Pregnancy after loss - dealing with the "is this your first" question(13 Posts)
I hope I'm posting in the right place. We are in the wonderful position of being pregnant again after a second trimester loss last year, we had a 12 week scan and things look good.
My last pregnancy was my first pregnancy and our baby was stillborn at 21 weeks after a fatal fetal abnormality diagnosis.
I have been dreading the inevitable "is this your first" or questions to that effect. It isn't. I don't even feel comfortable saying something like it's our first baby but second pregnancy because it will be our 2nd baby. Equally I don't want to make other people uncomfortable.
How did anyone deal with this?
It's difficult. A girl I work with had a stillbirth at 37 weeks and always includes that little baby when asked how many children she has. She is confident and doesn't mind explaining to people when they seem puzzled and ask where her other child is. We all see that child as part of her family now - he's not hidden away - he really existed and he's not forgotten.
Some people are awkward and don't know what to say because miscarriage and stillbirths are still not really discussed openly.
It's up to you though, maybe you would prefer to remember your child just with your family and friends rather than having to discuss it with every person who asks you if it's your first child.
I have the same issue with 'oh your second' I just say 'no, my third, our second daughter was stillborn at 22 weeks' not entirely true as I had a tfmr after a T18 diagnosis but I often say stillborn as it avoids any judgyness about terminations.
I have said it so often in answer to the 'will you have a second?' 'We had a second but sadly she was stillborn' that it is now just a stock response, sometimes almost without emotion, in the same way you'd say 'oh yes I have 2 children 3 and 2' for example.
If you're interested come and join us on the antenatal angels and rainbows thread, there are a couple of us around 12 weeks, and def 2 of us who have had fetal abnormalities diagnosis.
Thanks for the responses!
I like that response KittyandTeal...I'm also delighted to hear you're 12 weeks pregnant! You gave me advice on another thread I had a while ago (possibly before I changed my username after the hacking thing), I know we went through a similar experience. I must search for that thread and join, thanks!
Please do, it'll be lovely to have another alongside us.
It's alway comforting talking to other people who are pregnant after loss and understand it's not always as exciting as it might once have been.
I'm always open about loosing dd2. I figure if it makes someone uncomfortable then they don't deserve to hear about her or my new one anyway. I know that sounds blasé but most people I come across are supportive or just say something like 'I'm sorry to hear that'. Sadly quite a few have also replied that they have suffered late losses too.
We lost our daughter last Spring very unexpectedly. She was seven years old and was just the most wonderful child. I will always include her when asked how many children I have. We are just starting ttc after a lot of heart searching as we would love another child and to give our little boy a sibling once more. Nothing will replace my daughter but we hope a new addition will bring us all some joy after what has been the most awful year
Our first dd was stillborn quite recently - she had patau syndrome. I'm 10 weeks pregnant and practising saying 'no this is my second, my first was stillborn ' I know that's the answer I want to give but getting the words out is tough. I'm also on the angels and rainbows thread with kitty - please do come on over
You could always say, do you mind if I don't answer as it really shouldn't matter to you and for me it's a difficult question to answer.
I lost my first did 10 years ago at 25 weeks, and went on to have another 4 Dds. I guess you formulate your own 'story' to those questions. Initially I always included dd, but increasingly it became awkward, and I was sick of having awkward conversations. I always talk about dd, so it's not a matter of denying her, and my surviving Dds always talk about her also.
So I now say I have 4 Dds, but I do always think of her when I say it. And if the conversation goes on, I will often mention dd. having 4dds seems to be a think people like to comment on. Many people comment negatively. I always pipe up and say that I've had 5 Dds, and I would have loved to have had them all with me.
It really is a tough and difficult time. The world seemed to be on hold when I was hoping for a living baby, and then when I had one I was completely in shock. Don't worry about making others feel uncomfortable, you've suffered more. In time,you'll develop a response you feel comfortable with
Thanks for all the replies and I'm so sorry for all of your losses. It's such a devastating experience and people really don't like to talk about it (and I'm a talker!)
Yes I too have been practising my answer in my head but haven't had to say any words out loud yet. I'll get there! I will pop over to that other thread-thank you for the invitations!
I find this really hard - I'm usually pretty blunt and will say what I mean, but this feels a lot more personal. My DD is 4.6, and my DS was stillborn at 36/40 last year.
My answer depends on who is asking and how well I am likely to get to know them over time (I'm a medic and personnel change fairly frequently). My stock 'stranger' answer is 'just the one with me', or 'just the one right now'. Those who are likely to stick around will hear the full story.
I always have the same issue... We have 3 children but I delivered 4 and I am a mother of 4. But this only makes sense to others who have walked the walk. So I tend to talk to kindred spirits... to those who know and can handle such talks... to mothers who know what it's like to leave the delivery suite utterly empty in hand and heart.
Like ChatEnOeuf wrote, "my answer depends on who is asking..."
My heart truly goes out to you all... it leaves such a stain, no matter how much time passes and how much we do seemingly heal.
needanewjob my heart breaks for you... what I went through doesn't even compare to what you've suffered.
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