How Do I Answer this Question??? Dang, Why Did they Ask Me that Question?? Please, Don’t Ask Me that 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!!!
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”
“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,
Last year, when Erica and Maxwell were in the hospital, at times I felt hopeful and hopeless. After losing two children, Erica was now fighting for her life, after a traumatic birth with Maxwell; while at the same time, Maxwell was struggling to acclimate himself to this new experience outside of his mother’s womb. The sad part is, it would be a few days until he would be able to be held by his mother, because she hadn’t woke up yet.
During this ordeal, I felt guilty because my wife had been through enough trauma and pain, now my son and here I am, watching them struggle. To help clear my mind, I wrote a prayer on my phone, and here are my exact words below…
“God I’m sitting in the hospital room, waiting on Erica to wake up. My son is at a totally different hospital. I feel anxious waiting Lord. Part of me feels guilty as well. Why do they have to go through this experience and not me. Erica has had it very rough since we’ve been married. I thought I had it hard- hardly. My prayer and my hope is that both Erica and Maxwell come out of this ideal healthy and normal. I just want to start life with my new family. Please please, do that for me Lord.”
While, it hasn’t been a cakewalk since Maxwell has been home, I thank God for my family!