“Is This Your First?”

Today at the grocery store, the cashier asked me when I was due.  I was a little surprised because this is the first time I’ve been asked about this pregnancy by a complete stranger. He told me his fiancee was pregnant, and he could see the band from my maternity pants (so much for no-show secret panels!)  I told him I was due in April, and we started chatting a bit.  His fiancee is about as far along as I am, and he was telling me about his family…super sweet guy!  Then, he asked the question I was waiting for, “Is this your first?” I paused and thought, “What do I say to a complete stranger in this situation?”

This shouldn’t be a complicated question, but it is!  The simple answer is, “No, this is my second child.”  But, the hard part is the conversation usually doesn’t end there.  Then people want to know how old they are and where they’re at.  And, it seems like the further you get into the conversation, the harder it is to tell them that your child passed away.

There have been a few times where I’ve told the truth, but then things usually get really awkward really fast because 1) people don’t expect that to be the answer, and 2) they never know what to say.  Rarely someone will have a response that makes me think they must have dealt with it in their own life somehow.

So, today in the Harris Teeter check out line, I just told him, “Yes, this is our first child.”  And, like always, I felt horrible.  I feel like I’m denying my daughter, but it’s hard to live through that pain with complete strangers.  I know it’s a question that I’ll have to keep answering, especially since the baby bump is becoming pretty obvious.  I just wish I knew the perfect thing to say.

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5 Comments

Filed under Grief, Pregnancy

5 responses to ““Is This Your First?”

  1. Janet Totty

    Amanda, I don’t think there is a right thing to say, or a perfect thing to say. I think that whatever you say that day is “right”! Some days you are probably stronger than others and that’s ok! Love you!

  2. Kim Stanley

    Amanda,

    I remember going through the Invitro process with Colby, and I got to know a lady going through the same process. We seemed to have our weekly shots at the same time and got to know each other fairly well. I remember someone asking her in the doctor’s office while we were waiting if this was her first pregnancy and she said “No, this is my third child.” Then she said ” I have two sweet angels that God needed up in heaven with him.” This touched my heart in a way that I have never forgotten.

    Thinking about you!

    Kim Stanley

  3. Amber Dunlow

    Amanda, you need to say whatever you are comfortable with saying at that moment and on that day! I like what Kim said about having an angel up in Heaven, that is a sweet response:) Love you sweetie!

  4. Jessica

    I was talking to a mom at Little Gym and she was talking about her boys. I asked her how old they are. She told me that one was 10 and the other was an angel. Hannah is a sweet angel, watching over you and Zach and the new baby.

  5. Ginger Ritter

    Girl…yes, you’ll find it probably depends on the day, how you’re doing that particular day and your mood. It helps me to talk about it w/ people and my kids are usually w/ me when I go out and will tell the stranger first before I can even get a word in edgewise…=o) When I’m out, w/ just Brooklyn, it just depends bc (like you said) it can get accord very quicly and people do not know how to respond. Don’t feel likke you are denying Hannah…you are not. You are a wonderful mother!

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