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I know we've discussed this in the past, but now that I'm pregnant again, I'm curious what others say when asked the inevitable question: "do you have any children?" or "is this your first?" Being pregnant, it's a question I cannot avoid.
I could and would seriously go on and on and on about Katrina and how she'll always be my first born, etc, etc., but I obviously know that would just be downright awkward for people I don't really know - who are simply just asking a simple question. So more often than not, I will just say "I had a baby girl but she was stillborn last year." Most of the time people just say they're sorry to me and the conversation will continue on.
Just today at work, this man brought in his little girl - about 18 months old. He was talking with my co-worker who has a daughter about her age, so they got along very well. I was smiling at the little girl and he came over to me after and asked, "do you have any children?" (I was sitting down, so he wouldn't have been able to see my hugely obvious tummy!). I guess I just didn't want to get into it with him, so I answered with the easiest answer, "I have one on the way". At the time I felt that was an appropriate answer, but literally as soon as I said that and after he asked me when I'm due, I instantly felt guilty for not mentioning Katrina I want everyone in the world to know how much she means to me and how truly special she is.
So now I feel guilty for not saying anything about her, because normally I will somehow just casually mention her. I could have just said, yea I have one and one on the way. Then if he asked me how old my other one is, then I could have dealt with it.
I thought this would get easier over time and I would know how to approach this question better (at least when I do talk about her nowadays, I can control the tears and shaky voice).
What do you girls say when asked these question(s)? Have you ever felt guilty for not mentioning your Angel?
If I'm asked how many I have I always say 5, I get the look of "you must be mad" a lot when I say it! Somepeople leave it at that, others ask ages etc and I tell them "My first daughter was born still and then I've got a......" and list the others ages and whatnot.
With Jaidyn just starting nursery I've had the odd comment of "time for another one" to which I say "Nope that's it". Some will laugh and say don't blame you, others will say "you won't notice a 5th" to that I always reply "Jaidyn's my 5th and there won't be a 6th" then I'll say Ceilidh was born still.
It's surveys etc that make me feel guilty. When they question the number f children you have and then want ages etc. That's when I feel guilty for not acknowledging Ceilidh, but then again I don't want follow-up surveys aimed at 15 years olds or their parents.
It depends on who is doing the asking. There have been MANY times where strangers at the grocery store, department store, etc. have asked "Is she your only one?" to which I reply "yes." I don't want to get into it with complete strangers who strike up a casual conversation with me about children like they would about the size and ripeness of the tomatoes in the produce department.
Equally, when I AHVE mentioned that Julia's twin brother was born sleeping, I get a lot of stupid questions: "Wow, how did that happen?", "Do you miss him?" "Are you still sad about it?" "Are you going to have more?" and I usually end up getting so upset over it that I'm the one who stops the conversation.
As ususal, I always end up feeling like I'm d*mned if I do and I'm d*mned if I don't
Thank you to Jaidynsmum for my beautiful siggie!
I'm Barb, Mom to Angel on Earth Julia Rose (7*22*08), her twin brother Angel in Heaven Noah (7*22*08), and rainbow baby Sydney Noelle (12*4*09).
*a special 'thank you' to all the blinkie creators for their talents*
It's still fairly new for me so I haven't got asked a lot but when I do get asked, I am completely flustered and don't know what to say. About a week after Eli was born, a complete stranger asked me if I had just had a baby and I told him yes but that he was stillborn but I was so shocked that I almost didn't say anything. I guess it's something I need to get used to and figure out how to answer.
I am also new to this so it's hard for me to deal with this type of question. When we were on vacation in August, dh and I went to do the laundry in the hotel we were asked if we had many children by a man in the laundry room (I guess there were too much laundry in our hands). I said no just one. Immediatelly I felt really guilty about my answer. The real reason that I didn't say two is that I didn't want to get into this with a complete stranger. After this I think I had one other question like this and it's been really hard to deal with.
I usually say, "This is our fourth" (referring to current pregnancy) or "I have two girls and our son Duncan passed away X months ago." A few times I've been asked "What happened?" and I usually say he was born still.
Aeon, mama to Grace, 12/04; Evangeline, 11/06; Duncan, 11/08 ; Henry, 12/09; and Ruby, 11/14.
I always say I had Roald. I don't think anyone has ever had a really terrible response. And to be honest I guess I am more concerned about making myself not feel guilty for leaving him out than I am concerned about making a stranger feel awkward. I don't act weird about it or cry when I tell them though.
Most recently I was at the pizza place where I worked as a teenager. There was a waitress there who's been working there a decade and I haven't seen her in 4 years. She asked me how my sister was and asked if they still only had the two boys. I said "Yeah, they are completely done" and she said "Well, I say two's enough! (she has two) to which I replied "no! I'm having 5!" to which she replied "yeah right, have you even had one yet?" I was kind of insulted. I said "yes-" and before I could finish my sentence she said "Oh! congratulations! how old?" and I had to start talking over her and I just said "He was stillborn." Her smile went vacant and she kind of looked away and said "oh" so then really quick I added "but this one's a girl" and patted my stomache but she took it way too weirdly I think. Maybe she felt bad for the way the conversation started or something.
Then at my 28 week glucose screen the woman working in the lab asked me if this was my first and I said no I had a stillborn son last year but this one
s a girl. All she said was "is everything going good with this one then" and I said yeah. I felt like that was a pretty good stranger response. That's usually how it is.
Yikes. Right after I lost Dominic, I had men workers redoing the cabinets in my house and he was the first one to ask where the baby was (he seen I was preggo before). I told him and the look on his face made me feel so horrible because I knew that painful uneasy look. He had kids and it kind of made him feel horrible, so I decided that if any body ever ask, I always tell them I have 3, 2 on earth and one in heaven. I try to censor myself with preggos but somethings I can't when I see they way to confident. I see it as I am giving them a reality check. Things can and do happen everyday to pregnant women. It depends on my mood and alot or different things.
The only time I truly, really felt guilty for mentioning what happened to Cora was a situation I couldn't avoid. A man with Down's Syndrome came into my work place twice a week and was very excited about my coming baby. When he asked how she was, I had to explain to him that she died, and he started crying. I had to lock myself in a bathroom for a few minutes after that.
As far as when people asked if Erin was my first when I was pregnant with her, it totally depend on what they asked. If they asked if I had any kids at home, I generally said no. If they asked if it was my first pregnancy, I would say "No, I had a baby before that was stillborn" all in a rush before they could ask any further questions.
Like Barb said, there is no right answer. I think the situation, and the question they ask, and your emotional state all factor in to things.
Katrina understands. It took me a while, but I came to the conclusion that Cora will always know that I love her and miss her. And if defending my own sanity means not mentioning her right then, well, she understands.
I tell anyone who asks. I tell them this is my second, but the first was stillborn. I don't go into the details of it, unless they ask, but I won't pretend that Robert didn't happen. It's tough some days, but I'd rather be honest.
*A HUGE thank you to Maitri for my beautiful siggy!