Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dr. Tomatis asks the right questions

Something I have not been able to comprehend throughout this whole journey, is what little interest Chris's doctors have shown in the circumstances surrounding his birth and his time in utero. Chris's doctors have treated his condition as if it mysteriously appeared in his late teens. I realize now that the gestation period is highly important and provides the first clues to the condition called schizophrenia.

I finally found in Dr. Tomatis a doctor who understands the link, which is really quite amusing because he's been dead since 2001.

When I filled out the client information form at the Tomatis Center I was given a platform to tell all in response to questions such as:

How long was your pregnancy?
Was there anything unusual about it?
Did you have any worries at the time?
Did you and your partner get along at this time?
How long had you been together at the time?
How many pregnancies have you had?
How long was your labor?
Was there anything unusual about your child's development?

The Tomatis questionnaire is directed at detecting trauma to the fetus. Trauma can be a subtle as everyday maternal worry and anxiety or it can be something as seemingly innocuous as listening to Black Sabbath or other heavy metal music, listening all day to the constant whirring of propellers or jackhammers or sleeping with the television on. Loud noises are traumatizing to the fetus.

The questionnaire is no place to be coy. I wrote entire pages and then some. I finally got to tell someone about my forty-four week pregnancy, the fact that Chris barely moved in utero, the twenty-four hour labor, my husband's and my arguments during our first year and a half of marriage, the financial insecurity, Chris seeing space aliens in the park at the age of ten, and so on. Filling out the questionnaire only confirmed the sinking feeling in my heart that the fetal ear hears all and knows all, and some ears are more sensitive than others.

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