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The Miracle of Life and a Foot-Section

My kids know just enough about how babies are made to get their little minds churning, but not enough to stop them from coming up with crazy wild theories. Laylee knows that a baby needs an egg from the mom and a sperm from the dad to get cooking, but has no idea how the two are exchanged. She puts humans and birds in the same category because both are hatched from eggs.

Magoo knows the baby is inside my “tummy” which he thinks of as a huge cavernous region below my mouth somewhere. He thinks it’s hilarious that the baby is swimming around in a sea of all the food I’ve eaten in the last 8 months. He can’t wait to see pictures of her when she comes out with cheese stuck to her face and carrots coming out of her ears. Unparalleled comedy that will be.

Since the baby’s coming soon (cross your fingers, spin around three times, and spit over your shoulder for me), their thoughts have turned to how she’s gonna come out. Laylee knows where babies come out, something I felt I had to clarify when she was going around telling her friends that moms poop babies out their backsides with the other refuse.

She’s also heard me talk about c-sections so she knows about those too. Last night she told me that I should consider having a c-section instead because she’s more fascinated by those and she wants to see a video of it if the doctors have to slice me open and pull the baby out. In fact, she’d like to see the baby come out either way.

At dinner last night, she pleaded to be allowed to come to the delivery room with us. Considering the drama that surrounded Magoo’s wombular extraction, neither Dan nor I think it’s a good idea to bring a 6-year-old into that type of environment. And what if they did need rush me down the hall for an emergency c-section? I’d want Dan with me, so what would we do with the freaked-out, bewildered Laylee who’d be left at the nurse’s station wondering if Mommy would make it out alive?

We told her, “No.” She was dismayed. She said she already KNOWS what’s gonna happen. She just wants to see it. As a person who saw her first live childbirth video in a child development class in college, I can tell you that KNOWING what’s going to happen and dealing with it visually are two completely different things. Nothing can really prepare you for what happens to a woman’s body during childbirth and I’d rather Laylee find out about it years from now. It’s a beautiful thing when you’re ready to experience it.

After she continued to beg, I told her that if I had another baby after Laylee was 15 years old, she could come to the hospital and watch. I’m not sure where I got the age of 15 from. It was a combination of the fact that she’d be well-versed in human anatomy and reproduction by then and that, so help me, I do not plan on continuing to have children 9 years from now. It seemed like a safe promise to make, and she was contented by it.

Magoo talks into my bellybutton like it’s a little speaker phone, telling Baby Wanda to come out there and he listens to our descriptions of vaginal births and c-sections with mild interest. Recently, he told me that he thought I should do neither. He thinks it would be the best ever if I decided to go with a “foot-section.” As you can probably guess, a foot-section involves the doctor cutting off one of my feet and pulling the baby out through the hole at the end of my leg stump.

“But how would I walk with only one foot Magoo?”

“Oh, come on! He’d just sew your foot right back on. It would be so cool.”

I guess he figures if I can find a way to squeeze an entire baby out an opening the size of my woman-parts, getting her to squish out my ankle should be a piece of cake. And it makes a certain sort of sense from his point of view.

This will be my third birth, and I remain a little bit baffled about how it all works out. Women do this all the time and it’s the most natural thing in the world, but feeling the baby punch and kick and claw her way around my uterus last night, I wondered again how something so “natural” could be so remarkable and crazy at the same time.