When our children asked how their baby brother was going to, in their words ‘get out’ of my belly we were honest with them as we didn’t want them realising that we’d lied to them or kept things from them (I thought Santa was real until year 6 & swore black & blue when a girl tried to tell me otherwise – thanks, mum).
Harrison was 6 when he first asked how ‘baby brother was going to come out” of my tummy & his eyes widened when I told him they can come out via mummy's vagina or via surgery where the doctor removes the baby from my belly.
At this stage we had no idea I would be having an emergency C-Section so lucky we had prepared them for all options!
Harrison’s first question was ‘but doesn’t it hurt?’ I told him that it does, but only for a short time.
I then went on to explain that if a baby comes out via surgery, the doctor would give mummy a needle that numbs the lower part of the body so it can’t be felt, takes baby out safely & then stitches the belly back together. He was ok with that answer and didn’t raise the matter again until his baby brother arrived.
Georgia on the other hand, 3 years old has been in quite a bit of shock since her baby brother’s arrival & has named my C-Section wound "mummy's crack". She has made it quite known by telling me “I don’t want to have a baby mummy because I don't want a crack like you have”.
We had family visit last week & I overheard her asking her great nan "have you got a crack like my mum?" I think great nan was a little in shock herself after 5 vaginal deliveries.
She asks me almost daily “Mummy is your crack better now” or “mummy, is your crack gone?” She comes in when I’m in the shower & asks to look at my ‘crack’ & each time I show her she says “it’s getting better mummy” or “it’s almost gone".
At times it’s been hard to see her little face as she watches my body change & go through this recovery, to see her frustration that she can’t just roll all over me just yet or sit on my lap, but we also try to include them in everything so they feel apart of the process, hence they’ve handled it all quite well.
The most important part for me was remaining positive about how I speak about my own body in front of the kids, no matter how much I was hurting. I would tell them that I was in pain, but the pain wouldn't last forever and my body would recover from the surgery in time.
We aim to be as honest as we can with the kids at all times, describing to them in language that is suitable for their age and letting them ask questions, with some of the questions coming days later after they’ve processed the discussion.
Mummy's ‘crack’ has almost healed my dear children & mummy will be back with you in no time!
What a story for them in a few years’ time!
Written by Sarah Cremona
The Mumma Nest