Thursday, January 12, 2012

One Tough Question...

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.


  1. I understand. I have 3 boys...yet I have 2 babies in Heaven. What is hardest for me is the question "Are you going to try for a girl?" No...we are not. But I already have a daughter, possibly two. :( So I have 5 children...but only 3 here on earth.

    Krista (from SG)

  2. I have answered "Is she your first?" and "How many children do you have?" with the answers I really want to give people. It does not go well.

    If I say 'No, I lost my first child, so she is my second" I get either pity (and backing away) or hesitation/confusion (and still backing away)

    If I include my Eilian in how many children I have I get a similar response.

    Plus people try to "make it better" by saying well at least you have her now. OR worse.... they correct me...

    "so you just have her here, huh?"

    uhm... I think that is what I said...

    I thought I would feel better (not the guilty feeling I have when I leave him out) by sharing with others... but mostly I just feel hurt and awkward.

    I have gone back to answering the questions "the way I am supposed to"

    I am not proud of it. But most people do not want me to talk about a child who died.... even those who know me and where I have been very rarely will ever bring him up - or ask how I feel. I think my mom is the only one who has ever been able to do that and of course my other angel mama sisters.

    Thank you for sharing.