The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What to Think about Little April Rose

It seems eerie now, in retrospect, that I wrote about emotional fraud on the Internet about one month ago in response to Niobe's earlier post on the same topic. Who was to know that one month later, almost to the day, I would receive an email from a concerned blogger asking if I had heard about this website disproving the existence of Little April Rose. She didn't know what to think, unable to wrap her mind around the idea that someone would use the death of a child to garner attention.

Beccah Beushausen said that she started the blog to process a prior loss and "to express her strong anti-abortion views." And I wonder, in a week where we are still reeling from the death of Dr. Tiller, when murder, lying, and emotional manipulation became a proper way to spread a message.

I didn't know the site beyond the badges I've seen on people's sidebars and a blurb someone placed back in April in the LFCA. Anti-abortion bloggers and I don't really mix. But it still makes me feel ill even if I hadn't been taken for a ride. My heart goes to the very real people, like my friend, Kathy, who have lived through a very real loss especially those who knew before the birth that their child was gravely ill and you ache for what they must be thinking this moment.

Many people have come out with statements about Rebeccah Beushausen, both condemning her for her actions and offering sympathy in the face of someone who is unwell. But my statements are for the men and women who have lived through the loss of a child. My heart is with them tonight. For the men and women who have held their child, either knowing prior to the birth or afterward that they would have to say goodbye. For everyone who appears in the loss room, for all the people I inadvertently missed.

My advice, for anyone who is upset by the April Rose manipulation, visit one of the blogs in the loss room--the stillbirth/neonatal death/infant death blogs are towards the bottom--and leave them kind words of support. You can either curse the darkness brought on by Beccah Beushausen or you can light your way out of it by embracing the members of community who are hurting right now from this.


DD said...

What an odd coincidence for me as well as I had seen a link to the original blog from a blogger I *do* read who was wishing April Rose's family prayers after the recent (fake) birth.

For similar reasons, I decided not to follow the story. Too many praise the lords for my taste.

areyoukiddingme said...

I have long realized that some people are emotionally needy in a sick way, but this goes beyond the pale. Of all the things to exploit, death of a child tops my list of the worst. My sympathies are also with those parents who have lost children.

Brenna said...

I like your advice on this, Mel. I haven't joined the forums yet and didn't realize that there was a loss room, but now I'll visit. I'm all for expending energy on those in real need.

Kristin said...

That is the absolutely perfect way to deal with it.

Aurelia said...

I just feel sad that this woman has hurt so many people who are struggling with a diagnosis of birth defects in utero. It's one thing to tell people of a real decision you made and how you lived it, but a fake one?

I'm sure she thought she was doing something for her cause, but frankly, I think she just hurt it. People who either keep a pregnancy going or terminate always feel horrible and have questions afterwards, about whether they did the right thing and did their child suffer. So many people judge us, regardless of the choice we make. By doing this, she just added to the burden we feel when we get judged.

She isn't sick or mentally ill, by the way. If you read her stuff or the article, she is fully aware of what she has done, and now is just feeling regret that she got caught.

That wasn't an apology, it was an apologia. Big difference. One means you are truly sorry and understand the depth and gravity of what you have done. The other means that you are grasping for whatever you can think of to get out of trouble. God knows the difference. Hopefully, he'll take care of meting out a suitable punishment.

What I really don't understand was why she didn't just write about her real life loss, if that's what it was. (I feel like an ass even questioning it, but there you go...)

She could have written the real life story and everyone would have still felt for her, so what the hell?

I think I'd feel less pissed off about this if it turned out that she was a teenage boy in a basement somewhere.

Erika said...

Thank you so much for this post.

I, too, would like to focus on the real women who have lost babies...and not the ficitionalized accounts of people wanting to manipulate others by preying on their emotions. Does anyone who reads babyloss blogs deserve to be treated this way? No!

The whole thing made me sick- after losing three babies in a year and a half- one to miscarriage and twins to stillbirth- it is really hurtful for someone to make a mockery of babyloss.

thanks so much for putting the focus where it needs to be.


Artblog said...

Me too, just thank you for writing this.


Anonymous said...

thanks mel. very well put.

Beautiful Mess said...

I read about this earlier this week and it made me sad and sick. I'm sad for her, but like you said, sad for the parents that have lost a child. It's terribly unfair to do to them. They are already hurting, they don't need to be questioned on whether their story is true or not. I sincerely hope and pray for peace for everyone involved.

Lavender Luz said...

How is it that you ALWAYS know how to approach a complex situation?

Your heart is an amazing guide for so many.

Anonymous said...

First I'm hearing of this, but as a therapist who sees women who have lived through a trisomy 13 dx and subsequent loss of their babies, it just makes ill to think that someone would exploit the sympathy, time and prayers that people could have been giving to ACTUAL parents in this situation.

Her actions were inexcusable. But we all reap what we sew, and it sounds as if she is doing just that.

Eve said...

Yikes, didn't mean that comment to be anon...just hit post to early. T'is just me who wrote that!

Daisy said...

Thank you for redirecting readers to a site where they can truly leave some moral support.

Kristen said...

I can't imagine why someone would do such a thing. I pray that I would NEVER have to walk in those babyloss shoes. My two miscarriages were painful enough. She basically duped our community and I am saddened for those truly grieving right now.

My T&P go out to all of those suffering from babyloss.

Natalie said...

Wow. I don't know the story, but it makes my stomach curdle that one would FAKE something like that for the attention. Dispicable.

Anonymous said...

I can not imagine the trauma this woman went through to create such a lie as this. From reading her "apology", I truly wonder if her struggle with an unplanned pregnancy was that she had an abortion and she had what is called PASS afterwards, Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. I have no judgment towards her if that is what happened, only compassion for the incredibly difficult situation it put her in. Unfortunately, there are not many safe places to talk about the after effects of abortion on or off the internet. I can only assume her deceit stemmed from not dealing with whatever trauma she had in her life.

Geohde said...

I didn't hear of this story, but it saddens me. I like to be able to take people on trust and when you lose trust in one, it can become more generalised. It's harder to fully believe again, sometimes,


battynurse said...

I hadn't heard the story either. How sad that someone felt so unloved or uncared for that they needed to create a story such as that to make themselves feel better.

Anonymous said...

I rarely discuss this, I support whatever choice a woman makes. I've never had to make a difficult choice in that respect, so I've never walked in those shoes.
I supported her blog like so many others, just as I would have done had she decided not to continue with her pregnancy. But to make it all up? To do this when so many of my friends have genuinely walked this road with little or no support? It baffles me. And leaves me a bit angry frankly.
I will continue doing what I do to support woman like Kathy, Carly, Devon and Erika and so many other wonderful woman, whose hearts are true and whose loss is real.
Thanks Mel, for AGAIN writing a reasoned and thought filled post.

niobe said...

I've always had kind of strange fascination with these kind of hoaxes -- oddly, even more so since I lost my own babies. While I didn't see this post until this morning, I read about the April Rose blog on another site and spent far too much time this weekend reading through the now-deleted posts. (If anyone else shares my fascination with this sort of creepy stuff, I've provided links on my blog)

caitsmom said...

"And I wonder, in a week where we are still reeling from the death of Dr. Tiller, when murder, lying, and emotional manipulation became a proper way to spread a message."

Thank you for this post. Your statement above, in particular resonates with me. I wonder too, how and when it became OK.


Bea said...

I'm sorry to hear about how that fraud thing went down, by the way... but the uterus did great work. Just wanted you to know nothing will take that back!