Sunday, 6 May 2012

How to answer "Do you have children?" following miscarriage or stillbirth

International Bereaved Mothers Day

In honor to Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles & Friends on International Bereaved Mothers Day ♥ Your angels love you all x
In December our twins a girl and a boy were 'born sleeping' at only 17 1/2 weeks. We currently don't have any other children so when people ask the question "do you have children?" There's a dilemma that we and millions of others like us face. How do we answer a question like that? What do we say?
Here's the thing, we've grieved and in many cases other people in similar situations still grieve for our angel children and the lives that could have been. For those who were expecting multiples, some have a surviving brother or sister too and have many bitter-sweet moments where they celebrate a birthday, special occasion or festive time with one or without the other. Then there are the birthday celebrations where there are either some or no children to throw a party for.
But here's the interesting thing, most angel parents don't know how to answer this question because they're worried about upsetting the listeners or making them feel awkward. Rather than the listener feeling bad they find themselves saying "No we don't have children" or "we've got 1,2,3,4 etc while excluding their angel(s)", in some cultures it is thought that the mention of a deceased person after a defined amount of time stops them from resting in peace.

So here's what I say, "um, [pause] it's a long story", this usually indicates that the answer isn't a straight yes or no. Then
based on the other persons reaction I decide whether to share my story but at least by that initial response they know there's something more.

My bereavement midwife told me to think about how we'd answer this question, I'm so glad she did, and if I've made it sound easy it's taken 15 months to get to this! (
My shorter response or answer by the way is "sort of")

I hope this helps you with an answer, so here are my tips:
  1. Think about how you would like to answer this question from this perspective. If you knew that your honest response would inform the other person and they could not be upset by anything you say, how would you respond?
  2. Answer in a way that feels right for you It's OK to ask for opinions, advice and help with answering this question (or similar) and only you will know the response that best for you.
  3. If the question upsets or moves you Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel, suppressing your emotion at this time will only surface emotions somewhere else.If you want someone to talk to remember that there are organisations such as SANDS who can help too find them at 

No comments:

Post a Comment