Recap: Zani’s findings reveal that co-creating a child in a mindful way involves far more than deciding whether to have a glass of wine during pregnancy or not. Even her man will need to mind his Ps and Qs …
Fifty percent of a baby’s IQ is determined by what nature provides in the form of Mom and Dad’s genes. The other 50% is up to the nurturing Baby receives over time in the form of stimulation.
Now I’m moving straight to pre-birth stimulation. Time has been ticking on here at the office and I am actually feeling a bit peckish by now. I wonder if Jake has pulled himself off the couch to get dinner. I laugh to myself. By this stage of the evening, it is unlikely that Jake has not pulled something together. The man eats like a horse, and he’s probably way beyond waiting for me by now. No, he would’ve got dinner ready, I am pretty sure of that.
So back to pre-birth stimulation for me.
According to professor Lise Eliot, “You don’t need to stay up late playing ‘prenatal’ tapes through headphones against your growing abdomen, reading Dr Seuss, or tapping Morse code to your unborn child. In spite of the latest marketing ploys, there is absolutely no evidence that this kind of ‘stimulation’ does anything for a child’s later intellectual or emotional development. The reason it is unlikely to make a difference is that the foetus is already bombarded by a constant stream of touch, motion, taste and sounds.” Well, I suppose that clears that up, doesn’t it?
By now, though, my mind is more fixated on my stomach than the reams of research I still need to work through. I feel a rumble in my tummy, and decide to call it a night. The last two items on my list will have to wait until tomorrow.
I race home and dash into the kitchen just as Jake is giving the chicken a final turn under the grill. After a quick peck on the cheek, I get the salad supplies out to make a nutritious salad to go with the chicken. If only Jake knew this was Day 1 of his 104-day sperm-improvement programme, I smile to myself.
We chat about his day while I set the table (I’ve never been one for eating in front of the TV) and then quickly light some candles.
Jake looks at them, and then at me. “Why the candles?”
“Just because …” I say, struggling to contain my laughter.
“Chicken’s ready,” says Jake. “Shall I bring it?”
I nod. “Yes, please.”
We dish up and beam at each other – we really do make such a good team!
It isn’t long, though, before I can’t stand the sense of anticipation that has been building up inside me throughout what has been a fairly significant day, and move in for the kill.
“Jahaaaake … Have you thought about what I said yesterday?”
“Said about what?” There is a piece of rocket between his teeth, but that isn’t why I have to look down at my plate when I answer.
“About having a baby.”
“Sorry, I missed that. What did you say?”
“Remember I told you yesterday I had a weird, empty kind of feeling? Well, I’ve figured out what it is: I think I’m ready to have a baby.”
“Can we talk about it?” I continue, treading really carefully now.
“You can talk – I’m listening.”
Well, at least he hasn’t choked.
“Well, you know I love you very much and I love the life we’ve made for ourselves. We’ve had so many adventures and have done well for people our age. Maybe it’s time to take the next step, I think it’s time we had a baby.”
Still nothing, but his chewing is no longer quite as loud.
“I did some research on the internet today and guess what? You’re the ideal candidate to make a baby with a high IQ!”
Mmm, voicing admiration tends to flick on the listening switch in my man …
I laugh a little.
“The research I found today says that because you’re the eldest in your family and because you have a degree, you’ll be able to make a clever baby! I, on the other hand, may not be able to add much quality to the gene pool, but it can be rectified with good pre-natal care and the right kind of stimulation once the baby is born. There are still one or two topics on my list I want to dig deeper into, so I’m fully prepared to make the right decisions, but I’m feeling quite confident about it, actually.”
He stops chewing and wipes his mouth with his serviette. He knows this is serious now.
“Wait a minute,” he says. “Haven’t we always said we’ll wait a bit? Think about having a baby later?”
“But it is later, sweetie, and the research indicates that it’s better to have more than one child because it raises their IQ …”
“Whoa!” I can see the blood rising to his cheeks. “Hang on a sec … Yesterday we weren’t thinking about a baby and today we’re having two? Have you thought about how that will impact our lives, Zani? I mean, really impact on our lives. Have you thought about how we’re going to make it financially when you’re on maternity leave? Have you thought about the state this country is in? Do you really want to bring a child into this kind of environment? The economy is in recession, for heaven’s sake!”
But I’m not rushing into something to which I haven’t given any thought.
“Jake, just relax. Of course I’ve thought of all those factors and I know there’s a lot still to do. I’m not finished with my research. I need to look at preconceptual care and the lifestyle changes we will need to make before …”
Jake stifles a cough that has nothing to do with what he is chewing.
“Do you hear yourself, Zani? Now our lifestyle needs to change even before the baby arrives!”
“It wouldn’t be huge changes, my love. And we’ll get into it gradually. In fact, we could start today, if you like … Today can actually be the first day of your 104 days’ preparation to produce quality sperm to make the perfect baby!”
This may be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Slowly, he lays down his fork, pushes his plate aside and stands up from his chair.
“I’ve had enough. Thanks, dinner was nice.”