How many children do you have?
This question is not an easy one for anyone that has lost a child regardless of the age at loss. Not only does it sting but you have to figure out in your mind how you are planning on answering the question. Plus there are so many variations of this question “is this your first pregnancy?” “Do you have any other children?” ect. Then you have to look at the situation in which it’s presented to you. Do you mind making people feel uncomfortable with whatever reply you give them or is it necessary to go into a long rant about how one of your children is no longer with you but she is most defiantly counted as your child.
A few months back Zach and I went to sign up for the YMCA and while receiving a tour the employee asked if we had any children because they offer free day care. In my head I’m thinking “yes I do have a child and one on the way” but if I admit I have a daughter without specifying that she is now our angel I run the risk of her going on in great detail about the childcare they have that we wouldn’t be using. But is that an appropriate time to say we have an angel baby and one on the way? Instead we opted for “we have one on the way”…now cue the sting and the guilt. Of course I felt terrible because I felt like not bringing up Averie was so unfair to her like brushing her existence under the rug. Something I NEVER want to do.
Usually in normal conversation, despite who the person asking is, I ALWAYS respond that we have an angel daughter regardless of how uncomfortable they may feel. I think if you are willing to ask then you can handle the answer right? I’ve struggled with the part after when they usually follow with “I’m sorry”. What does one say to that because thank you seems so weird. Thank you for being sorry we lost our child? Or do you simply just say “we are to?” Social interactions like this don’t have to be uncomfortable but they always seem to be for some reason.
A few weeks back when we went to our echocardiogram for our rainbow girl one of the questions on the paperwork was other children and ages. Zach was filling out the paperwork because his handwriting is so much better then mine. Sometimes I can’t read it myself it’s that bad. He gets to this question and looks up at me because he doesn’t know what to write. I said “We have a daughter write Averie’s name down”. In age he wrote: deceased. I think leaving her off that form would have hurt worse then the sting from him having to write that she has passed.
Regardless I delivered that precious angel and carried her inside me for 8 months. She may have lived for a few short hours but she has a birth certificate, proof of her existence, proof that I have a child. Proof that despite her pictures around our house, her urn on display, and the longing I feel for her everyday that I didn’t make her up in my mind. She was real, she was here and she’s my child and I’ll always claim her as that.
What do my fellow loss Mom’s feel about this topic??