Sunday, June 14, 2009

Duped

For weeks now, I've been following a blog about a baby named April Rose. The blog was written from the perspective of a single mom carrying a baby with Trisomy 13 -- a baby considered terminal (predicted to die in utero), but who, miraculously, was born alive and continued to live after birth.

As a mother who has experienced loss, I intimately understood some of the pain April's mom Beccah expressed, the fear in her anticipation. Though I've never carried a terminal baby, though I've never carried a baby with an actual threat of death looming, I knew the pain and grief that could (and likely would) come in the end. And I prayed. I prayed for April Rose. I prayed for her mother and the weight of her burden. I prayed for her father who didn't know the Lord and who was seeing first hand the miracles God is capable of. I prayed their experience would be one to turn him to God instead of driving him away.

I subscribed to the blog and read it religiously. I followed the tweets. I cried when little April's descending heart rate took a miraculous turn and settled in at an unexpectedly safe pace. I even made James sit and listen to the audio online. I shook my head with understanding as April's mom publicly defended herself to her critics, and I defended her decision to switch from an intervention-happy doctor to a mommy-supporting midwife. I pleaded with God as Beccah labored -- I prayed that little April Rose would be born alive since Zachary's fleeting final moments meant so much to me. I praised God when April Rose was not only born alive, but continued to live.

When I last read blog updates, family and friends defended Beccah and April Rose and did their best to protect them against the cruelty that often comes from people who have never walked in shoes like theirs -- people who lash out most hatefully because they can do so anonymously. I struggled to understand the insensitivity of the human race, particularly in dealing with someone who'd just given birth after a heart-wrenching pregnancy and who was likely to soon become a card-carrying member of the Dead Baby Club.

It's been a little while since I've checked in on the blog as I'm currently working to wind down my own emotionally-exhausting pregnancy, however, when I noticed a new post in my Google Reader today, I popped by, hoping to find an update. But all that's left of the blog is an apology. As it turns out, it was all a lie, everyone else was right, and I have been duped.

(To realize the drama of the story, read the cached pages of the Little April Rose blog here.)


I thought I was more savvy than I evidently am, and I'm embarrassed.

I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach.

I hope the uncovering of her made-up story won't drive her hurting readers away from the "deep faith" from which she wrote. I hope they realize that while she is a liar, the God she wrote about clinging to is as real as ever.

And while blog author Beccah Beushausen absolutely deserves to be held accountable for her actions (particularly for any material benefits she received as the author of her blog), as she moves forward in her life, I pray her body remains fertile, her future pregnancies are successful, she may never experience the torturous pain of carrying a terminal child, and the children of her future live. No matter what sort of wicked decisions they've made, no one -- no one -- deserves the burden of dead baby pain.

Little April Rose is a Fake

Down With Trolls
(see April Rose posts)

Blogger's Baby Was a Hoax :: chicagotribune.com

Blogger's Fake Baby Fooled Thousands
:: momlogic.com

Blogger Admits Story of Terminally Ill Baby Is a Lie :: foxnews.com

April Rose: Another Internet Hoax :: Cao's Blog

An Update on April Rose :: mycharmingkids.net

Blogger Baby Hoax Writer Not a Professional Social Worker
:: socialworkblog.org


8 comments:

  • Randi

    I've read lots of different things about this situation this week and it's so sad. The one thing I love is that, like you, the blogs I've read are encouraging people to pray for Beccah and love her in spite of her story. Someone who makes up such a saga likely has some major stuff going on and she can use prayers now more than ever. But I'm sorry for you that you mourned alongside her, understanding that pain, only to find out that hers wasn't real.

  • Amy

    I am so sorry that you are hurt by her lies. And I am proud of you that you can love her and forgive her in spite of this horrible situation. I hope that the love of people like you will touch her life and help to change her.

  • Amanda

    Yeah, that's me -- late to the party. I've not had much time for blog stalking this week and missed the outing. I was honestly shocked when I logged in today.

  • Al's World

    don't worry about feeling duped..i was duped as well. I follow Mckmamma and Angie so I followed their links about the situation and was so sad, and felt used. I also felt so sad for Rachael who posted for her, sent her money and talked with her every day.

    I will pray that God will be brought to light, His truth will shine and people who are not Christians will know that God is truth, even when humans aren't.

    I continue to pray for your pregnancy and hope all is going well.

  • Elizabeth

    Amanda, I fell for it too. I prayed for her and closely followed her while in labor. So sad, but amazing how God is using this for His glory and good...evidenced by the work in your heart.

  • Michele

    Wow... I havent heard of this blog and I am just blown away. Why??? Why would someone do that? How could someone sleep at night ,especially knowing how many HAVE lost children and knowing that their reading of her blog would also bring up their own pain? Why???

    I'll pray for her. And you shouldnt feel bad at all. Your heart was in the right place and those prayers and tears you sent up on that child's behalf, even though she wasnt real, still went to heaven.

  • taralynn819

    April Rose who? Despite being around the blog world I had not even heard of this blog. I guess I stalk many but actually read few.

    But yikes, what a tragedy to play with people's real emotions. She probably could have written a beautiful novel that many could relate to but not get so fully drawn up in.

  • Alyson

    I'm with you on this one--I too felt duped, and even in the days leading up to finding out the truth, I was defending her to a friend who didn't buy it. I guess I am just too trusting of anyone, but like you said, God remains there and true. I pray that this doesn't make people falter in their faith, but instead, draws them closer to His truths. Thanks for posting!

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