Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Blog: THE Question

Meet Lauren from "[Lauren's Blog] It's my LIFE".
She has a BOMB house that I am still secretly plotting to steal, awesome decor, cute husband and the mother of Quads. Yes, she is a mom to 4 babies in Heaven and she shares on her blog her hurt, loss, hopes and everything involved with LIFE including the fight with infertility after loss.

I asker her to do a guest blog about something she thinks about daily, her fight and all the in between. Why? Because you guys are probably sick of hearing my view and my rants. So with out further ado, meet Lauren.

Follow her, swoon over her house and and I promise you will fall in love with her just as much as I did!

You know when you get asked the question - “Do you have children??”

What do you say?

It can be SUCH a loaded question.

A lot of you out there know exactly what I’m talking about. It is such a simple, innocent question but when I’m asked that now I feel like time comes to a complete stop. All the noise and activity around me stops. It is the most awkward moment ever, and the person asking me has no clue. I feel like I turn white, when I answer “no”.

“No, I don’t have kids…” is the easy answer.

“Yes, I have quadruplets who are all dead…” is the very complicated and socially unacceptable answer.

For those of you who have children up in heaven - Have you ever really answered that question to someone you just met?

I don’t think I could do it. I don’t like to make people feel awkward or uncomfortable, so I just don’t go there. Sometimes when I’m asked this question, I am able to easily blow it off and I quickly answer, “No”. Other times, answering the question with an abrupt “No” makes me feel guilty; like I’m discrediting that my children ever existed. Do you ever feel guilty doing this too?

It’s not until you’ve experienced the loss of a baby, or have had fertility issues, until you start to rethink asking people you meet those simple types questions. You never know what might be going on that you had no idea about. My rule now is, if they don’t volunteer the information, then I don’t ask. It seems like the rest of the world still has no idea that a simple question like that can mean so much. I know people don’t mean anything by it, because they don’t even know me, but getting asked that question often is SO draining.

How do you handle those questions?


Jessica said...

I think it depends on who is asking the question for me...if its a medical provider, they get to hear what I have been through.

If its a stranger, I tell them I have no children. Its the people who say I am lucky that I want to strangle. I had one woman say that to me and I simply said back, "I don't think so." Fortunately she didn't push the issue that much further. It seem to silence her. *hugs*

Perno said...

I want to start by saying I can't imagine how it would feel for you guys/gals that are put into this sort of situation.

As an outsider, when I ask people if they have kids I'm just wondering if they have any kids on the earth. I don't think you're disrespecting your babies in heaven when you answer a quick "no" because you know you had them but they're gone for the time being, waiting for you upstairs.

Jessica - I think that's a totally appropriate response to that comment saying you're lucky. While you know they were joking it still hurts, so it lets them know there's a deeper meaning to your answer.

All in all, there's no right or wrong way which is why this post is so interesting. Thanks for sharing Lo, love you kid!

Maggie said...

Hey Lauren and Ashley. If someone asks me if I have any children I always say yes. They ask how old and I tell them that he passed away when he was 8 days old. Sure it makes some people uncomfortable, but I LOVE talking about Aidan. For those who aren't uncomfortable they ask me about him and I get to tell his story again.

Brie said...

My husband and I have started answering the QUESTION by saying, "We're working on it", which is neither a yes or a no..

belle said...

i feel the exact same way!

and believe it or not, when i expressed this horrible quandry to my dear (i thought) cousins who cared about me... they treated me with disgust and argued with me that i didn't have the right to call my babies in heaven my children?!?!?!

the older i get, the more bold i get. i usually tell people i have 8 children! :D if the opportunity comes up to gently educate people then maybe i've made someone else think about it from a different perspective and someone else won't have to answer that terrible question later on.

Lauren said...

Ashley - Thank you for featuring me on your blog today. I'm honored! I'm enjoying reading all the comments.

Belle - I like how you explained it. "gently educate people" when the time is right.


B said...

Great post! I'm still trying to figure out how I will answer that question. It hasn't come up yet, but I know it's only a matter of time. How to recognize my boys, without making people uncomfortable/bringing the conversation to a screeching halt? Should I even care that I make them uncomfortable?

I've appreciated everyone's answers so far, and I look forward to hearing more!

MommaPebz said...

GREAT post - & it's comforting to know that others deal with this same question as well.

I do have a 6 year old daughter & a 12 year old step son, but we also have a baby boy in heaven. (he left us at 18w6d). I feel as though I am ignoring him & the special place he has in our hearts by saying I only have 1 child & 1 step child, because it's NOT true. For almost 19 weeks we had our baby boy, ya know?!?!

It's a tough situation that honestly I'm still dealing with 8 months later.

Jill said...

That really is a loaded questions. I tend to say that I have twins in heaven and two step-kids or I just freak out and avoid the question all together. Sometimes when I mention my step-kids first people get off track and I don't even get a chance to mention my babies.

I know someone who has the three question rule. When she is asked how many kids she says 3 (she has two living and one in heaven). Second question usually is how old and she tells them and includes the age her angel would be today. If they ask a third question then they are asking for it and she tells them she has a child in heaven.

Andrea and Joe said...

Wow... I just wrote a blog about this. It is such a hard question to answer. Now that I am obviously pregnant to strangers, the "Is this your first" kills me. I struggle with the guilt and most commonly say that I have a baby in Heaven already. The few times that I said no, the guilt killed me.
Big hugs... it is so hard.

Angie said...

Sometimes I've said "yes, a daughter" and change the subject, sometimes I've said no, and sometimes I've said yes and elaborated that she's not alive. It just depends on the person asking, depends on my mood, and depends on the situation.

I've decided I don't really care if my answer makes someone else uncomfortable. They made me uncomfortable by asking the question in the first place, their issues with my answer are not my problem. :) I try to avoid talking to people I don't know for this reason, I've decided I'll take awkward silence or they can perceive me as a snob or unfriendly--better than the crappy small talk.

Saffy said...

Indeed, that IS the question. Like Jessica, if it's a medical person, they get the full rundown. And when our little guy first passed I sometimes used to say 'yes' but I couldn't handle the explanations and the questions from people. Then I started to say 'no' - and hated it. Mentally saying to myself 'yes I have but this is the easy out from awkward questions'. I don't ask that question anymore.

Cecilia said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with this. It honestly depends on the situation. We were in the process of moving when we lost Ethan, so we ended up in a brand new place where no one knew our story. For me, it's a balance of protecting my heart from sometimes insensitive comments (others who don't give the same weight to my baby because he was stillborn, etc) and wanting everyone to know of him. Once we get to know people up here more intimately we tell them and show them our pictures,etc. If it's someone at the grocery store I don't know, I usually say I don't have any children at home. Thanks for a great post.

Miche said...

I've actually been answering somewhere in the middle. That yes I have another child however she passed away at birth.

It does make them feel awkward I'm sure but saying no makes me feel so horrible.

It is hard no matter what.

Holly said...

When people ask me if I have children I say yes which leads to how many and I tell them 4 girls. Sometimes the convo stops there and other times they ask how old they are. I always give how old Carleigh would be but I say "she would be 1" and if they don't catch on I don't say anything.