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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
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"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, December 19, 2011

TTT- Jubilee duggar's controversial pictures

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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Tara said...

Are you f-ing kidding me?!?

I lost my 3rd son at the same time as the Duggars. It was an awful, gut-wrenching, lonely experience. Yes, I had two other healthy children, but that did not negate the life and death of my baby.

I wish I had taken pictures of him, but I was such a mess that it was all I could do just to hold him. The nurses gave me a copy of his footprints and we sent out announcements anyway. Yes, we mentioned that he had died, and no, it was not a cry for attention. It was to take joy in the fact that he had lived, even for a short time, and to let people know what happened instead of sweeping his existence under the rug and pretending he never existed at all. We don't do that when other family members die...

I can not believe the things some of those people on that board said. That poor woman. I hope she was able to find peace with their ignorant and thoughtless comments and not become bitter and depressed. I know I would have had a difficult time not doing that myself.

People in this world disgust me sometimes.

Lacey said...

I say the Duggars can have as many kids as they want, for all the same reasons you mentioned above. I come from a family of women who like to have a lot of kids, and none of them are as well behaved as the Duggar children seem. Not even my five siblings and myself.

People can be so heartless. As someone who has suffered a miscarriage I know we all grieve our losses in different ways and need to be supported during such a time. I cannot believe the women on the birth board could be so cruel. It's horrible!

Kim said...

I know of several women that took pictures with their still born babies. While it is not what all women want to do, it is one way for others to find the peace and closure they need to say goodbye and to heal.

I know of a lot of rather large families, Amish, Mennonite and in our town Sweenies they like the Duggars have well behaved clean and respectful children. I think personally that they can have as many kids as they want. However at 45 it is time to stop because 1) her body is telling her to. 2) it is medically documented on how hard it is and how bad it is to have babies at her age. It isn't like she never had a lot. My fear for them is they are not going to stop until she dies, he health was at risk the last time and this time her baby died. I am not being insensitive to her truly I am not I adore the Duggars. I think they are a wonderful family.

As far as haters, the Duggars put themselves in a position to be scrutinized even if it is truly no ones business but theirs. They asked to be where they are, they benefit in a huge way from the publicity they receive and they are going to have to live with people speaking their mind about their lives just like any other celebrity. People have the right to say what they want to just like you and I, even if you don't agree.

*Jess* said...

There is a photography organization called "Now I lay me down to sleep" which specializes in taking photos of stillbirths and medically fragile infants that die shortly after birth. Its a completely volunteer service, no charge. These parents deserve to have their memories captured in any way possible.

Dree Getz said...

I haven't watched their show or even read about their loss. I had a baby girl in October. I watched on my birth board mommies losing their little ones and it broke my heart. I was terrified of losing her.

These families have every right to mourn their children. They have every right to hold and photograph their babies. This post made me so sad. Why do other people care and judge what another family does in their time of loss.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Kim- I have to disagree. Is a woman of 22 years old whose body struggles through pregnancies and yields stillbirths and miscarriages telling her it's time to stop having babies? Some might say yes- but some, like me, still feel that she has every right to the desire for children of her own body. If she is emotionally strong enough to continue trying and hoping, then it's her right. And it's admirable that life is so loved and valued- not degrading. On top of that, it comes back to religion again. You can argue if it's right or wrong all you want, but the truth of the matter is, when a person believes deeply in something, such as a religion, it WILL take presidence over other things in life. Michelle believes that her calling in life is to fill the world with righteous children who love the Lord. She is fulfilling that in the way she knows how- even if that means that she is a 45 year old mother. Even if it kills her. And her family would revere her for it. As they should. Conviction is virtually unheard of anymore. And I think it's refreshing. That isn't to say that I hope she dies, by any means. Just that, if that were to happen, her family believes there is comfort available. That there is something bigger than themselves, and they are a part of it.

Yes, the family does benefit from the show. It doesn't mean they have no right to privacy. It also doesn't mean that everything they do is a cry for attention. The family was debt free before that.

At this day in age, countless mothers are blessed with healthy babies after 45 years old. Why is it okay for Hollywood celebrities to do it, but not Michelle Duggar? There shouldn't be any double standard. A strong, healthy woman of any age, if she wants a baby, should be allowed to try to have one. If there is any concern over the length of time she will live vs the child growing up, then people who are concerned should stop driving cars, and lock themselves in sterile rooms. Because illness, car crashes, cancers and so on kill as many mothers while they have little children as does "old age" or "natural causes" when a mother becomes such at an advanced age. Your comment "it isn't like she never had a lot" is EXACTLY what enrages me about this whole issue. The love of a brand new baby is NEVER lessened because of the existence of previous babies- 1 or 100. It sickens me when people start acting like "it's just one more"- no, to Michelle, it's a unique, individual, blank slate, sweet little soul that deserves every chance her previous unique, individual children deserved.

blackheartbetty said...

Such a personal thing. No one way of dealing is right! People are so quick to judge. I hate reading articles on CNN. No one ever offers any sympathy. All they offer is a bunch of judgment.

I only have two children. A lot of people tell us that we should be done having kids..

Michael Ann said...

I agree with you, Brae. Noting else to add, you've said it all so well!

Anonymous said...

Just....barf. Everything about these people is creepy. Pimping out your dead fetus to the media is just one more way of making a buck. For them to keep having kids like so many litters of rats is sick--these people are a one-family overpopulation problem all by themselves. They both need to be sterilized so this doesn't keep happening.

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