StorkNet interview with
Elisabeth Hallett
Author of
In the Newborn Year, Soul Trek, and Stories of the Unborn Soul

In her latest book, Stories of the Unborn Soul, "Elisabeth Hallett takes the reader on a wondrous journey, exploring the connections our children have to us and to the other people in their lives, connections that appear to exist before they are born, and often before they are even conceived. Connections from soul to soul, that illuminate our material existence with tantalizing glimpses of purpose, meaning, intent, understanding, and love. Without stooping to sensationalism, Elisabeth opens up a world of experiences often kept utterly secret--that of knowing your child before it is born, hearing its voice or seeing its face or sensing its presence, and often, the experience of feeling the depth of its love, understanding, and compassion for us, the people it has chosen as parents. Throughout, she gently pulls forward threads of similarity between the experiences, such as the sense that conception may be more than just chance and biology, but may include a flexible and open agreement between the souls of parents and child." (From our review)

Early parent-child connections have the power to open up our awareness and change us in many ways. Have you ever experienced a very special moment of connection between yourself and your unborn child? Perhaps a lingering thought, a vision, an inner voice, or a dream felt very real and indicated a special message or spiritual awareness.

Elisabeth Hallett's websiteElisabeth is the author of three very touching books dedicated to the connection between parent and child, our awareness after childbirth and everything before, during, after and in between. Elisabeth says, " I'm a person motivated by curiosity about our most mysterious experiences. I'm fascinated by altered states of consciousness, prenatal contacts, near-death visions ~ every kind of inter-dimensional communication. I look to these realms for clues to life's inner workings and the secrets of our own nature. As an independent researcher, I believe in our potential to make valuable discoveries by sharing and exploring our own experiences."

Review coming soon!Elisabeth's background includes a degree in Psychology. She's been a Registered Nurse, then a teacher of Yoga. She is also a mother. The past eighteen years have been filled with the adventure of researching and writing In The Newborn Year (1992), Soul Trek: Meeting Our Children on the Way to Birth (1995), and Stories of the Unborn Soul, just published in summer 2002.

Check out StorkNet's reviews of these books by clicking on the photos. Be sure to visit Elisabeth Hallett's website, as well.

StorkNet interview with author
Elisabeth Hallett

Lea: Elisabeth, I haven't read your books, but I would like to make a comment.

Even before we knew I was pregnant I began having very vivid, often silly, dreams of a baby boy. A very *large* baby boy at that. I chalked it up to baby lust, as we'd been trying to conceive for several months at the time. A few weeks later we got our dream come true--a positive pregnancy test. And the dreams of a baby boy continued. I didn't mention anything to my husband about them. I didn't want him to think that I only wanted a boy or anything. We did not find out the gender of the baby before birth.

Low and behold - a baby boy! And, as my dreams portrayed, he's a very big baby boy indeed - he's closing in on 20 pounds at only 15 weeks old! We had had no problems in choosing a name for a boy, but we were still debating girls names just days before the birth. It was just instinctive I think--I *knew* my baby was my son, and having a girls name on hand was a safety-net only. I don't know how I knew that my baby would be a boy, and a big boy at that, but somehow he was telling me all along. Thank you.
Lea, proud new momma to Owen.

Elisabeth: Hi Lea, Isn't that wonderful? A lot of mothers (and a few dads) have told me that they knew their baby's sex in advance through dreams. I used to figure that maybe I was hearing mainly from the people whose dreams had come true, so I couldn't really draw any conclusions--but now there is some research to back it up. It was reported in Time Magazine, June 26, 2000.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University interviewed 104 pregnant women who had chosen not to learn their babies' gender through prenatal testing. They were asked to predict whether they were carrying a girl or boy, and to say whether their guess was based on folklore, a dream, or just a feeling. Here's the amazing part: "Of the women who based their forecast on a feeling or a dream, 71% were correct, and all the women who cited a dream were right."

It isn't an absolute guarantee--now and then I do hear from people who were shocked to have the opposite of what their dreams seemed to be telling them. But in general, if your dreams are consistently showing your baby as a boy, you are more than likely to have a boy (and the same goes for dreams of a girl, of course).

I love your comment about not really having a girl's name figured out. That happened to me too! With my daughter, I had amniocentesis because of my age, and when the technician called to tell me the results I surprised her by guessing it was a girl. The reason for my confidence was simply that I had been fascinated with girl's names from the beginning of this pregnancy, and I couldn't seem to bother thinking about boy's names at all! Congratulations on your big boy!

