I'm going to start talking about it with the girls soon. Because of a very cute project at school, Aila now has a calendar in her room. She loves looking at it daily to find out what day and number it is. We have school days, dance class days, and other special occasions marked on it. Once we flip the calendar to February, I will mark the date of my surgery on her calendar and we'll talk about what's going to happen.
The only previous experience they have with hospitals revolves entirely around babies. I was very worried that they will be disappointed when come home from the hospital and don't bring home a baby brother. We've been reading numerous hospital themed books with many of their favorite characters (Grover, Clifford, and Maisy) for the last few weeks to ease us into the discussion.
My plan is to equate it to getting shots. We've always explained shots as something that keeps you healthy; something you do before you get sick so that you don't get sick. I'll probably tell her that I'm going have something like this done, but it's going to hurt a lot more than a shot does. I'm going to have to stay at the hospital for a few days. I'll have some owies for a while that might look yucky. I plan on warning in advance about this because unfortunately there is no such thing as privacy in our house with these two right now and I don't want them to be scared of my scars or drains. I'll explain that I'll need to rest a lot just like they do when they are sick, and they need them to be very gentle around my owies.
We've been practicing climbing up places by themselves (not bad things just car seats, high chair, toilet, bed, etc.) We've also been practicing piggy back rides just in case I have to carry someone and I'm not ready yet for a kid cuddling right up next to them. We'll probably also practice gently hugs and asking before climbing up on me.
I'm probably making this a much bigger deal than it has to be. The girls will probably listen just fine and then say something like "Ok, can we have a snack now?" I'll be sure to post aoout their reaction. I'm sure it will be classic.