Post # 1
A friend liked an album that I thought was just a newborn photo shoot, but after reading the description I learned that it was a stillborn album and that they were looking for donations via GoFundMe – and it just really rubbed me the wrong way. Like, more than I really thought it would. They had the baby dressed up in multiple different outfits (headbands, cute baby dresses, etc.) along with some very emotional pictures of the parents holding their baby. Honestly, I think I would be okay with the parents holding the baby, baby wrapped in a buddle – but I am disturbed by the idea of dressing up a stillborn, and not just in one outfit, but multiple outfits, and posing the child in “newborn” photography poses – I can’t even imagine what it must have been like, taking a stillborn baby and forcing it in to poses – it just really creeps me out. From what I understand, this photographer was hired to do a newborn shoot, not specifically to do stillborn photography.
But to top it off, they are trying to capitalize on their loss? I have seen it before, many many times, where families who lose a loved one create a GoFundMe page, posts it to Facebook, and asks strangers for donations (I assume to help cover funeral costs?) – and personally I’m not a fan of that (asking for donations for X-charity (like cancer research) in lieu of flowers I am on board with though) – but they aren’t asking for donations to help cover funeral costs or anything like that – in fact, they don’t even mention what the money is for. I just don’t get it. If you’re going to ask millions of strangers for their money, at least mention why you need donations. It may be cold, but just because you had a stillborn baby doesn’t entitle you to donations. I actually think it is in poor taste to ask for money like this even.
And while I am not a parent of a stillborn and can’t know that pain, I did have a little sister who was stillborn (not something I really talk about too often, as she was also fullterm and her death was unexpected). I can’t imagine someone posing her and dressing her up and taking pictures of her. And I certainly can’t imagine my parents asking people for money because of it. Yes, my parents had hospital bills to pay, yes there were other costs involved – but my parents didn’t think they their loss entitled them to ask other people to give them money to pay for it.
I guess maybe this just hits a little too close to home and leaves a really bad taste in my mouth, and I do think it bothers me more than it should, perhaps because of my history. Does anyone else feel the same way?<br /><br />(I’m not including the link, because I don’t want to share these images.)
Post # 2
I agree. I am no parent so I can’t say how I would feel but all of that creeps me out.
Post # 3
Why should they be judged for trying to have pictures of their newborn, everyone grieves differently. As for the gofundme page it’s possible it’s for funeral costs,if not, don’t donate if you’re offended.
Post # 4
I get that it’s creepy, but I’ve never endured a loss like that. Losing a child must be so incredibly painful, that you want any little shred of evidence that your child is yours and that they existed. So while I don’t think it’s something *I* would do, it’s something I can, to a point, understand. There are photographers I’ve recently discovered that give free photoshoots to parents who have terminal babies. So, these babies are having the same things done to them (Being dressed up) but are barely alive or not conscious.
Perhaps the gofundme is to fund the funeral or other expenses they incurred at the hospital. Either way, creepy or not, it’s terribly heartbreaking.
Post # 5
I worked in hospice for 13 years (pediatric as well as adult)- so let me just say this without any question: there are organizations who do this type of photography for FREE. I think each parent grieves for their lost baby in their own way- so I won’t say the dressing up etc is inappropriate- but I find the asking for money distasteful.
Post # 6
Grief is a crazy thing that makes people do strange things. I agree that the idea of dressing up and posing a stillborn makes me feel instinctively awful, but realistically (and as horrible as it is to put it this way) the parents weren’t hurting anyone, and were probably using the shoot as a way to work through their grief. It reminds me of when the mother from that 19 Kids and Counting show took pictures with her stillborn premature child–it may be off-putting and it may seem strange, even upsetting, to outsiders, but if it’s a safe way to get past such a traumatic loss, there’s no reason to judge them.
That being said, I personally do not get a) posting the photos publically, as grief, to me, is an intensely private thing, and b) asking for money for… what??? Super strange.