Amy: My hubby and I were not trying to get pregnant, in fact, we were trying NOT to get pregnant. About a week before Aidan was conceived (according to his due date), I had this inner voice talk to me. I was about to have a drink of alcohol, and my body was telling me not to drink, as I could be pregnant. In retrospect, I thought my clock was ticking, and wanted me to provide a safe place for Aidan, but I wonder, if it was something else. Was Aidan trying to make a safe place for Aidan?

Our first night together after delivery was very special. We spent the evening and night getting to know each other, sleeping a little bit and truly loving each other. The next morning, he had to be transferred to the NICU in another hospital. My poor husband was a wreck. I was very calm and together though. I *knew* things were fine, I *knew* this was not a big medical emergency as my pediatrician thought it could be (She thought he might need heart surgery). In fact, it was nothing, he was monitored and went home with us after a few days. I know you can't answer this, but *how* did I know things were fine?
Thanks, Amy

Elisabeth: Hi Amy, Of course you are right, I can't know for sure, but I have heard about this mysterious "knowing" often enough to think it could be another kind of communication from the baby. Sometimes in the most drastic situations, where everyone else is sure that it's hopeless, the mother will have this deep, calm sense of assurance that in spite of it all, the baby is going to be fine. And it seems to work the other way too: sometimes when everything looks perfect, the mother knows that something is wrong. Could it be that the baby is communicating?

Here's a thought-provoking story. In this case it wasn't the mother, but a casual friend who got the message. Susan had this dream on the night that Kay's baby was born. In the dream, she saw Kay weeping and distraught and knew that there was something wrong with the baby. But she felt a definite reassurance: "I felt compassion for Kay but I knew that everything was fine. I knew they both had a difficult road but that everything would be just fine -- and this was a message from the baby." In fact, Kay's baby was born with a serious heart problem--there had been no sign of it in advance - but after several surgeries, he really was "just fine." I think that perhaps Kay was too upset to hear reassurance, so the baby communicated to someone else who happened to be receptive. Cases like this are good evidence for the baby's ability to communicate telepathically.

As for that inner voice warning you away from alcohol - people who are hypnotically regressed back to pre-birth sometimes remember watching over their mother and trying to guide her choices in the healthiest direction! So maybe Aidan was getting a head start with you.

Anne: Is there a general pattern of changes in the 'newborn year' that most women experience? I know I felt like I was living with my skin off, like every child was my child. I cried about news of anyone dying or being hurt, because all of those people had mothers, who surely must have loved them like I loved my newborn son. My mom had told me that when we were hurt, she bled, and I finally knew what that meant--only if ANY child was hurt, I bled. Eventually it eased a bit, or maybe I regrew some mental/spiritual/emotional skin. I wondered if the pattern or progression of that experience is the same for most women, or if it varies or has a lot of different aspects that some people get and others do not. Also, I know it took about 6 months for my husband to get to the same end state, but he didn't seem to get that intense reaction initially. Do men generally go through the same stages?

Elisabeth: Hi Anne! I love this question – except that I can’t offer statistics. With my first book, “In The Newborn Year,” I spent eight years gathering stories that reveal all the ways we change after childbirth. So I can talk about this whole rainbow of changes, but it would take a different type of research to discover the incidence of these experiences. That said, let me respond that what you describe is EXACTLY what I felt emotionally and it lasted many months. And from what mothers have told me, I think that there is a typical change in newborn time. If I had to choose a few words to describe it, I’d say “open and connected.”

I think this change is so important because it creates empathy and compassion. As one mother said, “Every baby is my baby; every young animal is my child.” It can be a bonding with our whole human family and it makes us hurt for other people’s pain. I wonder what the world would be like if the change were permanent! But as you said, eventually the intense emotional openness does fade. I don’t believe that every new mother experiences this change, while for some it can be scary and disorienting because it can take the form of feeling too vulnerable and emotionally raw.

I didn’t get a lot of response from men so I’m less able to talk about their experiences, but men also speak of new feelings of connectedness and openness that come from bonding in love with their newborn. For both women and men, it can even bring moments of ecstasy, when our boundaries just dissolve.

