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