Stranger Interactions

By: Amy Lied

Everyone loves babies, throw in more than one and people can’t contain themselves.  We hear the same sentiments all the time.

“Are they twins?”

“You have your hands full!”

“Boy/girl?” (While my twin daughters are both wearing pink…face palm!)

“My second cousin twice removed has twins!”

“My daughter has twins and she hates when people do exactly what I’m doing to you right now!” (This one is my favorite.)

Everyone has a comment.  Personally, I love it.  We’ve waited so long to have our parenthood acknowledged that every stop causes me to beam with pride.

However, there is one comment we have gotten a lot that simultaneously warms and breaks my heart.

“You have a beautiful family.”

The other day we all went for a walk to the post office, even Murphy (the dog) came with us.  A woman was walking out of the building while we were walking up and she stopped us.  She said “Oh my goodness! This is just a beautiful image.  What a beautiful family.”

I beamed with pride while my heart broke for the little boy who is always missing.

Strangers see these two beautiful girls with us but they don’t get to see the big brother who came before. Yes, he is always with us but when strangers comment on our family, they are commenting on what they see.

They can’t see Asher.

They don’t know about the little boy who was here first and gave us these sweet girls.

They don’t know about the handsome boy missing from our “beautiful” family.

The other day I was thinking of the song you sing as a kid to taunt your friend about their crush, the “K-I-S-S-I-N-G” song.

“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage”

I lived my life expecting it to follow this pattern. You fall in love. You get married. Then you have babies. I followed the pattern, but life seemed to have something different in mind. My version goes something like this.

“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes infertility, then comes miscarriage, then comes stillbirth, then comes infertility again, then comes an anxiety-filled high-risk pregnancy after loss, THEN comes babies in a baby carriage.”

The comments from strangers about my family are something I yearned to hear for years. We FINALLY have our babies in the baby carriage, after only knowing loss.  However, one baby will forever be missing from that carriage.

I do my best to be sure Asher is always included as a member of our family with the things that I can control. However, I can’t control what people see when we are out in public just living life.

The “beautiful family” that strangers comment on consists of two parents who beam with pride, but who also carry immense pain behind their smiles.

They know deep grief and tremendous loss.

They know the pain no parent should ever have to experience.

They have three children, but the outside world only sees two. 

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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