Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sometimes I Wish I Weren’t So Approachable

That headline isn’t exactly true. I’m glad N feels like he can ask me questions about reproduction. I just wish I felt more comfortable discussing it as he stares wide eyed at me as I describe things to him, and yes folks, I describe things in detail to him, very clinically but in such a way that he will understand what I am saying.

Last night’s discussion revolved around sperm – where it comes from, how it fertilizes the egg, how it gets to the egg, and so forth. Oh yes, it was a mighty detailed discussion. He had questions, lots of questions. I had answers and did my best to deliver them in a nonchalant nothing-phases-me tone. I must have done okay with that because he never seemed to get uncomfortable with asking more questions. I’d be surprised if N isn’t the best informed nine-year-old in the neighborhood by now. At least I know he’s getting the right information and not some other kid’s version of some bogus thing his older brother told him.

Oh yes, we also discussed the actual birthing of babies. He started off with the question “Does it hurt when the baby comes out?” That led to a discussion of the size of a baby’s head and the normal size of the opening through which the baby exits the mommy. The look on his face when I used my hands to illustrate the difference in those two sizes was priceless.

All of this discussion started when he heard something on TV about a girl of 12 who had a baby. It occurred to him that she was only three years older than he is, and he couldn’t imagine that she could take care of a baby. You got that one right son. I’m hoping that by discussing all these things openly with him that it will help him make better decisions than some of his peers do as they navigate the rough waters of puberty. He’s still at that stage where the process required for conception sounds really gross to him for which I am thankful. I would be even more thankful if he would keep that attitude until he’s about 30, but I know that won’t happen. That’s why I’m trying to arm him with as much accurate information as I can when he asks questions and why I’m trying to keep the lines of communication open. I’m also trying, but not always succeeding, to keep my face from turning bright red during these discussions.


Bunny said...

Tell him that so long as you get the spinal block before they cut you open, it doesn't hurt at all when they take the baby out.

Wait, you mean there's a non-surgical way for babies to come out? No. I refuse to believe that.

I'm glad he realizes that a 12-year-old is not ready for a baby. Scary to think about, isn't it? There was a 13-yr-old in labor when I went into the hospital to have my son. She was scared, screaming. Because she was a minor, her mother had the right to make her medical decisions and refused to let her have an epidural. Said she needed to feel every contraction as punishment for her stupidity. OMG- great mother, huh? I was about ready to go petition to be that kid's guardian due to abuse by the mother. As it was, the nurses and a doctor tried to change the mother's mind. I don't know how it worked out.

Desmond Jones said...

Oh, Truey - God bless you. I was an 18-year-old college student, home on break, watching that old 'Nova' show where they put the camera inside the woman's uterus for the first time. About halfway thru, I realized that I really didn't know how the baby came out. So I turned to my mom, who was also watching, and asked her.

She looked at me for a long time, trying to decide if I was yanking her chain, or if it was possible that I really didn't know. Finally, she just said, "Same way he got in."

Oh. OOOOOooooohhhhh.

So you see, it could be worse. . .

The Silent Male said...

I almost had a comment and then I read Desmond Jone's comment, laughed, and shared it with the room. Now I have no idea what I was about to say.

Trueself said...

Bunny - I kind of left out the surgical option for childbirth. It was traumatizing enough to him to think of a baby coming out the natural way, just the thing I was going for so as to keep him from wanting to experience that even as just a partner to it for a while, a long long while.

Des - Oh my. As embarrassed as I am explaining it to a nine-year-old I'm afraid I'd keel over from embarrassment discussing it with my 18-year-old son.

SM - Well, if you think of it feel free to share later.

Val said...

Another funny -- my friend's husband was able to film her [first] C-section... When we all sat around w/our popcorn watching the film, Z was disappointed that there was not more gore, the bloodthirsty lil' heathen! (we made a lot of jokes about it being an "Alien" movie)
Well, ahem -- maybe you just had to BE there!?!

Trueself said...

Val - Not sure I could even watch that kind of movie which is one very good reason why I didn't choose a medical career!