Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Pregnant Pause

We interrupt this Giveaway to bring you news of an embarrassing sort. Warning: This post is rated PG-13. (Yes, Iris, that means you should probably skip it, less your innocence be scarred. Thanks for understanding.)

So, remember how I was complaining awhile back about all the people around me getting pregnant with their fourth babies? The conspiracy continues.

My favorite bloggers are mothering newborns, and now I'm surrounded by pregnant people in real life. This would be understandable if I were still teaching birth classes. I am not. I stopped teaching birth classes because they made me want to be pregnant all the time, and I finally realized that was not going to work.

Anyhow, as I was saying, I am surrounded by pregnant people. Yay, babies! Ahem. Two of my closest friends, their pregnant bellies (still tiny yet), and their many already-born children were here today in order to give me a reason to bake Valentine cookies. One lives across the street from me.

Then there are the neighbors to the north. Two out of three are pregnant. The third lets her boyfriend spend the night quite frequently, and better be filtering her water.

In any case, all these expectant ladies around the house lead to some interesting dinner table conversations with my six- and seven-year-old sons. They have a better-than-average understanding of birth. We have discussed many aspects of plant and animal reproduction. But we've never quite gone all the way to the question that came up tonight...

"Mom, how do you get pregnant?"

That, my friends, left me tongue-tied, looking at the clock, and noticing that it was WAAAAYYY past bedtime, and maybe-we-could-finish-this-very-interesting-conversation-Some-Other-Time.

Goodness gracious, people, I don't want to give the kids nightmares! I need a PLAN! So, when and how did you explain the S word to your kids?


TheOrganicSister said...

Hmm, I don't remember exactly how we explained it but it's been bits and pieces at a time. Just enough to answer his question in the simplest of terms. If he's wanted more, he's asked for it. He seems to sense it's something he's not quite ready for.

That being said we're pretty open about sexuality. He knows what's up when we tell him we're spending some "alone time" in the bedroom. He just doesn't exactly what it looks like. lol

Just be open and don't share more than they ask for. If Zeb asked e that same question I'd probably say something like "A man and woman have to make love to have a baby." If he asked more I'd just give him a bit at a time to make sure I wasn't overloading him or anything.


--K-- said...

:) The "God's Design For Sex" Series... As the back of one of the books says: "With age-appropriate, straightforward text and informative illustrations..."

Bona Fide Mama said...

I've not had to try and explain the pregnancy thing to my 3 and 4 year old quite yet. However, they are surrounded by pregnant people. I swear, never in my entire life have I known so many pregnant people at once. It's crazy insane!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

I don't think I've ever been able to help you when you have posted a question...and I so cannot help you on this one...but I'm dying to know how you handle it. PS--your mom is a delight. She visited my blog yesterday.

Heather said...

Have I mentioned that I am heartily tired of everyone else being pregnant? Another friend just announced that she too was! Sigh.

We had several Christian birds and the bees books (I think I still have them around somewhere but don't remember the names of them. They were a series divided up into age groups with a little more info for each age). We only discussed as much as they were interested in and only when they asked. Well, for the most part. My girls are beginning to develop so we have had more conversations on the topic but again only as much as they were interested in knowing--and I spent a lot of time asking what THEY thought or what they knew--no use repeating things if they already got something and good to clarify things that have gotten confused (as happens often with my middle child.)

princessmama said...

Last summer my oldest suddenly DEMANDED(ahem)to know how the baby got there. We'd had discussions of sperm and egg cells before when they saw the baby pages in their little biology book, so he wanted to know *how* the sperm cells get to the mama's body. Oh dear. I didn't want the poor kid speculating, especially when he voiced his own idea of how this might happen, lol

I gave a rather sparse, matter-of-fact description of this(he was in the bath at the time) and a little later we turned to a page in our little biology book that we had been avoiding. (I was rather nervous actually, not having had a plan for broaching this subject) The pictures are of pretend machines made to perform certain functions rather than human bodies, although they have a little cartoony drawing of a body on the side of the page to show approximately where stuff is, anyway my boys like the 'machine' aspect of the book and it keeps them interested, so we use it. Looking at the funny drawings and listening to my explaination my then 7-yr-old said "ooohhhh" in a very 'light bulb' way. And I haven't heard a word about it since. He has not shown the slightest interest in the subject.

