Is this your first baby?

“Is this your first baby?” and inquisitive cashier innocently asks while peering at my 8 1/2 month pregnant belly as she rings me up. I pause before I answer as my stomach does a quick somersault in to my throat.

When I smile politely and say yes to try to abruptly end the conversation I feel like a liar.

When I smile politely and say no it’s my second I have a daughter at home I feel like a liar.

When I smile politely and say no this is my second child and try to leave it at that I feel like a liar.

Sometimes it is life’s most simple questions that require us to produce the most difficult answers.

What I really would love to say is that I am currently pregnant for the fourth time and with my second son. The baby in my body will be my second biological child born and my third child in total. My answer really should be : “oh no this is my third child. I have a 5 month old daughter and a son in heaven”, but who has the time to explain that to complete strangers?

I also feel there is so much shock value in that statement that it is almost this “drops mic walks away” kind of moment.

I so desperately want to honor all of my babies, but don’t feel the need to be an open book with every well-intentioned stranger that crosses my path on the daily.

Every time the question gets broached (which is increasing more and more as i get further along) I get more uneasy with how I answer. It is a constant and consistent reminder of the loss of my first child. I also wonder how deeply to delve in to my daughter’s adoption as it will one day be her story to tell and not mine.

Deep breath. Sigh.

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5 thoughts on “Is this your first baby?

  1. I can relate to this and share your ambivalence, the pang of betrayal, the desire to honour every one id our so much loved children whether living or lost, sense of responsibility to allow your daughter to tell her own story… It is so complicated and fleeting interactions with strangers are not the time nor place. Yet those momentary encounters leave us with whirling feelings and thoughts for time to come. And that will not change when this baby is born. The questions soldier on… Wishing you the very best navigating as you cross this finish line very soon and carry on toward the next.

  2. I get lots of questions about my twins that don’t seem difficult or personal on the surface, but I find them similarly hard to answer. I’ve learned that the shortest answer is the easiest, and I’ve come to peace with that. I’d love to tell everyone that I went through infertility and help get the stigma away from it but there’s just no time for that conversation with every little old lady in the grocery store. It is something we will always carry with us, that many will never see.

  3. That question is so hard. I try to answer only exactly what the asked. Do is this my first? No. How many? This is our 3rd boy. If they keep pressing, then I tell them. I figure of they keep asking, then they get the answer whether they are ready to hear it or not. Thinking of you. ❤

  4. I feel the same way when people ask me ‘when are you going to have children?’ These days, i don’t know what to say….’umm i’ve been pregnant 3 times, no children yet, perhaps 4th times the charm?’ I would love to be honest but it usually just leads to further awkward questions.

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