I have never seen the show ’19 Kids and Counting’ featuring Jim and Michelle Duggars and their large family, and have no interest whatsoever. It is ‘Reality TV’, which already lands me at 0% interest, then add on my general disinterest in everything they and the show are about, and you have a formula for a show that I actively avoid. I don’t share their religious views nor do I have an larger-than-average family, so my daily life is nothing like theirs – yet this week I feel a certain kinship with the Duggars.
You see, I have two wonderful teenage boys, born ~17 months apart. That we had a second child was an amazing miracle after the years and trials having the first. But for more than 13 years we have been greeted with wonderfully insensitive comments about how we barely waited for one to come out before we put the next one in. And about whether they were twins and so on. We might have actually had a third except that our doctor warned that my wife might not survive – it was over two weeks in the hospital with the second child.
Before our first child, my wife and I had spent more than four years actively trying to get pregnant. During this time we had three painful miscarriages, including one that was far enough along that it had to be ‘birthed’ by our OB/GYN. The other two required D&C (or D&E) procedures, which were no less tragic or painful, particularly considering their other use and the population of the waiting rooms in that section of the Brigham & Womans Hospital in Boston.
People say you never really get over the loss of a child, and I can say that we have never forgotten our losses. Miscarriage is a terrible thing – but unlike the death of a child the world has met, people seem to have no problem dismissing that loss as trivial. One woman my wife worked with said ‘I don’t know why you are crying over an unborn fetus that couldn’t survive in the world anyway’. We met with mostly kindness or folks with no clue what to say, but some were downright mean and rude.
And as we know, the wonderful blind wall of the internet allows for massive amounts of judgement and cruel words all in the name of ‘free speech’. And certainly they CAN say whatever they want … but do they really NEED to?
A month or so ago we heard about the upcoming 21st child for the Duggars, and this week of their tragic loss:
“Earlier today at a routine doctor’s appointment, Michelle and I received the sad news that we lost the baby,” Jim Bob told Us. “Michelle is resting comfortably at home with the support of the entire family. We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, but ask for privacy during this difficult time.
So this week we have seen loads of judgement on exactly what their loss meant … here is just a sampling:
“I just can’t feel bad about this. It’s about time.”
“Time to her to stop popping them out and take care of the kids she has.”
“If she hadn’t been trying to get into the Guinness World Records for having the most babies, she wouldn’t have to be ‘suffering’ this loss.”
“God bless anything up in the sky that prevented this idiot from spawning another moron on this planet.”
“This is a sign from god that she should stop having babies”
“Maybe it’s her body telling her it’s time to stop carrying children”
“This woman is way to old to still be having babies.”
Some have even sought to politicize it, but I won’t help them out with a link. Others have sought to get people to simply stop judging:
The Duggars are similarly holding steadfast to their belief that miracles don’t look the same to every set of eyes. And they see baby 20 as just as much of a blessing as No. 1 . The Duggars’ blessings aren’t yours or mine. They’ve made choices few of us would, but they’ve determined to accept them with as much grace and gratitude as they can muster. Because this is what reproductive freedom and choice look like.
As for me, all I can say is … I am sorry for your loss and I wish you a speedy recovery and a bit of space to grieve your loss.
Everyone else, just STFU and remember that just because you CAN say something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
Source: CafeMom and other sites …