Monday, May 6, 2013

I Feel It Every Day

Now that I am visibly pregnant, the questions have started:

Do you know what you're having? When are you due? How do you feel? How far along are you?

I don't mind questions. I think it's a positive sign that people are interested in pregnancy. But there is one question I really really detest.

Is this your first?

It's such an innocent question. I used to love answering this question. I think I would have always liked to proudly answer this question no matter how many children I had. But now, it's so complicated.

When someone asks me this question, I am immediately in a state of questioning myself: How well do I know this person? Do I want to bring up the whole discussion about losing RG? Will this person say something inappropriate or hurtful? Don't I want to be a witness to RG's life, and all life at any stage? Shouldn't I be honest about the number of children I have, even though one isn't here with me on earth? Do I want to go through this in my mind again? Will I regret whatever answer I give in this moment?

And in a millisecond, I have to decide the answer to these questions and give it.

None of these situations is exactly like the last time. I don't feel like I can have a standard answer. I feel awkward. And I can't help but be reminded--even if I don't regret my answer--of RG, and the ever-present void in my heart.

And for me, that void never goes away, even though others forget it.

In my 20 week ultrasound, the tech asked me how many pregnancies I have had, and I said "This is my third." My mother responded loudly, in surprise, "third!?" And I just looked at her thinking, "are you serious?" I suppose she confused the word "pregnancy" with "baby," but even then, her response was wrong.

If I've had three pregnancies, then I've had three babies.  It's just that one of them has died.


  1. That has to be tough - wanting to be honest, but not wanting to share such a personal, painful detail with everyone who asks an innocent question. I wonder about that with friends of mine who have lost children. I want to acknowledge their children they said goodbye to, but don't want to open a fresh wound. Like a friend of mine who could say "4" in answer to that question, but only has one living child and one in utero. I completely understand if she only says "2" to people she doesn't want to explain everything to.

  2. I'm only just now discovering your blog and I have NO idea how that can be ... but I love it. I have so many girlfriends who have struggled with this same question, and like the above comment, they all handle it differently. Some speak openly and frequently about their little ones in Heaven, and some don't. I think it depends, as so many things do, on your mothering style. And on how you're feeling in the moment.

  3. I agree with Jenny that it's not that there's a "right" or "wrong" answer to this question. It's whatever is working for you in that moment. But this certainly is your third child, and RG is blessed to be so loved by his mother.


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