When people ask us how many children we have, we do not mention our loss. We had a miscarriage in 2008, at around 9 weeks; and, whilst it was an upsetting time for my wife and I, there is no way we can even begin to contemplate or understand how traumatic it is to lose a baby late on in pregnancy or soon after birth.
But many people - too many - have experienced this awful tragedy, and so the question of how many children they have is, in their minds, clear. They have one or two, and another one or two in heaven.
Depends who is asking, where we are, and if I feel they can handle or actually want to know the answer...
It should be emphasised that there is, in my opinion, no right or wrong answer. Everyone is different, and some decide to share more than others. In order to illustrate this, I have listed below the responses received when asking the question on Twitter and Facebook. I think it shows that the answer is very much an individual decision.
Knitionalist: If it's a stranger I say 2, if it develops into longer conversation I explain that my 3rd son died at birth. I usually end up blabbing everything to anyone who'll listen, as I had undiagnosed vasa praevia. Spreading awareness important.
Applegirl: None, because its very personal. And it might make people feel guilty and that's unfair. If we're close friends they'd know.
Bits of Hope: I tell them 8, which usually leads to "you have your handsful" I say unfortunately not as 6 are angels. conversation stopper
Vicki Philpott: I say I've had 4...sometimes you can see them counting how many are with you....I'm an angel mummy and I'm proud. Xxx
Kelly Harris: I always used to include my angels but found it leads to questions of awkwardness and uncomfortable questions from strangers and me having to tell them that they have died etc... but not mentioning them leaves me filled with guilt and makes me feel like I'm denying their existence.... its a tough one to call....
Mrs T: I would rather the other person deal with the answer than deny my sons existence.