telling Gwen

My stomach was getting bigger and it was becoming obvious to everyone else that I was pregnant, so by the time Cape Cod rolled around, I knew it was time to talk to Gwen about the surrogacy. I was already in my 2nd trimester and everything was looking good. We wanted to wait until we were secure in the pregnancy, and also minimize the time that my 4 year old, who hasn't quite mastered the calendar or the linear passage of time, had to ask the same questions over and over and over again. But we obviously wanted to be the ones to tell her, and not have it be a slip by someone else. Plus my belly was getting to the stage of being slightly an obstacle and I needed to be able to tell her why she couldn't bounce on it like a trampoline.

I wasn't sure what to expect. She had finally seemed to come around to the idea that we weren't going to be giving her a brother or sister, and had now settled on being excited for one day having her own babies, so I didn't know how this particular news would affect that. I also knew though, that we have a really caring girl on our hands. She loves to help others, she loves to give back.

So we armed ourselves with a book (there's a book for everything now!), and one day in Cape Cod, she and I found a quiet spot to read it. She really enjoyed the book. We read it twice. Then I talked to her for a bit about how mommy was doing was the mama kangaroo was doing in the book. That there was a little baby in my belly that I was growing until it was ready for the family who couldn't have it on their own. She was fine with it all. Actually pretty indifferent to it, at first. The only question she really had was, "What are their [the parents] names?" Which she replied to my answer with, "I don't like that, lets call them the Bouncing-Hopsalots [the kangaroo family in the book]!" Had to laugh about that, and that's what we've called them ever since!

Since then Gwen has had some more questions (including, the fun one, how does the baby get out of your belly...), and we've answered them all to the best of our ability. She happily answers, "What's in Mama's belly?" with "A baby!" And answers, "Who's baby is it?" with "The Bouncing-Hopsalots baby!" She's told her teachers at school all about the baby we're not keeping, and has become happy about the whole situation.

She did show off how that smart brain of hers works by asking me, "When you are done growing this baby, can you grow a baby for me?" (Aka. You won't have a brother or sister for me, but maybe you'll grow me my own baby!)  We put the cabosh on that one, gently but firmly, with the reassurance that when she was an adult she could grow her own babies. She took it well.

So that was that! I continue to be impressed with Gwen's compassionate and giving nature, as well as her understanding of adult situations. We'll continue to answer any questions she has, and have these talks many times over the course of the next few months. But this Mama was pretty pleased with her girl!!

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