Baby Number 3, Babyloss

how many children do you have?

In my babyloss circles, I’m always hearing people talk about the question ‘how many children do you have?’. I have never denied my boys, I’ve always said I have 3, and sometimes awkwardly explained that my sons’ aren’t here anymore. That is until last week.

I was down the street and an old man stopped to coo over my daughter (as the older generation often do). He asked if she was my only child. Now, I knew this man, and I had actually been asked this before by him and explained about my sons. I didn’t feel like explaining it again, I was in a rush and my daughter was a little grizzly and quite frankly I didn’t feel like receiving those pity eyes I usually get; not twice from the same person. So I said yes. Instantly I felt terrible.

Every day, I feel further away from my sons. Saying yes seemed to ricochet them even further. It wasn’t right. I wanted to correct myself, to let this man know that my sons did exist. But it was too late, I had said it and the conversation was basically over.

I guess this incident has just reaffirmed why I always tell people about them. My sons were here. Explaining to people that they’re not any more is always awkward, I haven’t quite figured out how to do it. But that awkwardness is better than the knot in my stomach when I deny them.

Do you tell people about your lost little one? Does it make you feel conflicted?

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4 thoughts on “how many children do you have?

  1. Oh, my heart is with you in your pain. It’s so hard. What I usually say is “this many here and that many in Heaven.” In my case, 6 here and one 1 in Heaven. I don’t always go into more detail than that. It depends. Sometimes if I don’t mention the daughter I lost, because the circumstances don’t seem right, the kids will. “Don’t forget Josephine,” they say, “We have seven kids in our family.”
    I just had my rainbow baby, a little boy, and it’s a bittersweet pain knowing he’s here because my daughter is not alive on earth. But try to remember your sons are not getting farther away. They can’t because they are not only in your heart but in your very body. Apparently because of blood crossover from the placenta and baby to the mom, every child’s unique DNA is perpetually present in the mothers blood stream, and in that of every subsequent child. So your boys are also in your daughter, even physically.
    So you can say, “I have one here and two in Heaven.” Usually people don’t know what to say so you can leave it at that unless you feel like saying more. But please don’t beat yourself up….it’s very painful to discuss, and your boys never for a second doubt your love. They are in a place of love away from any suffering, and are more certain of your love than even you, their precious mother, now and forever.
    All my love to you and your three beautiful, irreplaceable children,
    Anna

    • Oh my! Congratulations! I must go and catch up on your blog and see if you’ve written about your little boy. I have been ignoring WordPress a lot since my Charlie was born.
      I understand what you say about it being bittersweet – all I remember in the beginning after my girl was born was crying because her brothers weren’t here too. Of course I was happy, but I was also so sad; I didn’t quite understand how she got to live when her brothers did not. I still don’t understand that. I am grateful for her everyday but I feel her brothers absence so much more every day she gets older.
      That is also a very succinct way to explain things, I honestly sound so awkward trying to explain that my sons’ aren’t here. I might try that sentence out next time.

      • Thanks for sharing…yes, it’s all a strange mystery. I try to remember that every child, no matter how briefly they appear, has a special mission to make the world better…and that their life matters. I think part of Josephine’s mission is to help make me a more compassionate person, who is able to reach out to others are share their pain. She is my little writing buddy…I’ve had so much burst out of my heart since losing her, that I needed to find a way to share it, and my writing has really blossomed. My first book, an anthology with 4 other moms, was published this summer. It’s kind of funny, because she is partly named after Jo from “Little Women,” who was the tomboy who loved writing…a lot like me!
        I’m sure your little baby girl and my little baby boy have special missions, too, and we will discover what they are some day…and of course partly their mission must be to heal our wounded hearts and help us to hope again, and trust through the pain. Love conquers all! Peace be with you and many blessings!
        Anna

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