Monday, September 6, 2010

How many kids do you have?

I have continually struggled with how to answer the question, "How many children do you have?" Or while in a store, "are these your only two?" when out with Makayla and Hannah. I find myself over and over saying that I only have 2 kids. I hate it, I hate that it comes out so easily but it rips my heart out every single time. I just want to be comfortable saying I have 3, I want to speak my daughters name without seeing a slight cringe from others. Not every person in my life acts uncomfortable with me saying Olivia but most people do.

I attended a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting for the first time last week. I had heard about it since having my first child but never actually thought I would attend one. I ended up having a good time and enjoying myself. I did however have to face the question "How many children do you have?" The first time I was asked there were only 2 other women with me, I said 3. That is a HUGE step for me, I do not think I have ever told anybody 3 that did not already know about Olivia. It quickly became awkward when asked ages. I said "4, 3 and one would have been almost 4 months." After that,I told anyone else who asked that I have 2 children. I wish I had the confidence to say I have three girls. I never would have imagined that the pregnancy, knowing how it would end, would be easier than walking through life without my baby. I carried her, I held her in my arms and hugged and kissed her. She is my baby, I love her but I still deny her to others almost daily!

I have been dealing with a different kind of grief the last month. Obviously I have been grieving for my child but also for myself. I have changed. It has been almost a year since I became pregnant with Olivia. I miss who I was before, I was carefree. I could talk to people and take in what they would say, now I find myself wondering what I had a conversation about an hour after I had it. My mind is always drifting, not always sad but thinking. I watch the girls play and picture where Olivia would be while her sisters run all over the place. The biggest stress when thinking about having a 3rd child was worrying about sleep or how many diapers we would go through. I really just miss being me, not the new me! I have become a stronger person than I knew I could be but I wish I did not have to know that strength.

If I could go back and change the outcome and have a happy healthy baby, I would do it. Since I cannot, I would still do it all over again. I have learned so much about myself, I have also learned that my faith is real. It is so easy to say "I believe in God" or memorize scripture and attend church every Sunday. When it came down walking through the darkest part of my life, I truly learned to lean on God and put all of my trust in Him, knowing that I would be ok. The pregnancy with Olivia was the most physically uncomfortable out of all pregnancies. The last couple of months it would hurt to lay down, to sit for too long, everything just hurt. At about 32 weeks I could not take it anymore. I had nothing left to do but pray. I prayed for my pain to go away or to just go into labor. I did not want to have my baby yet but my body had hit its limit. I begged and pleaded with God, telling Him I could not take anymore. From that night on and for the next 2 weeks, I felt great. I went back to having just typical aches and pains of pregnancy and of course heartburn!

When I began having pain again 2 weeks later I knew the end was coming. After 2 days of contracting I laid on my couch and prayed again, just like 2 weeks before. This time I prayed that if this was it, I was ready. I prayed for the strength to get through what was about to come and he delivered. I wish I could have had another ending to my story. That my faith was tested but Olivia still came home and we lived happily ever after. For now, I will truly believe that God knows why were given this path to take and just keep moving forward.


  1. ((HUGS)) I know how hard that question is. I have started telling people that I have a daughter in Heaven. I feel so much better when I answer like that. It is hard making people uncomfortable, but not saying makes me uncomfortable. I also find it difficult to concentrate on life and what is going on around me at times-I find myself in those conversations too. I am sorry things are still so difficult. You can email me anytime you need someone to talk to. You are in my prayers!

  2. Praying for you! It is so difficult to interject our babies into a lighthearted conversation about children. It is something that I have made myself do. I know if I do not make myself, I won't do it. It makes me feel better to tell others also. Big hugs!

  3. That question almost becomes like a dagger once you've lost a child. You know that if you don't include them you feel guilty but if you do it becomes awkward for the person who asked. You just have to find what you are comfortable with.

    This path definitely either breaks or makes your faith.

  4. Been trying to comment on this for awhile, but my every time I tried, my computer would act up. I definitely understand and can relate to having a conversation and then later wondering what it was all about. I find my mind racing a lot! I am sorry that this question is a difficult one for you. Been thinking about you and praying.