Katharina: I have already shared my pre-conception communication experience with you a few months ago. I now have a son who is three months old. During my pregnancy I ONLY had dreams of a baby girl, and one night I even dreamed her name--Maya. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started to feel that he was a boy though, albeit with a very soft, gentle, feminine energy about him. To this day, people who don't know him automatically assume that he is a girl. I should add that when he contacted me to let me know he wanted to be born, he did not really have a sex. He was all spirit. I wonder if other women have had a similar experience?

Elisabeth: Hi, Katharina. People who have memories of their own pre-existence often mention that they seemed genderless as spirit. And when people sense the approach of a soul wanting to be born, they often describe a presence that is neither male nor female. So yes, that is definitely an experience that others have shared with you, Katharina. And even though consistent dreams of one sex are a pretty good indicator of who's on the way, it does happen the other way around too, as you experienced. (It's also common to have mixed dreams throughout pregnancy, of both boys and girls.)

For some women, it's very upsetting when the baby is the opposite of what they expected. They may question their intuition and wonder whether they were ever in touch with the baby at all. I'm glad that you don't sound as though you have let it disturb you too much, and it's lovely that you began to sense the "boyness" of your baby before he was born. It's really interesting that you still see a feminine quality around him, too. It brings up the question of reincarnation, perhaps.

In Tibet, there is a belief that the child in the womb is remembering past lives, and that its memories can "bleed through" into the mother's dreams. Perhaps that is one reason we can have strong, recurring dreams of a person who is different from the new baby in some important ways. We may be dreaming together of its past life, maybe even witnessing its adjustment to the new body. After all, if we're genderless in the soul world, maybe it takes a while to figure out the new situation! These are fun and interesting ideas to play with. Congratulations on your baby!

Anne: I met my sons long before they were even conceived. But not everyone has had similar experiences. Two of my friends are struggling with infertility. Is there anything I can tell them or suggest that they do that might help them cope with the issues brought up by their experience, or perhaps even help resolve the infertility? (I believe that the mind, body, and soul are intertwined deeply, so perhaps some cases of infertility may be helped by a spiritual change or action?) I don't want to increase their pain, so of course I'd proceed with caution, I just wondered if there was anything more than the usual medical approaches that help, or help people adjust if it doesn't happen.

Elisabeth: Most of my information on this subject comes from Teresa Robertson, a midwife and intuitive who often works with couples having fertility issues. She has contributed an article to my Light Hearts website, titled "Fertility and the Mind-Body Connection," and also a fascinating interview. What she has found is that we can enhance our fertility by entering into a dialogue with our body - and with the spirit of our unborn child. Using guided visualization, she helps her clients to explore any possible blocks whether physical or emotional. Another suggestion is to create a "baby altar," which is a specific place in your house to focus the energy of your desire and intention to conceive. It's sort of a warm, beautiful welcome mat for the souls who may be around, and a place to meditate, relax, and send out the invitation.

Katie: Hi, My husband and I interact lots with our baby. I wondered, can we 'over-stimulate'? We play music, touch, use a torch etc. I am 33 weeks pregnant and the baby has been very responsive, especially to touch since around 27 weeks. Many thanks from the U.K.

Elisabeth: I'm not up to date with the latest findings in this area, but I do have some thoughts to share. First of all, it's wonderful that you both are starting your relationship with your baby now! I have heard from fathers who were delighted to discover at the birth that the baby clearly recognized their voice and turned toward the familiar sound.

Studies show that prenatal stimulation has positive effects, yet I think you are wise to be concerned about the possibility of over-stimulation. We know that babies spend a lot of time in the womb sleeping and apparently dreaming. Because we don't know just how important this natural rhythm may be, I believe it's best to limit the number of times a day that we burst in on their bedroom, so to speak! Use the times when you can tell that the baby is probably already awake and ready to play.

It's good to realize that the womb is a loud place at best (have you heard recordings taken inside the womb?) and that music may be louder than we realize to the baby's ears. And we can't take increased activity to be a reliable sign of pleasure. I'll never forget a story David Chamberlain relates in The Mind of Your Newborn Baby (excellent book!). A pregnant woman noticed her baby would become more active when she sang loud, low notes and she interpreted this as a sign of pleasure. But when the child was two years old, he spontaneously revealed memories of birth and before - including a complaint that the loud, low notes had been painful to him!

So, I think the best course is to continue what you are doing, with gentleness. The chapter titled "Body Language" in my book, Soul Trek, describes some of the ways parents have found to play with the baby in the womb.

