What to say when asked how many children I have?

16 May

So I am always not quite sure about how to answer when asked about how many children I have.  Do I tell them that I have three, or do I tell them four and have to explain why I only have 3 that are with me at the moment?  Anyone who knows me knows that I have a really hard time not telling the absolute truth about things.  So I always end up explaining what happened.  I am fine talking about Eli and what happened; I feel bad about the person receiving this information.  Usually this person is a complete stranger and here I am telling them that I had a baby who died of SIDS. 

This happened last night at a kids’ birthday party.  I met this mother of a two-year old and a little baby boy who was 3 weeks old.  And I told her.  I went home that night and felt really bad for her and for telling her the truth, but I am not sure what else to say when asked about these questions.  Here she is with a newborn and already sleep deprived, her hormones are crazy, and I am sure like all moms of newborns a little nervous about their babies.  And now I added to her stress and worry.  I am sure in the back of her mind she knew that healthy babies do die of SIDS, but she may not have met anyone personally who has had this happen to.  And then I came along. 

So many times I go over that day and right before I laid Eli down for his nap.  I try and make sense of something that does not make any sense.  I come up with nothing to explain how it happened.  That is what is really hard about SIDS.  There is not an explanation. 

Sometimes people will ask me about my birth experience with Reece (my nine month old) and then ask me about my other birth  experiences.  Like most mothers; telling my birth stories is very exciting for me; I get to explain the miracle that birth is (yes a very painful miracle) but how awesome God is!  He created us to carry our babies in our wombs and then give birth.  There really is nothing more say about it than; pure bliss.  (I know many of you will laugh at me for saying it is bliss; but you remember the pure love after you gave birth for you new little one.  Ok…back to my point.  People ask me about my birth stories and I am maybe too eager to share my stories so I then have to tell them about Eli.  I cannot just leave his experience out.  He is my son and will always be my son. 

Another part of me is happy to share about Eli as a testimony to how God has used this tragedy to draw Greg and I closer to him.  We are more in love with God now than we have ever been and we smile about it all the time.  People are confused by how this could be after what we have experienced.  I understand their confusion and the only answer I can give is that God has such awesome plans for us and is so mighty we cannot understand his full majesty! 

I recently read the book, “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo and I really enjoyed reading it.  It is awesome to me to hear that Todd’s little boy Colton went to heaven and back and his experience in heaven.  The key part of his telling of heaven for me was when he explained that Jesus was holding him on his lap.  A couple of days after the funeral was all done and things started to come back to a “normal” routine, I was at the kitchen sink washing dishes.  As I was washing dishes I heard God tell me that Eli was ok.  That Jesus was holding, loving, and taking care of him.”  I have never “heard” God speak to me before.  I did not hear an actual voice, more of a whisper when I was just washing dishes!  I remember a calm and peace coming over me and I smiled.  Whenever I think about Eli in heaven (which is often) I always picture him with Jesus and happy.   So I really related to the book about Colton as I know that is what Eli’s experience is too. 

Sorry it has taken me so long to write!  I will try to write another post soon!  I appreciate all of the comments from you!  Thanks for reading and God Bless.


Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “What to say when asked how many children I have?

  1. kim

    May 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Tiffany, This used to be a very hard question for me too. Especially if my kids were listening:) How do you tell someone you hardly know you have 4 children in heaven? (Joseph and 3 miscarriages). I didn’t want to deny the reality of my children that aren’t with me now, but I didn’t want to make people feel uncomfortable either. I finally came to the realization that , right now I have 6 children. Now with 2 moved out, sometimes I just say, I have 4 left at home:), although then I think …I have 4 waiting at home (Heaven). Anyway, great reading your blog. Some questions seem so easy and yet are sooooo much more:) Love , Kim

    • rememberingeli

      May 17, 2011 at 12:54 am

      Thanks Kim! I have three in heaven and cannot wait to meet my two little ones and reunite with Eli. I am always in awe of your great strength as a mother and woman of God. Thank you for sharing and writing back to me!

  2. Katie

    May 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Tiffany, I think Eli is a bold testament to God’s great love for you and everyone. That you and Greg found yourself comforted in the truth of Christ during that time, is a beautiful testimony that He intends for you to share. You are a source of strength to those who don’t even know you and to those that do! I certainly understand your hesitation in how to share your story as a mother. You are and always will be Eli’s mommy. You are a mommy of four and have the comfort of knowing one is in Heaven.

    • rememberingeli

      May 17, 2011 at 12:56 am

      Thanks Katie for your very encouraging words! Our small group is just soooo awesome! And having you and Jon help lead us in our bible areas are a wonderful addition to our talks!


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