Sharing Your Truth

By: Amy Lied

“When are you going to have kids?”

“Do you have any other children?”

“(Sees I have twin daughters) Going to try for a boy next?”

These questions are extremely personal and, yet, asked on a regular basis, usually by complete strangers.  I’ve heard them all and more throughout my journey to start a family.  

The answers to these questions aren’t always simple.  Depending on how I answer, I either leave the asker of the question or myself uncomfortable.

 “When are you going to have kids?”
Lie:  We are just enjoying our time as a married couple.
Truth: We’ve been trying and are not succeeding.

“Do you have any other children?” 
Lie: No.
Truth: Yes, my older son was stillborn.

“(Sees I have twin daughters) Going to try for a boy next?” 
Lie: awkward laugh with no actual response
Truth: I already have a son but he died.

Usually the honest answers leave the question-asker at a loss for words.  They will utter condolences, offer some platitude that actually hurts more than helps, and then attempt to end the conversation.
In the past I have answered these questions both ways and through trial and error, I’ve found that I am the most comfortable answering them with my truth.  If I make the person uncomfortable, then maybe they shouldn’t have asked such a personal question, if they didn’t want a personal response.  

While they may feel uneasy, I walk away from the conversation happy to have shared my son/struggle and hopeful that I made someone more aware of the questions they ask.

Life after loss isn’t easy and it’s a very personal journey.  Some are more private with their experience and don’t feel like sharing it with complete strangers.  Others feel that knowing about their child is an honor and the random stranger at Target is not worthy of that privilege.  Then there are some that feel guilty for not talking about their child, like they are denying their existence.  

Each person is allowed to have their different feelings on the topic.  The key is to do what makes YOU comfortable.  

Do not worry about the other person’s reaction to your response.  Answer the prying questions and share (or don’t share) about your loss in whatever way makes you happy.  
Living without your child is challenging enough, there is no reason to add to your pain by walking away from a conversation with an unsettled feeling.

About Amy Lied
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother. Her son, Asher, was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. After losing Asher and struggling to conceive again, she went back to treatment where she became pregnant with her twin daughters; Harper and Scarlett.

She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags.She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project, an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. Sharing her journey has helped her cope and she hopes it also helps others who are walking on this road of life after loss. 

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