Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How COULD they?!

I've been sitting on some powerful emotions for the last month regarding a situation that I view as inexcusable and reprehensible, and I need to rant and generally be angry about another's actions. I try really hard not to judge others, but in this case, I can't put my very personal feelings aside and overlook what they did.

I "met" a woman about a year ago through one of the online infant loss forums I frequent, and my heart immediately went out to her last month when I learned that her daughter was born too soon and passed after just six days. Her infant son had died just last August and she had experienced several second-trimester losses before that.

As much as my heart aches over losing Ryan, I've never been able to fathom what multiple losses would be like and can't even imagine the deep pain that comes with saying goodbye to more than one baby. So, to think that a person out in the vastness of cyberspace would masquerade as a mom to only heavenly babies makes my stomach turn.

Yes, someone pretended to be a member of the Dead Baby Club. And, that person preyed on the emotions of legitimate mourning moms and moms-to-be on multiple online forums by peddling her fabricated stories of woe and loss. She was pretty convincing for a while, so it's no wonder it took so long to uncover the truth.

As a card-carrying member of DBC, I'd never question another person's tale of loss and would assume their pain and grief was real and heart-felt, just as my own is. And, to question a story of loss seems innately wrong to me, so I gave the benefit of the doubt and thanked my lucky stars that I hadn't been dealt THAT tough hand.

This woman (or so I'm assuming) has seemingly disappeared from these online forums, but not without a widespread trail of confused hearts and angry minds. Why on earth would someone WANT to be a dead baby mama, when those of us who had to say goodbye to our beloved babies would give anything to cuddle and caress our little ones just one minute longer? It's infuriating that someone would pretend to have walked in the same shoes as me and many of my friends - and take advantage of our broken hearts.

We moms in mourning don't have a lot of spare good thoughts and emotion to dole out to just anyone. We're forever nursing our own deep wounds, but we rally ourselves together and dig deep into our souls to offer all we do have to someone we can relate to - someone who tragically loses child after child.

To find out that it was all a joke is such an insult. I shed real tears for this woman and the baby that supposedly died. I said prayers for strength and healing for her, and prayers of thanks for myself that despite losing Ryan, I have Megan in my life. Yes, I was a fool to believe such a far-fetched story, but some wolves wear pretty convincing sheep's clothing.

I hope that person accomplished whatever it was they were trying to do. When I first discovered the real truth, I felt badly for this woman, because I wondered if at one point she had experienced a real loss and never truly recovered emotionally. I can see that as a a possibility, but, frankly, my angered mind doesn't care about the logic behind the misguided actions. She lied and toyed with my emotions and I don't take kindly to that. And, this experience has planted a seed of doubt in my mind that I cannot squash - that others will come down the pike and pretend to have lost a baby only to gain attention and be pitied by others.

Yes, I'm having a difficult time reconciling all of this in my mind and letting it go. It's difficult to do when you've become emotionally invested and can't just sever the powerful lifeline that leads to those feelings. It's not a switch that I can quickly turn off and forget about. I wish it were that easy, though ...

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  • At April 21, 2009 12:57 PM, Blogger Heather said…

    Wow. I'm baffled. I can't even comprehend why someone would do that. Perhaps a form of Munchausen (sp)? My first reaction was that we should all go lynch her, but now I just pity her and shake my head. How did you find out it was unture? Man! I hope this wasn't someone I befriended too.

  • At April 21, 2009 2:02 PM, Blogger niobe said…

    People really are amazing. In my years of reading people's stories at forums and blogs, I've found that the vast majority of them tell the truth, but that there are always some who, seeking attention or, in some cases, gifts and money, will invent these kind of stories, knowing people will be reluctant to question them.

    One of the very first forums I read, many, many years ago, had a woman who pretended that she had a baby who was gravely ill. The other members of the forum used to seek contributions to help her out. Everyone was shocked when she turned out to be a complete fake.

  • At April 21, 2009 2:54 PM, Blogger Doodle - said…

    Oh Sherry (((((HUGS)))))

    There are no words for people like that. I am sorry that you feelings were taken advantage off.

