I am 35 years old, living with stage IV Endometriosis, possibly adenomyosis and struggled with infertility for almost 4 years. I also struggled with PPD and now struggle with PMDD. I am a mother to a son that was born at 18 weeks and too precious for this earth; and now a mother to a son born in August 2011. By journaling here, I hope to benefit both for myself and for others that are dealing with this disease and fertility struggles. Thanks for visiting!





Sunday, January 31, 2010

A question for my bloggers who have suffered a losses

How exactly does one answer the "So, do you have children" question? I'm not much for bringing down the mood of the room. But, at the same time, I feel immense guilt denying my son and just shaking my head "No". So, what's better? Living with the guilt or making someone feel bad? Now, if the question just went on and on and on and on, then, I would probably say something to stop the madness. But, I just don't know what to do when someone asks me this. It's only happened once since we lost Wyatt, but, I know it will come up again...

17 comments:

Kate said...

Oh yea...the infamous question. I too feel guilty denying I have a child, when I gave birth to a perfect little baby just over a year ago. I say yes, and if the matter is further perused with oh, how old..I will say I have a daughter who was born prematurely and passed away after birth. It's bittersweet for me...although I love talking about Zoe...I so desperately wish she was here. It's a tough one...but do what's most comfortable for you. Hugs

Kelly said...

I hate this question and always have. I always feel like people just assume that adults have offspring, the older you get. For most, they think it's an easy chit-chat question. When one says "no" then you get that "OH".

When asked, I quickly reply no and quickly try to change the subject. I then usually try to leave the scene if possible, because I get upset thinking that the answer should have been yes.

Your situation is a bit different though and I can completely understand how you feel like you're denying Wyatt in some way if you say no. I think however you feel comfortable answering is OK.

The Caldwells said...

Oh my, I so know just how you feel. It seems like I am asked this question a million times per week. How many kids do you have? There were a few times I answered one instead of three. I felt sick for hours. All I can imagine are my little girls looking down from heaven and although I know there is no sadness there, I just feel like I am letting them down. I now always answer 3. If the questions keep coming (how old, etc.). I then simply say, well our twins passed away, but my son is 21 months. There is always an "I'm sorry" and I follow that with, "Please don't feel sorry, it makes me happy to share their memory." That is how I handle it.
It is never an easy question to face, but it has gotten easier to answer without walking away in tears over the last 9 months.
HUGS!

Expectant Duck said...

Oh honey, I hope you get some great advice, I think If I was in your situation I would say "yes, but, he died." and that's it.
People should not ask these questions if they are not ready for the answers.

hugs.

Eileen said...

I always reply "Not on this earth. But I have several in heaven." That always brings the conversation to a hault.

Kathi said...

I hate this question but I have found two ways to approach it.
1) I say "Yes twin girls, but they died, BUT I love talking about them" and I have found adding that bit on the end makes it easier for others to respond. Mostly they just say sorry, there is silence and he subject is changed but I get a few people asking about them.
2) This is an idea from one of the dads at my support group. He answers "No" but then looks at his shoulder and smiles and says to himself (to his daughter sitting on his shoulder) "Shh! its our little game and you are my little secret and I dont want to share you with anyone"
I think this idea is good for when we dont feel up to talking about our kids, or it is someone like a shop assistant etc who really doesnt care. It is saying no to the world but acknowledgeing our kids and all kids like playing games :)

AnnaMarie said...

Ugh! Between guilt or making someone feel awkward, neither choice is better.

I tend to think I will say "one" but the question always catches me off guard and I just deny having any children. I want to talk about him! But sometimes I feel like he is too important to me to have his memory associated with someone else feeling uncomfortable and wishing they hadn't asked that question. If that makes any sense.

I'd really like to know how you decide to answer.

Beckie's Infertile said...

I agree with Kelly and Kate, I think whatever you feel comfortable with is okay.

Jennifer said...

I haven't lost a child, but my oldest brother died 9 days after he was born. It was very traumatic for my parents and they were never able to properly grieve (this was before it was known how important it was to grieve. My mom was only allowed to hold my brother once and was not allowed to attend his funeral). When ever my parents are asked how many children they have my brother is never included in the "number" and that always bothers me because he did exist and he is forever their child. On the flip side I can understand why they don't because I'm sure they don't want to have to explain that one of their children died. So, I guess I would say if you're comfortable letting others into your tragedy then go right ahead and say that you have a son, but I also would say that Wyatt would understand if sometimes you just didn't feel like getting into it. Sorry, I'm sure that I didn't help much and I know that I don't have personal experience, but I hope that maybe I helped a little bit.

Yaya said...

:(
Why do people even ask that?? Argh!!!! Go with what's in your heart at the time.

niobe said...

I think you should do whatever feels right for you without worrying about others' feelings. Even if the questioner feels bad momentarily, your answer may well cause him/her to think twice before posing the same question to someone else, so you might be helping someone else.

For some people, what's right for them means always acknowleging the child/ren they lost. For others, it depends on the circumstances: maybe a simple "no" if you're never going to see the person again or if you don't feel like explaining.

Personally, when someone asks me, I don't count the twins I lost. But that's just what's right for me.

Christa said...

This is a real tough one. It has been almost 3 years since we lost Zachary at 18 weeks, and have lost 2 more since then, so I unfortunately have lots of practice answering this question. Depending on the situation, I have a couple of different answers.

If we are asked by complete strangers, or are in a social situation with anyone where it would be inappropriate to discuss our losses, or if I'm simply not up to sharing, I say with a smile "We're trying hard". This way I'm letting them know that we definitely want children, and gently hint that we may or may not be having problems. This answer allows each party to feel comfortable. Sometimes this leads to questioning, but it's up to them to determine if they want more information. I find that I get lots of respect and understanding with this answer. I use it 99% of the time.

If we're talking to someone we know, or are in a situation where it seems appropriate to bring it up and I feel like sharing, I say "only in heaven" which always leads to me telling our story.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, but I guess it's inevitable. I hope this helps. Take care ((BIG HUG))

Allison (Ali) said...

that is the worst question, i hate it. i do not want to deny her by saying no, but i dont want to make others uncomforatble. you have to answer however you feel comfortable.

I have taken to saying "We have a beautiful daughter who was born to heaven" It gets the point across and people usually leave it at that.

hugs

The Steadfast Warrior said...

I came across your blog from another blog. I had two miscarriages before giving birth to my daughter in Oct.

FOr me, it depends on the context and the situation. When I had my losses and opened myself up to the idea of talking about them with people, I quickly discovered how many women go through this. But it can be really difficult to talk about so it depends on the context. People always ask if she's our first child. Typically, I say yes, because it's easier than delving into what amounts to a really long story.

BUT, if it's someone I'm likely to see again and the circumstances are right, I'll tell them the truth: My daughter was the 3rd pregnancy in a year. It can be really difficult but ultimately worthwhile

Toni said...

I'm not sure I know myself. I lost my Sweetpea at 6 weeks this Sunday and Button would have been 3 1/2 now. I guess because I'm only 23 people don't expect me to have children but in the past when someone once asked me, I said 'no' but went straight to the florist that day, bought a red rose, said my 'sorry' and told Button I would never forget xx

boniourkee said...

困難的不在於新概念,而在於逃避舊有的概念。.........................

Kate said...

I just come right out and say we've had two losses. I'd probably just say I lost my son at 18 weeks or something to that effect.
Even now, when people ask if this is my first baby, I'll say first baby, third pregnancy. Because I don't want to deny or hide what we've gone through to get to this point. And I want people to know how much more precious this baby is to us, given our losses and infertility history.