I'm never sure how to handle innocent comments without making the people I'm speaking to feel bad. At story hour today, a mom I hadn't seen before brought her two sons, who are close in age to my two. (Her boys are 5 and 7 months, mine are 4.5 and 5 months.) To make conversation, she asked how old my boys were and then said, "it's a great spacing, isn't it?" She talked a little about how it was great that her older boy was growing more independent and so on, but while I nodded and said it's nice to have time with the baby while Larry's off doing his own thing, I didn't speak up and say that the spacing was not intentional.
I miscarried twins in January 2005 and Larry's sister Ramona died at almost 20 months in October, and most of the other moms at the story hour knew Ramona personally. I don't think they overheard me talking to the new mom today, but how do I handle this now that I've had several people comment on the wide spacing between my kids? I had another well-meaning mom say, "that's the way to do it, have them a few years apart when the older one's doing everything on his own."
I feel like I'm bringing them down and ruining their day, making them feel bad for a friendly and innocent comment, if I tell them about Ramona, but if they find out later about her they'll probably wonder why I didn't mention her before. Anyone have any ideas? The new mom at story hour was very nice and I'm hoping I can talk to her again...
Oh I know what you mean. I always feel bad for making someone who asked feel like a heel, you know. I have no advice, because I certainly haven't figured it out. Not speaking up makes me want to cry, as if I have pretended my child didn't exist in some way.
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. I don't think anyone would think anything other than maybe you didn't want to talk about the loss of your child with practically a stranger. Perhaps, one day, there will be a time when it seems more appropriate for you to mention in to her. Maybe you could also say something like, well they have siblings in heaven, or something to that effect when people comment on the spacing.
Maybe something like,,,,this isn't how we planned it. It just happened to work that way.
I am a bit crass I guess. I very rarely consider how the other person may feel about my comments. I know that when I get asked how many kids do I have my response is always two living.
If they ask questions after that I answer as honestly as I can without being outright rude.
I do know that I have no tolerance whatsoever for people's stupid and hurtful words anymore.
I hope that the situation works well for you and you do get to know her better. I honestly think that even if she doesn't find out about Ramona for a while that she will understand why you kept it to yourself.
"Heaven is your home, and it's all you'll ever know"
Personally, I usually try to talk about my angel babies. I was given that advice by a sweet older woman I met at my old church. She had asked about Peter, saying "how's the baby, didn't you have twins?" (I guess she remembered that I'd been pregnant, but got me mixed up with someone else) When I told her about Peter, she hugged me and shared that she'd lost a baby boy too. She told me never to stop talking about Peter. So I don't. I don't think I should have to. I'm very proud of my son. He was a beautiful boy.
Unless the person is someone I really don't like, or someone I've just met that I don't have a good feeling about I usually tell them half my children are in heaven. I recently started going to a new church where most people don't know about Peter or my other angel babies, so I'm meeting a lot of new people. Monday someone asked me how many children I have, so I told her, "Well, I have 4 on earth and 4 in heaven." When she asked if I'd lost them to miscarriage, I told her I lost 3 to miscarriage and Peter made it to full term. I don't get angry, though sometimes my voice shakes just a little. Every once in a while a tear or two will fall. It depends on how emotional I am at the moment. I think it's okay to be emotional about it. They are our babies and we miss them.
I figure the more we talk about our little ones, the more people will be aware that babies do die in this day and age and hopefully it will make them more sensetive.
Last edited by sweetpetunia; 03-12-2008 at 11:58 AM.
I agree with pp. I would say that the spacing did not go exactly as planned, because of your loss. That you would have preferred the siblings be closer in age, but you can see benefits of a spaced out family too due to the circumstances of losing your beloved daughter.
My mom had 5 losses between me and my brother, and consequently we are 10 years apart. My mom always calls us her miracle babies cause she was told she'd never have kids at all, so she took what god gave her.
That is so hard. We now have 3 month old twins, but Beckett was our first child, so I often don't know how to answer the question: Are they your only/first children? I've decided that, for me, I decide how to answer that based on the relationship/potential relationship I have/will have with that person.
Random people who stop us to ask about the twins? I just say, "yes."
Anyone I think I will talk to again in the future? I say something like: Unfortunatly, our son, Beckett was born too early and just too little to make it; he was their older brother.
That is what works for me. Sometimes I want to say more to the random people (it is hard to pretend Beckett didn't exist), but it is just too difficult (emotionally and logistically) to explain to everyone I meet, but in another vein, like you said, I don't want people I might get to know/run into again, to find out from someone else.
I deal with the same thing but a little different--I lost my first and haven't had another. Recently I got an email questionnaire for a group I'm in that asks general questions including if you have kids/how many. I was torn as I don't know the people that well but I went ahead and said that I had one baby in Heaven. It felt awkward but now I'm glad. It's harder in person as people just assume I'm not a mom and some even assume I don't want to be yet which is worse (we've been TTC almost 2 years by now). I find it easier to just say I have a baby in Heaven and talk about it. I'm always shocked by how many women have their own half-hidden miscarriage story themselves.