my son died shortly after he was born, now i'm pg with my third and people keep refering to the baby as number two, any advice on how to handle this please?

(84 Posts)
whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 19:13:52

i have dd 5, ds died after he was born.
now im og with number three, but people keep saying things to me about what it will be like when i have twosad
and its making me really sad

these are people who know i have a son too.

im sure they don't mean it in a horrible way, but just things like my friend this wekk was struggling a bit with her younger one, he kept trying to go off all the time.
she says to me this is what it will be like for you when you have two.

and there was another similar thing earlier in the week toosad

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thisisyesterday Fri 10-Aug-12 19:23:24


i have a good friend in exactly the same situation, but she is fairly forthright and if someone says "imagine what it'll be like when you have 2" she just comes out and says "I already have 2 children"

I guess people are just meaning it in practical terms you know? so perhaps it would have felt better if she had said "this is what it'll be like when you've got 2 of them running around?". she probably wasn't implying that you only have 2 children, because of course you have and always will have 3

kellykateneedsaholiday Fri 10-Aug-12 19:27:47

I'm sure they aren't doing it to be horrible.

I know a couple of mums who have lost a baby at birth or soon after and I never know how many children to talk about. I just don't want to upset them by mentioning all the children they have given birth to invade its not something they like mentioned. I also don't want to offend by not counting a child who sadly isn't here anymore as they are no less important.

Congrats with baby no 3

JustFabulous Fri 10-Aug-12 19:32:22

I am sorry you lost your son.

I am sure people are meaning when you physically have two children to look after, as you haven't had that sadly.

Maybe they don't know you have lost a baby before?

People are unsure about mentioning a loss incase it upsets you and don't know the "right" thing to say.

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 19:39:32

thanks for the replies and your advice.

thanks, yes i'm she wasn't saying it to be horrible.

i think she probably just felt awkward herself as her ds2, is just at that awkward toddler age when they just don't listen.
and i think she may have felt a bit blush
as he kept wandering off.

i think i will have to say something next time, as this has happend twice this week and its really really upsetting me.

i thought afterwards perhapsi should have said well i do actually have two children.
but then i was worried she would say well you know what i mean, as if i was trying ot be funny or somethingsad
but perhaps your friends response is easier, @i already have two children@

the sad thing is im dreading a bit meeting the new mums i will meet when i have thi baby, and i know i will get the small talk so is your first or second etc, then i will say third, then have to explain my second died or why ds is not here
but i was hoping with my current friends it wouldnt be an issue

i definatley need to say something thpugh as this is really upsetting me, and it is going ot happen again.

kellyandkate, if your not sure how many children to mention, i think the best thing to do would be to either ask the mum, or just don't mention number of children

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whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 19:45:02

yes they both know my son died.
been friends with both for years

i'm sure they didnt mean to say it to be horrible, and they ment more of a two running around practical thing.

but it hurts like hell being told
wait till you have two children
when i already dosad

and i know this is going ot come up again and again so i need to find a better way of handling it

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JustFabulous Fri 10-Aug-12 19:59:45

I understand how it hurts.

It hurt so much when MIL bought twin toy trains for my son's first birthday. His twin had died. I have never said anything to her but won't forget it.

Springforward Fri 10-Aug-12 20:04:56

I'm sorry for your loss OP. Do you think you might feel more comfortable if you had a phrase ready to use when this happens next? I don't want to put words in your mouth because I can't imagine how it must feel, so I won't suggest any, but maybe something which gently reminds people that this will be your third child, and that you're absolutely OK with people mentioning your late DS and really want him to be remembered with love?

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 20:05:20

im so sorry for the loss of your ds's twinsad
was he a boy too?
just fabulous, i can see why that would really hurt.
do you think your mil was just not thinking?

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JustFabulous Fri 10-Aug-12 20:06:54

Yes, a boy.
DH said she wasn't thinking and didn't mean anything. I am less charitable. She has done other very hurtful things.

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 20:09:37

thanks spring forward, yes that exactly what would help me.
having a phrase handy for the next time.
because i know there will be a next time.
yes am i'm more than happy for people to mention my sons name and i want him to be remmebered with love.
you are spot on

do you have any ideas of phrases i could use?

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RandomMess Fri 10-Aug-12 20:09:49

As these people are friends perhaps you could talk with them about how you feel?

The hurt that you only got to look after 2 dc for such a short time, that this will be your 3rd child yet you only have two of them to run around at the same time.

In fact at how much you are still hurting.

Hugs, I can understand why it hurts so much, I'm sure your friends don't expect you not to still be sad, don't discount your son as being your child.

RandomMess Fri 10-Aug-12 20:11:52

Cross posts.

