Saturday, June 12, 2010

Are you planning on having kids soon?

Dear Stevie,
I knew it was coming, that question. I knew it as soon as I booked my haircut appointment this morning. I thought all about how I would answer it the entire drive to the salon. Five minutes into my haircut, the stylist, a sweet and bubbly girl around the same age as me with a super trendy bob cut and chunky highlights, asked me if I was married. "Yes." How long? "Three years in August." I knew what was coming next.

"So are you guys planning on having kids anytime soon?"

I froze for a moment before saying, very matter-of-factly "this is really sad, but our first was actually stillborn about 5 weeks ago."

She stopped cutting, put her hand on her heart, and looked at me in the mirror with shock and pity in her eyes. "I am so sorry, that's horrible," she said.

"Yeah, I was 26 weeks along. It looks like it was cord issue. Sorry to spring this on you, I just don't really know how else to answer that question..."

"No, I'm sorry I had to bring it up, that's just horrible."

"It's okay, you had no idea. Plus I suppose I better get used to the 'do you have kids' question sooner or later."

"Well I am really sorry. I've had a miscarriage and I know I wasn't near as far along as you were, but once you find out you're pregnant, you totally become a mom to that little baby. I'm glad you answered honestly. That was your baby, you shouldn't have to deny that."

Then she asked me your name, and whether or not we had a memorial service for you. She asked me how Dad was handling everything. I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully she handled it. I so appreciated that she talked about you with me. Here's this girl who I have known for a whole seven minutes and she made me feel less awkward and uncomfortable talking about what happened to you than a lot of my good friends. I am so thankful my first time dealing with the "so do you have kids" question was with someone like her. So thankful that I actually bought the $17 "Morrocan hair oil" she was peddling. I hope they get commission when they sell that crap.

Anyway, I held it together pretty well while I was at the salon, but the second I got in the car to drive home, I broke down and cried. I wish so badly my answer to the "kid" question could have been, "actually, I am 7 and a half months pregnant with our first," or "actually I just have a newborn baby girl. Her name is Stevie and she's at home with her Dad right now. She's the cutest little thing you've ever seen, hang on, I have a picture of her right here on my phone." I hate that I have to tell people you died. I hate that you died so much.

You will always be my first baby, sweet girl. Mommy promises I will never forget that, ever. I will never deny your existence, even someday when we (hopefully) have other children. The world will always know how much I love you. Always.

Missing you so much,


Emily said...

Wow. I hope my first time goes so well. I'm glad it was a positive experience for you (well, as positive as having to tell someone your baby died, but you know what I mean). Good job. Pat yourself on the survived. But would be SOOO much better to have cute pictures of a healthy, live baby on your phone. I hate that our babies died so much too.

Danae said...

You handled that so well, and I'm proud of you my friend! It's been 6 weeks, and I still haven't gotten that question. My stomach turns when I think about getting it. I have avoided finding a church closer to home because of that dreaded question, and I haven't went to get a haircut because of it. So, we will continue to drive 60 miles to go to church and I will let me hair get shaggy for the time being. I'm just not ready for it. I will never deny the existence of Bailey, but I don't know how to respond to that question without freaking people out yet.

Amanda said...

I'm glad that she was so earnest and compassionate. While it's hard to talk about, it's not taboo. You can't ignore it, pretend it didn't happen. You deserve to talk about sweet Stevie Joy, even if it is a sad topic. You're still a mother, and you always will be, no matter what. Mental high five on handling that with such grace!

Maggie said...

Oh that inevitable question! But, I'm glad answering it actually turned into a positive thing. It's not every day you bump into someone who asks all the right things and is obviously very sympathetic. I'm glad she was so compassionate and that she asked about Stevie and how all of you were doing. XO

Violet1122 said...

I hate that question so much! I'm so glad the person that asked you first was so gracious and kind. Bravo for speaking the truth and talking about Stevie - especially to someone you didn't know.

There is no way to avoid being asked that question. Some days, people will ask it, and it won't bother you quite as much. Other times, hearing that question will knock the wind out of you.

Sending you big hugs!

bir said...

Hairdressers. We all have a story, don't we? You'd think then that hairdressers would all have a story too. You'd think then that perhaps most hairdressers would have learned... I don't know... not to NOT ask, but maybe to expect that sort of answer. Given that there are so many of us in this babylost world, surely we haven't all come across a 'virgin' (to babylost stories) hairdresser?!


Kelley and Chris said...

I had a similar situation and I couldn't even think of what to say...and the woman talking to me was rude and insensitive. I'm glad you you were able to talk about Stevie and that you were brave enough to be completely honest. I love talking about Jackson, but unfortunately in my case, it makes the people around me uncomfortable. Almost like it's taboo. So I'm glad you got such a heartfelt response... :-)

Erin said...

I'm so glad that you were open and honest, as much as it hurts to talk about it and sucks that it happened to you. You are not only standing up for yourself by not being willing to hide your experience, but you are also encouraging and empowering others to do the same thing.

It sucks that this is such a taboo subject, even though it is (tragically) as common of an experience as it is.

Way to not let it be taboo.

I'm proud of you and so glad that you were able to talk about it with someone who was so gracious and kind.

Sending you love!

Leanne said...

You're right. Stevie will NEVER be forgotten. Your love for her ensures that. You handled the whole situation really well! I'm glad that it wasn't too horrible. It's for reasons like that that I never ask people that question. You never know if the person has lost a baby or if they are struggling for infertility. I wait and see- if they want to share, we talk. If not, then I figure I'll find out sooner or later. :)

Betsy & Kurt said...

Wow - I think it's wonderful that the first person who asked you that question ended up being someone so compassionate. Most people (and I've learned this the hard way) have no idea what to say, and they just make things super awkward. I love how you answered her question, by the way. I've been trying to find a way to explain things in the least awkward way.

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