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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, the other day I read an old thread about toddlers who remembered being born or the womb. There was a link to an article that basically said the peak age for verbalizing these memories was 2.5-4; before that kids don't have the verbal skills and after that the memories seem to fade. So I was curious. Here is an account of my conversation with my 2.5 yr old, who experienced a fairly traumatic vaginal birth with a vacuum extraction, followed by a NICU stay and several IVs. She's seemed to have nightmares since birth, and even as a very young infant we thought she was remembering or dreaming about that NICU stay.

Me: Anna, do you remember when you were in Mommy's tummy.
Anna: Yeah (same tone of voice as if I'd said, "Do you remember going to the grocery yesterday?")
Me: What was it like in there?
Anna: Dark. Very dark.
Me: Oh?
Anna: Very very dark. And then you pulled me out.
Me: I did?
Anna: Yeah. You pulled me out. But I was very very little.
(Interestingly, at this point, my 15 month old, who was playing nearby and is quite verbal but still 15 months and not quite up for this level of conversation said, "Swim, swim swim." And walked over and pointed to my crotch.)
Me: What happened next?
Anna: I got an owie.
Me: Where?
Anna: On my leg (pointing to leg and heel area, where interestingly there was an iv at one point, and lots of blood draws.)
Me: Yeah?
Anna: And I had a bandage. On my leg.
Me: What else do you remember?
Anna: I wore my shiny shoes in your tummy and read a book. (Okay, so the conversation wouldn't stand up in a court of law, but I thought it was an interesting exercise nonetheless.)
Me: You did?
Anna: Yeah. And I was in a little crib and I was scared. Very scared. Drs make me better. Owie on head. Look! One two three slide! (at that point the conversation was obviously over)

Now, I haven't really talked much about life inside the womb or her birth experiences with her, but we have talked about babies in tummies (and occasionally introducing the word uterus) with her, esp when I was pregnant with her sister. She was about 15-17 months old during most of those conversations. Occasionally we've mentioned other women with babies in their tummies or uteruses. I showed her pictures from her birth when she was 17 months and her sister was born, but they were just pictures of us holding her with the little snorkel iv in her head. We didn't bring them out again tho bc she seemed a little upset. We have read Curious George Goes to the Hospital and there was a brief trip to an er for a urine test when we thought she had a urinary tract infection. (Dr doesn't have a lab.) So there may have been some bias in the conversation, but not a ton. It was interesting. Makes you wonder, eh?

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My dd never said anything (and my ds is only 13 monts), but my parents told me that when my sister was born, I had just turned 3, and I guess they asked me if I remembered being in mommy's tummy, and I apparently told them that it was warm and like a big red balloon.
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