Phrases, hmm tough one.

"well of course I should already have 2 to look after already and it hurts that I don't"

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 20:12:59

i'm sorry.
i'm sure know know if it wasn't just an accident.
i too do not forgive somethings that upset me at he time of my sons death and afterwards.
my inlaws never once asked whos white after the birth, and my mil has never even seen my sons photos.

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whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 20:15:25

yes i guess i could try talking to them about this.
i just find it hard to know what to say and how to begin.

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HandMadeTail Fri 10-Aug-12 20:21:06

JustFabulous, you don't think she was buying a present for both boys?

Perhaps you could say, one day, how sad it made you feel, that day. She probably feels really sad, as well.

White can you gently say to your friends, "this will be my third child"? And, perhaps your MIL can't bear to talk about your little lost boy. People handle grief in different ways.

I'm so sorry that this has happened to both of you. I can't imagine how terrible it would be to lose a child. sad

Springforward Fri 10-Aug-12 20:25:38

How about mentioning something about this being your third labour and birth, so you introduce the idea to people quite gently? Maybe something like, "well, birth number three is only x weeks away now, I'm really looking forward to having another LO running about", dropped into the conversation?

Or, does your DS have a grave, or a memorial of any kind? Maybe another way to broach it might be something like, "after the baby is born we'll go and tell DS about it" (I appreciate that this isn't for everyone - in my family we still go to our late parents' grave to tell them our news!)

IME of bereavement, people really don't know what to say to help, and they find it embarrassing so try not to mention it unless you do, IYSWIM?

JustFabulous Fri 10-Aug-12 20:28:27

No, I don't. She won't ever respond on the rare occasion I mention the other baby.

She wrote me a letter how she wouldn't be able to celebrate her birthday for many many years after I miscarried another baby on her birthday. The following year it was balloons and wine galore.

Springforward Fri 10-Aug-12 20:29:00

Just remembered - I did my LLL peer supporters course with a mum whose last pregnancy had sadly resulted in stillbirth. She was very matter of fact about it - she just said, when introducing herself, "I have a daughter whose 4, and unfortunately my son, who should be 2 now, was stillborn. We're hope for another child though". Everyone who heard it just accepted it, and after that she spoke openly about her two pregnancies and births. If anyone felt awkward about it, I certainly didn't notice TBH.

missorinoco Fri 10-Aug-12 20:31:37

Agree re a phrase. I like Randomness's phrase. Or how about, "You know, DS is still very much with me, even though he isn't physically here."
Just to gently remind them how you feel.

But I should add I know I cannot imagine how you feel, so if it's a crap suggestion, sorry, just discard it.


whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 20:35:09

yes that day i had already been talking about the baby, as with dd and ds, i had bad hyperemesis, and everyones been asking how sick ive been this time, and i was saying im not sure if its because this is my third baby and ive figured out what to do and not to do.
and im eatting before rising, wearing seabands 24/7 but i'm not so sick this time

so i do refer to the baby as my third.

my ds is buried in a churchyard, in our village.
atm he has a little wooden cross, and the headstone is actually being made atm.
we only got the permit a couple of weeks ago, as we agonised over what to choose and what to have on the inscription then of course we had ot get it all approved by the church
so that my sons headsrone should be here in about 3-4 weeks from now.
really hope it will be nice

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HappyCamel Fri 10-Aug-12 20:35:16

I'm the only survivor out of infant hood of 4. My mum calls me her surviving child, or her youngest. Of course your little boy is a special memory for you but to be honest, you'll probably feel better in yourself of you can focus on your surviving kids. I know my mum never took offence at me being called an only child because effectively that is what I was. If I'm asked if I have siblings I say yes, but they died, otherwise people know me as an only one.

3duracellbunnies Fri 10-Aug-12 20:35:59

I really don't think your friends are aware of how you might feel. I think maybe a chat with them if you feel able to, say that you know that they aren't meaning to upset you, but could they please refer to your dc as your third. And maybe to others if it ever comes up say 'well of course to me dc3 will always be my third'. Hope this pg is uneventful and your dc3 is happy and healthy.

whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 20:40:05

i do feel like i talk openly about my son.
and i know i shall have to explain to the inevitable new people that i will meet that i have a son too.
but its just hurts that i have to say thing to existing friends iyswim

"You know, DS is still very much with me, even though he isn't physically here." yes i could definatly use that.
as i do believe ds is around me, i feel him around alot.

i know im going to HAVE to say something as i can't feel this upset all the time.

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whiteandyelloworchid Fri 10-Aug-12 20:41:40

"but to be honest, you'll probably feel better in yourself of you can focus on your surviving kids"

er, how do you think i've managed to function and get out of bed since my son died?

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