***Warning: This is a long post, but I guarantee you won't regret reading it!***
As many of you know, we have a very inquisitive 4 year old. He reminds me a lot of Richard and often doesn't settle for a simple answer to his questions and searches until he finds the right answer. As a result, I have revealed to him more than the average 4 year old probably desires to know or needs to know. I can't say the same for Elijah (his 3 year old brother), but as a result of having an extremely inquisitive older brother, he unfortunately learns more than he would also probably like to.
Monday we had a prime example of this. I will probably scar them for life by publicly sharing this and they might require therapy later, but I just didn't want to risk forgetting this. I will do my best to relay the story as accurately as possible...
Due to our recent pregnancy, Jonah has been very curious about babies. How they eat, where they sleep, how big they are each week, can they hear, taste, see, and how they come out! I have tried my best to nonchalantly explain the birthing process to him without going into too great of detail. However, he has not been satisfied with my "wimpy" answers. So when he asked how the baby gets out, I explained that I will go to the hospital with daddy, lay in a bed with my legs up and push really hard. Then the doctor will catch the baby when it comes out. His response to this: "Mom, there has to be more to it than that. I want to know what happens."
Little did I know that TLC would provide me with the perfect teaching opportunity to explain this amazing feat. (For those of you who don't know us well, we don't have cable or any sort of tv programs at our house. We have a tv for watching movies, but that is it. My husband claims it is because I became a tv junkie my sophomore year of college when I was an RA and cable was essentially free. I think he just uses it as an excuse).
Monday, we headed over to my parents house to let out their dog and it happened to be lunch time. The boys were busy playing while I slaved away and made some PB&J sandwiches. While doing this I turned on TLC's a baby story. Love that show! There was about 5 minutes left in the show and the boys came flying up the stairs to see if lunch was ready. The lady was delivering twins and was just getting ready to push the first one out. As she is in position (feet in stirrups and Dr. present), grunting, groaning, and writhing in pain, the boys enter the room with their eye balls popping out of their head a few feet. Jonah says, "What in the world is going on here?" Elijah just has a look of absolute disgust on his face.
Now, my first instinct is to turn off the tv and explain what was going on myself. However, after multiple attempts at this already I decided to let this one play out. (In case you are wondering the camera angle is from the head of the hospital bed so they are not getting an anatomy lesson at the same time).
As the boys plop down on the couch and I am explaining that this mommy is going to have two babies, the first one is born. The doctor holds her up for the family to see quickly followed by the second and the silence at my house is marred by the following comments of my toddlers.
- Jonah: "That was the coolest thing I have ever seen. What is that long thing hanging from the baby's tummy? Are you going to have two babies?"
- Me: "That is the umbilical cord, and no I am only having one remember?"
- Elijah: "Why is the baby all dirty (it was covered in vernix and blood)? What is all over it? GROSS!!!"
- Me: " The baby is not dirty Elijah. Do you remember how your fingers look like raisins when you are in the tub too long? That white stuff is kind of like a lotion that protects the baby's skin because it is inside a bunch of water in the mommy's tummy."
- Elijah: "If it is in water it should be clean, not dirty!"
Then there were more questions about why they put the naked baby on the warmer bed without putting clothes on it first because they were afraid it would get cold, and why is the mommy making so many noises, and does it hurt when they cut the umbilical cord.
I went to turn the tv off so we could eat lunch and they both protested asking if they could watch another baby be born. I decide that is ok as long as they eat while we watch. So we ate our PB&J's while watching the second episode. Jonah was annoyed with all the talking at the beginning and he just wanted me to fast forward it to the baby coming out!
So the next episode is a poor lady whose labor fails to progress and they have to bring her to a c-section. On a side note, Jonah already knew that the baby lives in the mommy's "ooterus (uterus)" and comes out the "gina (vagina)". In this episode the mother gets an epidural so the boys of course want to know why someone is poking her in the back. I explain that it is a little tube that is going to give the mommy medicine because it hurts when the uterus is contracting and helping get the baby out.
- Jonah: "It hurts to have a baby? Did you get medicine mommy?"
- Me: "Yes, it does hurt and no I did not get any medicine."
- Jonah: "Why?"
- Me: "Because mommy thought I could do it without medicine and I did!"
- Jonah: "No, why did you do that again if it hurt so bad?"
- Me: "Because I love you that much! Remember that when you get older!"
When the next lady is being wheeled into a c-section Jonah gets very confused and asks what is going on. I explain that some mommy's have to get their tummy's cut open and the baby is taken out like that because the baby can't come out the other way. Jonah's response to this is "doesn't the Dr. know that the baby is supposed to come out the vagina?"
After this baby is born, Elijah, who has been quiet this whole time, is mortified again that this baby is dirty. Jonah, on the other hand, is ecstatic saying this was the coolest thing he has ever seen, and he always wanted to know how it happened.
Then, Jonah turns to me and asks if HE can be there for this baby's birth! Yikes! I calmly tell him that he can not and he became very upset. I told him that daddy would take me to the hospital when it is time, and Grandma or Grandpa would watch them. Then, when the baby is out we will call them to come see him or her. Elijah looks at me very seriously and says "I only want to see the baby when it is clean. I do NOT want to see the baby when it is dirty." I laugh and tell him that we would clean the baby up first!
We turn the tv off and I feel fairly satisfied with how well the "birth lesson" played out. Then Elijah turns to me and says: "So the Dr. puts the baby in the mommy and then takes it out?" As I am trying to decide how to answer this one, Jonah turns to him and says: "No, the baby is already in there. The Dr. just helps take it out silly." I let out a sigh of relief as two heads turn my way and Jonah says: "Mom how does the baby get in there?"
I had a small heart attack at this moment knowing that I can NOT tell them really how the baby gets in there. Not because I don't think they couldn't handle it, but because they will share this information with complete strangers every where we go for who knows how long! So, I tell them that God puts the baby in there and hold my breath to see how it is received. Jonah says "I don't think that's how it works mom." So I tell them there is more to it than that, but we can talk about it when they get older. By the grace of God that was sufficient!
Sorry Jonah and Elijah if this embarrasses you later in life, but it was just too cute to keep silent! Jonah, when you are an obstetrician someday I can share this story. Elijah, when your wife wonders why you don't want to be in the delivery room for the birth of your child, I will take full responsibility!