This week's Teen Mom 2 episode may rank right up there in the list of craziest reality TV moments, but it's time to retract your claws, folks. It's been confirmed by OK! that Leah Messer, divorced mom to twin girls Aleeah and Aliannah, has suffered a miscarriage. That's a tough row to hoe for any woman, least of all a teenage girl doing it in front of a world that has had plenty to say about her pregnancy to begin with.
So let's make this one clear: the pregnancy issue is over and done with. It isn't time to gloat. It isn't time to smack this one over the kid's head. It's time to give her a little space and let her grieve. Because as boyfriend Jeremy Calvert told OK!, he and Messer are going through a "devastating experience."
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Of course it is! It's a miscarriage. Those are never easy ... not for married women in their 30s, not for a teenage girl and her boyfriend.
Even as I type the words, I recognize the irony. When rumors first began leaking about Messer and Calvert expecting a child together, I went straight for the "what the hell is she thinking" line. When her tweets added up to confirmation, I didn't stop the judging. She is a celebrity who put herself in the public eye specifically as an example of teenage motherhood. In essence, Messer OK'd commentary on her parenting skills when she took the money from MTV.
And yet, there's commentary from the public and there's delighting in the fact that a public figure has fallen on hard times, and we get to see it all go down. One has the potential to push society forward, to allow us to learn from the mistakes of one in the spotlight. The other has no redeeming value whatsoever.
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There's just one way to benefit society with talk of Leah's miscarriage: to treat the public figure as we should the private ones. Pregnancy loss remains a taboo subject in a society where as much as 15 to 20 percent of women lose a child to miscarriage because people are afraid to talk about it. They don't know HOW to treat a woman as she goes through this tough time. But all it takes is respect for the grieving process, and we can show that to Leah, can't we?
Have you been through a miscarriage? What was the best thing someone did to help you get through?
Image via MTV