My mom says when I was eight I suddenly wanted to know how babies got their too. She explained, I was interested while she was explaining, and then never mentioned it again. I don't remember it:) I only remember discussions in my mid-teens.

So, as has been said, only as much as they want to know, which at this point probably really isn't much. Try to relax and treat it matter-of-fact, at this point i doubt they're looking for any kind of 'why' just 'what'.

Have fun :)

Anonymous said...

sorry, I just had to read it... what is so pg-13 about this post?
p.s. I already know the answer to the boys quistion

Anonymous said...

good luck with that...WE haven't even had that question yet...guess we are just lucky :D

Catherine said...

When my daughter was about five years old, I came home early one morning from delivering a baby to eat breakfast before going to the office (I am a family physician). I was completely sleep deprived! My dear daughter asked me where babies come from. In my exhausted and not terribly coherent state, I told her - everything. It was several years before she asked about babies again! I probably should have told her I'd explain it after I had a nap.

Lift Up Your Hearts said...

I've stuck to answering specific questions - like to that, I'd probably have said, "God makes a special way for moms and dads to work together and then He creates a baby inside the mommy's womb - her uterus (pointing)" If they keep asking, I keep telling. And POUT, I thought this was an announcement!

darlene lester said...

My sons are all adults now, and I still smile when I think of the pains I took to give them the correct anatomical information when they asked. (They were about 5 and 6) THEY LAUGHED! They laughed so hard they rolled on the floor holding their stomaches! That made me laugh too. It must be a very strange and unbelievable idea to them, and I had to admit that it seemed strange to me too when I explained it. Without the love and warm feelings that accompany it, it IS strange!

Wendy said...

When my girls asked, I used a gardening analogy, because we've always had a garden, and they understood that sort of thing.

Basically, I said, "Mommy has seeds in her belly (later, we talked about them being called eggs), and Daddy fertilizes the seeds to make the baby grow in Mommy's belly." I didn't elaborate, and I wasn't sure how I would go into more detail, if they asked. We haven't gotten into explaining exactly how Daddy manages to get the "fertilizer" to the "seeds." :).

We raise and breed rabbits, and so they've seen them "mating", so they kind of get it, but we've not discussed the mechanics of it from a human perspective.

It's a touchy subject. A few years ago, we had one of my daughter's friends with us and we drove past the intersection where my eight year old was born in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I said, "This is where (my daughter) was born." very matter-of-factly. This girl and her older sister were both c-section babies, and so she didn't know how babies got out of moms except by surgery. It turned into one of those, "Hey, look at that pretty cloud!" moments. I don't know what was worse - tripping over my tongue with the girl (who was nine), or explaining to her parents about why my foot was in my mouth ;).

Natalie said...

When my son was 7-almost-8, he asked me how Bridget (his little sister) had gotten INTO my tummy. He had already been told about the sperm and egg spiel, but that didn't answer his question to his satisfaction.

So, I told him. I was pretty straightforward about it - if he were going to insist on a proper answer, then I wasn't going to hide from the question (much as I might have liked to!).

I told him how women have tiny eggs in their ovaries (explained what that means), and each month one of them matures (explained this, too), and when that happens...blah blah blah ovulation blah blah blah and the man has sperm inside his blah blah blah and he will put his penis inside the woman's vagina, and the sperm finds the egg and fertilizes it, etc.

I followed that with an explanation on how important it is that this is for dads and moms, that it is not for boys and girls to do, etc.

The conversation lasted about an hour. That was a bit over 2 years ago, and he remembers what he was told - maybe not every tiny bit of it, but the, er, mechanics of it, at least.

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ChristyACB said...

I'm just laughing like crazy over here. Don't you just love, I mean, lovvve that awkward moment?

Please let us know how it works out when they remember they asked.

darlene said...

When my youngest son asked me "the question", he was probably 7 or 8. He sat and attentively listened to my fairly detailed explanation, and then, instead of laughing like his brothers had, he said very seriously, "Hmm... I thought so." And then never mentioned it again.

Anonymous said...

I had a lot of pestering for a little while and then I gave the whole explanation. I never know when to shut up. I'm hoping that I explained it all, but we may need more discussion later. (Of course!)
A friend brought a book that had pictures and descriptions, but it felt creepy and I couldn't use it.
Somehow it was less of a big deal after the conversation happened.
(Sarah S.)

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