Leah: I just wanted to share my husband's and my experience with you. When I was pregnant with my second child, a girl, I just *knew* that she would be a girl. For some reason, we could not decide on a name for her. Family and friends did not like the names we had chosen and we felt at a loss. One day, in my third trimester, we were driving to the mall when someone cut me off, luckily I noticed just in time, as if I hadn't, we surely would've been injured. At that point my husband looked at me and said," Thank heavens for the grace of God watching us this time." Suddenly, we looked at each other and exclaimed, "That's it! Grace!!!" At that point, Gracie, as we fondly call her now, began to turn somersaults. It was amazing! We had no reactions from her before with name suggestions. It could have been the adrenaline, the stress of almost crashing, we'll never know. We like to think that Gracie chose her own name, and that's how she let us know.

Elisabeth: Hi Leah, what a lovely story! While I agree that the somersaults could have been triggered by your body's stress reaction, I think it's meaningful that you and your husband simultaneously felt that Grace was the right name. There's so much evidence of telepathy between parents and unborn baby! Often a name comes in a dream, or I've had people describe how when they thought of a certain name they felt a warm glow or a rush of energy, kind of like a "that's it!" response from within. I think it's quite possible that Grace chose her own name and found a way to let you both know.

Sarah: Hi Elisabeth. I feel that both my husband and I have had pre-birth communications of different kinds. Both experiences were in the form of dreams.

I was in the 14th week of my first and seemingly uneventful pregnancy when my husband had a very vivid and upsetting dream. He's not one to remember his dreams, so it was strange that he had remembered this one, and it had bothered him so much that he told me about it.

He dreamt about the baby and that he was carrying her to a building which he felt was some place of worship. On the way there though he had to pass through crowds of people who were all surprised that the baby was still alive and were saying that she should be dead. With that he said the baby turned into the most beautiful butterfly he had ever seen and she flew up out of his arms and away into the sky until he could no longer see her. He described a feeling of sadness and emptiness, knowing he would not see her again, and that feeling remained with him when he woke up, prompting him to tell me about the dream. I actually didn't think much of it at the time, perhaps just the worrisome dreams of a first-time parent-to-be. In fact I didn't think about it again until about ten days later when I went to the ER because of a small degree of bleeding I was having. It was then that I discovered that our baby had died, and in fact going by her size had died about a week and a half beforehand--around the time when my husband had had his dream. I have since gained a lot of comfort from imagining our baby as a beautiful butterfly.

My question, though, is if these tiny souls come back to us on this earth at later times?

I am now pregnant again, due at the end of January. I have had several dreams about the baby I am carrying, but the most profound was the first dream I had about 'him' (we actually don't know the sex). This dream was SO REAL and VIVID I can still remember how intense the feeling of love between myself and my little boy were. One thing he told me in this dream was that he 'missed me.' I got the impression that we had been together at some time in the past and that soon we were to be reunited. He, in particular, was looking forward to our being together again because he remembered me, and loved and missed me. He seemed so wise in the dream, yet so young and innocent, and I remember so clearly loving him so much!

I have wondered if this little soul I am carrying now is the same one that left us the first time around - perhaps it just wasn't time for him/her to join us then. I am very much looking forward to meeting this baby--although perhaps not for the first time! -Sarah

Elisabeth: Dear Sarah, Your husband's dream was beautiful! As you may know, the butterfly is often a symbol of the soul, and specifically of the soul set free through the transformation of death. It's a symbol that shows up in pictures drawn by seriously ill children who intuitively know they may die.

You ask whether souls who leave in miscarriage may return later to the same mother. For an answer, I turn to the many stories of little children telling their mother that they are back after an unsuccessful earlier attempt. Children who are much too young to be told about previous miscarriages and abortions come out with statements showing that they remember coming, leaving, and coming again. You can find such stories in Dr. Gladys Taylor McGarey's classic book Born To Live and in my Stories of the Unborn Soul, among others. To know that a soul may want to be with us so much that it will keep on trying is one of the most beautiful things we can learn from children who remember.

Your own wonderful dream experience could be a way of letting you know that the same soul is returning, or you may remember each other from another life or a preexistence That combination of innocence and deep wisdom is often mentioned when parents tell me about meeting their child's soul in a dream or vision. Best wishes for your new (or re-newed) baby!

