A bunch of semi-bad-mood things piled up at once. You get to take the brunt of it here. I'm sorry.
The Obnoxious Red-Clad Aunt is on her way, I can sense her coming. Which sparked in me the the sudden urge to breed. Which prompted me to search for puppies online, since good old-fashioned breeding isn't quite working. Yes, another puppy to a add to our roost, and only apricot-colored westie-poodle mixes, which - in my completely biased mind - are the most beautiful and intelligent mixes on earth. Look how cute our Tebow is, and you'll see what I mean:
Of course, blah-blah-doodles are not to be found at the animal shelters, which means the only ones available are from sketchy-ass websites with Canadian post office boxes, shipped next day air for half-a-thousand dollars. Which - if I were to follow through on this - would make me a bad person who patronizes puppy mills, encouraging this purportedly despicable practice out of pure and greedy self-interest. So, I ex'ed out of all those websites before K caught me looking at them, and began catching up on my blog reading instead.
Which takes me to Part 2 of this post, surely the juicier part.
Now, let me preface this by saying: anyone who loses a baby to stillbirth deserves some serious sympathy, if not empathy. I respect and honor women who have lost a baby, and I respect and honor the babies they have lost.
Also, I believe that people can say whatever they want to on their blogs. If people don't like what you say, they shouldn't read your blog. If people go around hunting for controversial quotes on blogs, just to have something to argue about, well - it's their own waste of time.
Still, something on a blog-that-shall-not-be-named - authored by a woman who has had a stillborn child - caught my eye and started to bother me. Like an annoying gnat or a hangnail, it sat there in my brain, festering, until finally - now - I find myself utterly compelled to respond. Or perhaps to defend. Whatever.
Here is what it said:
I've been reading a lot of other blogs lately, mainly blogs about pregnancy loss and stillbirth. I've noticed a push for "sassy" blogs and blogs that bash religious affiliations, faith in God, and pro-life belief systems. I realize I'm opening myself up to criticism here. While I find myself in a fragile state these days, I'm still compelled to make a statement about such blogs: I can't relate.
I don't understand how women can want a child so badly, yet see no connection to God or the sanctity of life. We live in a society that does not value life. What I've learned is that many people reproduce simply to achieve their own goals. Selfish goals...
There was a bit more, but that was the heart of it. Of course, when I read it, I thought with great ego: by george, she must be talking about ME!! After all, in my twisted fantasy world, lots and lots of bored people sit around and talk about me all the time. How could she NOT be talking about me? I do, I would say, "sassily" bash "religious affilations, faith in God, and pro-life belief systems." Or I have at least once(much less than I do in real life, if that makes it better).
There are so many tangled ways in which I profoundly disagree this person's statements that I can hardly sort them out here. I suppose a good starting place is the suggestion that believing in God automatically equals valuing human life, and that lack thereof equals lack thereof. This is such a departure from rational thinking that all I can say in response is:
I hardly have to point out the most obvious case in point: a certain president of a certain country, anti-abortion and "good" Christian, yet quick to start lots of wars. Meaning lots and lots and lots and lots of deaths. Decidedly NOT valuing the sanctity human life, if you reduce this behavior to simplest terms. Unless, of course, you consider Iraqis and American soldiers as sub-humans. Dude, even I - as a non-follower-of-god-and-therefore-human-life-hater - can see the fucked-upness of that.
But let's not discuss politics or war or religion in a broad sense, for it isn't this blogger's political or religious views themselves that bother me. I do - believe it or not - have one or two religiously conservative friends. I'm totally fine with people being religious, and expressing those believes. I'm also fine with people not having abortions. More power to'em.
It is the author's self-proclaimed inability to understand "how women can want a child so badly, yet see no connection to God or the sanctity of life" that gets to me.
If I were to go out for coffee with this woman, here is what I would try to articulate in a calm manner. I would anchor all of my main points with the word "please" to make for a more sane and professional dialogue.
