I am anxiously waiting for the first time I have to answer the dreaded question; "Is she your first?". I guess the answer is yes, Gwenevere is my first child. However, she is not my only child. The question is always asked with the best intentions. Usually just another Mom striking up a conversation. It is a question that I don't think I'll ever ask a stranger again.
For any parent that has been through the loss of a pregnancy or child it is a loaded question. If you answer politely and say yes you feel like you are not respecting your dead children. If you answer honestly and explain your complicated family it makes for a pretty awkward moment. It was recommended to me that I have a standard answer prepared for when it comes up. That way I'm not caught off guard. I plan on saying, "She is my only living child". If someone wants to ask follow up questions they can, and if not that's okay too. I can't imagine pretending like Penelope and James never existed, even to a stranger at the grocery store. They are just as much a part of our family as any of us. The only difference is that they are not with us.
I am proud to be the mother of James & Penelope, even though I only got to fill that role for a very short time. I was present from the moment they were born to the moment they died. I didn't miss a breath or heartbeat or movement. Their entire life was spent in the loving arms of their Mom & Dad. Not many parents can say that.