I recently defended the Duggar family and their decision to have another child, their 20th. Sure, it’s crazy to me to think about having 20 kids (and not just because that would mean I’d be into my 50s and still procreating!), but it’s not my place to judge a family I don’t know and spout off about their reproductive decisions. But apparently, some people do think it’s their place to do so. And now that Michelle Duggar has miscarried in her second trimester, some people seem to think it’s their place to be complete jerks about that, too.
The insensitive, heartless comments aren’t hard to find. I won’t even bring them to the light of day here as they don’t deserve repeating. But I will say that some of the comments bring to light why many women don’t want to discuss pregnancy loss. They feel they are somehow to blame. They feel people won’t understand their grief. And they don’t feel that everyone will validate the pregnancy as a “real” baby or a life lost.
I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to lose a baby as Michelle Duggar did at 19 weeks. I can’t fathom what it’s like to go into an appointment, excited to find out the gender, and instead find out the heart isn’t beating. I do know what it’s like to think you may be losing a pregnancy. And I do know what it’s like to get that positive pregnancy test, calculate a due date, celebrate with your husband and make a prenatal appointment, only to start bleeding a few days later and have the positive test turn negative. It sucks. It’s real. And women don’t need blame. They don’t need reassurance that it’s probably best this way. All they need, as this article so accurately states, is a simple “I’m sorry.”
The insensitive, heartless comments about the Duggar miscarriage aren’t hard to find. I just hope the Duggar family doesn’t read them. And to the Duggars, we’re so sorry. —Erin