When does the connection of parent and child begin? Is it at birth, or is it some time during pregnancy, when the first fluttery kicks announce the baby's presence? Does it begin at the moment of conception - or perhaps even earlier? Experiences of pre-birth communication reveal that we may be in touch with our future children long before there is any physical link at all. Many parents describe a one-time contact, an unforgettable glimpse of the person to come. Others enjoy a series of "visits" that allow them to get acquainted with their child even before conception. Renee's story involves this kind of courting relationship. She shared it with me when her daughter was close to a year old.
"My dreams about my daughter started about one year before we conceived her. My husband and I weren't trying hard to have a baby, but thought that if it happened it was meant to be. I remember going to bed one night wondering to myself when I would become a mother. That night, I had a dream that seemed to last all night long. I was talking to a little girl in the dream. We were just light and carefree and chatting about anything and everything. I woke up remembering the dream vividly and feeling great.
"Over the course of the next year, I would have a dream like this at least once a month, sometimes more often than that. We'd spend hours playing and laughing and enjoying each other. For a while I didn't know her name or even that she was the child I would give birth to. I finally asked her if she was my daughter and she said 'yes.' I asked her when I would get to meet her in the flesh and she said 'soon.'
"Work got extremely busy the next summer and I was working what seemed like around the clock. Just as the hard push was over at work, I was talking to my girlfriend's daughter Rachael, who was five years old. All of a sudden, she said to me, 'Renee, you're pregnant!' and got so excited for me. I didn't take her seriously at that time, I didn't think it was possible. Since I had been working so hard and was so worn out, I hadn't noticed that my dreams of the little girl had stopped. Sure enough, a week or two later, I found out that I was pregnant! When Rachael told me I was pregnant, I was five weeks along."
Renee's experience is a beautiful example of pre-birth communication, while Rachael's perception of her pregnancy illustrates one of the little-recognized abilities of children. Though we adults may have some difficulty tuning in to the presence of unborn souls, young children have no such trouble. It is quite common for them to be aware of siblings on the way, without being told. In the event of miscarriage, it often happens that children know when a soul has departed, even before the mother is aware of the impending loss.
In the course of research over the past twenty years, I have learned that experiences of Pre-Birth Communication come most often to mothers or mothers-to-be, but also to fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, other family members, friends, and even birth attendants. They come in dreams and visions, as an inner voice, often as a hovering presence or a profound sense of knowing. Some are subtle and easy to overlook - an unusual mood, a sudden inspiration, a poem spilling itself into the heart.
My own experience was the subtle kind. It happened over and over during the months before I conceived my daughter. At the edge of sleep, I would feel as though I had just caught sight of the dearest person in the world. It was like a little fountain of joy springing up in my heart. But who was this person I already loved so much? The feeling of it didn't seem to match anyone I knew. I like to think it was my soon-to-be daughter, coming close enough for me to catch an impression of her - but of course I cannot know for sure. Many experiences are far more dramatic. Claire was unaware that she was in the early stages of pregnancy when she received a visit. She relates: "One afternoon I lay down for a nap... I tossed despite my fatigue until I was in a strange state of consciousness that is neither awake nor asleep, but which bears the earmarks of both. Then I saw her.
"She was at the foot of the bed - patient, not trying to catch my attention. She was perhaps three years old, simply dressed, with long dark hair and a quiet look on her face. She climbed gracefully on the footboard, as though the move was choreographed. She began to crawl toward me, one hand, then the other. Perhaps she grew smaller, or became translucent, I do not know. She reached my legs and kept moving until she faded to become part of my own body. She was inside me."
Claire went on to have a baby girl, who grew to have long dark hair and the body of a dancer. She recalls, "I knew her the moment she popped out. We both just smiled."
I have been privileged to receive hundreds of such remarkable stories, and to share them in hopes of raising our awareness of these exciting possibilities. We can communicate with our children before birth and even before conception. The evidence of pre-birth communication suggests that children come to us as conscious beings, with purposes and plans and even some power to help us in our own life struggles. If we needed a reason to respect children rather than belittling them, this view of their soul nature provides it.
Nor is this view an airy fantasy lacking research support. According to Jenny Wade, Ph.D., "The data strongly suggest that two sources of consciousness exist: One state of consciousness that is tied to the physiological development of the fetal body, especially the central nervous system; and another that appears to function relatively independent of the body... When it can be separated from its sensations of the body, the transcendent source appears to be fully mature and insightful."1 Dr. Wade's statement is based upon regression studies that reveal the existence of verifiable memory and consciousness at least as far back as conception. What she terms the "transcendent source" is, I believe, another way of naming the soul.
The evidence of pre-birth communication has deep significance for parenting. It certainly influenced the way I relate to my own son and daughter. I feel grateful for their presence in my life, and reassured that at the soul level they know what they're doing here. When my daughter was a baby, I remember feeling that even though she was in a small body and needed my protection, her true being was as old as myself and quite possibly wiser. With this perspective, it was natural to let her take the lead in showing me what she needed, from her newborn days right on up through the growing years. Have you glimpsed your unborn child's face in a dream, or felt a loving presence, or had a sudden flash of knowing something about your baby-to-be? If you're pregnant now, or hope to be pregnant soon, keep your inner eyes and ears open - someone may be trying to get in touch.
1 Wade, Jenny, Ph.D. "Two Voices From the Womb: Evidence for Physically Transcendent and a Cellular Source of Fetal Consciousness". Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, Volume 13, Number 2, Winter 1998.
Elisabeth Hallett is the author of two unique and fascinating books on pre-birth communication, prenatal bonding, and changes in awareness before and after birth, as described by new mothers and fathers:
the Newborn Year: Our Changing Awareness After Childbirth
Publishing Company, 1992).
Soul Trek: Meeting Our Children on the Way to Birth (Light Hearts Publishing, 1995).
For more information, see her web site, Light Hearts.