Mom Who Kept Stillborn Birth Private Is Livid After SIL Posts 'Bday Message' on Facebook

Genny Glassman | Apr 2, 2020 Pregnancy
Mom Who Kept Stillborn Birth Private Is Livid After SIL Posts 'Bday Message' on Facebook
Image: iStock


TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains information about stillbirth and infant loss, which may be triggering to some.

A stillbirth is a painful loss. It can be a deep hurt that for some never goes away. For one woman, the loss of her baby was gut-wrenching, but in the two years since he died, she's been able to move on and find normalcy. That is, until her sister-in-law recently brought up the painful memory in a Facebook post.

  • The mom has tried her best to move on since her son passed away.


    The mom explained in a post on Reddit that when her son died at 7 months, she and her husband were "devastated" and faced the difficult task of announcing to family and friends about their loss. They'd already shared that they were pregnant on Facebook, but after their son's death, they painfully decided to announce their loss on social media.

  • After having a funeral with only their immediate family, the original poster (OP) and her husband decided to not talk about their son publicly anymore.


    On the first anniversary of his delivery date, the couple celebrated "quietly" with some angel food cake -- not posts on social media.

  • Because the OP and her husband have other children, they worried about rehashing "bad memories for them, as they seemed to have moved on."


    So this year, the couple agreed not to celebrate his delivery day.

    "I guess we're just private people and don't want to share this part of our lives publicly," she explained in her post on Reddit.

  • But not everyone was in on the plan.


    The OP's sister-in-law posted a very public happy birthday message, alongside multiple crying emojis.

  • It was painful to the mom for several reasons.


    Some people commented on her SIL's post "to ask who that is," the OP wrote. And then, they consoled her SIL -- not the OP.

    "She never even reached out to me that day to say anything like, I dunno, 'How are you?' or anything," she continued.

  • As far as the OP was concerned, enough was enough.


    Angry, she texted her SIL and told her that she was being "inconsiderate and just looking for attention," she recalled. "That she's self-centered and taking my grief to use as her own."

    But her SIL shot back that she lost a nephew and had every right to grieve too.

  • Although he agrees that it was inconsiderate, her husband thinks the OP "blew the whole thing out of proportion" -- but was she really expected to ignore it?


    That's what she wondered.

    "I'm thinking I'm right, but maybe I'm a little jealous of the support she always seems to get," she added.

  • Some people in the comments agreed: The SIL was trying to hog the spotlight.


    "She knew exactly what she was doing. Emojis? Come on," one commenter wrote. "That is beyond inappropriate for a post about a dead child. The fact that she didn't say anything to you makes it clear this is not about grieving a shared loss, it's about gaining sympathy off the back of your tragedy. Gross."

    "Definitely trying to steal the spotlight for herself," added a second commenter. "She had zero right to post anything without consent because it wasn’t even her baby. I would have blown up too."

    "I have nieces and nephews and, yes, I'd be devastated if they died, but not anywhere near the level of my sisters," a third person chimed in. "They gave birth to them, they raised them, it's their children. This woman is a nutcase who just wants attention."

  • A few people thought her SIL had made an innocent mistake.


    One commenter pointed out that women who've suffered pregnancy loss feel like it's important to acknowledge the baby so they can heal. 

    "It sounds like you don’t take this approach to your loss at all, and that is 100 percent valid," the person wrote. "My only thought is that your sister might not fully understand that. That being said, if she didn’t understand how her post would make you feel, she may have thought she was honoring your baby’s life by acknowledging it and I think you could have been more gentle in explaining to her why it was hurtful."

    A second person thought that her SIL was wrong for posting but also thought the OP was wrong "for not considering that she may also have some grief, even if it’s just a little."

    In the end, we'll never know for sure what her SIL's motives were. At the very least, however, this is a good time for the OP to make her feelings clear to her SIL from here on out -- no more talking about her son on Facebook. Period.

death miscarriage & loss

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