Did you poo us out? Telling my children about giving birth

Posted Tuesday 29th July 2014   By Ericka Waller

I was in the bath with the girls, when Thing-one asked “How did we get out your tummy? there is no hole” lifting my sagging envelope of skin to see if there was a secret trapdoor hidden in the folds of flesh.

“Well, you actually came out my bits” I said (shutting my legs quickly). “What bits? Your bum? Did you poo us out? Urgh Mummy poo’d you out her bum!” Thing-two shrieked delightedly to Thing-three.

“Noooo! I don’t want to be a poo” Thing-three wailed. “That means she pooed YOU out too” Thing-one said sardonically to her sister, then realised the same must be true of her “hang on, did you really poo us out your bum?”

What was I supposed to tell them? That to get them out I had sweeps and knitting needles and pessaries poked up me. They would never sleep again and they hardly sleep as it is.

“You came out a special little place by my wee hole” I said.
“Can I see it? Have I got one?”
“You all have one” I said.

There was silence save for splashing and then a disappointed… “Oh, it’s not very big. How did a baby get out of there?”

“You have to push, for a long time” I said.
“So it is like doing a poo then.”

I remembered the midwife saying I had thirty seconds to push baby out or she was going to ‘cut me’ and call for the doctor. I pushed hard, and finally her head was out followed by her rest, the pulsating umbilical cord, thrashing about her like an angry snake… (best not to tell them that bit either).

“A bit” I conceded.
“Who caught us when we fell out?” Thing-two asked.
“You did not fall out!” I said horrified, thinking of the hour I spent being stitched up afterwards. The epidural had numbed me, there was only tugging and the occasional sigh of boredom from the midwife.

“You slipped out gently” I said, back there suddenly. A second of silence, the mewing of the first cry, light breeze across my skin as she was placed on my chest. Hot. Damp. Red. Mine. A piece of my heart laid bare for me to see. A vital organ which would forever more be independent from my body.

“And then what happened?”
“I fed you… out of here” I said, pointing to my breasts.
“Don’t be silly Mummy, there is nothing in there!” they exclaimed scornfully, before falling about laughing. I remember my mother-in-law finding the idea of me breastfeeding equally as ridiculous.

“I did too, I even had to wear special knickers over them otherwise the milk spurted out and hit people in the face.”

“Oh Mummy, you are so funny” Thing-one half sobbed, doubled over in her mirth. “Now where did we really come from?”
Was it ASDA?” Thing-two added. “They have everything.”