Dear “The Big Bang Theory” team and CBS,
I am a huge fan of your show. My husband and I have been devoted fans since 2007. You had us hooked from “The Middle Earth Paradigm” (episode six, season one) when Leonard (Johnny Galecki), dressed as Frodo Baggins from “The Lord of the Rings,” exclaimed to Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) ex-boyfriend, “That’s how we roll in the Shire!”
My husband (and at that time still boyfriend in 2005) lured me into his Shelob-esque web by a marathon first date of watching all of the extended versions of Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy…in one weekend. Twelve years later, we are now happily married but I won the war of “Sting” (Frodo’s sword) no longer resting above our bed.
Needless to say, we’re a nerd family and we love the show and how you’ve made embracing one’s geekness cool. I’m a Whovian, Trekker (one of the original “The Wesley Crushers”), and pseudo-Disney princess. While Brett still man-crushes on all things Peter Jackson, and is a guest team member of Marvel’s The Avengers, and wishes he could take over the Iron Throne.
We have pint glasses that proclaim “Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty” and “Bazinga”. T-shirts that pronounce that our “mothers had us tested” (she really did) or emblazoned with the rules to Rock, Scissors, Paper, Lizard, Spock. We obsessively quote the show on a regular basis, much to our family member’s chagrin.
I’m writing this letter today because it has become increasingly more difficult for me this season to watch the show. Why? Not because the jokes aren’t funny, Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) craziness is just getting absurd, or the plots have just “jumped the shark”.
It pains me to tune in each week because I found out I was going to be a mother about two weeks before Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) revealed that she was pregnant in “The Valentino Submergence,” (episode 15, season 9), which aired on Feb. 11, 2016. At the time, I was ecstatic. My husband and I would be pregnant just like Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernie would be. We could experience and laugh at the same scenarios just like our fictitious counterparts who also would become first-time parents. It was going to be great.
Then, April 26, 2016 happened.
That was the day we lost our son Emmett at 18.5 weeks. He was born sleeping due to a chromosome issue. We waited almost a month before coming to our final decision after speaking with more experts than we could count. But deep down, we knew we had to make this difficult decision as parents… do we want to continue this pregnancy knowing the huge odds that are going to face our child in the future and that he would have to overcome? The odds that he would most likely not make it passed his first year. The risks that would come to me as a mother for trying to carry a high-risk pregnancy to term. It was the one and only decision we ever got to make as parents for our sweet baby Emmett. In our hearts, we know it was right. We couldn’t bear seeing him live his entire life hooked up to machines in a NICU, never coming home to his nursery, or to meet his four-legged fur brother, Dakota.
What I wouldn’t give now, though, to have him swaddled up next to me during prime time. Alas, my September due date has come and gone. I should be having those sleepless nights with my husband as we decipher feeding schedules and what all those different cries mean from a newborn. Instead, I turn on my TV on Monday night, and I see Bernadette, still pregnant and working with Raj (Kunnal Nayyar) on fixing up the nursery (“The Dependence Transcendence,” episode 3, season 10.) Fixing up a nursery was something I never got to do and I don’t know if I ever will. Last night after the show, this horrible person came out in me that I didn’t know who she was and asked my husband, “Is it wrong for me to wish that Wolowitz and Bernadette lose their baby?” He didn’t have an answer.
What happened to me? The happy me. The one who loves seeing pregnant people and meeting their babies? I can barely stand to be in a room with someone pregnant these days without going into hysterical waterworks. It’s not because I hate them. It’s because I’m envious. They get to experience something that I couldn’t. I don’t wish them harm or hostility. I truly wish them a great pregnancy and outcome with their little peanut. I honestly don’t want another woman and family to experience this same grief that my husband and family are going through. The despair, the isolation. The gaping hole in your heart that you’re never sure is ever going to be filled again.
One in four women experience a pregnancy or infant loss, according to The Tears Foundation. But, why do we not hear about it? Why do we not talk about it? Why is it wrong for me as a mother or my husband to grieve openly about our baby? Why are parents who have experienced a loss not informed of the support and resources that are out there? I am one in four. I don’t want to be a statistic, but I am. I’m the mother to an angel baby. I feel like now that I am a statistic, I have a voice and an opportunity to share my story with others. I want to break that stigma and the silence, and tell the story about my sweet Emmett with the world.
I think too often the plots in Hollywood are sugar-coated and everything ends up all too neat and tidy. All the babies seem to be delivered beautiful and healthy in Hollywood. It doesn’t seem like there’s a statistic on any one of the major networks. The only recent show that comes to mind that deals with the loss of a baby is NBC’s “This is Us” and that was just this season. Although, I could be wrong. I believe someone told me that “Outlander” on Starz had a long story arc about a miscarriage.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I ask you to please consider taking this opportunity to spread the word about this issue to your viewers. Make a PSA or take to your social networks. You have a significant ability to reach people all around the world with an important message. While I do truly wish the best for Howard, Bernie and baby Wolowitz, I also wouldn’t object to a truthful storyline that deals with a loss and how their group of friends is there to support them during their grief.
A Fan and Emmett’s Mom
P.S. Can you get David Tennant on some day? I think Sheldon would love that.