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Tragedy as tacky jewelry
May 12, 2003 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Hold the beauty of life in the palm of your hand. The owners of this website create dolls based on medical photos and records of "micropreemies" (or, to the more traditional, miscarried fetuses). They will create a doll at cost for a grieving parent, and encourage their dolls' use for pro-life purposes. Am I the only one who finds it creepy to wear your miscarried child as a lapel pin?
posted by ferociouskitty (34 comments total)

 
I hold the beauty of my life in the palm of my hand all the time. However, I go a bit farther back than micropreemies to a stage I refer to as my Perfect EjaculatioN Injection System (or, to the more traditional, PENIS).
posted by srboisvert at 6:05 PM on May 12, 2003


My attitude towards these things is usually that whatever helps people grieve is fine. But the 8 week gestation pin with gummy bear? (second link) That's creepy.
posted by hippugeek at 6:09 PM on May 12, 2003


Sorry hippugeek, you are wrong. This site is a complete and utter freakshow.
posted by xmutex at 6:12 PM on May 12, 2003


That flapping pigeon gif is a touch of class.
posted by hama7 at 6:12 PM on May 12, 2003


As someone who has gone through this with my partner, I can see how some grieving parents would go to such weird lengths, especially if they've been unable to bring any children to term. It's a horrible experience, and one of the emotions you deal with is the feeling that your loss is somehow less real because the child wasn't born, which is probably one of the reasons some people are grasping for ways to show otherwise.
posted by rcade at 6:16 PM on May 12, 2003


"But the 8 week gestation pin with gummy bear? (second link) That's creepy."

I think they ought to just go with the Gummi FetusĀ®. Helps you grieve and comes in nine delicious flavors!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:20 PM on May 12, 2003


Okay, the twins named Hope of God and Will of God are creepy too.
posted by hippugeek at 6:24 PM on May 12, 2003


repost
posted by machaus at 6:25 PM on May 12, 2003


Well, FIRST OF ALL, this complete and utter freakshow crashed my browser, thus saving me from having to look at it.

And second of all, if it weren't for the convenience of digital cameras, I wouldn't even have any pictures of my actual, living, born-at-full-term child. I'm that fucking sentimental.

But, on a warmer note, if it helps people to cope with what I believe must be heartbreaking, and very real grief, then hurray for it.
posted by padraigin at 7:06 PM on May 12, 2003


LOLOL! Ok first it was "slactivism", now "Perfect EjaculatioN Injection System " is my favorite term for the day!

This is just creepy and morbid. I think it's as tasteless as having your pet freeze dried. I wish I had the warmth in my heart to extend a "if this what you need to cope...." to these people, but there comes a point where it isn't catharsis, it's an excuse to wallow and exploit.
posted by evilcupcakes at 7:33 PM on May 12, 2003


Yeah - all this is fine and dandy - but what I want is the head-of-a-pin fused zygote that was unceremoniously washed down the shower drain or toilet this morning.

Maybe they could put it in one of those little novelty magnifying plastic boxes that they use for grains of rice that have stuff written on them.
posted by wfrgms at 7:33 PM on May 12, 2003


wfrgms, why stop at that. Every sperm is sacred, you know. Now they'd make a fancy tie pin.
posted by Jimbob at 7:52 PM on May 12, 2003


Repugnant. I look at this the way I would a sideshow at a carnival.

Obsessing to this degree is not healthy in a psychological sense. This is substituting a fetish for realization and acceptance of the loss.

Would anyone shellac a dead 5 year old's nose and wear it as a brooch?

I didn't think so.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:17 PM on May 12, 2003


Exactly what I was thinking, Ynoxas - I can't see how this in any way brings that often sought after "closure". In some cultures they don't even name children until several days after they've been born, in the knowledge that they may not survive at all - I think that approach displays a better understanding of the fragility of life than wearing a foetus as a broach.
posted by Jimbob at 8:33 PM on May 12, 2003


Like hippugeek, I usually figure that everyone copes differently, and that I have no business passing judgment on what someone else needs to get by. It's very common for nurses to take pictures of miscarried fetuses and stillborns and make them available to the parents, should they want them. However, I do seem to feel that there's a difference between a miscarriage worth grieving over and miscarrying an 8 week old fetus...I mean, often you barely even know you're pregnant by 8 weeks (assuming you go by missed periods before testing), so I certainly don't see how you can be so attached to the fetus that early that it warrants this level of grief. I do think this is carrying it too far, to a level that's creepy and obsessive rather than cathartic and helpful with closure (are you a bad person for not needing a pin of your 8 week old fetus to get over the miscarriage)?. But whatever, if it makes some people feel better, who am I to judge? Either way, I find it extremely creepy that you can buy dolls specifically and overtly of other people's preemies.
posted by biscotti at 8:53 PM on May 12, 2003


This just makes me ill. I miscarried - I would never, never...no, aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhgggggggggggggggg. (*Composes self...*) Ew, ew, ew.
posted by Lynsey at 9:26 PM on May 12, 2003


Does anyone else think it's a little odd that they refer to their tchotchkes as "life" size?

