Awhile ago, Janelle and Joel sent us a children's book called "The Kangaroo Pouch", a children's book about surrogacy. We started reading it to Lily awhile ago, but never went any further than just reading it as a story. She loved the book, and it's often a part of our bedtime routine.
This week, we broke the news to her.
While Rowan was napping, Lily and I were together on the couch and we read the book again. When I finished, she wanted to read it again (usual response) but instead, we started talking. I surprised myself, as I hadn't planned on telling her that day, but it just felt like a good time. I told her what we were doing, as simply as I could. I told her that Janelle's tummy was broken, so we were using my tummy to help them grow their baby. She was excited right away. I'm not sure how much exactly she understands, but she understands there's a baby in my tummy, and that was exciting news.
Her very first question, and I think to her, one of the most important things: was it a boy or a girl? Before I could say anything, she told me that she wanted it to be a girl. After that, the questions started coming. After explaining the basics to her, the conversation went like this:
Lily: Is the baby in there right now?
Me: Yes, but right now it's small, about the size of an apple.
Lily: An apple?!? That's funny!
Lily: When did you put it in there?
Me: In the fall, before Christmas time.
Lily: I want it to be a girl.
Me: I know, but we don't know who's in there. It might be a boy.
Me: Janelle will be coming out next month to visit.
Lily: Is she coming to get the baby?
Me: No, the baby isn't ready yet, it still needs to grow some more. As the baby grows, so will my tummy. He/She won't be ready to come out until the summer.
Lily: Where will the baby go after it's born?
Me: Home, with Janelle and Joel.
Lily: Awwwww!!! I'm going to miss the baby!
Will I get to go visit?
Me: Definitely! We can visit lots!
Rowan (almost 22 months) has now woken up, and hearing us talking about babies, repeats "baby, baby," and goes to get her 'baby'.
Lily: NO ROWAN! It's a REAL baby, NOT a doll!!!
(Lily is now rubbing my stomach)
Lily: Rowan....there's a baby in there. A real baby.
Lily: We have to be careful with mommy's tummy.