Thursday, 6 November 2014

Dealing with Loss in a Celebrity Baby-Crazed Culture

In this week's blog, Rashida, shares with us her first pregnancy and the similarities of her pregnancy with celebrities.

In today’s celeb obsessed culture having a baby is like picking up one of the hottest accessories, so we are inundated with every detail and nuance from their cravings to what high-priced crib they purchased.

I learned I was pregnant at the same time as arguably two of thee most popular people on planet earth, Princess Kate the Duchess of Cambridge and Kim Kardashian the Queen on reality TV. Both of them reportedly had the same due date - July 11, 2013. Mine due date was July 15, 2013. While both pregnancies were pretty high profile, Kim Kardashian’s was more on my radar because I watch her reality show. Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a guilty pleasure of mine.

So, I was on baby watch along with the rest of the world.

It was her first pregnancy and this was my first too!

She found out she was having a girl and I was too!

She showed off her stylish maternity style and I tried my best to mimic it on my budget. About half way through her pregnancy the show documented an emergency doctor’s appointment after she had experienced some severe pain on an airplane. Her doctor eventually diagnosed her with what he thought was a stomach infection or appendicitis. After some tests, she was sent home with an all clear.

About halfway through my pregnancy I made an emergency trip to the hospital after experiencing some severe pain in my back and my right side. Initially, they thought based on my symptoms that I had appendicitis and I too thought it would be fine. After running a few tests, my doctor came back and told that it wasn’t.

The doctor explained that the pain I was experiencing was my kidney’s shutting down due to severe early onset preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. She said I would have to deliver the next day or I could die, but it was way too soon for my daughter to survive.  She didn’t.

That turn of events made it extremely hard to hear anything else about Kim’s pregnancy. Now the news that was once welcomed, overwhelmed me when I watched TV or passed the tabloids in the super market.

It caused me to completely disconnect from all media. I had to because I quickly found myself becoming envious. In my grief, I complained to God that celebrities already have “everything”. Why was the one thing I wanted taken from me?

Then one day I caught a glimpse of a magazine making fun of Kim’s fat feet, calling her “Miss Piggy.” In that moment my gut told me that she had preeclampsia too. They were the same way my feet looked and I naively shrugged it off as another pregnancy symptom. I said a short prayer, that my outcome would not be hers. My envy quickly turned into sympathy and hope.

My suspicions were confirmed after she gave birth five weeks early to a baby girl, and as happy as I was for her I could not watch the episode when it aired a few weeks later. It still hit too close to home.

I have watched the show again since then and reconnected with social media and when North West appears on TV or I see her in pictures, sometimes I can’t help but think about how my little girl would have been around the same age.

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Rashida McKenzie

Rashida McKenzie is the Founder of High-Risk Helpers, a maternity concierge service for expectant mother's experiencing high-risk pregnancies that result in bed rest. She is also the mother of a baby girl named Maya (who was born after 22 weeks of bed rest) and an angel who inspired her to advocate for pregnancy loss awareness. To learn more about Rashida or High-Risk Helpers, visit

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