Monday, December 7, 2009

How Do I Answer That?

I got all dolled up and attended my husband's Army Reserve holiday party with him over the weekend.  It was a semi-formal event, so he was in his "Dress Blues" and I fit into a great little black dress that's been in the back of my closet for years...literally years.  I even did up my hair (by myself) in more than a ponytail--it wasn't quite as fabulous as on my wedding day, but after 45 bobby-pins (yes, I counted them), I was pretty pleased with my work.

Throughout the dinner, as I met the wives of the other soldiers, they inevitably always asked if we have any kids.  How do I answer that?  How would you answer that if you've experienced three losses?  I had just met these women, and didn't know what they would think of me dropping that sort of information on them...especially after they had a couple of cocktails.  I'm so torn--I want to pay tribute to my babies and tell people about them.  I considered sweetly smiling and saying "only in heaven"--but I'm sure this isn't the type of response that they would have expected (especially after a couple of cocktails).  And who knows what "words of wisdom" they would share (again...especially after a couple of cocktails).

I find it interesting that it is so easy for me to share what's on my heart here--through this format--with complete strangers...and yet I struggle to share something that is so important to me when face-to-face with someone.  Perhaps I just think that the pain and frustration of loss is a hard pill to swallow, and people need to have the space to react on their own time.  Perhaps I'm afraid of what people might think of me.  Perhaps I'm just scared of how they might react and what they might say, as even comments with the best intentions can still sometimes hurt.

So I ask you--how do I answer the "do you have any kids?" question?  Does anyone have a tried-and-true response that allows you to honor your loss(es) while also providing the other person with some sort of refuge from the bomshell that is about to drop?  Or is recurrent pregnancy loss just not proper dinner conversation? 

On a lighter blessing for the weekend was in the form of some amazing college football games!  Talk about some crazy finishes!  And to cap it all off, my team won an upset to clinch 2nd place in our conference!  My husband and I won't be able to go to the bowl game again (like we did last year) since we'll be with his family for the holidays, but it's still a really big deal for our team, our school, and our community. 


  1. Hi Laura! Ugh I totally understand where you are coming from when asked that question in person, by people that you've just met or just in general. Two approaches for me that work are: if the person asking is a complete 'stranger' (i.e. they don't know when my birthday is) they I will just answer with a simple "hopefully soon" - if the person asking me is a 'friend' but they know nothing of our past, I would tell them that we've miscarried 3 times and are hopeful in the next one. I figure, if they are 'comfortable' enough to ask me that question as a friend, they should also be comfortable with the answer I'm going to give to them. Whether or not they are ready to hear it isn't really my problem. This is exactly why I would NEVER ask anyone that question again - because we have no idea what they've been through to get pregnant and/or keep the pregnancy, right?

    Whatever feels comfortable with you is how you should answer - if you are not ready to go into detail about your angels, they I would leave it as short and sweet as possible. But if would like to honor their memory, then I would tell their story. ;)

  2. I dont really have words for your question, I'm sure it's tough. It's tough for me to tell people we've been trying for 8 months. So I can't imagine if there would have been losses as well. Hopefully soon we'll be able to say we are expecting. :)


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