Munchausen by fake proxy server
Q:What's worse than having your child diagnosed with severe abnormalities in utero and bringing that child to term while fully acknowledging and understanding that odds are the infant will be malformed and unable to survive more than a few hours?
Expectant mother "B" maintains a blog and a twitter in which she shares details about her pregnancy. An amniocentesis determines that her child has trisomy 13 and holoprosencephaly. She commiserates with blogging Christian moms and others who have lost children. She names her expected daughter "April Rose." Apparently some send her money and gifts, including a college friend who's already lost a child. Others donate to charity in her name. At any rate, she's making money from ads.
The day of reckoning arrives; B has decided on a home birth, reasoning that the hospital is near enough to reach in an emergency.
This is where the story starts to get much weirder. Throughout the evening, B's significant other, D, keeps readers updated by round-the-clock posting. But timestamps on the blog and twitter are inconsistent. The photographer apparently arrives before a physician shows up. When the doctor does arrive, four hours after the birth, s/he only stays for fifty minutes or so. The midwives determine it's time for the child to suckle, which the child does for half an hour, and vigorously too. Not impossible, but certainly unlikely for an infant with a severe brain deformity.
And then pics are posted.
If you're strong of stomach and not at all squeamish, then I invite you to Google image search either trisomy 13 or holoprosencephaly to see what an afflicted child generally looks like, for the sake of comparison.
Suffice to say, this is not what readers were expecting. Some call it a miracle. Others are less sure.
The truth is, April Rose is a Reborn doll.
After initial doubts begin to swirl, D posts about how "there is no room for hatred in their lives" and promptly deletes the journal and twitter.
The Chicago Tribune revealed the hoax today, outing "B" once and for all as Becca Beushausen, who claims that she started the blog in March to deal with losing her newborn son in 2005. Others are still defending her, including her duped college friends and her father.
Countless blogging Christian moms, some of whom have lost children before and most of whom are pro-life, are understandably upset and hurt over the whole thing. Some still offer their prayers for Becca and encourage others to do so as well. (Some of these links may have embedded music, just FYI.)
It appears as though the Gibson Twins blogger has been the most on-top of this whole debacle from the beginning, even saving screenshots.
There's a cached copy of the original April Rose journal here. True story: music automatically plays when you open the page, with the lyrics claiming "Belief makes things real..."
Oh, the irony.
ETA: A New York Times blogger questions the veracity of the earlier Tribune profile. Becca Beushausen is not a social worker, for one thing.
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