What do you say?

A place for those bereaved to receive and offer support
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Re : What do you say?

Postby fiona » Sun Feb 11, 2007 02:11 pm

I think it's something you just figure out to your own level of comfort. When I was pregnant with Jay and people asked if he was my first, I would say no, my first baby died.

Then when I had Sacha and was asked the same thing (big age gap, so I was often out and about without Jay), I would say, I have a 7-year-old at home. For me, just fudging the issue, not saying I have 2 boys and denying Nate, but not having to get into it all with strangers either works for me.

Soon after Nate died, my DH (a journalist) had to do some interviews. The first actress asked him if he had kids, and he told her what had happened. She burst into tears. A few days later the same thing happened with another actress and this time he said no, because he didn't want to upset her. But he told me he felt as though he'd cut out his own heart. There's no script for this stuff, you just feel your way. And your answer will change depending on who it is and how you feel that day.

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Re : What do you say?

Postby lisainnj » Sun Feb 11, 2007 01:56 pm

I say four. Usually with the thought in my head that God has the other three, I don't have them any more. It's such a casual frequent question, that I've turned off the connection to anything deeper. Although if people pry beyond shallow convention - (Cashier: What are you looking so down about? Smile! Me, snarling: I just lost a baby.) - I've let them have it.

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Re : What do you say?

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:00 am

Hi there

If someone asked about kids I would say that I don't have any because it is implied that they mean living kids.

However, if the topic of miscarriage and stillbirth comes up in a conversation I may share that I lost 2 boys but it would depend on my comfort level at the time.

This is what I would do.

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Re : What do you say?

Postby jana m » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:37 am

I say that I have three girls, but we lost them (or they passed away) shortly after they were born. It feels too terrible to me to say I have no children. I did it once or twice and it felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I am pregnant again and I'm sure people will ask me if this is my first or if I have others. I have already thought about it and I will tell people that no, this is not my first. If they persist and ask more questions (like how old are your others), I'll tell them that I have three daughters, but we lost them.

It's really an individual thing and you might find that your answer depends on the circumstances and who you are talking too. There was one time not too long ago (this is one of the "one or two times I mentioned above) when I was getting my hair done by someone I had never been too before. She was half talking to me and half talking to another hair stylist. Over the roar of the hair dryer she asked me if I had kids. I didn't feel like screaming out what had happened so I said no. I hated that I did that, but sometimes it just is easier. My husband talked me through the guilt!

Anyway, my point is to do what feels right to you. Your twins know that you love them and that's what really matters.

Sorry for rambling.

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Re : What do you say?

Postby belle8600 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:25 am

it depends. sometimes i say none and sometimes i say i delivered a stillborn but she is still my daughter. dh says none because he doesnt want to get into the whole story. i feel the mopre people that know my story know it can happen to anyone. it is a really tough choice. i would do whatever makes you comfortable

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Re : What do you say?

Postby timelessbeauty » Sun Feb 11, 2007 09:26 am

You answer what you feel comfortable in answering. If you don't care to field the questions by answering in regards to your twins, you could just say yes and avoid the awkwardness.

When people would ask me how many children I had, it was a question where my answers affected more than myself. I would answer 3 because I have 3 living children and my oldest who was most upset at the loss of her brother would correct me in public to say 4. It was very important for her that I acknowledge and remember my son. I was not purposely leaving him out to ignore or forget him, but I knew people had different tolerance levels for the truth of the matter.

So now, when people ask me, I answer 4 and my daughter smiles. She's proud of her brother even if he never took a breath outside the womb. She got to hold him and tell him she loved him, and because he existed, he is just as real a sibling to her as her living playful siblings. And I have to admit, I'm just as proud to say I am the mother of 4 because he did exist and was real. He was my son and deserves to be remembered/mentioned.

It's a tough call, the question evokes such emotion when asked but the person who asks it wouldn't have any way of knowing how much at the time of asking. You might even find, if you told them about your experience, that some of them have had a similar experience.

In expressing how many children I have and mentioning my late son, I am amazed at how many women say they too have lost a child and it's like there's an instant bond between us.

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What do you say?

Postby quintain » Sun Feb 11, 2007 08:30 am

What do you say when people ask you how many children you have?

Strangers or acquaintances or parents of my son's friends see me with my son and ask if he's my only child.

I feel kind of like I'm slapping them in the face, if I answer, "Well, actually, I had a daughter, but she died shortly after birth," or "No, I had twins, but they didn't survive."

After all, they are really just asking me an innocent, friendly question, kind of like "How are you?" They don't really expect a detailed, unpleasant answer.

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