Thursday, June 11, 2009

Promises

A couple of months ago my two daughters asked me how the baby is going to get out of my tummy. I explained both a vaginal and c-section delivery to them using terms and analogies that I thought were easiest for preschoolers to understand. I thought they would freak out about the baby coming out of mommy's "bottom" but they took that explanation in stride. They were much more concerned that a doctor could cut mommy's tummy and get the baby out. I'm not too fond of the c-section delivery either, so I told them that the baby would probably not come out that way.


Yesterday Jeff and the girls accompanied me on my day of doctors appointments and tests. We started the day with a ultrasound of our 38 week fetus to determine the baby's size. The ultrasound tech measured the baby's head at 41 weeks and the torso of the baby was too big to assign a gestational age to. This was not the news we hoped for.

After the ultrasound we went into the exam room for a meeting with my doctor. The girls sat down with paper and crayons while my doctor went over the risks of a vaginal delivery of a baby this size. It soon became very clear that the safest way to deliver this baby is by c-section. The girls seemed engrossed in their art projects, but I am sure they heard what was being said.

Last night when we were getting the kids ready for bed my 5-year old Belle said, "Mommy, I was thinking about something scary, but I don't want to tell Ariel because it might scare her too."
I told her that I thought that was a good idea and sent her to brush her teeth.

When it was time to put the girls in bed I could sense that something was bothering Belle. My insight had more to do with her atypical whining and crying than any mommy superhero powers that I may or may not possess. I asked Belle if she was worried about me. Her desire to be brave and strong melted as the tears poured down her cheeks.

She is afraid of the cut they will make in my belly.
She is afraid that I will be hurt.
She is afraid that I will not come home again.

I told her that the c-section is safer for me and the baby. I told her that they will give me medicine so I won't feel a thing. I told her that she can stay at the hospital with me for as long as she wants. I told her about all the nurses and doctors who will be taking care of me. I reminded her that Grammy is coming to stay with her. I asked her how long it took us to drive home from the hospital today. "Two minutes" she said. I tried to convince her that two minutes is not that far but still she cried and was afraid.

Jeff came over to her bed and did what he does best in these situations. He kissed her and gave her a zerbert. He made her laugh with his puppet hand. He distracted her while I crept out of the room.

This morning Belle awoke shortly after me. "I had bad dreams last night, Mommy. I don't remember most of them but I remember one."

"Tell me about the one you remember," I replied as I sat down so to look her in the eyes.

"My Mommy promised to never leave me but a bad monster came and took my Mommy away," she said without a trace of the fear and sadness that she displayed the night before. "But I know that you keep your promises and you will never leave me. Right Mommy?"

"Right honey"

I read recently that when kids have bad dreams it is a way for them to cope with their fears. I found it interesting that when Belle explained her dream she referred to me as "my Mommy". It was almost as if the person in her dream was not really me but just the dream version of me and when the dream version of her faced what Belle feared the most she realized how silly it was for her to be afraid of losing me. Because I promised I would never leave her and I always keep my promises.

How simple and wonderful it is to parent a preschooler who trusts you completely. I know one day she will realize that I am not worthy of that level of trust. One day she will see my faults more than my attributes. One day she will know that the promise to never leave is not mine to make. Until then I pray that my children will always have me and I will always have them.


4 comments:

louann said...

They love their mommy so so much. Praying for a safe delivery and a speedy recovery!

Amanda said...

What a sweet story! I'm glad you're back to blogging again. Did they set a date for your c-section? Do you know if the baby is a boy or a girl? I've been checking your blog for info, but nothing! :)

The Sports Mama said...

Oh... I've missed you!

Belle is coping amazingly well with her fears! She's dreaming about them, she's talking to you about them, and she's facing them in her way.

And you are just amazing for how you have approached the entire thing with the girls!

I canNOT wait to see pictures of your darling new baby!

Fine For Now said...

Yaaaay! You are back! Hope you keep us up to date, we missed you :)