The other day my son asked me about his birth. He said "I know I was in your belly, but then how did I come out?" In other circumstances this would be the perfect opportunity to discuss childbirth, how babies are born, how they come out, etc. However... my son was born by cesarean.
So, what do you tell your child when they were removed by c-section? Do you tell how most babies are born, then tell them that they had a little extra trouble? How do you make it special and loving even if it might have been a traumatic event for you? I personally had a very long labour, 48 hours, which just didn't seem to progress. However, I am lucky to be able to say my labour and subsequent section weren't particularly traumatizing- I was well treated and respected by the medical professionals and I never felt pushed to have a cesarean. I was able to tell my son very honestly that his birth day was a happy day for me. I was able to tell him about the deep deep snow falling outside, the way he sounded when he first cried, what it felt like to first look in his eyes. I showed him the scar of the incision through which he was removed. I told him how happy I was to have him. How incredibly happy he made me. What's that corny line? "You complete me."
So, how do you explain a traumatic birth to your child? Do you focus on the positive, talk about how their daddy held them first, how you came to name them? Is it something like a disasterous wedding followed by a blissful marriage? How do you create the Story of When You Were Born?
I was so pleased to come across a beautiful set of two photographs on the blog Birth Without Fear. These are two caesarean section birth photos. I found it very impressive that they took the time to honour those of us who have had a caesarean birth by posting these photos. Despite the pain, the trauma and the difficulty resulting from a c- section, it's nice to know that people recognize that the event is bitter/sweet and complex, much like motherhood it'self.
Please share your experiences in the comments section. I would love to hear about how you told your children their birth story, even if (especially if,) it wasn't perfect.
6:00am- I wake up. I start a pot of coffee then wait for my first daycare client to arrive at 6:15.
6:30am- Husband wakes up. Daughter wakes up. I spend time getting my daycare client settled, getting her a bottle, etc. I cuddle my daughter, as she's slightly peeved at the daycare client's early arrival. My husband goes to work. I realize he's taken all the coffee for his thermos.
I look in the cupboard and see that the ground coffee has run out. We have a massive bag of beans in the back of the cupboard, so I take it out and put it on the counter.
Next thing I know it's 8:00am and my second daycare client has arrived. I spend some time getting her sorted, prepare everyone some breakfast. I notice the coffee beans on the counter. I search for the coffee grinder. Daycare client #1 spills cereal on the floor. I clean it up. Daycare client #2 needs a diaper change. I oblige. I look at the clock...
I get my kids dressed, clean up some milk from the floor, and notice that all the teddies of the whole house have been thrown down the stairs. I open the baby gate and go get the teddies. My daughter slips by me and hurries downstairs.
Now I'm not worried about my daughter going downstairs, she's two and a half and is in no danger. She, however, wishes I would show more concern and begins to call me from downstairs. I tell her to come up, she insists I come down and get her. We're butting heads. I begin to grind coffee. When I stop I notice a change in my daughter's calling, and take a look downstairs. "Mama! I peeeeeed!" Sure enough she had taken her clothes off and peed on two of the raincoats in the entrance. I get a towel and some cleaner, mop up, put the raincoats in the washer and retrieve my child. I look again at the coffee grinder.
9:00am- I once again resume grinding coffee. I'm insistant that this time I will have my cup of coffee. I grind away oblivious to sounds around me. When I turn around I notice that the kids have spilled red river cereal all over the floor. I ignore it, and crunch over it in my determination to make it to the coffee maker. I fill the pot. I put in the coffee. I press "on."
A blog on art, roller derby and life.
I'm an artist and mother of two in Courtenay, BC. I've completed a project called the "Madonna and Child Project," and I'm now working on a series of roller derby inspired drawings. In my spare time I play roller derby with the Brick House Betties.