I am finding it hard not to giggle as I write this post. My daughter has been constantly in my ear with 100's of questions over the last two days. It all started yesterday morning when they found my First Aid book in the bookshelf. Some children seem to have a morbid fascination with pictures of wounds etc. and I discovered my children are two of them. They stared at all the photos of things sticking out of people's arms and legs, and terrible fractures with the bones protruding out of the skin. After much discussion on how accidents happen, and Drs. and nurses, ambulances, hospitals etc. I thought we had covered the whole thing. Half an hour later I found them on the floor staring intently at pictures of a lady giving birth (there is a whole chapter on childbirth and what to do in an emergency childbirth situation).
Seeing me appear, the questions began in earnest. (I knew the time would come for all of this, but I wasn't sure when). Well, they wanted to know everything!!!! So we sat down on the couch and I read the entire chapter to them, some of which was pretty technical and I though way over their heads. We talked all about babies and where they come from (with me stressing "you have to be married first" and "no, not to your brother"). And then we got out their birth diaries and I read them as well.
They were absolutely fascinated by it all. But for some reason the thing that stuck in Ellie's mind the longest was a picture (drawing) of a lady in labour but with a prolapsed cord. She thought the nurse had "put the cord in there to help get the baby out". So we started right back at the beginning and talked about the miracle of growing a baby and how the umbilical cord was the lifeline between Mummy and baby etc etc. The questions kept right on coming and the fact that Ellie can read pretty well just added to the whole thing.
I had been using terms like womb and birth canal (I'm not sure why - maybe to soften the sound of all the technical terms) when Ellie pipes up with, "Mum, so if that's the birth canal and the womb, what's the vagina and uterus?". I nearly laughed. Nearly. But not quite. It all sounded so funny coming out of a little girl. Glad I kept it together though as we went on to talk about the "proper" names for all our bits and pieces.
(Ellie decided after this discussion that she would like to be a midwife and "help all those mothers and babies". She clarified it a bit by adding "a horse-riding midwife". Good luck with all of that Ellie, I too hope you can be a horse-riding midwife!!!)
All in all, it turned out to be quite a discussion time and one that I hope I handled well. I know my Mum and Dad never really talked to me about it all - they put a book on my bed around the age where they thought I might be reaching puberty. I want us as a family to be able to talk about all sorts of things - and hopefully over their difficult times, they will still be able to do that with us. Here's hoping and praying anyway.
(* When Nev came home he was welcomed with all sorts of stories about babies and the "proper names for our bits" and he smiled through it all while occasionally looking at me with the "did you do this" look. But I swear he nearly passed out when Ellie brought him her latest drawing to have a look at - her rendition of the lady giving birth with a prolapsed cord - tee hee.)
I'm sure he wonders what we do with our days sometimes!!