Monday, April 8, 2013

The Awkward Pause

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.


  1. I hear you, I typically respond in the same way but also still always have that pause where it catches me off guard and I have to think about how to responsd.

  2. Just today I had this happen. I mean it happens fairly often, but coincidental that you'd write about it. At the grocery store I was waiting for deli meat and chatting with this nice mom who had a young baby girl with her. She mentioned her two other girls and then asked me "is he your only one?" And depending on the day, the person, the situation, my answers vary - but like you I just had that awkward pause where I stop breathing and didn't really know what to say. Cale has been gone for almost three years yet I never know what to say. Today for some reason I said "no, we had another son who passed away" but then her response, or lack thereof, left me wishing I hadn't said what I did. Ugh. It never gets easier


  3. I get asked that a lot, especially being pregnant now and having Bobby and Maya in tow. My response is, "they are my only living children". That gives the person the opportunity to ask more questions (which I'll answer) or to keep going. You'd be suprised how many people want to talk about it because they either understand all too well or they know someone who does.

    But as everyone else said, it doesnt get easier.