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July 16, 2009

This should surprise no one who has ever carried a life inside of her:

The first real study of "habituation" occurred in 1925 when researchers discovered that fetuses moved less when exposed to a beeping car horn. Since then, door buzzers and even electric toothbrushes have been used to help researchers understand the fetal environment - and the response of the unborn to such influences.

Beeps and buzzes were not always the tools of choice.

In 2003, psychologists and obstetricians at Queen's University in Canada found a profound mother-baby link. In a study of 60 pregnant women, they found that the unborn babies preferred the voices of their own mothers - both before and after birth.

The heart rates of fetuses sped up when they heard their mother reading a poem, and slowed down when they heard a stranger's voice - evidence of "sustained attention, memory and learning by the fetus," said Barbara Kisilevsky, a professor of nursing who led the research.

The Queen's group has also investigated fetal response to the father's voice, concluding that if men try a little pre-natal vocalizing to their offspring, the newborn will later recognize the father's voice.

I read stories to both my tiny sons long before they were born. They liked music, too. Especially singing.

I will never forget the way loud noises set off waves of frantic kicking that only stopped when I laid a warm hand over my belly or talked to them in a soothing tone of voice.

More and more these days, I think we hide from our own knowledge of what is right because somehow we've decided that morality is too difficult.

It's not that we can't do the right thing. It's that we no longer care enough to and complicating things that were obvious to our parents somehow keeps our consciences at arms' length.

But right and wrong haven't changed. It is we who changed.

Posted by Cassandra at July 16, 2009 04:13 PM

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"But right and wrong haven't changed. It is we who changed." No - those of us who know the difference between right and wrong,and support the right, haven't changed. Our children have been brainwashed by those who ALWAYS supported the wrong.

Posted by: nan at July 16, 2009 05:45 PM

"It's a complicated issue." "There are no easy solutions." "Who's to say what's right and what's wrong?" Morphine for the conscience.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 16, 2009 06:27 PM

"May God Defend the Right."

And so must we.

Posted by: Grim at July 16, 2009 10:13 PM

We call the 'no easy solutions' rationalizing.

However, my babies loved music and being read to.
They also loved long walks. When I sat down, they woke up, so I read and sang to them.

Babies do respond to music, even as infants. 'Afternoon of a Faun,' 'Canon in D'... and 'Moonlight Sonata.' One of my babes had a preference for Mozart's piano concertos.

Posted by: Cricket at July 16, 2009 11:30 PM

...researchers discovered that fetuses moved less when exposed to a beeping car horn.

I always *knew* there was a reason some Ladies stayed put at green lights -- prenatal conditioning.

Yeah, yeah, sooooooo dead...

Posted by: BillT at July 17, 2009 04:26 AM

The mainstream media wouldn’t do it. So we are trying to get your important messages to the American people. 68 This post is a suggested read at, http://aresay.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Aresay at July 17, 2009 05:18 AM

Heh. At some point during the Wonder Years of the CLUs (between two years and 17), the Engineer and I discussed invisible fences and collars.

Now they have cell phones and iPods. Same/same.

Posted by: Cricket at July 17, 2009 10:43 AM

My daughter loves waltzes....not surprising since her Daddy played a lot of them while she was "gestating." She gets fussy, we put on the playlist and she calms right down.

Posted by: DdR at July 17, 2009 11:32 AM

Before the VES was born I would go into her room and daydream about her. I'd stare dreamily into her crib with it's oh-so-soft linens and blankets my Mom had made for her, at the dresser that was already loaded with clothes for the next two years, and I would rock in the rocking chair my Pop gave me. Every time I sat in that chair, coming from the stereo on her bookshelf, was this song. Every. time.

Later, after she was born, I would play that song while nursing her in the evening before bed. She would go to sleep - usually before *finishing*. The first time she and I went someplace else, I took a 100 min tape that I had made (looong before burning CD's was common) with nothing but that song on one side. When I laid her down for the night in a new bed, I'd let that tape run until it stopped. She never fussed or cried and always woke up so happy. Much to Grandpa's delight as he was always the first one up in the mornings.

Posted by: DL Sly at July 17, 2009 01:29 PM

I always liked my Mom's voice. She never said, like my Dad did, "Damned condom!"

You had to be there...!

Posted by: vet66 at July 17, 2009 04:06 PM

I've looked at this post a dozen times, thinking I must have something insightful to say but I don't. It just seems awfully sad to me that we've gotten to this point with so many things.

As I've said before, I support abortion with limits - pretty strict limits according to some - but I no longer kid myself about what it means.

As for marriage, I think one of the best books about the value of making and living up to monogamous commitment when there's no support for doing so is, oddly enough, Ursula LeGuin's "The Dispossessed". (Yes, another science fiction reference. I need help.)

Posted by: Elise at July 19, 2009 11:21 AM

That's a terrific book, one of her best.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 20, 2009 10:50 AM