Benny's Mom: O.K. I'll come out of the "closet" so to speak. My husband and I had dreams of our son after his conception, one of which, showed me how we were connected, and one of which told my husband what he wanted his name to be and what his talents and interests are. Since his birth, we have continued to experience our son on many levels, one of which, is a metaphysical one whereby we see colors around him and experience life with him as a tantalizing and curious mix of coincidence and dramatic happenings. Luckily, we have a deep belief and trust in what we can't see but instead feel with our hearts as well as a faith in God, otherwise, we would be very confused and maybe even traumatized as our son has had some health problems as well as a dramatic entry into the world.

My question, although I already have my own opinion, is this: Do you believe that children who are born in today's world are more "evolved" and more intuitively knowing than their parents were as children? If so, what do you know about this from hearing other parent's tell their stories? As well, are you in any way concerned about the way that more "evolved" children are raised? Do you have any advice or input regarding the needs of children who are born aware of the metaphysical? I already have certain opinions myself about the topic. We are not struggling with this but I am certainly open to your opinions.

Thank you in advance I hope that you receive some good questions from others. We had some interesting threads about our spiritual children a month ago in the Choices in Childbirth forum on StorkNet's message board, and know some of us ponder these things with you.

Elisabeth: Hi, Benny's Mom. You've asked a very difficult question! Let me start by saying that I truly do not know whether children born today are more evolved than we were as children. Nowadays we hear of children with remarkable abilities and intuitive awareness, but whether this is really new, or whether it is just safer to talk about now, I am not sure.

I can only speak of the little segment of the world that I know, and this has certainly changed enormously since I was born. We've had the psychedelic experience, an opening to Eastern wisdom traditions, plus what we've learned from near-death experiences thanks to medical science pulling people back from the very brink of death. These changes, and others, mean that children in some parts of the world are born into a more open, aware and accepting environment than perhaps ever before. So it follows that if you are a soul who can come into the world with a lot of your spiritual awareness intact, this is a favorable time for arriving! You'll find parents who are open enough to keep from squelching you and who can foster your gifts.


As for how such children should be treated, I don't think there are special rules. All children need to be treated with respect, and listened to. The sad story that I often hear from people who (as children) had pre-birth memories or metaphysical awareness is that they were shut down, told they were imagining things, or even punished when they tried to share what they knew. You've already had dreams giving you precious information, and you have perceptions that help you understand your child, so it seems like he is right where he wants to be. No doubt he will continue to let you know what he needs, and you will continue to "listen." It sounds like quite an adventure!

Barbara: I lost my baby recently. She was born on 10/02/02 and passed on 10/08/02. Most of my time spent with her was while she was in my womb. I strongly felt that I had communication with her during my pregnancy.

I was told by my doctor throughout the pregnancy that if she made it to full term that she probably wouldn't survive birth. (She was born with acrania and an open encephalocele due to amniotic band syndrome.) We knew that there were problems from about 19 weeks into the pregnancy, but we didn't know about everything. Through many ultrasounds we only saw a glimpse of her face once, on my birthday. But I had a few dreams in my pregnancy where I took her out of me to see her face. She always looked exactly the same, with some very minor facial defects but nothing major, which is how she really was when she was born. I would sometimes get these pictures of her in my head, out of nowhere, especially at night, like right before I actually fell asleep, at that point when you're almost asleep but not all the way. We also didn't know that she had the open encephalocele. We knew there were problems with her skull, but not that there was an opening.

But the night before I had her, I had a dream that I woke up in labor and her head was out. I reached down to feel it and felt something sticking out of the top of her head. When she was born and I saw her, I felt like all of these dreams were messages from her! I also felt that she comforted me when I was upset. When I would think about the fact that everyone believed that she would not survive birth, she would always start moving around. I always felt completely reassured somehow. It made me feel that despite what everyone said, we would have some time together. It was like she knew my thoughts and she was trying to let me know that she was going to come out and spend some time with us before she went. I chose to listen to her instead of the doctors. I definitely feel like she chose me to be her mommy.

But one thing that I wonder is whether or not she knew that she would only be here for a little while. In her situation, what was wrong with her wasn't chromosomal--she didn't start out with these problems. Amniotic band syndrome is sort of an accident. Do you think that in the beginning, she thought she was going to be coming to stay until this rupture happened, then she knew she wouldn't be with us for long? Or do you believe she knew from the very beginning, before anything was wrong? Do you think that it's possible that before she was even conceived, that she (her soul) knew what would happen and that she did choose us? And do you think by what I've described (my dreams and feelings) that we had a connection? Thanks so much. Barbara

Elisabeth: Barbara, you've asked the most difficult question of all, one that I've wondered about for years. Are there any accidents, or does everything happen just as it's meant to? I'll tell you right now, I don't know! But from what I've learned, I think it's likely that we have at least some freedom to choose and change course according to circumstances we meet on the way to birth.

