Thursday, January 12, 2012
There is a question that I am frequently asked, a question that seems so innocent, so harmless, so benign that the questioner would never know the turmoil, and even pain, it causes. Whenever I am out with my son, and people take an interest in him I know it's coming, and I silently mull over it, knowing I will never give the answer that I want to. "Do you have any other children?" is a question that almost always comes from a stranger, and is always meant to make polite conversation, however, if I give the answer that I really wanted to, it would be an end to the conversation, and a very awkward end at that. The answer I would love to give is "Yes, I have another baby, who I lost," but somehow that's not ever the answer I give. My angel, Sparrow, is a big part of who I am, she has shaped me, and is part of my story, and so I don't ever have a problem talking about my miscarriage, so why is this question so hard for me to answer when it comes from a stranger? Because I know the response I will get, pity, and that is not what I am looking for. My desire to tell others that I have two children, not just the living boy they see, comes from a deep desire to acknowledge the existence of the baby I never met. I carried my first baby (briefly), I had dreams and hopes for her, I was excited to be her mom, I experienced pain when she came into this world, I looked upon her (again, briefly), she changed who I am, she has shaped my heart, and for all of these reasons I want so badly to tell others that I have two children. As I type this it seems so simple, but it never is. Like I said there is often the pity that comes with this answer, then I worry that it will make the other person feel uncomfortable, of course my husband always tells me that I shouldn't worry about how others feel about my lost baby, what matters is how I feel, but again it just doesn't feel that easy. I think the biggest fear I have, and I suspect I am not alone in this, is that people will think I am nuts to acknowledge a baby who never lived outside of the womb, who I truly never met, who lost their life before it truly ever began. I guess ultimately it comes down to me getting past my fears, me being comfortable enough to say, "no, he isn't my first child," me not worrying how awkward or uncomfortable my answer will make things, me acknowledging the existence of the first child I carried.