Monday, May 24, 2010

Is this your first?

I get this question all the time. If only the stranger knew how difficult this question is. This questions always starts an internal struggle. I hate that it is such a common question to pregnant women. I would think it would be obvious, since I don't have another child following me. Every time I am asked, I never know what to say. My choices are...

No, it is not my first pregnancy or child. I actually have two angels, and this would be my third child. That response gets me a look of pity or confusion. Either response usually ends in an awkward silence. People feel uncomfortable talking about infant death. I think it is something that most people like to think doesn't happen. I know I never thought it could happen to us. Even while I was in the hospital, I never thought it would happen to our babies. Explaining our loss to a stranger in the grocery store is never a comfortable experience.

The other answer is yes, it is my first. I am ashamed to say that I have said this a few times to make the conversation easier. Each time I feel horribly guilty for denying my precious children. Saying that this is my first pregnancy/child pretends that Ethan and Jacob never existed. They did though. They both lived, although for a short amount of time, they were here. They are my children. I saw them with my own eyes. They looked like Joseph and I. Each had their own personalities, and were little people. They are my first babies, and they will always hold the spot in my heart for my first and second born children. So, the internal struggle continues....

Another thing that bothers me is when people call Blake the first born (when they know about the boys). He is not the first son, grandson, or great grandson. Saying that, says that Ethan and Jacob were not part of our lives. Blake doesn't replace them, he is simply their baby brother. As odd as it is to explain what happened, it is even worse to deny them.

This is one of many struggles that every mother of an angel baby deals with. A simple question from a stranger....

1 comment:

  1. Oh friend...I get this. I was just talking about it today with a friend. People talk about their children all the time (and that's FINE, btw--love it.) so when I am asked about mine, I'm all about full disclosure. It does illicit some intake of breath, and some look of pity, and even some uncomfortability. For that, I am sorry for those people, cannot and does not EVER compare to my loss of breath and uncomfortability... I also told my friend...Matthew's life was and IS so huge and significant to ME and to JOHN--that if the WHOLE world went on and never mentioned his name again, that he mattered as much TO ME and to JOHN is enough. So...on the rare occasion that when I've been asked if I had children (only once, actually) and I said "No." I didn't beat myself up (much)...because I'll NEVER forget him or his existence or signifcance in my life--regardless of how it may be easier just to not get into it with a stranger.

    Thinking of you!!! xoxo