Parenting Rules #27: Do Not Show Your Children Your Miscarried Fetus in a Jar | Teeny Manolo

Parenting Rules #27: Do Not Show Your Children Your Miscarried Fetus in a Jar

By Glinda

Sweet Jesus in a can.

That is some f’ed up parenting.

Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with political affiliation.  If it had been Hilary Rodham Clinton’s mother, I would be saying the exact same thing.

First of all, I’m not sure why you would keep your miscarried fetus to take to the hospital. I had a miscarriage in 2007 at about seven weeks, and the last thing I would have wanted to do was to keep the fetus.  Had it not had enough trauma already without me sticking it in a jar and transporting it to the doctor’s?  For what?  Obviously, nothing could be done to save it, so what exactly would be the point? To have some kind of autopsy done?  To dispose of it? I don’t get it. Having a miscarriage was probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me, so no need to keep a reminder on the mantle, ya know?

OK, upon further thought, I can possibly see taking the fetus to the hospital for them to dispose of it.  However, I did not have the stomach to deal with the remains, much less the presence of mind to place it somewhere for safe keeping.  And not to be disrespectful, but if you see the fetus as your child, surely you realize the hospital is not going to dispose of it in a loving, caring way.  All right, enough about that.

Right after a miscarriage, you are mentally in a shitty place, there is no doubt.  But what she did? Just wrong on so many levels.  That is where your husband/partner needs to come in and quietly slip you some meds if you are thinking that showing the fetus to young family members is a good idea.

Second, why would you traumatize your child by showing a fetus to them? Even if, like George Bush, the child was a teenager, there is just no excuse to burden your child with your pain like that.  I made a absolute point of never crying in front of my son or acting depressed in any way.  He was four.  It was my problem to deal with, not his.  That is why you are an adult, so that you can supposedly make decisions to shield your children from shit they have no business needing to know about.  If my son had been a teen, I would probably have told him about the miscarriage, but I sure as hell am not going to burn an image of a dead fetus that was his sibling onto his brain.

That is freaking all.

13 Responses to “Parenting Rules #27: Do Not Show Your Children Your Miscarried Fetus in a Jar”

  1. Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo Says:

    Holy Shit.


    Oh. Em. Gee.

  2. marvel Says:

    Didn’t follow the link (don’t want to) but sounds very similar to the link you posted previously about the mom whose two young girls witnessed a home birth — after they had said they didn’t want to — because the mom didn’t make any plans about babysitters, etc. Self-centered parenting knows no bounds, I guess. Thankfully children are often more resilient than adults give them credit for.

  3. class factotum Says:

    I got the impression from reading a transcript of the interview that he drove her to the hospital right after the miscarriage, which would suggest that she handed the jar to him as she got in the car instead of saving it to show him later.

  4. marvel Says:

    @class factotum Oh, I guess that’s why one should always follow a link before commenting! I shall refrain from further error by not making any further comments.

  5. pjs Says:

    I once worked at a clinic where a woman came in and had a miscarriage right in the office. The doc had her go to the emergency room at the hospital and sent the fetus with them to the lab at the hospital as well. I don’t know the medical reason why unless it was to verify the miscarriage. However, it seems like what she was bringing (in the story) for their identification should have been hidden from him rather than stated so frankly even if she was in shock.

  6. Hillary Says:

    Some doctors will want you to bring it in in order to determine that everything passed. If some tissue (placenta,etc.) is not passed it can form scar tissue or perhaps develop into an infection. (This never happened with my miscarriage, nor did my doctor want to see anything. This is just what I was told by the nurses.)

    If a mom has had repeated miscarriages, the doctor may want to perform some testing on the baby in order to determine if there is a genetic cause.

    But, all that being said, there was no reason to involve her son. Wow.

  7. Jennie Says:

    Explains some of Dubya’s problems. My biggest question tho is “Why a jar??!!?” a blanket, a towel, something to wrap your baby in… Not a specimen jar…really?

  8. Glinda Says:

    Good grief, my health insurance basically told me “don’t you dare come here!”

    Yeah, a clear jar without any covering is just not the way to go/

  9. Hillary Says:

    You know, I’ve been thinking about this since you posted, and a couple of things occurred to me:

    1. The mother was not far enough along that her teenage son *knew* she was pregnant, so it’s not like they baby would’ve been very large. (So, wrapping the baby in a blanket would’ve been overkill, and non-productive.)

    2. When I had my first miscarriage (nearly 15 years ago) many doctors DID want mothers to bring in the material that they passed, so they could examine it. It would not surprise me to learn that the mother was told to do just this 50 years ago. The event in question happened in the late 1950’s. As anyone who has had an early term miscarriage knows, it’s very…um…messy. What would the mom have used to bring all of the material in? There were no ziploc bags. I don’t think there was Tupperware then. What else would contain fluids?

    3. The son didn’t notice the jar until they’d arrived in the hospital. She must have had in inside something. Maybe it slipped out as she was getting out of the car?

    Even so, how odd that this story was included in the book. I can’t imagine what was the motivation that included it. I *do* think it very kind that he asked her permission before doing so, and am impressed with (in the story, at least) how calm and *together* his mother was in the midst of a miscarriage.

  10. class factotum Says:

    Hillary, I think he told the story as part of his explanation of his views on abortion.

  11. Hillary Says:

    Classfactotum, maybe. But in the book, it’s in a section where he’s talking about his growing up years and his relationship with his mom. It’s not a political section, nor is abortion ever mentioned.

    He also mentions (several pages earlier) the death of his 3 year old sister, Robin, from leukemia and how it affected both him (as a 7 year old) and his parents.

    If you just read the excerpt above, you could guess it’s to explain his position on abortion. But that’s not it’s purpose in the book.

    And I agree with your earlier comment. In the book, he drove her to the hospital, and he saw the jar as she was getting out of the car. The fact that he didn’t see it before then makes me wonder if it was in a bag or covered up, and maybe it slipped out as she was trying to get out of the car.

  12. class factotum Says:

    Hillary, I got my information from the transcript of his interview with Matt Lauer. I haven’t read the book (I’m #gajillion on the waiting list at the library):

    Bush says he included the story “to show how my mom and I developed a relationship,” but admits the jarring experience had a lifelong impact on his political beliefs.

    “She says to her teenage kid, ‘Here’s a fetus,'” the pro-life President recounted to Lauer. “No question it – that affected me – my philosophy that we should respect life…There was a human life, a little brother or sister.”

    Read more:

  13. Hillary Says:

    Classfactotum- Thanks for the link!

    He includes the story in the book, but without a whole lot of context as to *why* he put it in. (Other than to provide insight to his relationship with his mother.) This makes a little more sense.

    I’m about 1/4 of the way through the book right now, and am really enjoying it. It’s written differently from a traditional biography. It follows timelines through key decisions, and he goes back and forth in time relating to each decision. It’s very interesting.


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