How do you explain labor to a five year old?

First it was,

"How are they getting the baby our of your belly Mama?"

"Amelia, I will go to the hospital and a doctor will help me."

"Yes, but is he cutting your belly. Is he cutting through your muscles and bones?"

"I don't know, Ame"

"Well, how did they get me out?"

For 2 seconds I was very tempted to tell her the gory, painful truth but my daughter, like her mother, likes to report everything she learns to EVERYONE she meets or knows (the doorman in our building, her teachers, her friends) so I went generic.

"Amelia, I went to the hospital and the doctor helped me."

I know that answer is not enough, but I've been sticking to the message. Yet as the blessed day approaches, our daughter has her own birth plan which she has started to play out for me.

Saturday it was a stuffed horse under her shirt:

"Hi Doctor," she said as she laid herself on our coffee table. "I'm here to deliver my baby. You must help me." "My husband will stay with me at the hospital for 3 days."

Sunday, it was a baby doll and this took a very realistic turn.

"Doctor, please help me. I'm having a baby girl and I need your help." Her acting was spot on. I swear she was panting.

As I pulled the baby from under her shirt, she held the dolls head and said:

"It's not that easy, right? Maybe you need to cut my belly."

No cutting was necessary and Amelia delivered Ana Maria with no problem.

I know plenty of people are very honest with their kids about labor and delivery. They even bring the children into the birthing room to welcome their new sibbling right out of the oven (yes, that's what I call it). I'm not one of those people. I don't even want to see exactly how my children come out of me. I'm thinking I'll just keep sticking to my message. I'm not lying, a doctor will help me get the baby out. I will also indulge her role playing until she asks for an epidural and spreads her legs. Ay Mama!

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