This is the Duggar Family.
They apparently have a TV show about having a lot of kids–19 to be exact. I have never seen the show and really don’t know anything about the family. So naturally I Googled the mom to see what she looked like.
First reaction? Man, she looks great for raising that many children.
Second reaction? What nice lighting in this photo.
Recently I read on Twitter and Facebook that Michelle Duggar, the mama of this large brood, suffered a pregnancy loss with her 20th pregnancy. Many of the comments online about the passing of this child were horrible. Horrible.
With the series of posts that I did on Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss, the list of DO NOT’s that the women I interviewed gave me was setting off all kinds of alarms as I read the comments. We all need further lessons in sensitivity towards those who have suffered this loss …and reading the comments about Michelle Duggar just showed me that we have a looooong way to go.
I went through Facebook and read what some people I know were saying about this loss and in general, the “outraged” comments fell into camps below. I am going to quote the women I interviewed in my Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss Series and have them teach us once again why these comments are hurtful–comments made by my peers.
She has 19 kids & her last one was premature. Her body is finally worn out. She’s too old to be having babies anyway. She’s 45. It was for the best. Something probably would have been wrong with the baby anyway.
The women I interviewed labeled this DO-NOT as “Offering medical advice” and “Hypothesizing the reason why they miscarried.”
As Brooke said in the interview, “My doctor is far more qualified than anyone else to tell me why this has happened.”
Kim said in the interview, “Well, for one, no one can really know what went wrong. Was it something that I did, did not do? Is there something wrong with me physically that is harming the baby? No one knows that answer, and you may never know. I don’t care if there was something wrong with the baby…that was may baby that I loved and hoped for and adored…don’t minimize that. That is like saying to someone who wears glasses, “You didn’t need your left eye…there was something wrong with it anyway.” No one knows, and especially in my circumstance that there will be another baby. To this day I still feel like someone is missing from my life, from my heart, from my soul.”
Laura said in the interview, “Don’t hypothesize – Do not try to make sense of their loss. Don’t tell them it was meant to be. Don’t tell them that it was a fluke. Don’t tell them it was because of something they did or didn’t do. Let the parents come to their own conclusions, medically and spiritually. When you hypothesize, you are minimizing their loss.”
She should focus on the 19 she has and go help raise her grandbabies.
The women I interviewed labeled this DO-NOT as “Minimizing the Loss.”
Kim said in the interview, “The thing that infuriates me the most is when people say, “Why don’t you appreciate the children you already have?” Because…straight up, I had a dream. My dream was four beautiful children. That is a dream that will probably never come to reality. It is a great loss to my heart and soul. Besides, a statement like that is saying that in some way I am not grateful for my children, which could not be further from the absolute truth.”
She would probably die after having another baby so losing a baby now instead of turning her husband into a single father is way better.
The women I interviewed labeled this DO-NOT as “Ranking Tragedy.” The losses that are being ranked are the loss of the baby vs the loss of the mother.
Laura said in the interview, “Don’t rank tragedy – Every loss is a loss, whether it was days after a positive pregnancy test or moments after delivery. Most consider each additional week of pregnancy lost a bigger tragedy, but that’s not necessarily so. In my experience, a woman who discovers she is pregnant instantly loves her unborn child and creates a mental future for them. Losing that dream is devastating at any stage. Some struggle more with early miscarriage than stillbirth, and vice versa. It just depends, so refrain from assumptions.”
This is a sign. God is telling them enough already. They might want to listen to what God is telling them.
This is the comment that bothered me the most. Man, people are arrogant, aren’t they? I am a believer that the things we go through in life have purpose …but to look at someone else’s situation (especially someone you don’t know personally!) and say, “I know what God is trying to tell them” is really egotistical.
Plus, if you really want to dive into this one, what was God telling them when she had a miscarriage after her first child was born? What was our unchanging God telling Brooke, Kim and Laura? The same thing? If He was really telling them that “enough is enough” on this 20th pregnancy then why would He have let conception happen in the first place? I just don’t understand that kind of thinking.
We don’t know what God is telling them because 1) We aren’t God. 2) We don’t receive personal revelation for strangers.
I was reading the comments on ABC’s release of the pregnancy loss and was seriously disturbed by most of the comments (“Get a clue!” “Religious Fanatics should not reproduce at all. The are all mentally derangned. Example these morons!!!!!” –>Funny that they spelled ‘deranged’ wrong, right? LOL “The womb is not a clown car.” “These human breeders are disgusting…”) But among all the hate, there was this profound comment by a Jessica Murphy:
The bottom line is that there is something wrong with you if you experience more outrage than grief and compassion.
Amen to that.