'That' Pregnancy Announcement
Over the weekend, many of you will have seen that pregnancy announcement. The one that came from a homeware blogger who I will not name and shame, but most of the baby loss community on Instagram are now familiar with, and not due to their love of interiors. The blogger who was probably trying to be all hilarious and get as many Instragram likes as she possibly could and didn’t really mean to offend anyone.
But she did. Oh boy did she. And what’s worse is that despite so many of us trying to explain to her why it was insensitive and off-colour, she refused to acknowledge this and instead went on a lengthy deleting comments and blocking spree of anyone who tried to calmly explain why this had hit a raw nerve. The defiance and stubbornness she has shown completely baffling. Dismissing anyone affected by the death of a baby as a snowflake who can just get off her page. She doesn’t want to hear it. My girl must have repetitive strain injury from all of the blocking and deleting of anyone in the baby loss world. There are a lot of us, far too many to silence.
A blogger, who instead of just accepting that she got it wrong and removing the tasteless and not even slightly humorous post (unless you have a really shit sense of humour) has gone to the great lengths of making her Instagram account private, removing the link to her website from her Instagram page, changing her Instagram name and blocking and deleting any comment she receives on her Instagram page. Yet the insensitive post still proudly sits there on her page. Now I’m not claiming to be Einstein or anything but it seems to me that it would have been easier to just remove the post and move on and not have to spend all weekend having to edit your profile and page?
You see the post itself doesn’t actually offend me. I know that she probably wasn’t thinking of how this could backfire if anyone whose baby had died would feel if they saw it. What grinds my gears though is the defiance, the stubbornness and the dismissal of the baby loss community as snowflakes, people who are over-sensitive and itching for a fight. I promise you most of us are none of those things. Our ‘goals’ for 2019 were to keep our babies alive too, but we failed.
I absolutely get that a person should be able to post whatever they choose on their own page, their page, their voice. I understand. I do think however that when an opportunity to see things from the perspective of others is given to us, we should listen and try to be objective.
Maybe if someone has had recurrent miscarriages they’d get it. Maybe if you’ve had to give birth to your stillborn baby and sat staring at them numbly willing them with all of your heart to open their eyes, move or show any sign of life, you’d understand. How about if you’d woken up for the 3am feed to find your baby lifeless and unresponsive, then could you possibly understand? Or what if you had sat in the neo-natal unit watching your newborn baby fight for their life only to pass away in your arms, then you might see why jokes about your goals being to keep your baby alive are so tasteless.
If nothing else, the baby loss community are strong and passionate about making the voices of our lost babies heard. We have a right to answer back and speak up. I truly hope the defiant blogger who refuses to see why her post was inflammatory and why her subsequent attitude towards the baby loss community is so staggering has a smooth, uneventful pregnancy and that her journey into motherhood is exactly as she imagines it will be. Mine, like so many other women’s wasn’t. And because of that I don’t find jokes about having goals to keep your baby alive very funny. At all.
Only when you’ve been through the loss of a baby can you truly understand how broken and shattered this will leave you. How your life will never be the same again. And how small things can trigger big reactions. It’s wise to listen if someone does try to explain to you rather than block and delete.
I wish my blog was about homeware too. I have a real eye for interiors and am proud of my highly Instagrammable home, there’s nothing I love more than a cute cushion or a chunky knit throw. And don’t even start me off on my love of velvet. But here I am blogging about baby loss. I really wish I wasn’t. I wish my son, my beautiful little Billy was here and I was cuddling him, watching the shit storm unfold in the comments section of a homeware page thinking ‘Gosh these women are a bit het up aren’t they’ and being ignorant as to what it feels like to have your baby die. But I am not. I understand thoroughly the agony, the emptiness and the stabbing pain of having your child die and how much seemingly innocent jokes about keeping a baby alive can sting.
There is never anything funny about baby loss, no matter how many likes it will get you on your Instagram page.