The past few months since our son was born, I’ve gotten a couple questions asked that I thought would be good to address on here as well. Having a child after pregnancy loss tends to color the world just a little bit differently, and seemingly innocuous questions may end up being more awkward than intended. So, here’s my perspective.
Is this your first?
I have gotten this question at the pharmacy, Wal-mart, walking on the trails, at the car service place. Just about everywhere. It comes up right after “Oh, he’s so cute!” And it’s usually a stranger who doesn’t know my story.
Even people who do know my story refer to Sam as my firstborn which is a weird conundrum. Because he’s technically not. I literally gave birth to two precious girls in the hospital. But they were stillborn.
I know this has been a problem for several pregnancy loss moms because this comes up on the forums at least once every 6 months. We want to honor our children who passed away, but somehow, it’s controversial to do so. And awkward. And we don’t want the other person to feel bad for asking such a simple question.
Basically, I say, “I had two stillbirths before having this one” and leave it at that. Sometimes it opens up the most beautiful conversations, sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s okay. (I know that for some moms this is really hard to talk about, especially around anniversaries. So if you don’t mention your other kids sometimes, that’s okay too.)
Are you going to have more children?
I was dumbfounded the first time this topic was brought up because I hadn’t even physically recovered from having my son yet!
The short answer is not right now. We are still figuring out this little boy. I’m still dealing with postpartum anxiety. We are taking this life day by day, enjoying the good moments and surviving and learning from the bad ones.
Even if we go other routes to add children to our family, like adoption, nothing is easy and nothing is guaranteed. And all of it is emotional. And there is so much more processing and working through my emotions that I need to do.
Do I want my son to have a sibling on this earth (in addition to his two sisters in heaven)? Yes. Do I know how or when that will happen? No. But I can confidently say not today.
If you get pregnant again, will it be high risk?
So, again, short answer, yes. Even if I never had pregnancy losses, I am now in the Advanced Maternal Age category, so they would all be a high risk anyway.
But I realize that the question is really, “Is it over?”
And the answer is no. This last pregnancy gave no answers to why I lost my two daughters. Perhaps it is a gender thing, but it may not be. The reality is that it could still go either way. It is another reason I need to spend some time getting emotionally ready if we do decide to try again for another baby.
Of course, these are my answers to these questions. Other moms could have different answers. And my answers could change in the future. I know that these questions come from a place of love, but be careful how you ask and be ready for the mom not to answer. And I would also suggest not asking complete strangers these questions, but instead just tell them they have a beautiful baby and that they are a beautiful mom. That’s really the best thing you could do.