On a brief note, this is my post I had ruminating in my head last night but I lacked the fortitude to stay up and post. Those first days wear me out. Therefore, today you will get two posts. 🙂
All over the news yesterday and today there are all kinds of criticisms flying about Michelle Duggar and the Duggar family. This really is no strange thing for them. They get criticized probably daily. Those arguments irritate the crap outta me. Mostly because who am I and who are you to say how many children a family should have? When it comes to having children this equals 7th grade reproduction folks. As in….SEX. Is your sex life or my own anyone’s business but their own?
I would understand the criticisms if they were a burden to society through food stamps, welfare, WIC and the like. Well folks, do your research…they are not! Ask me how I know this? Because my husband is a criticizer. Therefore, I made it my mission to prove that they care for and pay for every single bit of the family they have created. My guy just could not believe anyone would purposefully have a family that large. But he has since been schooled.
I have no desire to have a large family (even though I am guessing by some standards I do), but who am I to determine every family’s size? Frankly…it is none of my business or yours if you are not paying for them or living their life. Then I ask, why do people even care so much? The Duggars seem to be a family you either truly love or truly hate. I am not a member of either party.
The only arguments I might give a little street cred to are the child free folks. Although, admittedly I ran into a few when I suffered my pregnancy loss and spoke of it online. I was harshly attacked for my decisions, but I don’t attribute bad behavior to the whole group. Usually the valid arguments of that crew can be substantiated. Therefore, I can see how the Duggar’s next pregnancy might have some valid opposition grounded in their researched based facts. However, again I revert back to mind your own sexual business and I will mind mine, thank you!
But that is not at all the reason for this post. Instead, I would like to address those that are attacking the Duggar’s (namely Michelle) for sharing pictures of herself with the stillborn baby, Jubilee. (I encourage you to look at them because they are beautiful) And the fact that the main stream media picked up on it and decided that it was a worthy cause to throw more attention too. Shame on the whole lot because dealing with an pregnancy loss is so private and emotional that no one and I MEAN NO ONE has the right to say how it should be done. If it is with an infant photo or releasing of balloons whatever….keep your mouth shut.
The fact that people are disturbed by seeing such a precious photo, in my honest opinion, says more about them and less about the Duggars. First of all, why did you look? Second, really do you not like to see them because they make you face your own mortality or is because it reminds you that bad things do happen. Babies are not supposed to die. Unfortunately, the truth is that they do. Every single day. If it were your loss then feel free to determine no photos be taken and I will defend your right then too.
You ask why I take this so personal. And the obvious reason is my own loss. But the less obvious is my life long best friend who I will allow to remain nameless, but I have known her since we were in 3rd grade lost her baby at a very similar time to Michelle. At the hopes of protecting her privacy I won’t share all the details, but she had to deliver a baby that was alive that she knew would die. So again who am I or you to tell her the “right” way to do that?
No woman should ever have to even contemplate such tragedy. Unfortunately, it happens daily. Don’t believe me, do some research. I will never forget the weeks, months and years of my friend living with that agonizing moment. Many years have past since that loss, but I can attest to the forethought of nurses/doctors and the long deep conversations my friend and I had at the time and the decisions she made to cope with such a tragic loss that allow her to be able to deal with her loss in ways that provide comfort to this day. Let me just tell you if she were ever criticized for those decisions in the manner Michelle Duggar has been Mommy Rhetoric would take a huge personal offense and you had better watch out I may make the news my self.
Now the next issue to mesh out is knowingly walking into a pregnancy with risk. Every pregnancy is a risk, but Michelle has made hers more public. It irritates people to no end that she willingly has babies when she is of an older maternal age and has previous issues because of it.
This, too, is something I can speak to. I had the pleasure of having a blood antibody that is so rare that most pregnancies don’t survive it. Those of you that have been reading since then remember the agony of my anti-jkb antibodies that created an immune response to my pregnancy with # 3. If I knew my guy and I would have been faced with so much turmoil and fear of infant NICU stay and possibly death I am not sure we would have been so careless about pregnancy in general. In the moment, we were forced to dig deep and determine how we felt about pregnancy, life and faith.
Going forward, we are done having children but after my miracle baby girl and being told to never have children again and if I did I would assume the risk that I would have to have intra-uterus transfusions and could possibly have a fetal demise. It didn’t take much for my guy and I to cement the deal that we were done. Those months and weeks waiting for jkb level results from blood tests are not a place I think either of us can handle going through again. But that was our decision to make.
Michelle and Jimbob’s decision is the same. They assume the risk and take the leap of faith that all will end up well. Maybe it shows a little bit of my lack of faith or maybe it shows just how much faith she has. Regardless, it was each a decision that we woke up and decided to make. Therefore, I get horribly offended when others determine that they have a right to have a say on decisions so personal. It just is not right.
It goes without saying that the Duggar’s faith get them through all this and if you look around on their site they refuse to and never address the criticism they receive and I am glad for that. There is something extremely beautiful about them. Living their life the best way they see fit and never looking back at what the rest of us think is best for their life. While I will argue to the death we all have a right to our opinion. Whether you want to criticize the Duggars or not I will defend. But I will not defend those that think they get a say in how I choose to live my life. If I ask for it, yes. If I don’t….why do you even care?
There is an overall lesson here, I believe, and that is that we need to respect others ways of life. They may not be our own and we may not always agree, but we have a right to them. It is called a right for a reason. Michelle Duggar does not deserve to be banished because she took precious pictures of the tiny little life inside of her because people believe she should not have even been pregnant in the first place. She deserves to grieve however she deems necessary because that is a loss that no one can tell you how to deal with.
(edited because sometimes it amazes me I am in charge of teaching English…ACK!)