Childrearing

C-Sections Make It Easier To Explain Where Babies Come From

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Every year on my girls’ birthdays, I tell them the story of their birth. Recently, they’ve asked me to tell them the story every day. So over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve talked about everything. I explained how God put them into my tummy (we’ll save the intercourse talk for the post-toddler years) and how they grew from unbelievably tiny dots into the girls they are today. I tell them about the ultrasounds, when I got to see them from as young as 10 weeks to as old as 39 weeks. I describe what they looked like and how some of what I saw in utero — unmistakable profiles and the way they kicked or held their mouth — I still see today.

I tell them about how the doctor told me it was time to go to the hospital and how I had labor pains for the whole day until the moment the doctor said they’d have to cut me and pull them out. And then I tell them about what I said when I first saw them and how they learned to take their first breaths outside the womb and drink my milk. We talk about what the hospital was like and how we brought them home. We cuddle and discuss how much our lives have improved because they joined us.

What’s weird about this is that their main areas of interest at this point are that they didn’t exist until after their father and I got married. They think it’s unfair that their cousins are in the wedding pictures and they’re not. And this leads to many questions about whether their cousins were alive before their parents got married (and so on and so forth). I’ve dealt with this before — my niece Meg once gasped at me “Did you know that when Mommy and Daddy got married, we weren’t even there!?”

The other main area of interest is seeing how they came out of my stomach. They look at my C-section scar and they’re just utterly intrigued.

And while I so wish I hadn’t had to have had a C-section — don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my babies were born healthy, I just wish I could have delivered them naturally — I do have to admit that this portion of the story is much easier than explaining the manner in which babies are typically born.

It’s my one silver lining in having had C-Sections (again, other than the all-important healthy birth).

The fact is that I have no clue how mothers with naturally-born children handle these “birth stories.” I plan to tell my girls how babies are typically born in a few years. But I’m wondering about how mothers handle those first toddler years’ questions — do they just explain it accurately? Use euphemisms? Demur? Inquiring minds want to know!