It Still Stings

We are drowning in a sea of boxes and unable to find our silverware. Because I am busy sifting through approximately 500 pounds of shipping paper, I thought I’d share a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago but waffled back and forth whether to publish it or not. So here goes nothing…

Now that little guy is fast approaching his third birthday, the ever-popular question of when we’re going to have another child is popping up more and more. The most prevalent form of this question is framed around when the little guy is going to have a little brother or little sister. Those who know us personally are familiar with our story. But those who we casually encounter in the store, at the library, or formally meet for the first time do not know that we saw Weston’s little brother or sister on the ultrasound machine earlier this summer. And when the heart of the little boy or girl had stopped beating, we learned that our would-be-four family would remain a trio. At least for awhile longer.

Pregnant with Weston – September 2009

The innocent questions do not bother me because I do not expect strangers to know our history. But I’d be lying if I said that the wound the words slice through isn’t still raw. Of my three pregnancies, only the second resulted in a child. And he happens to be the most amazing son who has shown us time and again that we’re meant to be his parents. Β What I don’t really care for is the implication that we’re somehow doing our son a disservice by not producing a sibling for him in a timely manner. I usually have to remind myself that most who make such (seemingly innocent) comments are unaware of the impact of their vocal observations. It still stings though. It still very much stings.


25 thoughts on “It Still Stings

  1. I think that I might have mentioned it before, but the hubby and I have remained childless for the last 12 years by choice. However, something that we have learned from that decision has been people’s complete lack of scruples when it comes to inquiring about when we’re going to have kids. It has rather amazed me the boldness of their questions, and the total insensitivity of people when it comes to the issue of having or not having kids. Because it has been a choice for us, it doesn’t sting when people ask. It might be annoying or personal, but there’s no pain associated with the question.

    HOWEVER, it has made me extremely sensitive to the fact that if we HAD been trying to have children all these years, and if we wanted to be parents more than anything, each prying question and casual inquiry would hurt like the dickens. Stop and think before you ask these things, people!! You never ever know what’s going on behind the scenes. Several years ago, I completely stopped asking, “are you going to have kids”. I figure that if the friend or acquaintance wanted me to know – either why they haven’t or why they can’t – they will tell me. Until then, they are a whole person as they are, and I choose to accept them that way. Some people only want one child, and some people are grateful to have even that one child, as you well know. My in-laws wanted a big family – they ended up with two boys and were thankful to have them.

    May your prayers be answered, and in the meantime, enjoy your little guy and ignore the nosy folks. The only safe time to ask if Weston is going to be a big brother is when your belly is almost out farther than your arms (in my humble opinion). πŸ™‚

    1. Carrie, I bet you guys do get annoying by questions about being childfree by choice. We were married for 5 years before Weston came along and I remember getting frustrated at so many people asking “When are you going to have children?” as if we weren’t ‘normal’ for not having them right away. I do think that the majority of people who ask such questions (usually the older population) have no idea that their words could be viewed as insensitive.

  2. I’m sorry friend.

    I too have gotten those questions in my life. I actually had a member of Aaron’s family say to me, “You can’t just gave one kid. It’s not fair to them”. I told them in no uncertain terms if we wanted only one child, then we would have one child.I wanted to add a big FU but I refrained. I don’t know why people assume only children are damaged/spoiled/brats because the don’t have a sibling. It is ridiculous to me. I know plenty of damaged/spoiled/brats who have brothers and sisters.

    Sometimes people just suck.

    You know our struggle with babies. I know it is easier to say than remember but God already knows the plan for the Huffman family! And whether or not that includes a little wee one, no one knows but him. But what I do know is that you have an amazing, incredibly loving family and we are all lucky to have you all in our lives!

  3. Hey Karen, my heart goes out to you. Losing a baby is hard (we were briefly pregnant in between Gus and Gabe), and sometimes I’m surprised by how long the hurt lingers. You are an amazing woman to be able to post about it! You have no idea how many women you are encouraging just by having the balls to open up. So, thank you, from one momma trying her best, to another πŸ™‚

    1. Joanna, thank you so much for writing such a sweet comment. I am surprised by the lingering hurt too. And you’re right, trying my best is all I can do. : – )

  4. I am sorry, Karen.

    You never know where someone else is coming from, and therefore, just shouldn’t say a word to a stranger regarding family size.

    I am not sure I can have more, but I am sure as Nolan grows we will get the same questions you have. I hope you are blessed with another baby soon.

    1. Thanks Jill, I really do try and have a healthy attitude about all of this. I really don’t want to be woe is me, but I need to make sure I address my feelings and not push them down into some dark place.

  5. You were right to post your feelings. I always appreciate a little reminder that “everyone has a story”. As your friend, I am very sorry that you and Clay had to go through the pain. It only means that God chose to omit that page from your book. Knowing you, you have found strength and wisdom from the experience. You handle life with such grace for such a young woman.
    Blessings, Cindy

    1. Thanks Mandy. I try not to get frustrated or sad because so much of the time, it is just someone trying to make conversation. But sometimes, it just proves to be too much.

  6. Karen, I feel your pain in a different way, but get it just the same. Hannah is an in vitro baby and we’ve decided to adopt number 2 because we don’t want to go through the emotional and loss part of the process again. Even family members (mainly James’ side) even ask why we don’t want another of our own. In our eyes, we will be having one of our own, just not biologically. People don’t think, especially if they haven’t encountered any difficulties. It’s not always easy to let them roll off, but He has us in His hand and will comfort those areas as they are reopened. I admire your spirit and courage in posting this.

    1. Candice – Hannah and any future children will always be your own, regardless of how they were brought into your family. For anyone to suggest otherwise is just disgusting. Thank you for your kind words. xoxo

  7. I think I side on everyone who feels that sometimes you just need a mental “piss off dick wad” to accidentally slip out. While I don’t hold back when it comes to people asking myself and my Resident Caveman IF we’ll get married/have offspring, because I’m merely tired of coming up with creative excuses that ‘humor’ people…I think that my pain-in-the-ass nature wouldn’t hold back should my ovaries/uterus/reproductive system not be cooperating to either create/incubate/etc some future Ginger-locked babies.

    While I’d love for you to snap at someone for their uncoothed questioning, I know that all these virtual hugs will just help the stinging a little. I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through. But you have all of us to lean on. πŸ™‚

    1. So when are you guys getting married? πŸ™‚ I hold it back, just on the off chance I want to run for office someday. Even nosy people are potential voters. <—- I felt slimy just writing that. Haha. jk

  8. Thank you everyone. I know that this is a common struggle and as evident by the response of this post, I know that I am not alone. About 99% of the time, I just let things roll off my back. But for whatever reason, this 1% is kicking my ass. I guess I am not perfect. Imagine that. ; – )

  9. Nosy people drive me crazy! E is 3&1/2 and I get asked this all the time from perfect strangers. It doesn’t bother me b/c we aren’t TTC and I have not experienced any losses but how the heck do they know that?! I feel like having ‘just’ one makes me a huge freak in mommyland. Oh well. Add it to the list.

    I am sorry you are hurting 😦

  10. I am so sorry you’re having to deal with people’s insensitivity. After struggling with infertility, I still have to remind myself not to ask people such personal questions, unless it’s a very close friend or family member. It’s so easy to get caught up in just trying to make conversation and forget what an incredibly personal question it is to ask about anyone’s attempts to grow a family. But it’s such a throw-away question for so many people who have never dealt with loss or month after month of negative pregnancy tests.

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