Stories about the pain and stigma of losing a child

Dont talk about the baby pic

One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage.

Several years ago, Ann Zamudio suffered a miscarriage, losing her first child.

Rather than keeping the loss to herself, Zamudio coped with the miscarriage by talking about it with close friends and family. Now she’s asking other women to share their stories in “Don’t Talk About the Baby.”

“There are a lot of cultural roots building towards the stigma that really encouraged couples to stay silent when they suffer a pregnancy loss or when they are going through infertility,” she said.

“We are going to explore what some of those roots are in the documentary but so far it looks like the stigma is very rooted in our culture, in our history and many, many generations have tended to be silent about these things.”

“Don’t Talk About the Baby” was made possible by a strong Kickstarter campaign. Zamudio and her staff set up a $30,000 crowdfunding goal, ultimately raising $30,240 from 327 backers. It was Zamudio’s first crowdfunded project and while she didn’t have much experience with crowdfunding, her team formulated a strategy to meet its goal.

Strategies included building relationships and support before launching the campaign. They reached out to organizations who had a similar mission. They found foundations and organizations who specialize in pregnancy awareness and fertility awareness to share the campaign.

Zamudio, a frequent blogger at the Huffington Post, said she chose the crowdfunding route for the project because she wanted viewers to have a hand in the film’s development.

“There’s definitely the aspect of we needed money to get started with the process, so crowdfunding was one of the best ways to get that funding,” she said. “Also, we wanted this project to be community oriented, we wanted people who are going to be watching this movie to be invested in making it.”

When a couple loses a baby, people expect them to remain silent, Zamudio said.

“It stems from that cultural attitude of not talking about a loss or in not talking about the feelings in the room,” Zamudio said. “There’s always sort of a ‘shhh! Don’t talk about the baby. She just lost the baby’.”

Men and women should feel more comfortable about pregnancy loss and infertility.

“Often, the man is ignored after a pregnancy loss or going through infertility. That’s not to say the man isn’t experiencing grief,” she said. Zamudio said there are a lot of misconceptions and myths out there about pregnancy loss and infertility and sometimes those can be really damaging when talking to loved ones.

“Someone might tell their friends or family that they had a pregnancy loss and someone might say, ‘Oh, maybe you shouldn’t have had an abortion five years ago,’ or they might say we’re struggling with infertility and they’ll say ‘Maybe it’s because you were drinking,’ so it’s not just the silence. There’s a lot of misconceptions in our culture as well.’”

When grieving she was very active in online communities and got to know other people dealing with loss.

“I saw that there were several people who had a desire to tell their story, but culturally their communities just weren’t there yet in a place where they could accept those stories,” she said. “So a filmmaker wanted to tell their stories very visually and that’s what led to this project.”

The film makes a conscious effort to also focus on the man’s perspective. Zamudio said. When a miscarriage happens, the woman isn’t the only one grieving. Statistics show that 40 percent of infertility issues have to do with the man.

For more information about the documentary, visit www.donttalkaboutthebaby.com

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Robert Moreno
Robert is a full-time reporter for the Chula Vista Star-News covering local government and education beats and writing human interest stories. He is a believer in nonprofit journalism.

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