  • At April 22, 2009 1:24 AM, Blogger Robyn said…

    I do not understand why people feel the need to do this. Why in the world would anyone want to travel that road? I'm so sorry you got hurt, Sherry. I'm sorry she had to take away trust from everyone. ((HUUGGSS))

  • At April 22, 2009 10:17 AM, Blogger Amanda said…

    I just linked here today from Niobe's blog, and am just astounded by this situation. I would have never dreamed someone could or would fake the loss of children -- especially children in the second trimester and beyond, where you give birth, hold their bodies, maybe even watch their life slip away. Watching my son die was simultaneously the most beautiful and the most horrible day of my life, and the pain that came is not something I would wish even on my worst enemy. How dare someone fake even one moment of my (and your) grief. The whole concept just makes me so sick.

  • At April 22, 2009 10:51 AM, Blogger daisies said…

    i am stunned and confused as to why someone would do that, what would they benefit. i sit here in the anniversary month of my beautiful twin boys birth and death and find tears in my eyes as i wonder why on earth anyone would think that this is a club they would want to be a part of. for as many of us as there are out there, it is startling to me how incredibly isolating this sort of loss really is even when we know others who have experienced similar pain. sigh.

    hearing this makes me sad ...

  • At April 23, 2009 6:18 PM, Blogger Becky said…

    I just came from Niobi's blog and I know exactly who you are talking about.

    I felt...exploited. I felt like all the pain that I've gone through, and she's making fun of it? Trying to get attention or get people to feel sorry for her? I just don't understand.

    It literally made me sick to read. I couldn't believe that someone would go to that extreme and to fool thousands and thousands of people! That's unimaginable!

    I prayed for her! I cried for her!

    That was the very first time that I've even thought that people could be that sick. Why would anyone on this Earth make a joke about a dead baby?

    I did have some suspicions, though. For one, the whole 'bubble' syndrom was a bit much because I think that's not something they can tell until a baby is born. Also...it always stuck in my gut that how could someone have that many losses and keep on going. She also never 'spoke' like a DBM. You know? She never acted like it was a big deal...

    Which leads me to conclude that she's actually had that many losses and she's just really needs help (because frankly, who wouldn't?) or she just really, really needs help.

    I feel sorry for her, really. But I also feel like she capitalized on my pain.

  • At April 23, 2009 8:54 PM, Blogger Sherry said…

    Yeah, I'm still stunned that this person went to such great lengths to pull off such an extraordinary story. And, to make the story even more twisted, apparently the "mom" is actually a man. So then one must wonder why a guy would WANT to know so much about getting pregnant and having babies - having done enough research to present himself in a somewhat believable manner.

    The whole bizarre situation makes me almost feel normal.

  • At May 03, 2009 7:42 PM, Blogger a rogers said…

    There was a similar incident on the CaringBridge site (which is mostly for families with children battling cancer). Tbis young woman preyed on everyone's sympathy toward her supposed fight with brain cancer (even shaved her head and posted pictures)and accepted gifts of money from concerned Caringbridge readers before she was "outed" by someone who actually knew her. At first I was mad and wished some pretty harsh things on her but have come around to thinking that she must be mentally off to pretend to have cancer??? I guess we should feel sorry for someone so sick!

    Ann Rogers

  • At May 07, 2009 8:22 AM, Blogger •´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said…

    I understand (hugs).
    I discovered a 'mother' who pretended she was a member of the DBC (sometimes a stillbirth sometimes SIDs) plus had a child with leukemia (in some the child had already died) ,a son with autism and other lies (her mother died).
    I tracked her through several different forums across the internet/countries and informed the moderators. The story was a little different on each one.

    She used similar names, and unusual spelling so it was easy to google her.

    Like you I prayed for this woman , many bereaved mothers (friends on the original forum) were very upset after reading of her her multiple losses.
    Heartbreaking and cruel.
    Most of all she allegedly used her real childrens names ...
    I am so sorry you got hurt and taken in.
    It shatters us more that someone could fake losing a precious child.It does capitilise our emotions and cause intense pain.

  • At May 07, 2009 1:49 PM, Blogger Larisa said…

    Wow. I can't imagine even thinking about making something like that up. I'm so sorry she preyed on your emotions and vulnerable situation.

    I do wonder what is wrong with her - but that's because I wasn't involved or invested.

  • At May 11, 2009 7:02 AM, Blogger Lisa said…

    As a card carrying member of the DBC, I have to agree with the other comments. The only thing I can fathom is that he/she did it for attention. Because, really, this is not a club you want to be a part of.

  • At May 17, 2009 12:26 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    How utterly horrible.


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