The statistic said that babies start to develop their sense of hearing at thirteen weeks. At thirteen weeks, that baby doesn’t look much like a baby. She’s smushed and too small in all the wrong places, still curled up like a seahorse in a space inside someone else. That someone else will be me, I thought, drifting from the statistic into an imaginistic fantasy of some time years from now.
She’ll recognize the mother’s heartbeat, the little seahorse girl; she’ll be comforted by the cadence. I imagine lying in bed, my husband snuggled near my stomach, reading books to my belly. How silly. Two adults, tangled up in sheets in daylight, reading Goodnight Moon by memory.
Our little girl, before she’s born, will hear with her little smashed ears inside her water world, Daddy’s voice say goodnight to all the things she’ll love. Her favorite toy, her big brother, holding the bars of his crib. Goodnight to Mommy. He loves her more every minute, she hears him say. His hand on my stretched skin, our feet intertwined. In my future fantasy, I’m a pretty pregnant woman. All in the confines on my imagined mind.