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I Can't Count Them Without Remembering

I have two children. Two wonderful, beautiful, healthy, happy children. My two little kids who bring me so much joy (and so little sleep). My first child, the Pumpkin, is 2.75 years old; my second child, the Pookie, is 6 months old.

But every time I say my "first" and my "second," I think, "well, not exactly..."

I've already written my miscarriage story, and it helped a lot to write it and put it out there. Time has helped heal the wound of the miscarriage, though I know I'll ever completely get over it.

Still, I'm surprised by how and when it comes up in my mind. I expect it around the anniversary of the due date. But I hadn't expected to think about that baby who wasn't (which is how I think of that baby) every time I call the Pumpkin my "first" child or the Pookie my "second" child.

I was very careful never to label my pregnancies with the Pumpkin or the Pookie as my first or second, because they truly were my second and third pregnancies. But my children really are my first and second children, because the baby who wasn't simply... well... wasn't.

Yet, every time I count them in that way--my first, my second--I think, "well, except for..." And I'm surprised. And of course a bit sad. And I wonder if I will always think of the baby who wasn't when I count my children. And I worry that I won't.


-goofydaddy said…
I can't imagine what that must feel like - I'm actually my parent's fifth child, but really the third (my mom was unlucky enough to have two miscarriages between my brother and me).

on the lighter side, "But my children really are my first and second children, because the who baby..."

getting in the Christmas mood, I see! I love the Grinch cartoon too! :-)
caramama said…
@goofydaddy - Thanks. And ack! Thanks for catching my typo. I have fixed it now.
Jana said…
I imagine that I would do the very same thing. Some friends of mine lost their first daughter (born full-term) when she was days old. They now have a months-old son. I often think about them and of how they count their children.

No matter the age (gestational or otherwise) of your baby when he or she passes, I think you'll always feel sad at surprising times, and I think that's natural and healthy. It *does* make for some tricky counting, though, huh?

Hola, Isabel calls her first child after her miscarriages her first "take-home" baby. I've always kind of liked that term.

Thinking of you.
I don't know what to say, except I am so sorry. I find it beautiful how you keep "the baby who wasn't" in your heart.
Katie said…
I am often asked if the Infanta is my only. I generally say something like "so far". I see no need to go into my losses with random people on the street or the bus; my friends know my stories, and that's who needs to know.

I am planning a tattoo to commemorate the babies who were not to be; I'm sincerely hoping I collect no more due dates like the one coming up.

paola said…

That sounds like a beautiful way to commemorate a loss!!!
Cloud said…
Oh, big hugs. I don't know what this feels like, but I can imagine. And I suspect it is worse than I imagine.
Yeah, whenever I go to a new doctor (even during my pregnancy with Lexie) they ask how many pregnancies, and I say 3, and they assume that means I have 3 kids. Not 1. I sometimes think about Lexie's guardian angels, her big brother/sister watching out for her. (Truthfully there could have been only one other baby, because the two miscarriages happened just a few months apart.) They really did protect Lexie, because if we hadn't lost them I never would have found out about my high-risk condition, and I wouldn't have known to be extra vigilant when I made it to the second trimester. Lexie might have been born and died when I went into pre-term labor at 22 weeks.

I'm sure my SIL thinks she's been pregnant more times than me. She's on #2 and apparently is going to get one kid per pregnancy. I hope she knows how lucky she is, but I'm not sure she does.
cynthia said…
My dearest sister, I think of your angel when I say that our eldest children and the cousins are spaced ___ months apart. And now that our babies are 3 months apart, it also reminds me of the baby who wasn't. Hugs to you.
Anonymous said…
I feel mostly healed after my miscarriage several years ago, and I don't really mind thinking of DS as my "firstborn" (I think that's what first and second are abbreviations for). But now that I'm pregnant again, I wince every time I have to go through the "How many times have you been pregnant?" question. (With all my hyperemeis-related ER visits, I've been through this more than I'd like.) Three pregnancies. One baby at home. While I have no reason to imagine that this baby won't be a "take home", it makes me feel kind of empty to tally it up like that.


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