teaching moments

A Child Is Born

If you’ve had a baby, you may be familiar with the above book — it is full of amazing in-utero photos, and covers pregnancy from conception to birth.  An abbreviated magazine-style version, called “As Your Baby Grows” is usually included in the bag of goodies given newly pregnant women at the doctor’s office.  This little magazine has never been more helpful to me than right now, since my 7 and 9 year-old boys are just full of questions about how the baby starts growing, and more importantly, how it gets out! 

Just so you’ll know what a little math prodigy Benjamin is (he’s about to start second grade), I showed him a picture of the egg and explained that it starts dividing.  So, first there are two cells, then four, then eight…he then proceeded to correctly identify the pattern and continue it up to 1024!  In his head!  I know this is kind of braggy, but isn’t he a smarty?

Some people will be horrified by this, but the book shows pretty detailed pictures of childbirth, and I just kind of let the boys discover that on their own.  I think it was especially helpful to Sam, who knows a little more about “the birds and the bees” and was kind of wondering about certain parts of the female anatomy.  These pictures aren’t gross nor pornographic, just realistic. 

The crowning moment of discovery happened last night, when Ben, who had obviously been studying the pictures of the baby immediately after birth, came down and asked, “Mom, the place where the baby comes out, is it all slimy?”


10 thoughts on “teaching moments

  1. Millie

    HA! on “slimy”

    Um… I have a hard time with that book. It’s probably why my body refused to ever open up and let the kids out (I had C-sections). I know it’s realistic and I should just get over it, but it was a tad too graphic for me. I had a friend who had a copy of it and she was so wigged out by one picture of an episiotomy-needing woman, she made little panties out of masking tape and covered the lady’s butt with them. Then she made a masking tape maxi pad because the “part” was still visible.

    And they say childbirth is beautiful. How, exactly? :)

  2. liz Post author

    Millie, I don’t have the actual book, and probably wouldn’t have given it to my kids — the episiotomy picture sounds like a bit much. The abbreviated version only has 3 or 4 childbirth pictures, and you mostly see the baby’s head.

  3. kira

    Aaron and I had a good laugh about this post. Yikes. I’m not sure I ever want to answer these types of questions. I guess if I want a big family I’d better pray for some courage ’cause I’m sure the kids will be very curious.

  4. robinbl

    I am actually quite fascinated with the process of childbirth. I wouldn’t say that it is pretty, really, not for those watching or those doing the actual birthing part, but it really does remind you how miraculous our bodies are and how amazing it is that anyone gets born (grammar?) at all. I too have only seen the abbreviated version of that book, and it was actually sitting on my bookshelf for quite a long time. I would like to get a hold of a copy of the full version.
    If you don’t mind graphic images, and are interested in the anatomy of the pregnant body, I actually came upon a picture online of the preserved cadaver of a pregnant woman who died with the baby still in the uterus. It’s part of the Body Worlds exhibit. If you are interested, you can see it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/c12/7185535/

  5. andrewalma

    Ah, Ben! It is indeed slimy when the baby makes his/her grand entrance onto the stage of life. Kids are so funny. They just say whatever they are thinking… in some ways, it’s refreshing.

  6. Millie

    OK, I remember reading that it was an abbreviated version of the book… now. I didn’t think you were irresponsible or anything, really. I actually admired your bravery. :)

  7. Anne

    I’ve thought for a long time that Ben is a little savant. Most of my second graders started the year barely being able to add 5+5 in their heads. Little prodigies you are raising!

  8. sillyjillybean

    I remember trying to explain to Andrew that the baby came out of a hole near my bum. Andrew exclaimed, “The baby is coming out of your pooh hole? Mom, that is disgusting.” Even after further explaination, he still proceeded to tell his kindergarten teacher his baby brother would come out with pooh on him from coming out the pooh hole.

  9. sillyjillybean

    And by the way, we all know Ben is a savant. Any child who comes to my house and can sit and discuss physics with Brian is a savant. Ben was this kid one day while here in June.


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