Pregnancy announcements. Baby showers. Gender reveals. Maternity photoshoots. Creating registries.
As soon as you see two lines, there are countless ways you are encouraged to prepare and celebrate your pregnancy and baby on the way. It seems like we can’t get enough of a person when they are expecting their little bundle (or bundles) of joy. If you are pregnant, you are encouraged to share, share, share. The message these people receive seems to be one of support and celebration–this is a big moment and we are here for you.
But, what happens when the baby dies?
When your baby dies you realize the harsh reality. Our society is obsessed with pregnancy and babies–until the baby dies.
Once there is no more baby, the expectation for those grieving mamas is to find a quiet place and be sad. Don’t make any more announcements. Don’t share. Please, just take care of yourself and don’t say anything about it because you might make someone uncomfortable.
Why does society react this way? Why do we look the other way when a baby dies?
Because when a baby dies, it’s not very cute. The photos are heartbreaking, there are no more parties to plan, and sending sympathy cards is not as fun as shopping for onesies. We live in a culture obsessed with imagery and it is really hard to make miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death look Pinterest-worthy.
When your baby dies, that initial message of celebration and support changes–Sorry that the baby is gone. Let us know when you get pregnant again and we’ll plan another baby shower.
Because when it comes to pregnancy and babies, we only seem to care when there is something to celebrate. Where does that leave the 1 in 4 people whose pregnancies will end in the death of their baby? What does that mean for the 1 in 160 babies who will be stillborn? How do we explain ourselves to the thousands of families who will experience the death of their child and who need our support?
Families don’t stop needing us because their baby died.
That support being offered when they were expecting a baby? They still need that. Sure, the support will look different. It may not be cute and there will be less to celebrate, but it is necessary.
Because if we truly care about those who are pregnant and their babies–that care cannot be conditional on whether or not the baby lives. Because even if the baby does not survive, there is still a family to care for and there is a still a baby to love.
5 thoughts on “Our Society Is Obsessed With Pregnancies and Babies–Until They Die”
Thanks so much for the work you’re doing here, ladywhalen.
5 weeks out from our loss and I look forward to your posts in my inbox, it’s like a virtual “keep going” and “you’re doing great, Mama!”
Thank you for this great read.
I remember like it was yesterday my Megan Rose ,was born still on February 25 1985. I had no one to lean on . It did it my self ! Everyday I thought of her and would cry .
I was told by my boyfriend,at the time to stop crying and get over it . While I dreamt .
I would see her (Megan ) being taken away snd I could see her lil face looking back Sr Mr as they took her .
I’ll always will love snd miss my sweet girl . Only part of death I’m looking forward to
So I can see my girl .
At me *