Your First?

I was 13 years old when I had my first kiss. His name was Russ and he wore a puka shell necklace. I met him at the mall in New Jersey with my friends. He was drenched in Abercrombie Fierce.

The kiss was not exactly what I had dreamt of. Frankly, it was pretty sloppy and I remember thinking to myself “Wooooooooa, I didn’t know I was going to have to have someone’s drool on my face to make this happen.” I still had butterflies though, because it was my first.

We get the opportunity to have many “firsts” in life, if we’re lucky. There are firsts our parents look forward to for us: first time eating solid food, first haircut, first word, first time walking. And there are firsts we build up in our heads: first kiss, first love, first job.

The most heartbreaking thing about firsts is that you only get one chance to have each one.

I say heartbreaking because for any first that ends in disappointment, that’s what it is. And after you suffer your first major loss, you start to understand that childhood rhyme that begins with “first is the worst.”

My first child was never born alive, and that’s something not many people have to say about that first. That’s a first I’ll never get back, as much as people say “oh, but you’re next pregnancy will go perfectly and your next baby will be healthy and fine.” But even though I want all that for my next, I still want back my first.

I think a lot about what people will say when the time comes that I’m pregnant with my next child. Checkout people at the store, other patrons in line at Target. People who I don’t even know, or weren’t around during my first pregnancy will ask, “Is this your first?”

“No… I lost my first before she could breathe a breath of air.”

That’s pretty deep to tell a stranger.

“Yes.”

Well, that’s a lie.

“I don’t know how to answer the question.”

They’re going to think I’m incompetent.

I guess I still have some time to figure out the right answer, or maybe there is no right answer. Maybe the right answer is the answer that comes to my mind first.

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