How Do I Answer this Question??? Dang, Why Did they Ask Me that Question?? Please, Don’t Ask Me that Question!

hard question

Every now and then, when I meet new people who don’t our (My wife and I) story, or when I see people who forgot the details of our story, we get these questions;How many children do you have? Do you want more children?” These questions in itself are innocent and honest questions, very normal, harmless, and not meant to offend. However, when I get asked these questions, thousands of thoughts began to run through my mind. Let me tell you why!!

In 2012, my wife and I found out we were pregnant with our first child in February of that year, and to be expecting our bundle of joy later in December of 2012. As new parents, we made sure to do all the right things, such as Erica taking her prenatal vitamins, going to the ultra-sound appointments, down syndrome testing, child birthing classes, baby shower, purchased a home, baby furniture, prayer, read to the child, talk to the child, and stuff that my wife did, that I’m probably forgetting or not aware of. We were having a boy and his name was going to be, Brandon Oscar McAfee, Jr. We were beyond excited, especially me, because I was having a boy! Without going into too many details, sadly on November 29, 2012, our son died unexpectedly. He was a full-term baby and none of the prenatal tests indicated that this was a possibility. WHAT A SHOCKER!!!

infant loss

Well, in the words of the late Aaliyah, “If at first you don’t succeed (first you don’t succeed), Dust yourself off, and try again, You can dust it off and try again, try again.” So, that’s what we did, we tried again and Erica was pregnant again a few months later. This time we were expecting a girl! Sweet, I’d love to raise a “daddy’s girl!” Fast forward to July 12, 2013, at 18 weeks pregnant, Erica’s cervix opens up, and we have to deliver our daughter. Sadly, another child lost. Her name was Brielle.

Finally, 13-months later, we give birth to our bundle of joy, Super Mighty Max. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, then you know that this was a traumatic birth, and that my wife and Super Mighty Max were in the hospital for some time after birth. However, what you may not know is, my wife had to have a partial hysterectomy (Don’t worry, I asked if I could share this) to save here life. She’s unable to  carry children anymore.

Therefore, when I get asked, How many children do you have? Do you want more children?” I’m thinking to myself,“do you want the long answer or the short answer?” Do I answer:

2 children in Heaven and 1 son”

“2 children deceased and 1 son”

1 son”

“We don’t want anymore children”

“We’ll wait and see if we have children”

“We’re going to adopt next time”

“We might pay six-figures for a surrogate”

“We can’t carry anymore children”

This is why its usually difficult for me to answer these questions, because I don’t know how to answer the questions sometimes, which is why I may be thinking; How Do I Answer this Question??? Dang, Why Did they Ask Me that Question?? Please, Don’t Ask Me that Question!

Just Being Honest,

Brandon

Posted on October 6, 2015, in Disability and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing,You guys are strong and Amazing, you’re always in prayers

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  2. Honest and wonderful post, Brandon! Thank you for your honesty and allowing folks to hear your story! I can’t even imagine the amount of pain and grief you and your wife have experienced after losing two children. Watching my parents grieve after my sister died has given me a bit of a glimpse into child loss, but I will never know the full extent of it. So, again, thank you for sharing, and your son Max is such a cutie pie!

    Like

  3. People as we well know will be people — meaning it’s human nature for folks to wonder (and care) about other folks … some people are simply making conversation and others genuinely want to know the answer.

    I have personally been through the ringer on this question … and I’m sure it will come up again. I have had a baby loss so I get you on that one.

    I think the best way to answer this question is literally. When people as how many children you have they really only want to know which ones you have running around on earth … not how many children you “could” have had and/or how many children take up space in YOUR heart.

    Short, simple and sweet: you’ve got one child. (More might be in your plans and your heart, but that’s a deeper conversation for a different day perhaps with different people who really have a need to know or for you to share that part of yourself with someone more than your average Joe.)

    How many kids do YOU want to have? Maybe you want 5? That’s a personal answer that only YOU know the answer to. Now the logistics and practicality of actually acquiring those children are a different matter. You don’t have to go into details with people about this question, unless you’re close to them or they are helping you on the adoption / surrogacy route … again, it’s a need for someone to know combined your personal desire for that someone to know. (The average Joe or Joanna doesn’t really need the actual factual detailed answer to this question.)

    My answers to these questions:

    Them: “How many children do you have?”

    Me: “I don’t have any, but I have two awesome cats!” (In reality, one baby loss and the distraction is the cats!)

    Them: “Are you going to have kids?” or “When are you going to have kids?” or “How many kids do you want?”

    Me: “I had a hysterectomy. Adoption is not for us (the adoption idea will usually follow so I beat them to the chase). We have an awesome niece and nephew who we spend time with and dote on (shows them we have an interest in kids even if we don’t have any).”

    Sometimes I feel like distracting their question by telling them I’m much closer to 50 than 40 and that usually gets them into a discussion where they deny that I even look like I’m 50 and we’re off the child subject.

    Hope that helps in some way! I know being faced with these questions you’d like to be honest, but most people are just trying to make conversation. I say answering quickly and moving on is the best way to tackle these conversations.

    Good luck to you! 🙂

    Like

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