The Hardest Question

“How many kids do you have?”

Excuse me while I pick up my heart from the floor. This is the question that shatters me deep down. Although my initial response is the same, the following questions of “how old is he?”, “I bet you’re exhausted”, “you should bring him next time!” are gut wrenching.

Depending on who I’m talking to, I will often times act as if he’s still here. I will respond with his actual age – “he’s almost 6 months!” – “yeah, sleep is hard to get nowadays” – “I would! But, he’s with his babysitter”.

None of these answers are wrong. He is almost 6 months, I really don’t sleep and he is with his babysitter – for now.

“How many kids do you have?”

I have 1 and he is an absolute angel, literally.

I don’t know what possesses me to explain where he is, but sometimes I do.

I’ll go into a brief description about how he was stillborn in September of 2020. Usually without allowing any response, I’ll insist for them to not apologize for asking. I usually thank them.

I thank them because nobody ever asks about my son – and that hurts the most. It makes me happy to explain how I am a mother. I do have a son. We created a life and a family. He is human and has an soul, legacy and life to live for.

River James often teaches people lessons and delivers value to life itself. I am simply just the messenger. I am his mother and I vow my life to educate and bring awareness to stillbirth in honor of my son.

So, next time, do not hesitate. Even if you know, ask them about their baby. Ask them how old they are, what they look like. I promise you, it means more than you could imagine to perceive our child as human – because they are. They were once alive. We must not avoid the fact that a life was lived.

I tend to compare it to our elders who die (yes, I will use this word often – death is just as real as birth). We still bring up stories of our loved ones, so let’s not avoid those happy discussions with our babies.

When you forget River, you forget me.

So, bring him up. Ask me. I am still a mother.

I have one son and he’s an angel.

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