too cute and funny to see and hear Sean leaning into my belly with his kazoo singing to his baby sister! I can only imagine what she must have been thinking about the strange noise. We went on to finish the story and then all by his own accord, Sean asked if before we started prayers and lullabies if he could sing Molly a lullaby. We said, “of course!” It was soooooooo sweet! Sean chose to sing Molly a lullaby that I have sung to him off and on since he was a baby and one of my favorites that my father use to sing to me before bedtime throughout my childhood. The song is called “Keep in Mind.” These are the words:
Keep in mind,
that Jesus Christ
has died for us
and is risen from the dead.
He is our saving lord.
He is joy for all ages.
He is our saving lord.
He is joy for all ages.
We were blown away that Sean chose that song, of all songs, to sing to his baby sister, a lullaby about faith in God and about what it means to believe in Jesus and life after death. It was so sweet to watch and hear him sing it to my belly/to Molly.
Next Sean said his prayers, for our family and friends, and then he asked if when we sang our usual lullaby called “Tell Me Why,” if instead of just singing it to each other, as we have for so long, if we could include Molly. It took him a little while to be able to explain what he wanted to do, as awhile back we made up sign language-like hand motions that follow the words to the song. So he was trying to explain to me that instead of pointing to each other during certain parts of the song, that he wanted us to point to Molly in my belly instead. When I figured out what he was trying to say, I asked if that is what he meant and he said “yes!” Again, I was blown away by how adorable it was for Sean to want to include his baby sister in our special song, which I should also mention is a favorite lullaby of mine that my mother sang to me before bedtime throughout my childhood. Here are the words to “Tell Me Why:”
Tell me why the stars do shine.
Tell me why the ivy twines.
Tell me why the sky’s so blue.
And I will tell you, just why I love you.
Because God made the stars to shine.
Because God made the ivy twine.
Because God made the sky so blue.
Because God made you, that’s why I love you.
I really think that God above,
Created you for me to love.
He picked you out, from all the rest.
Because he knew, I’d love you the best.
After we finished singing and making our hand motions towards Molly in my belly, Sean leaned in again and said “Good night Molly. I love you. Sweet dreams!” Bob and I told him what a great big brother he is already and how lucky his baby sister is to have him, even before she is born. Wow, I am so amazed by the wisdom, kindness and thoughtfulness of a four year old… of our four year old, our son, our daughter’s big brother.
The more this went on tonight, Sean wanting to connect with Molly, the more it made sense to me that no matter what the outcome, and even if it might make things a little harder for Sean if and when Molly dies, that being able to have a realationship with her now, even in utero, will be special and important for both Sean and Molly. I really believe that hearing her big brother’s voice can only help Molly and maybe in some way it might even play in to her continuing to hold on longer (without needing any assistance in utero) and maybe even fight a little harder?
After we said goodnight to Sean, tucked him in and then left his bedroom, Sean asked if he could come out in the hallway and tell Molly one more thing. We said okay and so he came out, asked me to lift up my shirt so he could see my belly and get closer and then he told Molly “good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Too cute! Then I pretended to be Molly and told Sean “but if they do hit them with a shoe and they’ll turn back and blue!” Then Sean commented that there aren’t bed bugs in my uterus and we agreed that was true! Too cute and insightful too!
So anyway, I just wanted to share what an awesome big brother Sean is already, despite our attempts to down play our pregnancy and even Molly at times, in our efforts to make this all “easier” on him. I also wanted to recount all of this, while it was fresh in my mind, as it was just such a wonderful event to witness tonight, Sean interacting with his sister and wanting to share with her already some of his favorite bedtime rituals and faith-filled lullabies.
Though this time of waiting and wondering what will become of Molly in the weeks and months to come is not easy for us, experiences like tonight with Sean make it all more bearable and allow me for a brief time to pretend/believe that in some ways this is a “normal” pregnancy and that our daughter doesn’t have to be defined by her heart defects. Thank you for your continued support, encouragment, comments, emails, positive thoughts and prayers.
Finally, a prayer request for a close friend of mine who’s maternal grandmother died yesterday morning at the age of 94. Though she live a full and blessed life, it is still understandably hard for my friend, her mother (it was her mother that passed away) and her entire family to say goodbye after all these years. My friend’s grandmother left an awesome legacy, including a number of great-grandchildren (three of whom are my friend’s children), and I pray that my friend and her family find peace and comfort as they share their special memories of her in the days to come.
Thank you for reading and I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekends.