Trigger warning: stillborn babies and child loss
Just this past month, I’ve seen three mother’s publicly shamed for posting pictures of their stillborn babies on social media. THREE, already-hurting moms were knocked down just a little bit lower by some real, Grade A butt-yanks.
Beneath the photos is where I (and hundreds of others) first saw those cruel words. One of them deemed a stillborn’s birth announcement “inappropriate.” While another referred to the parents as, “attention-seeking,” one woman went as far as to call a precious little babe “gross.”
Well…. I’ve got something to say to these awful nay-sayers. If I could have a personal sit-down with just one of you, I’d probably slap you silly. But since that’s not within my realm of possibilities, let me enlighten you on a subject you know nothing about.
According to the World Health Organization, there are roughly 2.6 million stillbirths every year. That’s 2.6 million lives worthy of recognition and celebration. But according to you, parents aren’t doing it right. As if you have any life experiences regarding the loss of a child.
Let’s get one thing straight, your discomfort extends for how long? Until you’ve scrolled past the image? Or until you’re done puking all of that spiteful negativity on grieving parents?
Whereas your comfort redeems itself the second you stop focusing on someone else’s tragedy, these parents you shame will have enough discomfort to last them a lifetime.
And just because I’m dying to know, have you ever posted a picture of your child on social media? How about a “just born” baby announcement? If you have, then how do you feel anything but sorrow for these parents?
If you disagree with their decision to publicly announce their child’s birth, simply because they were born still, then screw you.
Remember, stillborn is STILL-BORN.
This wasn’t what these parents envisioned when they first saw two lines on a pregnancy test. They didn’t want this. They didn’t want to have to post a picture of their still baby; they wanted to post a picture of their rosy-cheeked, full of life baby. But that wasn’t in their deck of cards. They’re dealing with what they were dealt — in their own way.
If they had photos or videos of their child alive, I guarantee they would share those. But since they don’t, they are sharing the only lasting memories they have left of them instead.
Stillbirth robs parents of the first cry, multiple all-nighters, birthday parties, soccer games, weddings and potential grandchildren. So I must ask, why would you try taking one more thing away from them?
It’s because of people like you that stillbirths used to be a taboo sort-of thing. And it’s because of parents, like the three I witnessed this month, that it’s not an unspoken hurt anymore. Because let’s not forget, that would be 2.6 million lives tucked away in the dark, and awareness can’t be raised without willingness to share.
As for the one who so casually threw out the word “gross,” be a decent human being. Allow them to feel pride in the new life they created — however brief it may have been. Don’t kick them when they are already down. If you don’t have something nice to say, well…. you know where the unfriend button is. Besides, no one cares about your negativity anyway.
Please realize, YOU are the outcast here. While everyone else is presenting their most heartfelt condolences, your cruel negativity is opening you up to a line of fire, my friend.
A parent’s love is such a powerful greatness, one that could never to be broken — not by your crappy comments, not through the struggles of life, and not through the tragedy of early death.
Be kind, for you know nothing of this heartache.