Have you ever considered how some people enter our lives and change it so quickly? It doesn’t take them years or decades to leave their mark on us. Read here how you can make the most of this phenomenon, especially if this “powerful someone” is your baby.
How long does it take to change somebody’s life?
REAL TIME x FELT TIME
Tick, tock, tick, tock. What makes a memorable experience? Its intensity, its meaning or its duration? If you are a big fan of a famous singer, for example, you’ll probably see no problem in paying a lot of money for a VIP Meet and Greet with your idol before a concert, whereas your grandmother may think you’re nuts and that you should spend your money more wisely.
This slight disagreement may be partially explained by the difference between “real time” and “felt time”. Marc Wittmann, the author of the book “Felt Time,” states that we lose track of time when we have an exciting conversation, whereas we get impatient when we are in a doctor’s waiting room with little to distract us.
OKAY, BUT… WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH BEING A SPECIAL NEEDS MOM?
January 2014. I was about to give birth to my first child. I was sure it would be a transformative experience. However, I could not have imagined that my ‘debut as a mother’ would be so different.
I did not see my son when he was born. Because of the anoxia he suffered at birth, he was immediately admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where he spent the first month of his life.
Needless to say that those days at the ICU were the most difficult moments of our lives. Interesting enough, they were also the most meaningful – so much so that the friendships I formed with three ‘ICU mothers’ (Sheila, Letícia, and Fernanda) have taught me an important lesson:
Quality is not about time. Transformation is not about time. Most importantly: Love is definitely not about time.
THE POWER OF A BABY
Your baby still can’t talk or walk, but he/she has already made you feel a thousand different emotions. Maybe your child has not even been born and you already feel that you are somewhat different. Well, this is the power of a life, regardless of its ‘age’ or ‘duration’.
A close friend of mine has recently had a miscarriage after only four weeks of pregnancy. Four weeks. While for most people this period of time is just another piece of paper on their monthly calendar, for her it’s been a transformative and unforgettable experience.
A few days later, still feeling sorry for my friend, I got some more disturbing news. One of our readers of the blog wrote me to tell that her still unborn nephew probably has Edwards Syndrome. Her sister, the mother of the baby, was devastated after hearing her doctor say that the child was “incompatible with life”. As far as I know, this is a common expression used when the baby is likely to pass away not long after birth.
I must confess I felt devastated too. As a pregnant mom myself (soon I’ll give birth to my third child), I put myself in this woman’s shoes. I felt like talking to her. I felt like telling her about many successful and inspiring stories I’ve heard from other ‘Edwards Syndrome moms,’ whose children are still fighting, alive, bringing joy to their families. At that particular moment, however, all I could say was:
“Incompatible with life? But this baby is ALREADY alive. So let’s make the most of the present moment. Let’s talk to this baby, give it a name, tell stories, sing songs. Let’s enjoy our time together, regardless of its duration.”
TALKING TO THE BABY
Talking to the baby (whether unborn or not) is a powerful way to enjoy this time together. During pregnancy, the baby’s hearing abilities develop quickly and their reaction to their mom’s voice is different from their reaction to other people’s voices.
Talking or singing to the baby also helps you strengthen your bonds. When my son was in the ICU, he remained heavily sedated for many days. For this reason, he couldn’t move at all. I remember seeing him completely still, the only sign of life being the equipment beside him keeping track of his heart activity. Needless to say, it was a painful experience for me.
One day, I decided to sing for him. To my surprise, he gently started to move his arms. That was absolutely incredible!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
I don’t know if you’re pregnant or not. If you’re celebrating your baby’s health or worried about a diagnosis you’ve just received. In either case, my suggestion is: talk to your baby. Sing songs, tell funny stories. Enjoy your time together and don’t even be afraid of sharing some of your fears or emotions. After all, such feelings stem from your love for this baby. And, at the end of the day, little time with the love of your life is more valuable than much time without any love at all.