“Babies are born knowing everything we’ve forgotten”

Last summer, when Felicia Thomas and her husband found out they were going to be grandparents, they cried and screamed with joy.

By late winter, as their daughter, Sara, approached the end of her pregnancy, the couple, who live in Michigan City, Indiana, were “excited beyond anything I ever imagined,” as Felicia wrote in a column for their hometown paper.

But they were also unbearably anxious.

Would Sara be okay? Would the baby?

Reflections of a first-time grandmother.

Felicia tried to distract herself by crocheting, reading, and playing her trumpet, but nothing ever worked for long.

“One day, I stay busy and get lots accomplished, and the next day, I’m in a paralytic stupor,” Felicia wrote. “We just keep waiting for the word, ready to jump out of our skin at every beep or buzz.”

“Do all grandparents do this? Surely, we’re not freaks. But truth be told, I’m feeling somewhat freakish these days.”

Finally, in early spring, the baby was born, and Felicia published a column about him:

He’s here!

The long wait—full of anticipation, excitement, and yes, some worry—is over. Finally, our sweet little grandson, Reed, has made his entrance into the world, and the entire family is smitten.

As it turns out, the angst I wrote about a couple of weeks ago was actually not the invention of a crazed, hysterical, irrational woman just looking for something to worry about. It was the intuition of a mother who knew at a visceral level that my daughter, Sara, was going to experience a very difficult time. And, bless her heart, she did. But she also had a very supportive and sweet husband by her side—one about whom the nurses later said, “Why can’t all dads be like him?”

In addition to Matt, another important person on the team was Stacy, their doula. I was lucky enough to meet her and am so grateful for her knowledge, experience, and encouraging presence for Sara and Matt. Not only does she exude love, but her bright, positive energy was crucial in the entire process that brought our grandson safely into the world.

The staff at Riverview Women’s Pavilion in Noblesville also have my deep gratitude for keeping our daughter and grandson safe and making certain that all was done to ensure the happy outcome. Afterward, they provided the most excellent care to this brand-new family.

Let me tell you about this incredible little boy. He was born a fairly normal weight—not too large or small. And yet, he seems so very tiny. His little fingers are long and slender, as are his legs and arms. He gets that from his dad. His teeny fingernails are about half the size of a sunflower seed. His feet and toes are so cute and busy. His sweet, breathtaking little face is as perfect as any face I’ve ever seen, and he has very dark, blue eyes that melt my heart. His head is a beautiful shape and his profile reveals a tiny, turned-up nose. And this boy, like his mom, was born with a full head of hair. 

At first, his cry was somewhat tiny. But he learned very quickly how to turn up the volume as needed. He’s not yet learned about deferred gratification, and that’s exactly as it should be. He’s a baby, after all. The world actually does revolve around him, as it should for all babies.

Everything he does is adorable, of course. Some might think a yawn to be a common, everyday occurrence hardly worth noticing. Not so when he does it. “Oh, look! He’s yawning! Isn’t that just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?”

And when he stretches, with his little arms beside his head and his tiny fists clenched—oh, so very sweet. He’s even already shared some hints of little smiles, the first ones rightly given to his parents.

He seems to like when I sing some of my warm-up scales to him, so I told him I am saving a cornet for him that belonged to the doctor who delivered his mother. His parents are very musical—both having played the trumpet and guitar—so music is in his genes. My cousin has also offered to loan him a drum set.

As I suspected from his ultrasound picture, he really does seem very contemplative and serious here in the outside world. My first impressions are that he is an extremely sensitive human being.

As I am very fortunate to be able to spend precious time with this sweet little man, I’m reminded of a profound and universal truth: Babies are born knowing everything that we as adults have forgotten. And in the years ahead, I look forward to relearning as much forgotten truth as I possibly can.

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Something tells me I’m going to enjoy seeing life through the beautiful eyes of this amazing little boy.