Family Fun
Newborn heard dad's voice for the first time and gave the biggest smile ever
The photo immediately went viral, and now, the baby is a toddler – even cuter than ever.
Gianella Argao
08.03.22

Flavio Dantas and Tarsila Batista, Antonella’s parents, were ecstatic when she was born in August 2019.

But Flávio and Tarsila never failed to express their love for Antonella, even when she was still in the womb. Every single day, Flávio spoke to his unborn child.

He would tell her the sweetest things.

“He always told her that he loved her so much,” Tarsila recounted of her husband. “‘Good morning’ when I went to work. He said ‘I’ll always be there,’ and kept stroking my belly.”

And each time her husband did it, amazing things happened. It was as if their baby knew and understood. She said, “Amazingly, it always seemed, at the same time every day, she started to move.”

And indeed, the baby seemed to remember.

It turns out that Flávio’s practice of conversing with Antonella while she was inside her paid off. Antonella began displaying the close bond she had with her father even before she was born at the Marcilio Dias Naval Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Flávio leaned in close to his newborn daughter as the hospital personnel handed her to her parents for their first hug. The same things he had been saying to her every day were said again, but this time Antonella answered.

Antonella answered with a smile.

She was so overjoyed to hear her father’s familiar voice now that she was outside. She couldn’t help but smile.

“They put her on top of me, sleeping, and as soon as he spoke to her, Antonella opened her eyes and smiled,” Tarsila fondly recalled.

It was the most precious first encounter.

The overjoyed new father, Flávio, said that his love for Antonella was “too big to fit inside his chest.” Tarsila wholeheartedly agrees. The arrival of Antonella is seen by her as “a gift sent by my Lord.”

And judging by the way things are going, Antonella feels the same way about her parents. Fortunately for us, a nurse snapped the picture of the trio grinning at one another.

They all looked so happy.

The image was subsequently uploaded by the pair to their Instagram page with the remark, “Quando vi minha família pela primeira vez,” which is translated to English as “When I first saw my family.”

The caption of the stunning picture of their family that Tarsila posted on Facebook read: “And it’s that moment that we forget all the pain and focus on the most sincere smile of all. Born my princess.”

Babies can begin processing sound 16 weeks after conception. It is understandable why Antonella moved each time she heard her father’s voice because a baby in the womb will start to significantly respond to outside stimuli around 26 weeks. Additionally, the sound of a parent’s voice helps calm a baby.

They already had a special bond.

“I thought I knew what a feeling of true love was,” he said. “Until I looked at the most sincere smile in the world. It was [there] that I could be sure what love is.”

“If wealth were measured in words, I would sum it up in one: you. My rare jewel cut by the hands of God,” Tarsila captioned one of her posts with her baby.

The fact that Antonella was born on August 11, 2019, coincidentally Father’s Day in Brazil, makes this story even more spectacular. Now a toddler, Antonella still has the same lovely charm. Her Instagram photos make it appear as though she has developed into a real daddy’s girl.

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By Gianella Argao
hi@sbly.com
Gianella Argao is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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