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The one reason I wish I’d had a C-section

Erin Zammett Ruddy

I knew this day would come but I really thought it would be years from now. Alex wants to know how he got out of my belly and has brought it up every day for the past week (thankfully he hasn’t asked how he got in because I’m even less prepared to answer that q). The problem:


I don’t even like thinking about how he got out. At least not the details. Birth is amazing and I felt like a rock star after having both kids, but I do not think it’s beautiful. I think it’s pretty icky, actually. At least the details. And if I’m a woman and a mother and I cringe thinking about it, I seriously doubt my four year old is ready to hear about it. Obviously I wouldn’t tell him the truth (I didn’t even know the full extent of how it all went down until it all went down) but I feel like I owe him some version of the truth. Or do I?


I was the kind of kid who turned bright red if the word sex was mentioned by my parents. I would literally put my hands over my ears at the dinner table if anything even threatened to cross into PG-13 territory. The less I knew about my parents’ bodies and where I came from, the better. I’m honest with my kids about a lot of this stuff, though, because I don't want them to have any weirdness about it as they get older. We call poop poop and pee pee. We call body parts by their anatomically correct names (except Nora’s…that one we call giney because that’s what she likes to say—all the time—and, frankly, I like it better than the real name). Alex knows that he came from my belly, he knows that he started out teeny tiny, he even knows that some kids come from other women’s bellies. He gets all of that, which seemed like enough, but now he wants more.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that my kids came from you-know-where. And if you get me started, I could talk about labor and birth all day long. It fascinates me and I’m lucky to have been able to have that experience and someday I’ll tell them all about it (well, I’ll tell Nora…when she’s pregnant). But as for right now, I can’t help thinking this whole conversation would be a hell of a lot easier if I’d had a C-section. My sister, Melissa, was able to tell her son that the doctors cut a hole in her belly and pulled him out. Done and done. I love that Alex is so inquisitive, I just wish it was about stuff I had good answers to like the other day when he asked, “When we fly in an airplane, do we leave Earth?” I nailed that one. For this one, I need some help. So, when did your kids start asking where they came from…and how they got out?! What did you tell them? Or how do you plan to tell them? And when? Should I just keep dodging Alex’s questions until he finds something else to ponder?