Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Trolls

In this world there are some really spiteful people, true nasty pieces of work. The internet especially is littered with these types of people.  Only on the internet these people are called Trolls. Trolls who say or do inflammatory things to hurt people, usually vulnerable groups. But most of all, I’ve learnt, they do it for the attention they get from their audience, thriving off drama and the distress they are able to cause.
At the end of the week I encountered Troll-like behaviour. On Facebook a group was flagged up by other angel Mummies. A group designed to cause hurt and distress, attempt to make our babies non-children again. The group was all about getting the pictures of angel babies off facebook. Only they were not referring to our children as angels, oh no, this nasty piece of work who created the group was calling them rotten, ugly, disgusting. The spiteful, I’d even say evil, creator also going on to say that the deaths of our babies were our own fault – and that we killed them by abusing pregnancy and deserved everything we got. Unbelievably it continued – an album on the group of the creators daughter titled “My beautiful gorgeous daughter who is alive because I looked after her.” 
This Troll: pure evil.
This group at the time I saw it only had 50 likes; and from what I could see, mostly liked by angel Mummies so they could tell the groups creator exactly what they thought of them. The group stank of troll to me. I doubt the creator had a daughter at all, or really cared about angel babies and their photos that much, but that they had simply found a group of vulnerable people they could easily attack, knowing full well that attacking their precious babies would provoke the attention and reaction.
Friday I didn’t feel the need to justify myself or Anabelle’s photos to the Troll. I reported the page to facebook along with many other angel Mummies.
It angers me though that anyone, troll or otherwise, seeks to tarnish my daughter. How dare they? Although I realise this is the exact reaction trolls hope for from their intended audience.
Today I challenge anyone to walk just a mile in our shoes and then describe our babies as rotten, ugly or disgusting. The day our life-changing situation happens to the Troll, let them create nasty groups then.  People have no idea.
My daughter is none of the things that evil person said. She is beautiful. I did not abuse my daughter and did not deserve the life that’s been given to me. I have as much right as every other mother to be proud of my daughter and to share her photos on my personal facebook page. My daughter is not scary. Anabelle looks like any other sleeping newborn. Anabelle is perfect.
I just wish that sometimes, people would ask to see Anabelle’s photo too. You know, when you’re in a group and people are sharing their children. I was at my Mums retirement evening a couple of months ago. There were people asking to see eachothers latest photos. No-one asked to see mine. I just wish people would include me in that. I have a child too. Anabelle is beautiful and deserves cooing over too.
Anabelle’s photos are so precious to us. They are the only photo’s we’ll ever have of her. She won’t grow or change, but she’ll forever be my perfect sleeping newborn girl.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is obviously inflammatory and cruel to suggest that babies are stillborn because mothers abuse their pregnancies. This will be true in some cases, but for most it will not. How hugely insensitive to suggest this.

However, I can see why photos of stillborn babies make people uneasy. They do not look alive, and some of them are quite distressing. Many people never even view a dead body, and most of us wouldn't dream of taking pictures of a dead loved one - you're not exactly going to pull out photos of your gran after she's passed away, are you?

I can appreciate that stillborn babies are different. They are obviously the only photos that parents are going to be able to take - but I think it would be fair to say that people who are not the parents/very close, probably find them very uncomfortable to look at. It's all very well wanting people to coo over her picture, but it is probably too much to ask.

There are a fair number of still-born baby photos on various sites around the internet. I can't help but think maybe it would better to keep these photos private

Caz said...

Anonymous 17:17 – do I know you?

Thank you for your comment. I take what you’ve said on board, you are entitled to your opinion and I thank you for being polite and sensitive in your response. Vicious groups on facebook are completely unnecessary, and that was the point of my blog.

However it will not surprise you that I strongly disagree with much of what you’ve said. I think it’s very easy to say what is “better” when you are outside and not living the situation. If you were a mother or father in our situation I strongly suspect you would feel very differently about our babies’ photos.
For what it’s worth, in a sociable context of sharing photos I understand completely the way things are and why. For some people they will feel like you and uncomfortable with looking at a dead baby, other people would like to see Belle’s picture but have no idea how to approach me and too scared to say anything at all. I understand why - it is what it is – but I am allowed to wish things were different.

However it is my right to put on my facebook page what I want to. If people do not want to look at Anabelle’s pictures, or find it distressing, my response to that would be - then don’t open the folder. Don’t go looking for pictures elsewhere of other babies on internet. I can only speak for my daughter, but Anabelle is not scary, and I do not understand what is distressing about her.

We live in a society where stillbirth and baby death is a taboo subject. Sharing our photographs and including our babies in our families gives opportunity to break that taboo. My daughter is not faceless a faceless baby – she has a face and a name. If they are hidden and private then it only continues to feed the “sweep it under the carpet” attitudes of old. I want to break the silence surrounding stillbirth. To raise awareness of the huge impact that a lost baby has on a family’s life.

As you said yourself – dead Grans are completely different to dead babies, and quite frankly not even worth trying to compare. Losing a child is not part of the natural order of things. We are suffering the worst kind of grief.

In my experience on facebook I’ve had nothing but a multitude of “likes” and beautiful and positive comments and support from friends and acquaintances – they are not all people who are very close as you put it.

If someone feels a moment’s distress after looking at the pictures of my daughter or other babies then I hope it causes them to think of the life-time distress that the grieving parents will be suffering. I believe that for the few people who are distressed and react badly, the majority look beyond the “photo of the dead baby” and sees someone’s son or daughter, sees the family who they belong to and has compassion for them.

Anonymous said...

Caz, you absoolutely took my the words out of my mouth! Who is "annonymous" or anyone else to dictate what pictures of what subject matter a person can put on their own private page!

Annonymous, It is disrespectful of anyone to try to force another person into anything they dont wish to do. Belle is a sleeping baby who is absolutely gorgeous, and that is just what her pictures show, a baby in an angelic asleep! I am very proud to have been touched by Belle's short life.

Caz, im so sorry you both have to deal with things like this on top of everything else. You know you can count on us both for all the supposrt we can give you!

Love and hugs

T and S
x x x x

Anonymous said...

I am Anabelle's grandmother and I stand by every word Caroline has said. This is the first time I have commented on this blog.

I understand how Anonymous feels because before my granddaughter's death I had similar thoughts. But we need to face these "fears" "displeasures" and raise the profile of angel babies, by doing so more parents who are in the same situation and feel they are alone will know there are groups they can turn to for help and support.

I held my granddaughter and it was heartbreaking not to feel her move or hear her cry. I have lots of moments when all I want to do is hold her.

As a mother it is very distressing to watch your child grieve and not be able to help or make things better, this is what I am supposed to do, but I can't. I am sure there are thousands of grandmothers out there who feel the same.

There is not a lot more I can say at the moment because I am reliving the awful moment when my son-in-law had to break the news to my husband and myself. How impossibly difficult that was for him, yet he found the strength to do it.

As a family we are trying to support my daughter and son-in-law but there are times all we can do is listen and learn when to stand back and give them the space they need to grieve.

Caroline and Jon we want you to know that we love you and are very proud of the way you have coped and are coping through all of this.

xx

Caz said...

Thanks Mum xx

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Caz
After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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