The Test

Yesterday we had a customer at the store with what I will swear on a stack of Bibles was the world's most polite 11-year old ever. I was complimenting dad, asking how he managed to raise such a great child.

His question to us? "How many kids do you have?"

Me? "Just one......"

I hate that that was my gut reaction. No, I don't have "just one". I have three. Andrew, Leila, and one I never give a second thought - my seven week miscarriage. Which Jess has really opened my eyes that (s)he was a life, too. And then discrediting my baby girl, too. What's wrong with me?

You know how you replay the conversation in your head afterward? What I wish I'd said is "I'm raising one, Jesus is raising the other two." But wouldn't that make the other person uncomfortable? Would it require a lengthy explanation? Is there such a thing as TMI when it comes to our heavenly children?

How have you handled this? Did you go for broke and let it all out? Did you do what I did, then feel that immense guilt?


  1. I haven't had that situation, so I don't know how I would handle it. On the one hand, there's a part of you who wants the world to know that the child living with you is not your only child, but on the other hand it would make the other person uncomfortable.

    I guess it all depends on the conversation and the context of the question.

  2. So far every time I've been asked I've included Carleigh. It gets a little trickier when they ask 'how old are they?'

  3. I think in your shoes, I would have given your first response but the one you wanted to say was PERFECT! Since I've had miscarriages so early, I never tell people about them unless we are close friends or the subject of miscarriages comes up. It isn't something I just throw out there because people ask too many questions, and I don't feel like answering and it makes for an ackward situation (I don't want people to feel sorry for me or think I'm broken). Your situation is different when it comes to Leila because people would consider her a baby (she physically resembled a baby and I just saw her pictures by the way and wow, she was beautiful. I love her tiny toes and face-such a sweet, beautiful face). It really depends on how much you want to share. If you say you have 1 or 2 in heaven, the person is going to ask questions. We were talking about ob ultrasound in class today, and I brought up my niece as an example. I told them she was born at 20 weeks and died six minutes after birth, and I could just see the sadness on my classmates faces, and I almost felt bad bringing Sarah up.

    I always wonder when I get pregnant what I will say when someone asks me if it is my first pregnancy or baby? If I say, "No actually, this isn't my first baby or pregnancy, I have four babies in heaven. I miscarried them around 6-8 weeks." That is going to make the person really uncomfortable.


  4. I think all of us have had an experience where we regretted not saying enough or perhaps saying too much. For me, it has just depended on the situation. If I feel comfortable, then I'll mention that I have a child. If I don't feel like explaining at the moment, then I won't. I've been talking about Ella all week with my students- which is a little weird since they're 1st-4th graders. But, they've asked about the footprints on my necklace and I have told them that they were my daughters. Then they said, "were." And, I said, "yes, she passed away at birth." They asked more questions like how big she was, why did she die, ect... And, I've given them answers in simple terms. I know you feel bad, but don't. I think what happened is so normal. Mentioning her or not mentioning her, either way, its akward and unpleasant- in my opinion, of course.

  5. Every dbm has been in this difficult spot where you feel bad for making a stranger feel awkward but you feel guilty if you don't include your baby in your total tally. Normally, I just say that "I have a daughter that lives in heaven, and don't feel bad for asking because I love to talk about her" and of course, you have to deal with the pity look but it alleviates me from the guilt that will permeate the rest of my day if I give another answer.

    Its tough though for sure~

  6. I have no idea how I would deal with that... I like JenJen's answer, except I don't think I'm that brave. I might just say "none" and then hate myself later.

  7. I think that would have been an great answer. People need to know.

  8. I always say "I have 5. 4 here and 1 in heaven". People rarely ask a follow up question. I know that it makes them feel uncomfortable. But I have to do what's right for me. I have to count him.

    My kids are usually with me and then often add to my answer. They have told me before that they want Nate to be counted. They want to talk about him and so do I.

    In the first year, I would get a throbbing pain in my stomach when I would even mention his name. It hurt so bad. But now, I'm proud to talk about my son. I'm still sad and it reminds me how much I miss him but he'll always be my son.

  9. So far I haven't had that question...dreading it when school starts for my oldest in 2 weeks...but I can say the subject has come up a lot with my family.

    My mom says Katy is grandbaby #6 and has a picture of her with the rest of the kids on her facebook.

    My SIL made t-shirts for the grandparents the other day and when we talked on the phone we discussed what I thought, and she thought, of Katy's name on the shirts....we all agree she was my child and deserves a spot in the family.

    I think it is good that we are willing to post pictures of our babies and talk about them and name them...And really, I am to the point that I don't care if it is uncomfortable...she was one of God's children and she was here and she deserves the same acknowledgment as anyone else (thinking rich man vs begger in James...I just read it, sorry if I am too get biblical, LOL).

    My husband might have a different reaction, but he won't talk about it with me so I can't enlighten you there...