I am sure people find all different ways to try and rationalise this most irrational of concepts – people growing inside people, being fully responsible for a whole other life, moving out of one phase of your life into another, all at once. We did it by naming our foetus ‘Kiwi Face’. Obviously.
Nowadays we never use the name Kiwi Face as Lizzy is a person and Kiwi was a concept perhaps, or an idea, the two are almost like separate entities and the transition was instant. We didn’t name Lizzy for a few days but even in those early new-born days she was no long the Kiwi Face. We called Lizzy Kiwi Face partly because it was fun, partly because it was sweet but mostly, I think, because it helped us ease into the reality of having an actual baby. Later on in the pregnancy we discussed that maybe we should have been bolder and faced it head on but looking after the Kiwi was great fun. I know what you’re thinking, ‘that all makes perfect sense (of course it does, we are perfectly sensible people) but why Kiwi?’ - And you’d be right to ask. Being an owner of an iPad & iPhone Fergotron of course had a pregnancy app. Day one after the pregnancy test we had that app, probably before breakfast. The app was really useful if a bit Americanised but the thing that we enjoyed most was that it showed the size of the baby in comparison to fruit. One month it was dragon fruit, another time it was peach I think it even got a star fruit once but around the time of our scan our baby was the size of a kiwi.
And so the pregnancy went on, I wrote a little song about the Kiwi Face which I would sing to the bump (once I got used to the idea of talking to a bump) and at some point we decided we wanted to play music to the Kiwi that (s)he would recognise when (s)he was born. We got a pair of stick on speakers from some friends and we made a playlist each. We had read that if you play the same songs throughout the pregnancy then when they are born they’ll recognise them and it will help to sooth them. I bought into this concept 100% and totally believed that if we did it then at any time when the new baby was unsettled, having a tantrum, feeling poorly – whatever, we would just play the music and they would sit happily swaying along as if listening to some early sixties Beatles song, clicking their hands ahhhh how naive I was! But we persevered and though we didn’t play every single day we managed most – alternating the playlist.
Anyway, suffice is to say that the Kiwi Music is not the magic wand I was hoping for. When Lizzy was born I would play it to her, and often sing the songs myself. I am sure that she recognised my voice early from chatting to the bump and from singing along to the Kiwi Music before she was born. She recognised the music too, both mine and Fergotrons playlists and in the early days I think it did help her to understand the world a little more, it was something familiar in a big scary world of unknowns. I still play it regularly to this day and sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. I like to believe that it gets a reaction, that she remembers it. I often play it when we need her to have a sleep as in my mind it helps her to calm down. I’m not sure if it does or not in reality, it might just be the need to cling to something when your baby won’t sleep. As I’ve mentioned before I am usually quite good at getting her to sleep, it was my main job when she was born. I like to think she prefers to hear me sing the Kiwi songs as I would do this into the night when she was tiny and have continued to do so, so perhaps she recalls this more clearly.