Sunday, July 27, 2008

Telling Maddie

I've been stressing for awhile about how I was going to tell Maddie that she came via cesarean. She's been saying things like, "When I was a baby in your tummy and I got big, I came out of your birth canal." Each time it was like a little knife in my heart. Do the repercussions ever stop?

I knew I had to tell her, somehow, but I had no idea how to do it. I was a cesarean baby and it never seemed a big deal. I don't remember being told, or where I learned it. I want her to also have a sense of peace about it, just that it was and that's that. She's at a tender age though, and I was afraid she'd ask a lot of questions that I didn't think she was ready for the answers to.

I called my mom for advice, to find out how she told me, but she didn't remember ever having actually told me. She did give me some pretty good advice on easing into the information though, and I appreciated it.

So yesterday the moment came. We were watching one of my many "baby come out movies" and Maddie started talking again about how babies come out of birth canals and how when she was a baby she came out of my birth canal. I paused the movie, took a deep breath and just did it. I pulled up my shirt and showed her my scar.

"See this little line?"


"When you came out of Mommy's tummy you didn't come out of my birth canal. You came out of that little line."


"We thought you were sick, so we wanted to get you out really fast. But once you were out, you were just fine."

"I commed out of that line?"

"Well, it wasn't a line when you came out. We thought you were sick, so the doctors made a little cut on Mama's tummy and got you out really fast. " She looked shocked and scared so I quickly added, "But it didn't hurt Mommy. Mama was fine."

"And I was fine after I was out?"

"Yes, honey, you were fine."

"Emily commed out of your birth canal?"

"Emily came out of my birth canal, yes."

"And I commed out of the line."


It went back and forth like this for a few more minutes while she clarified some of the points in her head, then she asked if she could touch the scar, which I let her do. Then we put the movie back on. We haven't discussed it anymore, but I know we will. Maddie is like that. She'll mull it over in the back of her mind for a few more days and then bring it up again in her own time. I will wait for her. I just hope I did okay. I hope I didn't tell her too much or too little and scar her. What does one say to a four year old about matters as adult as a cesarean, anyway? It was a conversation I had been dreading since the day she arrived. Somehow I don't feel any better now that it's over.

1 comment:

waelton said...

Your posts are just bringing me to tears! I think you did a great job of explaining it to her. It's so wonderful to be able to share something so important with your children. I hope someday my children will be as interested as your daughter.