C-Sections Are Too Much for a 5-Year-Old to Comprehend

One mother's regret in explaining the process of a C-section to her young son.

In Her Words

I Can’t Believe I Told My 5-Year-Old That

When you can’t take it back

-Julie Ryan Evans

Last night my son Nolan woke up from a nightmare. When my husband went up to see what was wrong, my son was crying about the doctors cutting mommy’s tummy open to take out the baby.

Where would he get such a gruesome idea?

Well, from me of course.

I thought I was doing the right thing last week by explaining the whole process of getting the baby out. I showed him the small scar from the C-section I had with him. I explained that they’d just make a little cut, pull the baby out and then sew mommy right back up. All the while, I was silently rejoicing that it wasn’t a vaginal birth I had to explain.

I felt pretty good about things until I saw the tears streaming down his cheek. “I don’t want them to cut you open,” he said with horror in his eyes.

I tried to explain, tell him I was tough, it barely hurt, that’s how he got here, etc. But nothing has alleviated his concerns, and he’s brought it up almost daily since the initial discussion.

Why oh why would I tell a 5-year-old something like that? Why did I use the word “cut”? Why didn’t I talk about stork? I wish I could take back what I told him, but I can’t.

And that’s how it goes with kids I guess, as much as we try to protect them from the world, sometimes it’s us who hurts them. Unintentionally, of course, but still that’s a really painful one for me – more painful than any cutting that will ever be done on my stomach or anywhere else on my body … except my heart.


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