In October, I wrote an article for The Mighty to raise awareness about Pregnancy & Infant Loss as well as national dwarfism month. I shared a bit about Sebastian as well as our family photo, after all I had to provide some background to the story. The article was well received by the audience of The Mighty, and many people thanked me for sharing it. I felt as though I had brought comfort to other parents in assuring them that they are not alone, just as other parents have supported me.
When The Mighty told me that they were pitching my story to Yahoo.com, I was overwhelmed. I was not expecting it to be shared, but was grateful in that it may help just one other parent at some point, whether directly or through someone they know reading it. So I agreed.
However, since it has been shared by yahoo.com (and please note that my article has been edited) I have read some of the comments, and whilst many are supportive and have used my story as a platform to share their story and thus also raise awareness, many others have been negative. In fact, some people who are not educated around the issue have used my story as a platform to debate abortion; whilst others have seen it as a cry for sympathy or felt like I was asking for their opinion on whether I should have children in the future. These people do not know me and have obviously not read my blog to understand Sebastian’s story in full (and I am guessing they will not see this either – however, I want to write this so that people know that I will not let them stop me).
Your comments, which I assume make you feel super powerful and strong behind your keyboard, do hurt. However, I want to thank you. Your comments have proven my point exactly as to why awareness should be raised. Yes, grief is a personal journey, but so is many things in our life that we still manage to share. For instance, your negative opinions are your personal opinions, yet you found it within yourself to share them – I find this hypocritical and amusing.
So, I apologise if I have offended people for sharing my story, but I hope that you realise that by not talking about the babies who are born sleeping, silently, not breathing, or dead (however you want to refer to it) we are forcing mothers and fathers of angel babies to grieve alone. The less we raise awareness, the less people talk about it - The less people who will understand may lead to less relevant support being provided. Unfortunately, I have spoken to many people who have had their baby die and have received no support. So, just because you have received support (or would give it) does not mean other people would have.
Some people have asked whether people really do say “get over it”, I think the mixed reactions in the comment section of this article pretty much sums it up. People do say it and whilst many more are supportive, empathic, and very encouraging, there are heartless people.
I know that some people say it as they are lost for words, and these are not the people I refer to in my article, usually the people who are lost for words say those comments still with love and empathy. I appreciate their attempts to try and find words. I am sorry if you felt insulted by this comment.
I think it is time that we all learned the real statistics of pregnancy loss (which was edited out of the yahoo article), - 1 in 4 pregnancies in Australia will end in miscarriage or stillbirth. Approximately, 150 000 couples deliver a ‘sleeping’ baby each year – that is a lot of grieving parents! I encourage everyone to familiarise yourself with how to support a grieving parent, because it does strike when we least expect it and to people we don’t expect. If you still do not want to read my ‘garbage’ then I applaud you for reading this far into my post and I hope that you never have to go through such a significant loss.
To the people who have experience a stillbirth and miscarriage and found my story triggering or offensive, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to share my story to hurt you even more, I was trying to achieve the opposite. I hope that you have support and find healing. I also thank you for being brave and sharing your story.
Thank you to everyone else for opening up to me, providing me with encouragement and support. My journey is far from over and our future is filled with the unknown. You will never know how much your comments meant to me.
This will be the only response I will make to the trolls, as I do not wish to taint Sebastian’s story within this blog with any more negativity. So once again, thank you to those who have reached out to me – you are a blessing.