While my answer is entirely accurate for what they're asking, there's part of me that feels crummy saying this.
There's an urge in me to point out that, yes, these are my first babies if you don't count the one I had when I was sixteen and for whom I picked out adoptive parents, the one who is seventeen now, intelligent, beautiful, kind, a source of great pride for me, and with whom I visit a couple times a year. That's a mouthful.
Part of me searches for a casual phrase to explain that once before I've watched a delicate newborn leave my body, and from the distance of an extended family member I've seen her grow into a chubby infant, giggling toddler, and on and on from one PBS kids show themed birthday party to the next. I've seen her become a big sister, learn to crawl, walk, read, and emerge into womanhood faster than I was prepared to witness. But a simple phrase to sum that up just doesn't exist.
Part of me knows that because I've enjoyed her similarities to me while imagining her future with a bitter-sweet mix of excitement and fear, that this is not entirely my first go at motherhood, that she is my first first.
But I just say yes, these two babies are my first. For the question they're asking, that's the true and appropriate answer. And elevator rides just aren't long enough for the truth, the whole truth, and for dispelling Lifetime movie cliches.
Then the nosey strangers ask if my husband and I plan to have more. Luckily "maybe" works just fine for that one.