Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

March 11, 2012

Educating your children about childbirth

She is thrilled. My 5-year-old daughter may soon attend, for the first time ever, the birth of a baby. Though we don’t, necessarily, celebrate birthdays annually, I thought of it as a gift — a major blessing, a milestone — for her upcoming 6th birthday anniversary.

My sweet daughter is ready to witness such a miracle, I’m sure of it, and the birthing parents are the perfect gentle and loving couple to welcome her attendance. I’m simply tingly with excitement.

So my little one, Eliana, and I have talked about what a 2 a.m. phone call means: No matter how blessedly you’re sleeping, you have to get up quickly; get dressed quickly; brush your teeth quickly; make sure you have your things quickly; and get out the door — you guessed it — quickly.

Preparing her for the call — and, more importantly, for the birth itself — is just as fun as anything Eliana and I have ever done together in 6 years. We’ve had long talks about how to be a servant to the family and to the midwife, about being quiet and respectful, about the seriousness and sanctity of what happens.

We’ve talked about the gross stuff. (Yes, often there’s poop at births.) We’ve talked about the scary stuff, though I’ll be opportunistic and tell you there just isn’t usually much scary stuff at home births. (These are not “A Baby Story” births.) We’ve talked about the fact that circumstances might change or that she might sleep through it altogether.

All this talking is purposeful: I want to teach her. I want her to learn something from me. I want her to find her calling in life, and it’s possible midwifery — or something close to it — is it. But even if she never wants to pursue anything along these lines, I am confident I am required to, at least, pass on what I know, mother to daughter.

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