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Psychologists have only begun to explore the many subtle, unconscious links that exist between the expectant mother and the child that she nurtures within her womb. A growing number of medical researchers are coming to accept a mother’s claims of sensing her baby in utero as far more than a romantic hypothesis.
Dr. Marshall Klaus believes that during the final months of pregnancy, a mother naturally works to bond with her unborn child. She sings and talks aloud to the child within her womb because she knows that the child hears and responds with synchronous body movements.
Dr. Klaus suggests that the bond between mother and child is established in strange, mysterious, and unfathomable ways. He says that it is as if mothers posesses a kind of “magical glue” that is designed to seal the new infant right into them.
But what mysterious process assumes control of the pregnancy when the mother is placed in a coma due to an accident?
Twenty-four-year-old Barbara Blodgett of Yakima, Washington, was three months pregnant when she was injured in a car accident on June 30, 1988. Although she was in a coma for five months, Barbara gave birth to Simon, a healthy baby boy, on December 9. The day after her son was born, she began emerging from the coma.
Doctors were uncertain why Barbara was able to regain consciousness, but they speculated that hormonal changes after the birth might have been responsible. While her complete recovery from the brain stem injuries suffered during the accident continued to handicap her to some degree, Barbara Blodgett spelled a message for readers of USA Today on February 14, 1989, when she pointed out the letters for the words “Never give up.”
On April 24, 1999, a pregnant Maria Lopez entered a coma after complaining of headaches and nausea. Although at first the doctors at the University of California Medical Center assessed the symptoms as a result of the pregnancy, upon closer examination of their patient they discovered that Maria had been born with arteriovenous malformation, a condition in which blood vessels in the brain are malformed or tangled.
Medical personnel sought to treat Maria Lopez’s condition by a process called embolization, during which the blood flow to the brain is lessened. In spite of their concerted efforts, however, Maria remained in a coma.
After three weeks had passed with no signs of improvement, doctors at the UC medical center advised Lopez’s family that they should consider withdrawing life support. Sadly, the decision was made to do as the doctors recommended for the sake of their comatose Maria. A priest was summoned to give her last rites.
Then, just as the priest was concluding the service, Maria Lopez coughed.
The attending physicians, not wishing to appear without compassion, nevertheless told the family gathered around Maria’s bed for the last rites that her cough was only a kind of reflex.
However, the Lopez family saw the movement from their beloved Maria as a sign from God. Sylvia Hernandez, Maria’s sister, said that it was a sign that Maria was not ready to die, that she wanted the family to give her more time to come around.
A few days later, Dr. John Frazee, a vascular neurosurgeon at the UC Medical Center, was astonished when Maria awoke from her coma and responded to his commands. Dr. Frazee commented that whether or not Maria’s cough had been a sign from God, it had saved her life ...
Read the rest of this article in the March 2006 issue of FATE
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