One thing that's evident is that death isn't such a "big deal" to the unborn soul. Little children talk about having gone back and waited to come again when the time was right. So perhaps the rupture in the amniotic sac was one possible experience among others that your child's soul came to meet. I don' t want to pretend to know, but the evidence suggests to me that some things are set and some things are fluid, and the soul has "wiggle-room." There's a chapter in Carol Bowman's book Return From Heaven titled "U-Turn in the Womb." It recounts cases where children remember having changed their mind about being born in one pregnancy, left and returned later.

It also seems quite possible to me that your daughter chose the entire experience - or you chose it together with her - before she was even conceived. Your dreams about your daughter and your feeling of assurance that you would have some time together show that you were truly connected. Sometimes the shortest of times together bring the strongest feelings of communication.

Liz: Hello Elisabeth, I have three children ages 17, 12, and 3. I knew the sex of all of them. I didn't dream of them or received visits, but ever since I was a child, I have just always known things. I have walked by buildings and just knew I'd work there. It's happened more than once without me even applying to those companies. Most people think I'm nuts by spacing out my children like I did, but I wanted my time with each one of them to be special. I'm so happy that they picked me to be their mother. We just found out that we are expecting again in June. This pregnancy was different. I had a dream about a beautiful curly headed little girl. The dream wasn't about anything. She just looked at me for what seemed like hours. I knew I was going to have another child. I told my husband of my dream and a month later we got the news. I'm so glad that others are beginning to share their experiences. We have been silent for too long.

Elisabeth: How wonderful! I am intrigued by your decision to space your children so that you would have special time with each one. It makes me feel better about the six year gap between my two, which was not planned--at least not by me. It sounds as though you have had expanded perceptions all your life, so being aware of each child's sex was natural for you. In contrast, many people who have an intuitive knowing about their child-to-be have a hard time believing it because it is so unusual for them.

I agree that it is wonderful that we are sharing these stories with each other. That will make it easier for people to recognize the experience of communication from an unborn soul, which can be quite subtle. Best wishes for your new baby, too. Your dream of her reminds me of another mother who said her dream vision of her unborn son "seemed to last all night long."

Cora: I find this topic so very interesting! I want to say, first of all, that I feel a very special connection already with my unborn baby. There is a lot of love between us. He/she wants to be born and live, just as much as I did. I was born very premature, and almost died shortly after birth. My parents called me their miracle baby. Later in my life, was told I'd never have children. Something in me was convinced that I would indeed have a child of my own. The night I met my husband--my first thought was 'this man is going to be the father of my baby!'

A few years later, we are having our first child! OUR miracle baby! We love this baby so very much. I have been working with a doula through e-mail now for several weeks, recording in a journal my experiences and communications with my unborn baby (I'm due in April). Every day we have set aside time for 'interaction', such as singing lullabies, children's songs, reading books to the baby, or massage time (massaging my belly), plus time for simply relaxing. I truly believe that my baby treasures and enjoys these times as much as I do. I've also started to work with colors... 'breathing' in a certain color as I look at it, and describing it to my baby. I receive responses from my baby, such as quiet attentiveness, or activity, or rest. I look forward every day to spending time with my baby, even though he/she is not born yet!

Elisabeth: Hi Cora, your baby is so lucky to have parents like you. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I really like your idea of breathing in colors and describing them to your baby. It reminds me of something I read once long ago, about a native American custom where the pregnant woman explains to her child (in the womb) about the animals and plants around them, introducing the child to the world he/she would soon be entering. It's great that you are enjoying communing with your baby already, and especially lovely that your husband is "in the loop" as well.

Kelly: Hi Elisabeth. Just wanted to share my story of my daughter's spirit communicating with me even before she was conceived. About a year before we conceived her I was at the local public library for my usual book search. On this visit I became almost obsessed with a dialogue in my head about how my first born would love books. In exiting from the library I took the elevator to the first floor and during this elevator ride I had a dialogue (again in my head) with her. It was as if she were standing right next to me and I could even feel her presence of height next to my body. This dialogue was so intense I found myself turning to the space beside me to answer one of her questions! A crazy sounding story, but true! Sure enough my daughter began reading at 3. She is now 7 and her FAVORITE place in the whole world is the library--she wishes for books for Christmas while other children wish for toys! And she is absolutely full of spirit just as she was when she visited me so long ago. :)

Elisabeth: Kelly, what can I say but thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story! I get shivers when I read about these experiences. It doesn't sound crazy to me at all, and I hope you can share it comfortably with at least a few people in your life as well. It's interesting the different places and situations where we get that awareness of a soul presence. Maybe your daughter already loved that library even before you conceived her!

