Guest post by Annie Vorys
Recently, I read an article berating actress Hilary Duff for being in public sporting postpartum baby-weight a mere three months after giving birth.
At first, I just looked down at my postpartum figure and sighed.
She looked better than I do, and I lost my son almost five months ago. But the more I thought about it, I realized the underlying message of the article:
Our society does not tolerate pregnancy.
Okay, yes, almost everyone thinks babies are adorable and pregnant women are just as cute.
But, think about it. Maternity clothes are hidden behind the plus-size section, and there are about three styles.
Employers don’t have much patience for morning sickness. Almost no one gets paid maternity leave.
People are always complaining about breastfeeding mothers in public. And obviously, with movie stars doing bikini photo shoots 6 weeks postpartum, weight gain is a no-no, too.
So, how can we possibly expect society to accept babyloss grief when they don’t have the patience for pregnancy in the first place?
For the fifth time this week, another angel-mom friend just posted on Facebook about people unfriending her for talking too much about her angel. Boy, do we make people uncomfortable.
No one even wants to think about our broken, tragic lives, so they give us platitudes that make themselves feel more comfortable about shoving us into a corner.
I’ve heard a million lines. “You have to let them be free!” “You can’t hold on to them forever.” “That’s all you talk about any more.” “It’s hard for me to hear about him.”
(Um. Okay? Well, it’s hard for me to live with my grief every day, thank you very much.)
But they’re all just a mask for the real statement, “Babyloss grief creeps us out.”
So, what do we do when the rest of the world that isn’t part of our 1 in 4 turns on us? Should we just stop talking about our angels?
Should we rejoin their version of “normal?” Should we disappear into the darkness of babyloss?
I say absolutely not. I say we get in the trenches and educate these people.
But how? Well, first, we have to stick together.
And that means identifying ourselves with the one club no one ever wanted to join–Team Babyloss.
We must be there for each other, supporting and sharing honestly about our journeys through grief. Then, we must not be swayed by those who would keep us silent. If not us, who will then give our children a voice?
And finally, we must not be afraid to share that voice with the masses.
Because no matter how badly the world would like us to toe the line of normalcy and pretend nothing bad ever happened, there is nothing more frightening than denying our children and our grief.
I am Annie, and my son was stillborn.
I will tell the world.