The long answer or the short answer.
I was recently asked if this was my first baby. I paused and hesitated before I answered. I could tell the person was in a hurry and I smiled really big and didn’t really say anything. They nodded, said their congratulations and kept walking. Which is what I predict they would have done regardless of what my answer would have been.
That is such a loaded question. A question that I answer differently depending on who I am with. It depends on the setting, the interaction, the time constraints, and just the day it’s self.
My short answer is to just smile. They can assume what they want with that smile. I don’t nod or shake my head, I just smile. If the person looks close enough they can see the sadness behind the smile. If they don’t look close enough they see the smile and assume what they will and move on.
The long answer is no. This is not my first child. That can be followed up by the person saying congratulations and walking away of it can lead to the follow up question of oh how many children do you have. This is where the long answer comes in. My answer depends on if I feel like the person actually cares, if the personal actually has time to hear, if that person has the ability to deal with the sadness that will be the rest of the long answer, and my ability to hear the words out loud – again – on that particular day.
How many children do I have depends on who you are. In the medical field I am para 1 (still God willing) and gravida 2 and abortus 1. I have been pregnant two times (gravida) and lost my first pregnancy to miscarriage (this still calculates into the gravida but also the abortus) Spontaneous abortion is the terminology for miscarriage. So this will be my first living biological baby once it is here. Right now it is still viable so para 1.
To other people, and to me, this is my third baby. My first was Addy through adoption even though it was never legal and finalized, she was mine. This is when I explain we couldn’t have kids and decided to adopt. We were chosen and the baby came too early and lived 8 days before she passed away (the nut shell version of her 8 days). I don’t get into the NICU and the hours spent by her side praying and the tears shed and the aching hole in my heart. The hope that we felt for the first time in many years and how it all came crashing down. My second was a surprise – a loved surprise that ended in miscarriage years after I was told I would never get pregnant. And my third is now. My rainbow baby. The baby that I am currently carrying and hope and pray things continue to go smoothly. The baby that I am so excited to be experiencing, but still very cautious about that hope and excitement.
The further along in my pregnancy the more my answer has turned to “1st living.” This allows people to run in the other direction to avoid conversation they don’t want to have. Or it invites them to ask follow up questions if they want to know more. Some people ask, some people don’t. I don’t blame them either way.
Is this my first? How much time do you have and how much do you care?