Recap for Blog 43 – Straightening out: Zani now knows which reflex plays a dominant role in Baby’s emotional development, and that sucking and suckling are not the same thing.
So, out come the pile of clothes I swore I’d never wear again. And they are hideous!
What was I thinking when I bought them in the first place? I still have to go in to the office every day, and this – this! – just won’t do. Clearly, it is time for retail therapy. It has been so hot lately that I thought I’d be wasting money on maternity clothes for summer when I was going to be – what did Jake’s book call a pregnant woman? – a whale! I couldn’t really afford to buy pregnancy wear for summer when I was going to be a whale in winter. A ‘whale in winter’ – that’s what that book said. That author should wash his mouth! I knew I couldn’t really justify the expense of summer and winter preggy clothes, not when we have so many unforeseen expenses we have to consider first.
A book Vee lent me says a woman represents beauty and beauty means all is well. Just think about it – there is no beauty in war, nor where there is violence, an earthquake, tornado, or sickness. Beauty means all is well. Beauty lifts spirits and brings hope. I assume, then, that if a man’s wife has gone from babe to bear, all may seem lost.
Sooo, time for selective shopping – as only us girls can do!
During teatime I make a quick list of all the shops advertising an end-of-summer sale and, come lunchtime, I have my running shoes on, ready for the shopping dash.
And dash I do … and spend cash, too. Don’t judge me. Tell me what young woman does not have a secret emergency fund stashed away somewhere? Well, you should have – it’s a Woman Thing. After my little spree, though, my little emergency fund is no more. It does however get me a great selection of mix-and-match outfits, and I stumble back to the office with everything I can find in stretchy fabric and some desperately needed comfy footwear. I have no idea what is happening but none of my shoes seem to fit any longer, and yet there is no visible sign of the swollen feet so typical of pregnancy. I make a mental note to ask Miriam about the curious case of the enlarged feet during my next visit.
Back home, I spend the evening washing all the new clothes while Jake puts the finishing touches to a freelance project he is putting together to earn a little pocket money – heaven knows, we’ll need it when the time comes.
While we beaver away, we listen to the next interview in the series. I really like listening to this specialist; she isn’t the stuffy and pompous sort and makes complicated things easier to understand.
In the previous episode we discussed the importance of rooting and sucking for nourishment, nurturance and boosting the immunity. This week we discuss the Tonic Labyrinthine reflex, a reflex that straightens out the baby’s posture in preparation to become part of homo sapiens – those who walk upright on two legs. The Tonic Labyrinthine reflex marks another important brain developmental milestone, gently nudging the baby on from focusing on him- or herself to shifting focus further afield to include interaction with the environment and others. Up until this phase of development (which is round about week 15) the foetus’s posture has been bent in a foetal or protective position. The function of the Tonic Labyrinthine reflex is to raise the head, straighten the spine and, and in doing so, waking up another part of the vestibular system and the thinking part of the brain. Remember, we said your baby has three brains in one – the survival brain, the emotional brain and the thinking brain. The Withdrawal and Moro reflexes wire the survival brain; the Rooting and Sucking reflex plus mom's touch, (dad's too), and mom's movement wire the baby's emotional brain. Except for the Withdrawal reflex, all the other primitive reflexes will continue doing their work even though more primitive reflexes are joining the process in an ever-increasing, complex network of neurological circuits. This process will continue till a few months after birth to enable your baby to be born safely and develop the first couple of months after birth.
“You hearing all of this?” Jake asks, looking up from his laptop. “Fascinating, man, just fascinating …”
I laugh. He is really getting into it all.