How do you answer “the” question? 3


 
It started on our wedding day.
Maybe even before our wedding day. 
“So…when are you guys gonna have kids?”
As a young couple in our early twenties we normally responded with the politically correct answer of, “We’ll see…”
Five years later we were blessed with this little doll.
Yet, now that we have AJH, the questions have not ceased.
It’s not even the somewhat subtle, “So, when are you guys gonna have another baby,” that we often get. Most people just flat out say, “Sooooo, are you guys trying for number two?”
And it’s okay. This is not a rant. I am grateful that people are generally interested in our life and I have probably asked the same thing to my own friends. I think most of the time people are just making small talk and really just don’t know what else to ask a young couple.
So while this post is not a rant, it’s more of a discussion:

How do you answer “the” question? 

This is my typical response:
“Um, yeah, we’re sort of trying, but not really trying trying (whatever that means?!). I guess we’re not trying to get pregnant, but we’re not trying to stop it either.”
That makes sense, right?!?
When people are fairly persistent and say things like, “So, why haven’t you guys had a baby yet?” (meanwhile our daughter is barely 17 months old)  I am tempted to reply with, “Actually, I was pregnant a few months ago. But it didn’t work out.” 
But I haven’t said that yet. 
I don’t want to come off as “Debbie Downer” or sad “miscarriage girl” so I normally just pretend we didn’t go through that experience
But is that the right response? In my heart of hearts I think the answer is no. 
I have a lot of friends that have gone through the same experience or simply just can’t get pregnant and I have to wonder how difficult this question must be for them.
From my experience, I know that denying that it happened isn’t going to make it go away.
(I think the older I get, the more I actually believe the cliché, “the truth will set you free.”)
And sadly, miscarriage is now part of my truth.
A portion of this post from Life Rearranged on what to do/say when a friend experiences loss really stands out in my mind.
“Often people are afraid to acknowledge dates [and loss] for fear that the parent
will be reminded or upset.  The thing is, the parents need no reminding.
 The dates are always there.  Always looming.  Even years and years
down the line.  Your remembering will be comforting, not harming.  Get
out your calendar.  Mark down birth dates, death dates, due dates.  Send
a simple “thinking of you” card. Make a quick phone call. Do not be
afraid to use the baby’s name.  You will be a little light in a very
dark day for them.”
In this post by MemoMuse, she describes miscarriage as a “silent empty box.” She says, “There are so many women out there feeling this same feeling today,
yesterday, tomorrow.  It covers me like a vine nobody can see.  Much
like a bean pole vine grasping to anything its tendril can reach. Something sturdy, mounted in dirt, standing upright.  This vine of
sadness can’t grasp onto nothing.  So I grasp and curl around words. 
Around people I trust.  Around acknowledgement that it happened. That’s
its over. That I need to grieve.”
I couldn’t agree more.
While our pregnancy was lost fairly early at only 9 weeks, it was still a loss. It was hard. Hearing of other December due dates is hard. Seeing others having babies 21 months apart is hard. It’s all hard.
But it’s okay. It happens to so many of us. Maybe we need to stop pretending it doesn’t happen and embrace it for what it is. A hard loss.
Maybe acknowledging my current truth is the best way to answer the question. 
I long to cling to “something sturdy.”
So, when are my husband and I going to have baby number two?
Actually, I was recently pregnant, but it didn’t work out. Now we are just waiting to see what happens. Thanks for your concern. 
What is your answer?  
What is your truth?
———————————————————————————————————-
PS–If you’re wondering what else to ask a young couple in awkward social situations besides, “when are you having a baby?” try one of these “safe” topics:
-have you been on any vacations lately?
-how is your job going?
-what kind of music have you been listening to?
-or even just,  what have you guys been up to? (besides baby making!) haha

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3 thoughts on “How do you answer “the” question?

  • Designs by Kara Kihm

    You know I recently asked someone that same question and when she responded with we just had a miscarriage I felt AWFUL!!!!!! I think sometimes people just ask questions to show interest and be nice wo thinking of the possibilities. Thanks for sharing! It's helpful to know how people feel. Grief is a journey and sometimes God's plan is not our plan! I'm always here for you!