Is this your first pregnancy?

Well, that depends on who is asking, doesn’t it?

You’d be surprised the number of women who have asked me this. Or maybe you won’t. I thought when people find out you’re knocked up, they ask when the due date is, right? I had no idea that the number of half-finished pregnancies you’ve got under your belt was of interest?

I think what they mean to say is, “How many kids do you have?” or “Do you have any idea what you’re getting in to?”

But the pesky word “pregnancy” puts me in a position when I need to either lie to avoid awkwardness, or tell the truth in a way that doesn’t make the asker regret being alive.

So, I’m asking you, loyal readers. What is the correct answer to that question?

Q: You’re pregnant! Is this your first pregnancy?


A.) Yes!

B.) Well, it’s my second pregnancy. Hoping to get a baby out of it this time.

C.) No. I had a miscarriage earlier this year. Thanks for reminding me, dumb bitch.

Now, mostly I’ve gone with either A or B. But I end up feeling bad about it when I say, “Yes.” Like I’m a divorcee who has just checked the “Single” box. I’m skipping over something. Technicalities.

Am I embarrassed? I mean, I’m all about being open about the Big MC, remember? Rubbing it in your face? Does that mean I have to be Debbie Downer whenever some chipper face asks me if I’ve been pregnant before?

Yes. Yes, I think it does.

The times I’ve gone with B, the face of the woman normally melts into sorrow. As much sorrow as you can muster for a stranger, anyway. But then a handful of women have surprised me with the response; “I’ve had two myself.” What? Maybe they were setting me up? Testing me? The first rule of Fight Club?

Or, worst of all, for a brief moment before they catch themselves, the woman will scrunch up her face or cock her head, like, “Why are you telling me this?”

And that’s a good question. Because if you’re having a shitty day, and someone asks, “How are you,” you don’t usually lay it all out for them, depending on the circumstances.

But if someone asks you for a specific number of something, I think you’re obligated to offer one.

Oh, the trials of a one-woman reformer. Making miscarriage a normal part of everyday conversation.


I shall carry the torch ;)

Feel free to offer your own answer. An option “D,” if you will. I’m looking for something that makes the dead baby thing seem lighthearted.

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  • Lindsay

    When they ask you could just rephrase it, like “If you mean do I already have children, then no.” That sounds like what Dear Abby would say… maybe.

  • Monsterbeard

    How about: “It’s my longest so far!” and then wink. Better yet, say “Wink, wink.” That’s lighthearted.

    However, that’s probably more awkward than saying option C, so I’m not really the best person to ask.

  • Steve

    We answer the “is this your first pregnancy/baby?” with a good hearty “sort of” long enough pause for them to realize what we mean, “we are really excited for this time around”

    that normally shuts up the awkward strangers. if they keep asking questions we just lay it on them, we had three daughters but they didn’t make it, etc.

    good job on not keeping MC behind closed doors.

  • thesleeperhit

    I feel a similar kind of awkward when people ask me what my parents do for a living. In which case, I’ve found it’s easier to start with, “Well, my mom passed away, but my DAD is an author living in southeastern Ohio,” so that kind of glosses over the first part. And whatever follow-up question comes up leads me to believe all people are wildly interested in my dad.

    Even though I suspect it would be impossible for me to do, I think you should be open about it, regardless if it makes people uncomfortable. Carry on! :)

  • Megan

    I’m with Lindsay. I tend to respond to inadvertently rudely phrased questions by ignoring their mistake. I’d be like, yeah, this will be our first child. (Unless you consider Tot 1 a child, in which case I haven’t solved anything.)

  • Jaydubs

    I think you should (continue to) be open about it. So many women have or will go through the big MC themselves, and I think it helps to hear when others have, too.

  • dammitbilly

    You should just say something nonchalant, like,

    “Well, with my husband. But my gay best friend Jonsie put a few inside me.”