Jane: Do you think we are able to ask the spirit world to give us a particular sex? I am desperately wanting a boy when we next TTC. What are your thoughts on this?

Elisabeth: Jane, I think it's fine to state your preferences to the spirit world. Some hopeful parents even put forth a kind of checklist of qualities they'd like to have in their child. We can do that, but I don't think we can count on getting the results we want--although I've had parents tell me that their child matched their "wish list" in every way. If you have a really strong preference, it seems only fair that you would include it in your "invitation" when you send out your welcoming thoughts towards the world of unborn souls. But it's important to be open to accept whomever you receive. I think that our conscious minds don't necessarily know what we need on the soul level. Here's wishing that whoever comes to you next will be the perfect addition to your family!

Benny's Mom: Hi Elisabeth. I read your response to my questions and initially it seemed to me to make sense. It still does. However, I think that there is one difference between the needs of children today vs those born 10 or 15 years ago.

In my practice as a child therapist I've seen this countless times as well so as I think about my own child I try to keep this in focus. Children whose parents raise their children the way that they were raised are clinically vulnerable. I've often seen parents "learn through their children" what they didn't get from their parents as if having a sensitive, aware child challenged the parent to keep growing. Of course, your point about a child finding themselves where they need to be and the world being a more open and aware place (at least in the free world) is certainly true. However, I also see that parents do indeed need to be "more responsible" to their own growth as a result of knowing children than they may have needed to be 10 years ago. I would often see five-year-old children with numerous psychiatric hospitalizations. This was unheard of in previous generations. Whether this is because of their child, an agreement between child and parent before birth or the energy of a more aware consciousness of the planet, maybe it's all of the above. I think parents used to be able to get away with many more parenting "mistakes" and a child would not have an awareness of the mistakes and therefore not feel the extent of psychic pain that they do now. They would feel it as a teen or a grown up. Now, very young children know something is wrong in their families and talk about it, in fact, are the force behind the family change.

Even though my child is only 10 and a half months old, I seem to have a more heightened awareness of all my flaws right now, and have been shifting and changing a great deal because of my child. I just wanted to add that thought, although, it's not really a question. Do you have anything further to add to this?

Elisabeth: Hi, Benny's Mom. When I read your earlier message, I didn't realize you were describing a change in children over just ten or fifteen years. If there has been such a change, I haven't been in a good position to observe it. My own children are sixteen and twenty-two, so the young people I know well are from that generation. Were they less sensitive children than the generation born today? It seems too broad a generalization, but then again if you've been counseling children over many years, you may be noticing trends that I don't see.

I think what you are saying is that today's children seem increasingly sensitive and aware, and that they are both more vulnerable to and more observant of the world around them. My focus has been on evidence of awareness before birth, and in the stories I've gathered over the past eighteen years, I don't see a change in the "essence" of the souls arriving. But the social environment has changed--every nuance of psychology and every intimate situation is out in the open now, from Oprah to tabloids to Jerry Springer! You suggest that children fifteen years ago were less sensitive to psychic pain than today's children. Perhaps it seems so because, as we have opened everything up to be discussed and questioned in public, we've provided children with the language and the context to express things they could not express in earlier times.

Mayra: I do not have a question, but think you will enjoy my story. In 1999, while meditating, I always had a vision of a little girl, in the sun. I would embrace her very strongly and feel a maternal bond. I remained bonded to this little girl (in spirit). I would ask her where she was, and always told her I welcomed her in to my life. I am now 20 weeks pregnant and am convince this is the child I saw, who is now ready to leave the spirit world. I knew the baby's sex and her name (Luna) even before the results of the amnio. I would love to hear your comments since, most people do not understand this. Kindest regards, Mayra

Elisabeth: Hi Mayra, I enjoyed your story! Meditation is one of the most typical settings for a visionary meeting with a future child. Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you mentioned, many people don't realize that these pre-conception contacts are possible. I hope Luna's daddy is open to the possibility, so you've been able to share the experience with him.

