I remember that for the first few months after my miscarriage, I always paused for a millisecond when people asked “do you have kids?”. Or when I was pregnant and was asked if this was my first, there was this tiny part of me that wanted to acknowledge that I was pregnant once before. You see, for many people who experience loss, these questions are no longer straightforward. There are those, especially if the baby was lost later on in the pregnancy, who have a very difficult time answering questions such as “how many kids do you have?”. To illustrate, a woman who became pregnant again after a loss said that well-intentioned people would often comment on how she was now getting that 3rd baby she lost. This was difficult for her to hear because in her mind, this child was not her third child — it was her fourth.
From the moment we learn that we’re pregnant, we become emotionally attached. We begin sacrificing (No sushi? Morning sickness?) for the health and benefit of our unborn child. We begin planning and dreaming. So in my opinion, regardless of whether or not we get the opportunity to welcome that child into the world, it’s still our child. It’s something that we’ll always carry. It’s something that will make us hesitate and pause when we’re asked these questions. And it’s hard if you’re caught between wanting to be polite and wanting to acknowledge the loss. But what you do and how you answer is entirely up to you. There’s no right or wrong way to respond. As always, remember to be gentle and patient, and forgiving, with yourself. You have to do what makes you most comfortable and whatever answer you give, you know deep inside what you feel is real.