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How many children do I have?
~ a message board archive
From ajpr2 ~ What do I say when people ask me? How many do I have? Do I say two alive and one that has died? Do I say three? Do I just say two? How do you deal with this?

From bigsurprise3 ~ A close friend of mine had a baby stillborn in March and a miscarriage in July, and she says she has two kids. Allison is no less yours now.

From littleangels ~ I'd say you have three children. Say it with pride too. They were a living part of you.

From LorrieAnn ~ I always answer that I have one on Earth and one in Heaven.

From Denisemac96 ~ Oh, I hate this question. I would say that you have 3 children. Some days, you will feel the need to elaborate, and others, you won't. It is a tough one for me because I have no other living children. This has come up for me about 5 times since Elli died, and I handled it differently each time. I always say I have one daughter, some days I say she is in heaven, and other times, I just change the subject after I answer the question. I always think people probably think I am a horrible mother, for not elaborating on my child, but they don't know the pain I am feeling from missing her being here. And they probably don't think that at all, it's just me being hard on myself.

From Ronna ~ I plan on always saying that I have three sons. Luke was and will always be my son. If it makes others feel uncomfortable to hear about my son who died, then that is their problem. I will talk about Luke and remember him forever. My husband had given me a beautiful bracelet two years ago with charms representing each of our children, inscribed with their name and birth dates. He had planned on giving me a charm with Luke's name and birthdate on it for my birthday, which was just 4 days before Luke passed away. I told him I absolutely want that charm!!!!!! This is going to be so hard, but our angels deserve to be remembered and talked about.

From 4everblessed ~ I'm with Lorrie on this one. I usually just say "I have 2 sons here with me and one son waiting for me in Heaven." People usually just offer their condolences, but some do ask questions. Since he has been gone for so long, I like when I'm given the opportunity to talk about him. I wrestle with this when I have to fill out forms, though. I feel guilty if I answer 2, but it isn't appropriate for me to put 3. This is one of the worst questions in the world.

From DGreen101 ~ It is such a simple question, yet for those who have lost it is such a horrible question. My wife and I have had 4 losses, but no living kids. How can I say I have 4 children? I feel that I am a father of four, but how does the conversation progress if I were to answer four? For example I say I have 4 kids . . .
"Oh, that is quite the handful!"
"What are their names ages?"
"Do you have pictures?"
The list goes on. Each of our children is precious to me but I usually answer no, I have no children and so does my wife. That's the way we deal with "strangers" asking that question. Family and friends all know that we are a family of six!

From frojo ~ I have had one loss, and have no living children. My loss was a miscarriage at 11 weeks, and not a stillbirth. I always answer that we have no children. That's how it feels. I don't feel like a mom. I don't consider myself a mom, but I don't think people who have lost their children need to feel that way. That's just how I feel. I think it's perfectly fine for someone who has lost a child to still call herself a mom. I think that's very true; I just don't feel like a mom. This is such a confusing question.

From hollym ~ I usually just tell people that I have no living children. If they ask further, then I tell them that we have two angels. It really depends on the age of the person too. We were at a party earlier tonight, and an 18-year old asked us if we had any children. We just said no. I don't think she would have understood because she is still in high school. Plus I didn't really want to hit her with reality right away. I have a friend who lost a baby in a car wreck. She tells people that she has had 4 children but only 3 are still living.

From mom2jazzygirl ~ While I lost my first in a different way, it's just as tough to answer this question when asked. When here on SN, or when giving a medical history, I talk about the first child. I have no choice, she IS part of my medical history. But, I do ask that my midwives note in my chart that she was placed for adoption so that they will NOT continue to ask about her. With close friends, I will talk about her and sometimes include her in my tally of children. With strangers, forget it. I simply do NOT want to go through my personal history, loss and pain for the sake of a stupid question. For those people, I have 3 children. She is no less my child. And, right after giving her up, I counted her quite a bit (and always mourned the most on Mother's Day). But, over time, the loss was easier to bear and I found that being forced to discuss it would bring the pain back to the surface. So, now 8.5 years afterwards, I drop mention from almost all conversations when I can help it. Easier than starting to cry over a simple question so many years later.

From Mompower ~ I always tell people I have three children. If they proceed to ask where they are or such I tell them that they are with Jesus. It seems to shock people if they do ask further and I tell them this, but I just feel like I am denying the fact that my babies and Df's babies have lived, no matter how briefly. Tell then whatever you are comfortable saying.

From JacobsMummy ~ I always say I have 2, to not say I have two, to me, disrespects the memory of my firstborn.

From Molina ~ My answer depends on how I'm feeling that day . . . if I don't feel like talking about what happened, then I say none. If I want to go into it, I will say 1. In my heart I know I'm a mother and I will always have a child, but sometimes I don't want to share the pain.

From bravedoe ~ I think all of us here have trouble at times with that question. It's as hard to answer as the "why" question. I feel it depends on how you feel at the time it is asked. There are times when I am asked that it comes very easy to say I have one child but she was stillborn. AND there are a few times I have gone to just kindly say no. The ones I say no to are people who I feel may not want to hear the answer or may expect an explanation when I'm not in the mood to explain it. It's hard to answer and again, it depends on the situation I think. As time goes on, I find it easier to say "Yes" and that she passed on. In time, your answers will come easier to situations like that. Good luck and hang in there. We ALL have a long journey ahead.

From MarthaAnn ~ I agree this situation is a difficult one that for me depends on my emotional stress level at the time. As much as I miss my son, that answer of "he is in heaven" is sadly followed by "are you going to try again" . . . not very comforting. He CANNOT be replaced by another baby.

From Whitney G ~ I think you should say whatever it feels easiest on you to say at the time the question is asked. If you think that there will be follow up questions (how old are they? what are their names?), and don't want to go into it, then just say two. Or say three, and change the subject. Or -- if *you* feel like it -- say three, and explain what happened. I don't think it's disloyal of you to say two . . . I think that you need to take care of yourself right now, and only go into as much detail as you feel up to giving.

From Maribeth ~ For me, it depends on who is doing the asking and how I feel at the time. Because my boys are older, I usually say I have "two living boys" or "two healthy sons" . . . something that IS the truth but I'm not neglecting my other sons who died. It never is an easy question - even after years.

From wizard ~ I always say I have 2 kids but they are grown and my Son went to Heaven at age 17. He is still my Son, no matter where he is. I will always remember my son, always . . .

From Licagita ~ My answer depends on who is asking and my mood. I always wear a necklace that has charms of all 4 children, so sometimes people start in with "Oh my, you have FOUR children?!" I usually answer "Yes" and then if they follow-up with "what are their names, ages..." then I will tell them the whole story. If you do not mention your lost baby, you are not showing disrespect - your baby knows that it is loved in your heart and you need to do whatever makes you feel better. You aren't proving anything by making it hard on yourself.

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