Touchy Topic Tuesday
The Duggar Family's Controversial Photos
Of Sillborn Baby Girl
In November, many will remember that the Duggar Family announced their 20th pregnancy. The Duggars, in and of themselves, are controversy enough, but more controversy surrounded the pregnancy due to the size of their family, the complications present in her 19th pregnancy, and Michelle's age- she's 45. Still more controversy followed when, at 19 weeks along, Michelle went to a doctors appointment, and realized that there was no heartbeat. A sad, yet common occurrence for many women.
But that isn't the controversial part. A little over a week later, a memorial ceremony was held for the 19 week old girl they named "Jubilee Shalom Duggar", where photos were shown that created a heated stir among the internet fans and haters. (Photos can be seen at the link provided above.)
One photo showed Michelle holding Jubilee's tiny hand on the tip of her finger, and one photo where Michelle is holding her baby's two tiny feet between two fingers- with a caption that reads: "There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."
It seems that many people feel that the memorial service and the photos are a cry for attention. A big old "look at me, look at me", if you will.
The way I feel about it is pretty short, and sweet, if you don't mind a strong opinion:
1. Who the heck cares if they have a whole bunch of kids? It's no one's business. They are a debt free family, their kids are well fed, well cared for, and have the love, shelter, and things they need. So what do you care if they have a lot? None of it rests on your shoulders. On top of that, it isn't JUST a personal decision they had made to have a bunch of kids. I'm sure a big part of it IS a personal decision, but it is also a religious decision- and unlike most of America, the Duggars are not a family that dabbles their fingers in religion on Sunday, and forget it the rest of the week. They live their religion on a daily basis. Not many people understand this conviction, and most people fear what they don't understand.
2. A lot of women have complications in pregnancy. Probably more women than half. It isn't okay to tell a mother of one that since she has had complications with her pregnancy in the past that she should not have another child. It's cruel, tactless, and incredibly unethical. It is no less cruel, tactless, or unethical to tell a woman who has 19 children that she shouldn't have another child because of past complications.
3. Michelle Duggar is 45. Why is this controversial? I just don't get it. In Hollywood, actress by the score have baby after baby via invitro fertilization, some of them much older than 45, and that's okay? No one finds THAT controversial? If the problem, again, is because she has so many children already, people need to rub their nose in their OWN crap, not hers. Because it's none of their business.
4. I do not see why it is such a bad thing for the Duggars to mourn their baby. Having many children does not make it easier for a parent to lose one. Believe it or not, it's not like a gumball machine- you put your quarters in, and get a handful, but one falls on the ground, and you can't eat it. Oops. Bummer. Moving on. SOME of us find life, no matter how many lives there already are, very VERY sacred. Including this sweet baby who only graced the world for 19 weeks. For that 19 weeks, she made, at the very least, 21 people very happy. THAT says something big. It is not unlike those who told me to just be happy with the three I have after long months and a chemical pregnancy when trying to have my 4th child. I took it as a personal insult. And, I still feel, rightly so.
5. As far as the pictures go, if people are heartbroken by them, then they have eyelids. They can close their eyes or turn their heads, or find a different website to read. Jubilee's family, though, may be very comforted by them- it might solidify her realness. It might bring closure to their hearts.
Once, on my birth board with Teague (of COURSE it was a birth board!!!) a woman who had suffered through morning sickness with us, celebrated the discovery of her baby being a girl, and then, when she needed us most at 26 weeks when she suffered a late miscarriage, many turned against her and behaved very cruelly when she posted a newspaper article about her baby's funeral service. Many women there said it was "a waste of money" for a funeral for a baby that never lived, and some even refused to call her daughter a baby, but instead referred to her as simply "the fetus". One woman said, and I quote- "It's sad, but it happens. You have to get over it, and stop wallowing." I was horrified and heartbroken for this mourning mother. She was reaching out for support and hope and comfort, and women who should have been there for her, who still held their babies safe within their bellies, told her things that they would have been sick to hear about their own child. Of course, I was happy to see that more people DID offer her the support she needed, but the idea that the baby wasn't worth the time and effort of a funeral, a memorial, or pictures because a deceased child is "creepy", is what I imagine to be one of the most WICKED misconceptions that a human can invent. Any baby is WORTH much more than that. A baby who has lost the battle for life is STILL the sweet, very loved baby it was in life to a mother who has lost it.
So, how do YOU guys feel about this situation? Is it creepy? Is it attention seeking? Or do people need to chill out and let the Duggars mourn in a way that they feel will let them heal? Do they have any less right to sadness because they have a lot of children? Do you CARE that they have so many? And why?
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