Does it open a pro-life/pro-choice can of worms for me to even ask that question?
posted by padraigin at 9:26 PM on May 12, 2003


Am I the only one who hates these 'am I the only one' comments? Woe is me!
posted by HTuttle at 9:45 PM on May 12, 2003


Aren't those little miracles soooo precious??
posted by pemulis at 10:41 PM on May 12, 2003


The whole idea just seems weird to me, but if you have not been through losing a baby (and you can make your own judgements as to just when it becomes a baby), it is hard to judge others who have.

I have heard of parents of still-born babies taking them home for a night to put to bed, dress, etc and to have a chance to hug them and say goodbye. This just seems sick to me as well, but it does no harm that I can see and if it helps ease what must be the worst possible burden a person can bear, why not?

I thought I had seen this here before, machaus - you saved me looking :-)
posted by dg at 11:06 PM on May 12, 2003


Do they really sell these things, or is this (what I really suspect) just another ploy to help the conservative culture war in the US.

Look at creepy image. Rethink abortion. Forget about women's rights. Focus on the fetus. Here's one all dressed up for church. Join us. Its bliss!
posted by skallas at 11:06 PM on May 12, 2003


How can this not make you feel better.
posted by Witty at 11:42 PM on May 12, 2003


How can this not make you feel better.

Well, I suppose it would keep the gummy bears nice and soft...
posted by hippugeek at 12:05 AM on May 13, 2003


Chris Morris can take a day off today!
posted by asok at 12:42 AM on May 13, 2003


I'm going to have nightmares. Thanks metafilter.
posted by iamck at 2:22 AM on May 13, 2003


However, I do seem to feel that there's a difference between a miscarriage worth grieving over and miscarrying an 8 week old fetus...I mean, often you barely even know you're pregnant by 8 weeks (assuming you go by missed periods before testing), so I certainly don't see how you can be so attached to the fetus that early that it warrants this level of grief.

Perhaps if one wasn't expecting the pregnancy and had no particular plans for it, then there wouldn't be much by way of grief. But many women who miscarry enjoy that particular horror as part of a larger fertility problem, and when you experience the loss of a pregnancy at 8 weeks after month and months of attempts to conceive, it hurts like a knife in the heart. Having BTDT, I speak from experience.

Would I wear some chintzy little lapel pin to remember and memorialise my lost child? (Or children, as the case happens.) No. But I had other ways to deal with my losses and, more importantly, a strong social support system which never tried to diminish my experiences because of timing or because (in one case) the lost child only seen by medical personnel. For someone who needs some tangible form of remembrance like this, who am I to judge? They have to cope and heal in their own way and in their own time so that their lives aren't consumed, and if it takes a doll or pin, how can that be any skin off of anyone else's nose?
posted by Dreama at 2:26 AM on May 13, 2003


Don't ever judge another person's grief.

I only had a THREATENED miscarriage when I was carrying my firstborn-on the very day I found out I was pregnant. I was incredibly freaked out-and incredibly relieved when two weeks later it was apparent things would be okay.

Until that time I had held the opinion that miscarriage was no big deal and people should easily get over it. That particular opinion was forever changed by my experience.

Having said that, the sorts of items on this site would have probably upset me even more, but that's just me.
posted by konolia at 3:51 AM on May 13, 2003


You may want to grab a box of tissues before you scroll down the pages.

Ewww.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:10 AM on May 13, 2003


But...if I have had a miscarriage, can I judge all I want?

Not that I am judging: this is not for me, but if it works for others...well, lots of things work for others.
posted by padraigin at 9:35 AM on May 13, 2003


Similar post here -- and if MeFi freaks on you like it did on me, instead here's the link
that thread references. I also recall a thread about a woman who created a memorial website for her stillborn child (complete with pictures and a guestbook to sign) -- but it was too depressing for me to continue the search.

Alas, whatever helps people cope is fine by me...
posted by Fofer at 9:59 AM on May 13, 2003


Won't some one please think of the...
oh wait, nevermind
posted by blue_beetle at 10:54 AM on May 13, 2003


many women who miscarry enjoy that particular horror as part of a larger fertility problem, and when you experience the loss of a pregnancy at 8 weeks after month and months of attempts to conceive, it hurts like a knife in the heart

Of course. Sorry if I came off as insensitive.
posted by biscotti at 11:14 AM on May 13, 2003


When my son was born, we had to sign a document allowing the hospital to dispose of the afterbirth. It seems some people take it home and bury it in their yards, planting a tree on it to mark the spot. I... well... there's not a lot I can say about that.

But it will give me one more question to ask when I buy my first home, and there are trees in the yard. Or perhaps it's better not to ask?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:51 AM on May 13, 2003


GhostintheMachine, why would you ask? The placenta is simply organic material, it will break down and nourish the soil just like a heap of cow manure or a dose of chemicals.
posted by Dreama at 1:36 PM on May 13, 2003


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