Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not my first

Now that my belly is rather large, I’m getting the usual questions that every pregnant woman endures. When are you due? Boy or girl? Wow, are there twins in there? And the seemingly-innocent and ever-popular, Is this your first? The poor person asking this question has no idea what they are stepping into, but I’m getting better at answering. Not entirely comfortable, but better and more direct. The first time it happened, I simply said, No, my second. Of course, I was asked the logical follow-up question, How old is your first? So now I answer that this baby is my second and that my first died in labor a year ago. Most people express their sympathy in a kind way. I like talking about Baker-I need to talk about Baker-so sometimes a meaningful conversation can be had. Those people who fall on the other side of the coin-those who I render mute or who offer platitudes that this baby will be fine-well, I really don’t care how they feel. They were the nosey ones asking the question in the first place. Maybe they will remember me the next time they happen upon an innocent pregnant woman.

But it’s really the unsolicited labor stories that are getting to me. Women just love to share their harrowing stories of arriving at the hospital and shooting the baby out on their way down the corridor. I largely tuned out the labor stories when pregnant with Baker, preferring to focus on my yoga training and read positive birth stories. The unsolicited stories were mildly annoying then, but they are really annoying now. Want to hear my birth story?, I’m thinking in my head as she goes on and on. After a healthy pregnancy and normal labor, I woke up from a crash C-section excited to meet my baby, only to find my husband holding our dead son. I left my baby in the hospital morgue, came home empty-handed, watched milk spill from my body like tears, and buried his ashes in the ground. Wanna top that one?


Hope's Mama said...

I wish I could share Hope's birth story with more people as well. No one wants to know about what we went through.

niobe said...

I should be used to it by now, but I'm always so surprised to realize how differently people grieve.

I know that many (maybe even most?) people who've lost babies want to talk about them. I hate talking about my twins -- it just makes me too sad.

But I completely understand and sympathize with people, like you, who want and need to talk about their lost children.

Cara said...

I still get the question...alot! Espeically if they girls aren't with me and I go with the three question buffer. If they push past there...I give them the story - like it or not.

blogged about it a while ago ( and it felt great!

Samaria said...

This question is why I have avoided a lot of public places AND family honestly. I can't stand this one being dubbed as my second and people ignoring the fact that my daughter was my daughter. And the excitement over this one kills me, don't get me wrong I am excited but hello they all know what happened last time.

Reba said...

I hate that question too! Because my twins died so early, I always feel like I can't go into much detail or people just won't get it. Not that they do get it, anyway, but get it even less. I usually just answer, "No" and then to the inevitable question: "I lost two last year." My own family doesn't seem to consider the twins to have been my first two children, which really hurts, but I think maybe, like Niobe said, it just hurts them too much to think of them that way.

Lani said...

i guess that is something we'll all have to deal with at some point on this crazy roller coaster. i always want to talk about my pregnancy with silas and will always want to talk about what happened. it is a part of me that will never go away.

i think its important that you continue to honor baker and acknowledge all that he is to you and this new little guy growing inside you.

lots of love, xo

Tash said...

I'm all for putting that on a t-shirt. Followed by, in really big letters, "SO STFU!"

But that's me.