Semantic Nitpicking

“Are you pregnant?”

I hated this question because I always wanted to clarify what was meant by “pregnant.”  Do I have HCG in my system?  Is there something in my uterus?  Is there something alive in my uterus?  Is there something alive in my uterus that will eventually grow into a healthy baby?

And, if one were to answer yes to all of the above, how long would it stay that way?

“Is this your first baby?”

Yes, Baby S is my first baby.

“Is this your first pregnancy?”

No, this was not my first pregnancy.  It was my third.

If you have ever had a miscarriage, however, you know that being pregnant and having a baby are not the same thing.

“Is this your first?”

Well, it depends on whether you mean pregnancy or baby.  When people ask me this, I usually just say “yes” because I assume they mean child.

“I am very sorry that you lost a baby.”

I don’t feel like I lost two babies.  I lost two pregnancies.  It was crushing and sad and awful but it is not the same kind of loss as a still-birth or a child that dies very young.  I never got to hold or see my child; the idea of a baby was completely an abstract concept.  I lost the hope, joy, and potential that a baby represents, but I did not lose a baby.

“You got the baby you were supposed to have.”

What do you say to this?  I had two embryos die in my uterus, had the insides scraped out, bawled my eyes out, etc…, just so I could arrive at the “right” baby?  Baby S is here, yes, because I had two miscarriages.  The particular sperm/egg combination was unique to that month.  Yet, without knowing why the other pregnancies failed, I do not know how to process the idea that those pregnancies were somehow wrong or “not meant to be.”

Anyone want to add anything else?

January 30, 2009. Miscarriage #1, Miscarriage #2, Ramblings, The Magnificent Baby S.


  1. Farah replied:

    I identify with your explanation of pregnancy losses. This is how my brain and I understood my pregnancy losses

  2. aspiringbaker replied:

    Like you, I had two miscarriages before giving birth to my first child last summer. A friend’s collection of baby hand-me-downs included a onesie with the phrase “I was worth the wait.”

    Of COURSE my baby was worth the wait, but every time I wore it, I thought of the four embryos that met their demise inside of me (two pregnancies started off as twins) and felt sad. The onesie was returned unworn.

  3. Artblog replied:

    Who the hell asked these questions, am I missing something here?

    I always say I have two children, end of subject. Who the hell can be bothered to explain five years worth of shit! You’re braver than I am but then I often think I’m a big sissy anyway 🙂


  4. Mae replied:

    I have had 2 M/C and I identify with you. Nice to see that someone else does!

  5. Sam replied:

    I love it when people flip out when I say that I have a twelve year old and Egg but no children in between. It boggles their tiny little brains. I’m getting tired of people staring at my tits when they ask about feeding Egg. I’m REALLY tired of people saying how tiny Egg is…he’s not tiny for his age, he’s simply a newborn. Oh, and to the girl who told me that I shouldn’t have Egg out of the house yet-bite me. I had to get my car smogged and I was on my way to get it done when I decided going to the hospital to have a baby was more important. I guess I needed to vent, huh?

    AND! I was in bed last night worrying about the emails I haven’t returned and yours is one of them. I shall get to it soon. Or I should be getting to it right now but instead I’m leaving a novel on your blog. 🙂

  6. Pregnancy Resources replied:


  7. yael replied:

    I just had that this week. It was awkward on so many levels….
    at the ER-are you pregnant? I said yes, I guess so…there is hcg in my system, and I was supposed to be 6 weeks…
    which pregnancy is this? Also, so weird….#4, but I only have 1 kid at home…

  8. Wendy replied:

    The only thing that I can add is that the baby I lost was a baby to me. Maybe it’s because I already had a child, but from the minute they told me I was pregnant, I could see that kid going to school, graduating, etc.

    And I think those questions are tacky. How about another one? When are you going to try for another? I am not asking, just putting that tacky one out there.

  9. niobe replied:

    This isn’t exactly on topic, but I actually could have said almost exactly these same words (and I probably very nearly have), even though my situation is obviously somewhat different then yours.

    “You know, I don’t feel like *I* lost two babies…. I never got to hold or see my child; the idea of a baby was completely an abstract concept. I lost the hope, joy, and potential that a baby represents, but I did not lose a baby.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: