Alice is very perceptive and very bright. She is also a worrier. Because of this we've told her, in an age-appropriate way, about why I've been seeing the doctor so much lately. Honestly, I don't think we could have kept it from her. A few pregnancies back, when things were so early we had not told anyone (and had been very careful not to talk about it in front of her) she kissed my tummy and said, "hello baby!" A few weeks later, the morning after I miscarried, she said, "Mommy, why did the baby come say goodbye?" It gave me chills.
We have never told her about a pregnancy but she has known about all the losses. In our thinking it was less stressful for her to understand on a basic level what was going on than to see Mom and Dad upset, Mom going to the doctor all the time and Alice having no idea what was happening. Each time we told her that we were sad because we thought that she was going to have a brother or sister but the baby went to heaven instead.
This actually gave her solace when we had to put our cat to sleep last fall. It was her first tangible brush with death and she was devastated. She drew a picture of Spencer with wings sitting on Jesus's lap with little tiny angels flying around his head. She said that she was sad but the angel babies could have a turn playing with the cat.
So, she understands at least a little bit what is going on. Yesterday, though, we had an interesting conversation:
"Mom, why is the doctor trying to MAKE you have a baby?"
"Um.... Well... Actually, the doctor isn't MAKING me have a baby, Daddy and I WANT to have another kid in our family because you're so great." (I could see where this was heading and I wanted to try to head things off with flattery.)
At this point Alice looked like I had slapped her. The looks that crossed that child's face were incredible: betrayal, horror, disbelief...
"You don't want a sibling?" (BAD question, Mom!)
"If I have a brother or sister then I won't get all the attention!"
Which is exactly why we want to have another child. Well, one of the reasons, anyway...