Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baby loss in the media

I had googled stillbirth sometime ago to find out when and if it had been in movies or addressed on television. Since it is still a rather taboo subject area (too sad to talk about). I was and wasn't surprised when I really couldn't find much. There are a few celebrities, but none that have ever spoken out about it (I understand what a personal matter this is, but man do I wish someone could bring some light to baby loss).

I recently watched a movie called "The Other Woman" with Natalie Portman. It didn't have very much publicity and was never shown in a theater near me, but I netflixed it the second it became available. It's about a woman whose daughter dies from SIDS. I thought it was a pretty decent portrayal of someone who has suffered the loss of a baby. It doesn't mirror my story, but there are emotions I can relate to.

Today I had heard about a show called "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" I had never seen this show before, but heard there was an episode regarding stillbirth on last night’s episode...curiosity got the best of me and I just finished watching the episode online. They never used the word "stillborn" you don't even really know what happened. It is clear the baby died, but they didn't give much time to this specific storyline. There are parts I relate to for sure, but I wish they would have really shown the process.

I suppose I am just grateful that this could be one step closer in making people aware that these horrible events really take place. I couldn't help, but let the tears fall when the friends of the couple were SO excited to be coming to the hospital and the looks on every one's faces when they knew something was wrong. It's a moment when I put myself right back in that place and knowing everyone I love is immediately smacked in the face with the 2x4 of devastation. The look on the mother's face when she keeps repeating, but the doctors said I did everything right...

My biggest beef with both of these two story lines is that in the movie the mom whose baby dies is a woman that cheated with a married man and then married him after he divorced his wife. The television show is about teenagers who got pregnant. Now let me say right now that I do NOT believe ANYONE deserves to lose a baby, but by society standards people who don't know could easily say well sure her baby died, she stole a married man, or well those teenagers weren't really ready to have a baby yet so it is probably for the better.

That's where I take issue. Media wants us "normal" people to think that these beyond devastating scenarios only happen to those who we can "make excuses" on why it's "ok" in our minds, but what about the married couple who is faithful, who planned for this baby, who did "everything right"...what about them? I can tell you we are out here too. The majority of stories I know are ones like mine. So when will media show that?

It makes me angry there isn't more for us. I truly believe the less ignorant society is the less pain is inflicted to us parents of lost babies because people are better able to know what to say and do. There will always be stupid things said and done, but I really believe had I ever taken the time to really think about what losing a baby would do to you, I would have been better equipped to deal with my own loss and the loss of others.

That's my two cents on that!

1 comment:

  1. I really agree with this - I've looked around for media portrayals of infant loss and found few that don't involve neglectful parenting. Everyone loves the story of a NICU preemie that pulls through but the other side of the coin doesn't show up much. After Elizabeth died, I searched through my pregnancy and infant books and found almost no resources for someone who suffers a loss. There is such a head-in-the-sand approach to the whole topic, and I think it only increases our pain.