People often ask us what we’ve told the kids. We’ve been pretty straight up about things. And so have they.
These are some of the things that have come out of their mouths in the last few months…
After we told the kids what was happening, Brooklyn went to school the next morning and shared it all at news, as you do – ‘My mum is having a baby, but we think the baby is going to die.’ Because when you’re five, why wouldn’t you just tell the truth straight up? [Note: I had tried to find her teacher that morning just to forewarn her of the potentially ‘out there’ news that day… but couldn’t find her! So left wondering just what might come out at mat time. I did find her as soon as I could in the next few days, just to assure her all was ok and Brooklyn was telling the truth!]
Jake: Talking of potential baby names ‘Let’s call it Jesus, like that other guy.’
Jake: ‘So how is the baby going to die? Does it just fall out and drop on its head?’
Brooklyn: ‘Mummy will be sad when the baby dies, so I’ll do the vacuuming and make her a card.’
Brooklyn: ‘I really hope we get to bring the baby home.’ Said while giving me a thumbs up ;).
Brooklyn: There’s been a whole swag of babies born to families in her class this year… Seems like you get one off to school and people suddenly feel the need to fill that gap again. I think our baby will be the 5th in the last 4 months. So one of the other mums has been organising the kids to sign cards and give little gifts to each of the families. Brooklyn came home from school recently after signing the cards that day and said very matter-of-factly, ‘I don’t think our baby will be getting a card or present as it’s going to die.’ Honestly, it broke my heart. So unfair that kids have to process and reason big things like that through in their heads. But they just seem to do it, and do it with much less emotion than we do as adults!
It’ll be interesting to see how they process things in the next week or more. We’ve made a few decisions recently based on them… things like spending some time at the hospital this weekend before life is under the pump and we’re in there often. We know Brooklyn has a major fear of anything medical… probably a hangover from her experience of my Dad being in hospital when she was little. She’ll make herself gag and vomit just going to the dentist or taking a teaspoon of Pamol… seriously, you need 2 adults to hold her down. So she’s said she wants to go and have a look around the hospital before the real deal next week. In her words, ‘I’m just a little bit nervous and not sure what it’ll be like.’
Something else we’ve been asked by several of the medical team is whether we’d like to have baby at home after she’s died. I was honestly a bit grossed out by the thought – like, where do I put her?! But then through conversation with the kids and others on the medical team, realised that maybe it’s a good idea to bring baby home even if she’s already passed away. The thing that pops out of the kids mouths most is, ‘I really hope we get to bring our baby home.’ So why not? Perhaps it’ll make her feel more part of our family for them, rather than her life and death being bound to a hospital.