Who doesn’t love a tiny, newborn baby? The innocense, the sweetness, the delicious smell and sounds? But if your baby was born prematurely, and survived, chances are that there will be weeks and months and continued struggle, just to survive. Sometimes, parents know that there is a good chance that their baby or babies will be born prematurely. In the case of multiple births, the chance is almost 100%. In other pregnancies, the doctor may have discovered a congenital birth defect of some kind, heart issues, brain, or other organs can be compromised in some way.
In this case, music therapists can do some powerful interventions. I’ll never forget a story that Deforia Lane, Ph.D., MT-BC, told about a call she received one morning to do a music therapy session with an unborn baby. The mother had been in a car accident the night before and by all methods of diagnostics, appeared to be brain dead. The baby, however still had a strong heartbeat and was moving around! The hospital realized that if the baby was to survive until she was big enough and strong enough to be born, then the mother would have to be kept alive. And so she was connected to all the machines that would keep her alive until the baby was ready to be delivered. And that’s when Deforia was called in. She related that she was overwhelmed with the challenge when she first got this assignment, but as usual, she accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion. She prayed for guidance before she entered the room, and stood silently looking at the woman whose eyes were closed and whose breath came only as a result of the machines to which she was connected.
As she slowly approached the woman, she knew what she would do. When she was beside the bed, she slowly put her hands on the woman’s abdomen and felt the baby inside. Softly and quietly, she began to sing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” As she sang she felt the baby begin to move gently, first one way, then the other. She continued singing and knew instinctively that this was making a positive difference on this precious gift from God. She did this daily, adding “Jesus Loves Me,” and many other nuturing spiritual songs!
One day a few weeks later, she got the call that a healthy baby had been delivered and that the music therapy she had given this baby had made a priceless contribution to the survival of the baby. What more can we ask? Thank God for the gift of music and for trained music therapists and loving parents who sing to their babies.