What to tell DD about her birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-17-2009, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm new to this folder, and I hope this is the right place to post this. DD was born 3.5 years ago, and I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant w/ #2. DD was a planned birth center birth turned induction/epidural/c-section birth. While I'm not certain, the c-section was probably unnecessary and more a result of the interventions than anything. It was a very traumatic experience for me and made bonding with DD difficult in the early months.

We're planning a homebirth for #2 and want DD to be there, so we've been talking a lot about normal births. DD has started asking about her birth, starting with asking if she was born at home. She's inquisitive and asks very probing questions. So, we've gotten to her knowing that she was born in a hospital and that there were doctors there, that things didn't go well and didn't happen the way we wanted them to. She wants details. I have no idea what to tell her. I really try to avoid the "you'll understand when you're older" thing in general, but I also want to respect where she is developmentally and not tell her more than she can handle. I'm leaning towards just telling her that she got stuck and couldn't come out the normal way and explaining how the c-section went, but I just don't know if that's the right thing to do. I don't know if I want to deal with weeks of questions about the c-section, and I don't know if it's right to tell her that much detail.

So, I'm very interested in hearing what you told your young children about their births. Thank you for any insight and/or advice you can offer.

Crafty Mama to 5 year old DD and 1 year old DS.
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#2 of 7 Old 01-17-2009, 07:19 AM
 
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I'm wondering the same thing. I don't know how I am going to explain my daughter's birth to her when its still too traumatizing to even think about it. I'm interested in see what others have to say. Thanks for starting this thread.

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#3 of 7 Old 01-17-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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Well, I am not to sure what you should say....but I can suggest what not to say. I would avoid saying "you got stuck and couldnt come out". This puts the blame on her and you dont want her feeling like she did something wrong.

Married to my best friend since 08/05
Joyful mother to DS born 11/07 and DD born 04/10 (an unexpected HB)
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#4 of 7 Old 01-17-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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I know when/if my son asks about how he was born I will tell him about what *we* went through. Something like: "It was a very hard labor on you and mommy and in the end the people taking care of us felt it was too hard on mommy and him. So mommy had to have a surgery where she couldn't feel anything bad but got to stay awake so that we could all meet you when you were born. As soon as you were out they cleaned you off and mommy got to hold you. Then daddy took you to show our family how handsome you are, and get a check up to see how big you were make sure you were as healthy as we thought. Mommy was so happy you finally arrived."

It's very sugar coated but no lies, it doesn't put on blame on him, and there is no mention of how traumatic it was for me or how angry I was about the birth.

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#5 of 7 Old 01-17-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nursingmama05 View Post
I know when/if my son asks about how he was born I will tell him about what *we* went through. Something like: "It was a very hard labor on you and mommy and in the end the people taking care of us felt it was too hard on mommy and him. So mommy had to have a surgery where she couldn't feel anything bad but got to stay awake so that we could all meet you when you were born. As soon as you were out they cleaned you off and mommy got to hold you. Then daddy took you to show our family how handsome you are, and get a check up to see how big you were make sure you were as healthy as we thought. Mommy was so happy you finally arrived."

It's very sugar coated but no lies, it doesn't put on blame on him, and there is no mention of how traumatic it was for me or how angry I was about the birth.
I like this; I think it's a very appropriate response that doesn't lie and doesn't place blame (not like you are, but you don't want it to sound that way). My DD was 8 weeks premature due to a placental abruption, so I plan on saying something very similar to this or "You really wanted to come meet everyone as soon as possible and we were anxious to meet you too! So the doctors had to do what was best for both us so you would be healthy and ready to face the world!"
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#6 of 7 Old 01-17-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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When I was pregnant with DS2, I did lots of preparing with DS1 to show him how babies were born. We watched Youtube videos of birth, and I explained that "the baby will come out of mommy's vagina." We were showering together one night and he asked me, "Did I come out of your vagina?" I told him, "No, you got stuck and couldn't come out that way, so the doctor made a cut on Mommy's tummy and pulled you out. Sometimes babies are born that way, and sometimes they are born out of their mommy's vagina." He seemed to accept this as a perfectly reasonable answer and hasn't brought it up since, except once during a prenatal exam when he told my midwife, "I got stuck!" I didn't feel that it placed blame and I don't think he perceived it that way. He really DID get stuck (although he could have avoided it had we gotten better care) since he was posterior. They actually had a hard time pulling him out of my pelvis since he was so jammed in there.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-17-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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I told my son that he was upside down inside me and very happy that way. But 'cus babies can be tricky getting out upside down, and doctors here do not know how to help them get out the vagina, the doctor cut a different hole in mommie to get him out. And boy were you mad at the doctor. You screamed at him a lot. But we were all so happy to see you.

He thinks it is a funny story, and DS2 was a homebirth with a different story.

We are expecting #3 in March, so we talk about babies and how they get out of mommies tummy often. I fine I am focusing on what a baby is like and how much attention and help they need after they are out.
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