I was driving the girls home from school the other day, listening to them talk about what had happened over the course of the morning and early afternoon. Their chatter was pretty mindless, filled with descriptions of who reigned supreme on the monkey bars, who got called out during Comments, Questions, and Concerns, and why some parts of their lunch continue to remain uneaten (see: I do not like “crasty” sandwiches).
As we looped through the neighborhoods back to our own house, somehow their conversation turned to Vivi, what she had been doing, how cute she was, and oh, by the way, how’d she come out of your tummy anyway, Mom?
Mo, the current know-it-all in the bunch, volunteered to set Co straight. “See, what happens is that Mom goes to the doctor and they just cut her open and pull the baby out. “
Mo knows that she was born via C-section, but when we talk about her birth story, I know I didn’t use words like “cut” and “pull”. Mo likes to rile her sister up. This time, it didn’t work. Whereas Mo is my more cerebral child, Co is my comedian. Her take on how they were born?
And I quote: “Mom just pooped us out! Bwhahahahaha!” I think she likes saying “poop”.
Far be it from me to allow either of those pearls of wisdom to be perpetuated on the playground. We ended up having a rather in depth anatomy lesson and birthing story on the way home. Oh, how to begin? Well, since they weren’t interested in the beginning, we could skip to the end. They knew the baby was “in my tummy”, so I wanted to make sure that whatever I said was truthful and accurate. I was completely making it up as I went along, but I think it worked. You decide.
Me: Okay, so you know how men and women have different body parts? Well, a woman has a muscle in her body called a uterus.
Co: Do I have a uterus?
Me: Are you a woman?
Co: No, I’m a kid.
Me: massive eye roll. Yes, but you are a young woman. A girl. A female. Not a boy, right? So you have lady parts. And one of the lady parts is a uterus.
Mo: Can you please tell the story?
Me: Yes, dear. Alright, so you’re with me so far about the uterus, right?
silence, so I take that as a green light and push forward.
Me: Okay, so a woman has a uterus. The uterus is like a house that the baby lives in as it grows. That’s why a woman’s middle gets big as the baby grows. It looks like it’s her stomach, but it’s really the uterus. Your stomach is where your food goes.
Co: When do you poop it out? *giggles*
Me: You don’t poop it out. What happens is. . .well, okay, so you know how I said that the uterus is like a house?
M & C: Yes. . .
Me: And when you are ready to leave the house, how do you come out?
Co: Through a door!
Me: Right, so the vagina *ugh, please don’t let them repeat this on the playground, please don’t let them repeat this on the playground* is like a door that the baby goes through in order to be born.
*and here’s where I die a thousand tiny deaths*
Mo: But. . it’s so SMALL!!
Me: I know, but it’s a muscle like the uterus and it stretches so the baby can come out. And, if you’re lucky, it’ll snap back when it’s all over!
Mo: So when do they cut it open?
Me: Well, sometimes the baby can’t fit through the door or the baby is trying to come through the door the wrong way. Sometimes a doctor has to help the baby come out by making an incision to –
Co: What’s a in-siss-on?
Me & Mo: A cut.
Me: But an incision is more precise and it’s a medical procedure..
Mo: Mom, the baby.
Me: Yeah, I know. So, going back to the house and door. What if you were trying to get out of the house and all the doors were locked? How would you get out?
Mo: Through a window!
Co: Out the screen porch! Or I’d wait for you to come home and open the door.
Me: Let’s go with window. The incision the doctor makes is a different way, like using the window instead of the door, to take the baby out. Okay?
M & C: Okay.
Me: Okay. . .who wants a snack?
And end scene. Whew! I suppose I should be thankful they weren’t asking me how she got in there, right? I need to have another house, door, window analogy at the ready. Like, the uterus is a rental property the baby leases for nine months? Not rent to own, or anything. It’s like a timeshare? Oy. . .I got some work to do.