December 9, 2013

By the Numbers

5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Over the span of five years I have been pregnant four times. I will give birth to three babies, two of them I hope we get to raise. And one who will always be missing. Always.

Numbers are really tricky when you've lost a child. I don't like referring to my kids in numbers because it gets complicated. As we draw closer to meeting this newest babe, I find I'm getting more and more sensitive to comments about numbers - and the incorrect usage of them. Finn will always be my second child, but he is my first living. But it's still hard when people say things along the lines of "getting ready for #2." I just wish we could refer to this baby as another baby. My third pregnancy, the third baby I carried for a brief couple months, doesn't feel to me like my third child. Maybe it's because that pregnancy was unfortunately too short. Or because I didn't give birth to that child or know anything about him/her. That will always be a could have been baby to me as opposed to a baby like Cale - a child I held and saw. Cale should have been. I don't know if that's right or wrong, but it is what it is and I've come to peace with how I view that pregnancy/baby. All that to say, when people (strangers) ask me if this is my first baby (when I'm not with Finn), I say no. Sometimes I smile and say "no, it's not" and leave it at that. Other times I say "no, it's my third."

In the weeks prior to Finn's arrival, I think people were good about ensuring Cale wasn't forgotten. Grated Cale's first birthday was also around the corner, but it was like everyone knew that I was about to have our second child, not our first. This time - it's a little different. Most people are still careful and sensitive to my own sensitivities, but I can't help but feel like there are a lot who think that, yet again, we are getting ready to have our second child. I get it - I hope this is our second living child, but that's why numbers are complicated and I'd rather just hear things about having another baby. I'd rather that despite the happy outcome that I HOPE we have soon, our first child never be forgotten.


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6 comments:

  1. I'm sorry people are so insensitive. I've experienced a huge handful of comments before and after Theo was born. Especially after though. He got called my first so many times - by people who KNEW about us losing Alexander. "you'll find with the first..." "first babies are always the toughest on the parents..." "of course you're paranoid ... It's you're first! Wait until you have a second one! No time for paranoia!". It hurts me so. I know what they *mean*. Theo is "a" first in so many ways...but he's not THE first. My stepmother to this day says "just wait until you have a second" all the time when she sees me tend to Theo. drives me nuts. And hurts like hell.

    I feel the same way about my pregnancies/children. I was pregnant for a spilt second in time before we conceived Theo. I don't could that little seedling as a child nor do I couple it in when talking about pregnancies either. Only of getting totally specific do I mention it.

    You're definitely having another baby soon. I wont number him/her, I'll just pray s/he gets here safely and soundly from the warmth of your belly to the warmth of your arms heart beating and all.

    Love to you and that babe <3

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  2. Any yes yes yes. Cale should have been. He so do should have. Your first born. Always your first love

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  3. I'm the same as you- It's very clearly not my first pregnancy, but it's not my second, either.

    The numbers don't add up and I hate that.

    I *really* hate when people tell me things are going to be so difficult with two at home. I get it, Jack doesn't live (here?) but it's a painful reminder that I didn't get the chance to have two at home… And really… Do you think it matters how hard it's going to be?

    bah

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  4. I'm so sorry people are forgetting Cale. "Should have been" is a wonderful way to say it.

    My daughters will always be my first, but I'm hoping to have another baby, a sibling for them, someday. I worry about hurtful comments like those you describe, but even more I worry about getting there at all.
    Thinking good thoughts for you and this new baby.

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  5. I'm receiving those same comments, too. Yes, I received them while pregnant with Benjamin, but it's even harder this time because people feel like it's even more okay now that we have Benjamin to say that Claire is our second.

    I usually tell people the same-- this is my third. About half the time, the questions continue and they ask the general questions about ages or genders. I usually just say, "Two boys and a girl and I'm done." And if ages, I'll say that Andrew was born in 2010, Benjamin in 2012 and this one will be 2014.

    It's just hard. :/

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  6. Maybe those who don't understand think that because more time has elapsed and you have been so blessed to parent Finn, that you would somehow be further removed from Cale's loss? Which of course couldn't be farther from the truth. I would imagine that your heart is just bursting all the more in both realities...the possibility of parenting another beautiful child, the reality of aching for Cale.

    One thing is undeniable, though--this next baby is and will be loved throughout eternity, just as much as Finn, just as much as Cale. Whatever the numbers, all of them will always matter to those who know and love you.

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