I can’t sing. I love singing and so I sing a lot, but I’m not good at it. I also love talking, wittering really – mostly to my husband and son so it’s contained, don’t worry. By the time my unborn child is born they will have become extremely well acquainted with my voice…and the voice of their, now two and half year old, brother.
Is that it? I hear you ask. Is that the poor child’s gift? Well fortunately no. And now you may need to brace yourselves…I think I may, possibly, perhaps be about to veer into lifestyle territory…
For both a baby’s comfort and the parents’ sanity I’m a great believer in the need to have as many techniques as possible up a sleeve to help ease a newborn’s transition from womb to world. My first son was a calm newborn, probably naturally, but maybe because he was often to be found bobbing (upright and supported!) in a deep bucket of warm water in a darkened room with white noise blaring out from the CD player.
And it’s the noise that I think was key. A baby’s hearing starts to develop from the 16th week of pregnancy and the womb is not a quiet place…with whooshing fluids, maternal heartbeat, the muffled crashes of the outside world, and the vibrations of the mother’s voice, whatever their singing ability. We are well versed in how to recreate those noises for newborns – if you don’t have a CD, get an app…if you don’t have an app try the Hoover or hairdryer! And if you couple white noise with the mother’s talking and singing, plus the mother’s heartbeat in a close cuddle you’re at least a little bit further down the (sometimes long) road to newborn peace than you’d be without it.
So I am really delighted to have recently found one more tool for ‘fourth trimester’ settling, and it’s a slightly more delicate tool than a bucket or a Hoover – it comes in the form of a rather beautiful piece of jewellery.
I stumbled across these necklaces from The Good Karma Shop in early pregnancy and thought they were such an interesting idea. Originating from an Indonesian tradition, these shiny balls of beauty are known as harmony balls. They rest on a mother’s bump and omit a soothing chime on movement.
The idea is that, if the necklace is worn regularly, the sound will become another association of the womb for the newborn baby and the chiming ball can therefore be used to help soothe the baby post-birth. In some traditions the necklace is then handed down to the child when they are older and it becomes something of an heirloom. A more thorough and eloquent description of the history of these necklaces can be found here.
In the midst of early pregnancy woes I promised my baby (ok myself) one of these necklaces if we all made it to 16 weeks. We did and, whether or not it works with a newborn baby, I know I will feel better in five months time having yet another option to help me do something/anything to settle. What I can confidently conclude at this stage is that my toddler likes it very much. If he has taken a little tumble and is more shocked than hurt, an invitation to jingle my jingly thing (I know!) will raise his spirits in a flash.
And I am also finding it a wonderful reminder of the little person inside me. I can’t forget I’m pregnant, of course, but living the hectic life of a two and a half year old means I’m not always focusing on my growing baby. Throughout the day I’ll unexpectedly tune into the little chime as the ball rolls around my growing tummy and it’s a surprisingly joyful and peaceful moment to connect in some way with the reality of the baby.
There are so many designs to choose from at The Good Karma Shop, with a range of prices. I opted for a chain necklace and a little star charm and I paid £35 for mine. I was then surprised by the kindness of the good people with good karma when they offered me the September birthstone as an addition because they knew I wanted to share with you this interesting pregnancy idea.
And so here’s my necklace modelled by me, and yes this is where you’ll remember, as if you’d forgotten, that I’m not cut out for lifestyle posts…please ignore the busy background and the reflection of the iPad-brandishing husband and instead marvel at the shininess and prettiness of my baby’s harmony ball.
I can only apologise that for the next two weeks this paragraph will be stuck on the end of every post.You see, unbelievably my blog has been shortlisted in the Readers’ Choice category for the BiBs Awards 2016. I’ve mused about this, how you can vote for your favourites, and things I may actually be brilliant at here.