January of 1974 was a blur of diapers and dishes for Carolyn Hebert, a mother of two. But she will remember one day, in particular, for the rest of her life:
"It was in the evening. I was in the kitchen doing dishes. My husband was down the hallway reading the newspaper. My daughter, Monica, was doing her homework. And Sarah, our little baby, was playing with her toys. And you know, your mind is not really usually very far away from your children. You think about them. This night, I was thinking about Sarah, and suddenly, I had a feeling that there was something wrong. It was a very focused feeling. And in my mind, I saw that she was choking on something. I didn't know what."
Carolyn says that she sensed her eight-month-old daughter silently choking on a balloon:
"You think about the 'what ifs'. What if I hadn't listened and just thought, well, I'll go in a few minutes? But this was not that sort of a feeling. This was, 'get there. You're needed.'"
Call it mother's instinct. Call it ESP. Call it simply the power of love. Accounts of extraordinary intuition of mothers have been handed down for generations. Such a bond seems to defy the limits of time and space, and while it may never be scientifically proven, it is far too compelling to be denied.
In 1983, business had taken Elaine Emmi and a neighbor, Sharon Krakker, to Palm Springs, 110 miles from their homes in Los Angeles. They were just sitting down to eat when Elaine was seized by an overwhelming sense of dread about her four-year-old son:
"It was like being hit by a wave. It was a very powerful feeling, both emotionally and physically. I knew something was wrong with Matt immediately. And it wasn't just a foreboding. Sometimes people get a strange sense that something's not right. It wasn't like that. It was a very definite feeling, something that you couldn't just shrug off."
Elaine immediately called home, but there was no answer. Convinced that something terrible had happened, she phoned Sharon's husband, Tom. Tom hadn't heard from Elaine's husband or seen anything unusual at their house just across the street. According to Sharon, Elaine began to panic:
"She wasn't what I would consider out of control, but just her mannerisms gave me the impression that she was very concerned and knew that there was something very wrong. So I said, 'Why don't we just have lunch?' She said, 'No. There's something wrong. We need to go home.' And that's what we did."
Twice during the trip back to Los Angeles, Elaine stopped to call home. Still no one answered. It was the longest three hours of her life. When she and Sharon finally arrived home, Sharon's husband had stunning news--Matt was in the hospital and being prepped for surgery to reattach severed tendons in his arm. Matt had fallen and crashed through a plate-glass door at the very moment the sense of dread had swept over Elaine:
"I was feeling what Matt was going through. No doubt about it. I don't think I ever questioned that. I'm not sure why I was able to feel that. But I know, without any doubt, what I was feeling and what I was experiencing."
Elaine and her son had been separated by more than 100 miles. But it was as if she had seen the accident with her own eyes. Dr. Thomas Verny had a theory for why Elaine's bond with her son was so intense:
"I think this connection starts in the womb. I think, even in the womb, some children and some mothers are more connected than others, and if they are really connected, of course, then it will continue for the rest of their lives."
If Elaine Emmi does have a psychic bond with her son, it seems logical that it originated in the womb. However, many adoptive mothers, like Linda Babb, have also reported similar experiences:
"Simply the fact of having adopted a child doesn't mean a woman's divested of all her instincts. And I believe that women have instincts, a woman's intuition, whatever you call it."
In March of 1987, Linda Babb and her husband Dirk, already the parents of four, were looking to adopt for the second time. Linda said that at around that time, she had the most incredible dream:
"I saw a young woman. And she was in labor, a light-headed woman that was fair-complected. And I didn't know who this person was, but I did see she was at the point of giving birth. And as she pushed, I saw the baby's head crown and then be born. He had lots of dark hair on his head. I remember that, and he was dark-complected. And at the moment he was born and began to cry, I woke up from the dream. I felt startled because it was a very vivid and realistic dream. I had never had a dream so vivid. And I looked at my clock on my bedside table and it was 2:59 in the morning on March 8th. Six weeks later, we had a call from our adoption agency. We had applied to adopt. And they called and asked us if we would be interested in adopting a baby boy."
At the agency, an adoption agent brought in the baby for Linda to see:
"He had beautiful golden-brown skin and a headful of dark hair. He looked very much like the infant in my dream. Then when she told me the baby had been born March 8th at 2:59 in the morning, I was stunned. For a moment, I was just speechless. I turned to Dirk and said, 'That's the same time and date of that dream I had.'"
Taken at face value, these three stories and countless others like them point to an apparent telepathic link between certain mothers and their children. While such a connection may never be fully explained, if you someday get the prickly feeling that your child is in danger, it might not hurt just to wander over and take a look.