Coping · Emotions

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?? 


16 thoughts on “How many children do you have? 

  1. Hi sis. Just wanted to say how important this message is for do many people. It is a tough answer to decide. I think you are spot on. Averee is your child, no matter what has happened. I would always tell people that you have two beautiful girls, in whatever way makes you and Zach comfortable. I love you so much and am so proud of you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post, Crystal. We have friends who lost a son at birth and I have heard them answer both ways. I love reading your thoughts…wonderfully written! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hate that question. I feel like such a fraud when I say I have one child. I always apologize to my daughter after someone asks. My loss is recent and I’m still figuring this one out. I want to be able to say matter of factly one day, I have a daughter in heaven and a son. I think it’s so important to not keep quiet about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly the word “fraud” is perfect for how I feel sometimes. I think your straight forward answer is right on point! Thanks for commenting I love hearing from other loss mamas ❤️❤️


  4. I feel love/hate for this question. I hate it because it brings up so many emotions/awkwardness. I love it, because it allows me to talk about all my kids. Seven years our from our first loss, I’ve found different ways of answering this question that honors all my kids, but gives me control over what and how much I share with the person asking. “We have two living children” or “We have two children at home” are my usual go-to’s when I don’t want to go into my entire reproductive history.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t yet gotten this question, but I am dreading the moment. I imagine the answer will depend on how it is phrased, but I am not looking forward to it. For now, I am having to navigate the ‘congratulations’ that people say when they first see me, and having to respond. “thanks, but he died.”

    I am glad you make space to recognize your precious Averie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you are going through the “congratulations” phase right now. I wish we had the ability to just skip over the parts we don’t want to deal with but then if we did I know we’d probably stay forever in the deepest parts of grief. Keep your head up mama you’re in my thoughts ❤️


  6. Ever since I have gone back to work I am faced with this question all the time. I like you want so badly to go on in my rant and tell them about my angel baby and then a part of me doesn’t want to share. It is so hard to live this life and your post is so beautifully written. Averie is always your guiding light. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are a beautiful momma.


    1. Thank you so much you are so sweet! I’m so sorry you are dealing with this question more then ever it’s not an easy one to answer. Sometimes I wish I could just wear a big pin that says I have a beautiful angel daughter so everyone already knows and never has to ask. Hang in there momma. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog about your sweet little boy ❤️


      1. Thank you so much! I saw a picture not too long ago that said something along the lines of ,”I wish people saw your face when they looked at me” it’s so true. I’m hanging in there. It brings some comfort knowing that I’m not alone in this journey. You are a beautiful momma! ❤️


  7. Ah that question. It stings so incredibly much. I work as a nurse so people are always making small talk. I still don’t have a good answer to it. Depends on the day or my mood. Funny, though, that you brought up saying thank you to the I’m sorry response. I’ve often found myself thinking, man why am I saying thank you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks the “thank you” thing is weird! It feels weird coming out too but I haven’t figured out another thing to say yet in its place so I’m worried it will keep coming out until I find something to replace it with!

      Liked by 1 person

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