Anne: How many people have pre-birth contacts? Does anyone have an estimate of how common it is? It seems that in the group of people I know, at least one in ten has also been contacted by a child's soul, though some have declined the invitation to become mothers. One knew she was going to conceive (accidentally) because she saw a brilliant light enter her body through her head, and felt him there with her (knew he was a boy). Another told me that there was a little boy who followed her for ten years before she had to tell him he'd need to find another mother (she was over 40 by then, and no partner in sight). Yet another didn't see her own kids, but saw one of mine, before I was certain I was pregnant. Another asked for a soul to join her because she had spent two years trying to conceive with no result--when she actually asked, she felt a presence respond, and that was the month she conceived (her daughter is a gem, too). Another saw her son after she had an abortion, and has seen him every few years since (she was 15 when she terminated the pregnancy, and he doesn't seem to be angry or upset, just looking for another chance to be born). I don't know if my experience (knowing so many people who have had that contact) is common, or if I've self-selected a group of people more likely to have these experiences. Certainly, people seem to tell me their stories--I usually tell mine first, though, LOL!

Elisabeth: Hi Anne, those are some wonderful examples of pre-birth communication. The vision of a bright light is often part of the experience, especially around conception. It's intriguing that the woman who had been trying to conceive for a while was successful after she actually asked (there's a good suggestion for other people who are trying!). But I don't have a real answer for you, as to how common pre-birth communication really is. As I explained in response to another question, the way I've gone about gathering stories doesn't lead to that sort of information. It would be great if someone wanted to do the research to find out--but it wouldn't be easy.

Supposing you went around asking a random sample of the population. "Did you experience communication or contact with your future child before birth or even before conception?" I'm guessing you would not get a very high proportion of "Yes" answers. But then if you explained about all the ways that unborn souls may communicate, and how very subtle some of the experiences can be, you'd see people beginning to think back and maybe see some of their experiences in a new light.

As for your many friends with such experiences, I think it could well be due, in part, to your own openness and readiness to share your own contacts!

Linda: Hi Elisabeth! I'm pregnant with baby #5, but the most interesting story I have is with #4. Almost 13 years ago I got pregnant for the first time. 15 weeks into the pregnancy I lost the baby. I'd had three very distinct dreams indicating that the baby had died, so once the doctor confirmed it, I was not terribly shocked. No one was able to confirm the gender, but I always felt in my heart that the baby was a boy. Nine years later I'm pregnant with baby #4. First of all, I had planned on this one being a Samuel. But an incredibly vivid and tangible dream told me that this was Andrew (a name we just would have never thought of). Sure enough, four months later Andrew arrived. A couple of weeks after his birth I was asking my almost four-year-old son what he thought of his baby brother. He told me that Andrew was not his baby brother. I asked him what he meant. He told me that Andrew was his big brother, but that he had died, and now he was back to be with his family again. I have to tell you, I absolutely believe this to be true. Number five has not revealed their "self" to me yet, but what I do sense of this little one is truly an air of playfulness, and I can't wait. Thank you for this book. Linda

Elisabeth: Linda, what a beautiful story. It is a perfect example of the soul awareness that little children so often manifest. Somehow, they know the comings and goings of unborn souls. I have heard other stories similar to yours, in fact one chapter of "Stories of the Unborn Soul" is all about this wisdom of children. It's wonderful that we are beginning to listen to children. They have a lot to teach us, from their memories of pre-existence and awareness of the souls around them. Best wishes for your new arrival!

Nancy (StorkNet): Thank you so much, Elisabeth. This discussion has been enlightening, comforting and very interesting. So many of our members have come forth with beautiful stories and personal thoughts. I myself was reminded of when my second son was born, after a previous miscarriage. I looked at him with peace and felt as if I'd already known his spirit once before. I remember my words, "Oh! There you are!" as he was born. I find such spiritualism in these connections. We hope you will come back and visit again. Thank you from StorkNet!

Elisabeth: Thank you for inviting me to participate in this guest interview! I have so much enjoyed the thought-provoking questions and moving personal stories. I hope that many of you will visit my website, Light Hearts, where I'll continue to share stories and articles on pre-birth communication as well as postpartum changes. I would just like to mention my newest "baby" born in January 2003 -- a book of poetry titled "Still Mystified: The Poems in my Life." Thank you again for a truly rewarding conversation.

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