Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Have you read about that woman who stole a baby after losing her own?

I cringe when I read things like this.

My first issue: they refer to a full-term loss as a miscarriage. Not surprising considering how little the general public knows about reproduction, but irritating to me anyway.

... but that's small potatoes compared to my main complaint about this. Plastering this story coast-to-coast is exploiting every parent's fear, and perpetuating the myth that mothers who can't have a child of their own are generally desperate and crazy enough to do the unthinkable.

Yes, infertility or pregnancy loss can make a person desperate... but I think it's pretty damn rare for that desperation to turn into something criminal. After all, if this were an everyday occurrence, it wouldn't be splashed over every news website and channel right now.

I think it's much more common for it to make people more empathetic, more sensitive and caring. I believe that most of us who are in a position to understand what it's like to feel that longing for a child do cringe at the thought of taking someone else's child.

Our desperation might turn into unresolved grief and an inability to get past wanting that child that we lost, or it might spur us to undergo painful and invasive tests or treatments that other people can't imagine trying. It might give us the strength to travel the world to find our child, or to fall in love with the child that everyone else has already given up on... but not to inflict our pain on someone else.

I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. That one statement has been echoed in many ways through many different blogs and conversations. It's the side of infertility that never makes the news, but I think it's a side that's more true than all of the desperate and unthinkable stories combined.


DD said...

I've been avoiding the story, because they always make me cringe.

I can't believe the news reporters stated "full term fetus".

When I first heard the story, I just knew it was some woman who had either lost a baby or was infertile. Yep, I have stereotyped myself.

~r said...

ACK - 'full term fetus'??! Lovely.