PARENTS

Week 29: Her Mother's Voice

23/06/2011 20:22 | Updated 22 May 2015
Week 29: Her mother's voiceGetty

Dumped when pregnant and facing motherhood alone, follow mum-to-be Farah Ishaq's bumpy journey to motherhood. This week she worries that her baby might not recognise her...

Silence has a knack of being deafening, especially now. It's well known that babies in the womb have good hearing from around now, and language theorists say the groundwork for her future speech is being laid down right now...Which is another thing (on the ever growing list) that worries me. I'm a stay-at-home writer and since being pregnant and single and pretty isolated too, there are some days I'm sure I don't utter a single word. The irony being that when I worked for my last company, in the office, and out every night, I was notorious for being the one that wouldn't shut-up!

How is my little girl going to recognise my voice when she arrives and have developed the correct 'mother-tongue' inflections? I fear that she'll come out with affection for the narrator from Come Dine With Me, the EastEnders theme tune and the self-checkout machine voice in the supermarket - but not me - at this rate.

I hear that it would be good for me to read nursery rhymes and stories to her and that she will recognise them and find them a comfort when she's born. I don't know what's wrong with me, but even alone in the house – with no one to listen in – I'm too embarrassed to talk out loud.

Wandering around a Picasso museum in Spain this week I also got to thinking, 'I wonder if she can hear my thoughts' instead. Can she 'see' what I see?' Can she feel what I feel emotionally? Is it only the sound of my voice that she can hear?

They say that happiness and stress and other strong emotions can be conveyed from mother to baby through cortisol and other hormones via my blood and the placenta. I wonder if she 'felt' me looking at Pablo's stormy painting '71 'Bather' or knew what notes I was jotting from the Avant-Garde toys exhibition that was running alongside.

I sought out a postcard of the blue and green inflected 'Bather' and scribble a reminder on the back to ask her what she thinks of the painting when she grows up, and whether she knows she's 'seen' it before.

I do hope so.

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