Three times this past week I got The Question. The one that baby loss parents dread..."is this your first?"
After all this time I still don't have an comfortable or easy response. Most of the time I say yes because the person asking isn't someone that has any sort of investment in my life or in my sons. I still feel incredibly guilty not acknowledging William and Ethan in that moment. Because of this I realized that every single time I am asked I stop breathing for a second, swallow hard and say that Maxwell is my first or only (depending on the way the question was phrased) and silently think "but he has two brothers in heaven." Who knows if the person posing the question even notices the awkward pause...they probably don't.
Three times last week this happened. It is bound to happen more often now that the weather is nicer and I meet other parents at the park or out and about on our walks. It's not that I want to answer The Question gracefully, because there is never going to be a comfortable way to answer completely truthfully or lack of guilt if I only acknowledge them in my head.
I guess it boils down to that I want all my babies alive. I want to be the frazzled mom of two year old twin boys running circles around the stroller holding their 8.5 month old baby brother. Instead I am the mom snuggling her baby, eternally grateful for the joy he brings, wishing there were two more boys by my side.