PLEASE DON'T: suggest a causal relationship between "sanctity of life" and "belief in god." Love doesn't always look the way you expect it to look. It comes in many forms, and that's one thing I've learned as a KuKd Momma. Do not suggest that I and my own parents and my many non-religious friends with kids (translate: ALL of them) do not value our/their children. Do not suggest or assume that I am not saddened and traumatized by my losses simply because I am a pro-choice voter and jesus-lover-basher, and because my public grief doesn't resemble yours.
To make such sweeping and unresearched (not to mention highly implausible) generalization makes me very afraid for the world. It is such flawed stereotyping and downright ignorance that leads to death and violence and hatred everywhere - suicide bombing, racial-related violence, you name it. People think: everyone who does X definitely also does Y. So let's bomb the shit out of them.
* * * * *
PLEASE DO: consider the purpose and audience of blogging in general, and of individual people's blogs. Don't presume that a blog reveals every aspect of the author's life and personality, or that a KuKd blogger will fill you in on every aspect of his or her personal grieving (unless, of course, you make what are essentially personal attacks on atheistic dead baby mommas, which you seem to be doing). Blogs are entirely one-sided and done for selfish reasons, usually just to hear ourselves blather about whatever. My blog is no exception. To vomit out and defend my emotions, to make sure that everyone knows I'm sufficiently sad, is neither the purpose of this blog, nor the business of the general public.
There is this thing called a "private life," which - fortunately - I've found that one is able to maintain despite entering the blogosphere. That means I get to do the teary-eyed stuff in the comfort of my own bedroom or car, and use my blog for the very cathartic and healing purpose of cracking myself up. And yes: that means sometimes making occasional fun of jesus-lovers, which - sorry- but a lot of them are pretty much asking for.
* * * * *
PLEASE DON'T: impose your sense of how people "should grieve" on other people, or think that losing a baby automatically turns you into a weepy, wailing jesus-lover. Why should it? Why would it? You come into a pregnancy with your own system of values, your own personality, and all of that colors the way that you deal with trauma. As a Murphy from a beer-drinking, belly-laughing Irish family, that is - of course - the same attitude I employ when dealing with getting knocked down. So stop worrying yourself over how I'm grieving. Trust me: I'm doing it in my own way. Go pour yourself some whiskey on the rocks and relax, my dear. Everything will be okay - it's the luck 'o the Irish.
* * * * *
PLEASE DO: realize that it probably isn't a good idea to bash stillbirth-and-miscarriage mommies, particularly about our grieving methods and loving methods and religious beliefs. We're a sensitive bunch; losing a baby is like constantly being on the rag. Hence the fact that I'm using up a perfectly good morning to crank out this post, for no reason other than to scrape some pissy feelings out of my system.
* * * * *
AS AN ASIDE: I wouldn't say this part at our coffee date unless we really got into shop-talk. But I'll add it here.
A bit of linguistic history about the term "pro-life:" it is a made-up word that's loaded with propaganda, and I wish that fewer people fell for this word and absorbed it into their repertoire of everyday vocabulary. Sometimes people make up words in order to change others' internal beliefs - this is a historic and linguistic fact. "Pro-life" has served that purpose brilliantly, coined by anti-abortion rights activists after the Supreme Court's 1973 decision to protect abortion rights for the purpose of portraying pro-choice people as anti-life. Which is a ridiculous-beyond-all-ridiculousness presumption. Who ISN'T pro-life, other than, say, serial killers and warmongers (not naming any names here)? I won't go deeper into this here, because - speaking of "purposes of blogs" - political ranting isn't the purpose of this one.
* * * * *
THAT'S ALL, I think. I don't know why; I really felt I needed to defend so many people and so many things, including the many women out there who dare to find humor - crass or otherwise - in the face of god-awful loss. Thanks for listening - I feel better already. Whew - I needed that.
Now it's a glorious kid-free day: a greasy diner breakfast, followed by a hike up Mount Si with friend from out of town, husband, and Tebow. Then probably home to do more covert Google-searching for puppies. Yes, I will continue to call them Cheap Baby Substitutes.
Isn't that "sassy?"