Well, I got the question yet again today walking out to my car after work. The question I knew I would get, but wasn’t sure if I was prepared to answer. Now that it’s certainly obvious that I’m expecting, it makes sense for people to ask, “Is this your first?” As many times as I’ve had to answer that question already, I’m still not sure that I’m ever really prepared to answer it.
It’s still awkward when I get that question, but not because I’m hesitant or anxious about telling people that I lost my first child. I get more nervous for the person asking the question, as I have no idea how they will respond to my answer. Will the get a lump in their throat and regret asking? Or will they politely change the subject?
Most of the time when I get this question, I try and keep it short and sweet. I say something like, “No, this actually is my second child. We lost our first at the end of my pregnancy.” I then try and follow it up with something that reassures the person that we’re doing fine and actually ok with talking about our loss. I also have to be sensitive to the situation that I’m in, because while I feel comfortable acknowledging Andrew’s place as my first child, I don’t want to change the mood of the situation or draw any pity from others.
I attended a couple of baby showers during the summer, so answering that question in that setting was a little strange. Although the women who were expecting knew our story, naturally not everyone attending the shower did. One woman asked the question and I kept it quite simple. When asked, I simply said, “No, this is actually our second.” She didn’t ask any follow up questions and I didn’t offer any other info, so it was pretty short and sweet. I guess I just have to judge each situation and determine the best response for the situation. Especially at a baby shower, I didn’t want to make the guests feel awkward or dampen the mood of the joyous occasion.
This whole experience of loosing a child and then being pregnant again after a loss has been an interesting learning experience in human behavior. While people are just trying to make casual conversation, they really have no idea what they might be getting themselves into or how the person might receive the remark. But, I guess that is a whole other post for another time. More than anything, I’ve just learned to be more sensitive to people and their circumstances. I have tried to talk and assume less and listen a lot more.