Post # 7
I’ve never been in that position and I hope I never am but what I’ve learned after knowing a few pepole who had stillborns is that everyone mourns in their own way. I see nothing wrong with the photoshoot since those pictures are the only memory that the parents will have of their lost child. However, I can’t get on board with posting these pictures on the internet. It’s as inappropriate as posting pictures of someones dead grandfather laying in his casket. I know someone who posted stillborn pictures on FB and it was a very difficult thing to see considering you didn’t really know what you were looking at. By the time you realized that the baby was deceased, it was too late. It was disturbing.
As for the gofundme, I guess it would depend on what the family was raising money for but if nothing was mentioned, then you have to assume it’s just to pad their bank account. That’s wrong on so many levels. Truthfully, if you’re in a position to have a child, then you should have adequate health coverage so I can’t imagine that their hospital bills were anything out of the ordinary. A stillborn child isn’t spending weeks to months in the NICU racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills (at least I don’t think they are). It could also be for funeral costs but I would think that would be mentioned if that was the case. Just from the descrption in the OP, it seems like this family is trying to capitalize on their loss. Very unfortunate.
Post # 8
I just find the pictures (being posted publicly) is a bit creepy, and asking for money strange and off putting.
Post # 9
I had a friend whose son was stillborn and yet they still had pictures taken with him. It was a way to have something to hold on to once they buried the baby. Everyone grieves differently, so please don’t judge this grieving family for what they are doing to remember their baby.
I know of many organzations that do these stillborn shots for FREE. It’s for the families who are grieving a HUGE loss.
If the GoFundMe page weirds you out, don’t donate. Simple as that.
Post # 10
As someone who has lost a baby AND had a GoFundMe established (by fellow WB users on our behalf!), let me just say: it didn’t happen to you, and you truly have NO IDEA how you would react or what you’d want to happen if it did– it is something NO ONE can prepare you for.
Photos of a stillborn are literally the only picture memories these parents will ever have of their child. It is not at all like a grandparent whom you’ve shared a lifetime of memories with– you only have those fleeting moments, and your head is cloudy, you are full of hormones and you are absolutely out of your mind in disbelief. Sharing them is also very personal, and they obvously feel comfortable doing so.
All that being said, you don’t get to decide how other people experience and handle their grief. If you don’t like it, move along from the pictures and funding page.
Post # 11
Stillborn photos personally scare me but I understand why parents want them. I’m not yet a parent but I think I might keep them to myself if in that situation. Stillborn photos and other highly personal things seem inappropriate to share on the internet (Facebook especially) but people still do it and everyone has thier own way of grieving.
I’m also not a fan of crowdfunding in general, unless it’s a charity situation. A lot of people abuse it. It’s very simple to not give if it bothers you.
Post # 12
As sorry as i am for their loss, I can’t imagine dressing any beloved, deceased friend or family member up, taking pictures of them, and sharing the pictures publicly in order to ask for money. Nope.
Grief is personal and it’s not a fund raising opportunity, IMO.
Post # 13
I don’t have an issue with the photoshoot. But publishing the pictures on the Internet then asking for money for, whatever, is ridiculously questionable to me.
Post # 14
For a minute, i thought you were talking about someone I know, until you said it was a baby girl. I know someone who did this exact thing- stillborn photography, posted the pics on fb, and created a gofundme account. I messaged her ab getting her a check instead of using a card online, and she invited me to her hospital room to see the stillborn baby. I was totally freaked out. but like PPs have said- greif is different for everyone. She now has a baby boy who is so adorable, and they pay tribute to their stillborn all the time.
Post # 15
Disclaimer: I do not have kids and this is basically going to be a rant.
But I feel like,when you’re pregnant,you’re preparing for life. Not death. Everyone may not be able to afford funeral costs. Everyone wants to give their baby the best,even in death. To have to bury your child in a wooden box…I can’t imagine. I don’t think asking for money for your dead baby’s funeral is something people do out of greed. How many extra people or strangers do they want to invite into their sadness? And to beg people for money? I’d feel like I couldn’t keep my baby alive and now I can’t even bury him. I don’t know. I feel for anyone in that situation. I’d give them what I could.