If you know me in real life and have found this blog, please honour my wishes and don't read on. I need this place to freely write my feelings to help me to heal and if you're reading, I'll censor myself. I have no way of knowing who is reading so all I can do is trust you to honour my wishes. Thank you.

(this doesn't apply to any of my fellow mums of angels I've been lucky enough to meet in real life)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

That Question

I've just started dropping off and picking up the neighbours two boys from kindy. I'm enjoying it and it fills in part of the day. I am nowhere near ready to go back to work and this gives me a reason to get out of bed (and stay out). But this morning, one of the teachers asked me 'Have you got any kids of your own?' and before I had a thought 'No' just jumped out of my mouth. I instantly felt awful and rushed through my goodbyes to the boys so I could get in the car and cry. What sort of mother am I?

What do other people do when they're faced with this question?

I've been guilty of asking people this in the past but I doubt I would now. This experience has opened my eyes to a whole world of pain and longing I didn't know was so big. Not just baby loss but also infertility. I think if people have kids, your not going to have talk for long before they bring them up. Having said that, I'm sure we're going to face this question over and over.


  1. In the weeks that followed Addison's death, I also wondered how I would ever be able to answer the question "how many children do you have?" from then on. There is no right or wrong way to answer it--do what feels right for you.

    For me, it depends on who is asking, and frankly, what kind of mood I'm in. Some days I'm in the mood where I'm hoping any stranger will say something to me so I can bring up Addison--not to saddle them with the whole story, but just to mention her. If I'm out and about with Calvin, most people don't ask if I have other children. If I'm having a good day, I may not mention Addison even if directly asked.

    But the truth is that I do have 2 children, and one happened to have died. And you are a mom, Maddie. You are and always will be. Just because Matilda is not with you doesn't mean she doesn't still matter.

  2. Oh, Maddie. Please don't beat yourself up about that. You'll always be Matilda's mother. This is so new... it'll take time before you'll know how you'd rather answer that question. There's no good answer.

    I'm still wondering how I can ever answer that question. Technically I had an early miscarriage, even though I was 17 weeks when we found out. So to the rest of the world, I'm sure I don't have a child. Hell, to me I'm not sure whether I think I do or not. Can I really claim to be a mother to a child who never lived past 13 weeks of pregnancy?

    Rebecca's last paragraph there is beautiful and spot on.

  3. Like Rebecca, I'd say it depends on the circumstances. The problem is that mentioning G tends to lead to a long conversation that, sometimes, I would rather not have.

    I often feel guilty for not mentioning her every single time. I ask myself the same question, what kind of mother am I? But I like to think that she knows that I never forget her, that I love her. You'll always be Matilda's mama, she'll always be your daughter. Nothing changes that. xo

    And B, for what it is worth, in my eyes you have a child and you are a mother.

  4. It's funny how I was never asked that before and suddenly after Sophia's death I was asked about 3 times in a week. I say yes, a daughter, but she died. I guess it's a stubbornness in me... I don't care if I make the person feel uncomfortable. On the other hand... with a few months now past, I now feel a little as if people almost don't necessarily deserve to know about her. All quite silly and I am possibly losing my mind but I guess it's whatever works for you in that moment. She is your baby girl forever and you are her mom, forever. Whether people know it or not.

  5. I have some of that stubborness in me. That's why I reply to friends 'how are you' emails with 'Not great, this is difficult, etc etc' - I can't bring myself to say 'fine' just so they'll feel better about things.

    I've heard others say the same thing about not everyone deserving to know.

  6. Hi Maddie,
    i've just come across your blog. I'm sorry for your loss of Matilda. My daughter Matilda was born sleeping in August last year. The first time i was asked that question I too said no.. I felt terrible... but it was asked by someone i will probably never see again..
    I havent been asked since.. and i've come to the conclusion that if i ever get asked again i will be saying yes.. i have one beautiful daughter who was born too early and didn't survive.
    I hope you find comfort in this blogging world.. im sorry you had to be here...