Monday, June 11, 2012

Mailing Lists

We all get them - random postcards, catalogs or coupons in the mail when we know we haven't signed up for any such list. Most of the time you glance at them, if it's interesting you may read them or keep the coupon, but they really don't have any affect on your life. Hell, they may even come in handy. (Gotta love those big blue Bed, Bath & Beyond postcards for 20% off! I have like 5 of them sitting on the desk in my office at home right now, just waiting to get spent.

When you have a baby, you get added to a bunch of additional mailing lists. You starts seeing coupons for Huggies and Pampers and samples of Similac and Infamil. Babys R Us sends you their little "catalog" and books of coupons. You get offers for life insurance policies from Gerber and information about college savings plans. Many of these come in handy right after you have the baby - those coupons sure don't got to waste. But when your baby dies, these coupons and samples are a giant slap in the face every time you open the mailbox. Something I bet none of these companies ever think about while they are sending them out.

So what do you do then? Up until recently (more on that in a moment), I've just ignored them all and thrown them directly from the mailbox into the recycling bin. Some people I know have tried to call the various companies and gotten their names taken off the mailing lists. From what I've heard, that is a painful experience because they always want to know why. It's a lot of fun telling customer service workers that you don't want to get their Huggies coupons anymore because your baby is dead. Another bonus of being a BLM (baby loss mom).

So far, because of my technique above, the mailing haven't really done much damage to my psyche. That has changed in the last couple of weeks. Why, you might ask? Because now the mailings are focusing on someone's upcoming birthday and it really, really hurts.

Naya would be 1 next month. Yes, I know that. And apparently, so do the various direct mail campaigns that companies launch. Last week, I received this postcard from our local grocery store.

Yes, it's a nice offer. Hell, if circumstances were different, I might actually take them up on it. But in reality, all this did was send me into a crying fit that led to a depression. Thank you so much for the reminder that my daughter should be celebrating a birthday next month but she's not because she is dead. Awesome. How the hell Vons got my information (I am assuming from the hospital birth records) is beyond me but they did.

Whatever. As a BLM, you are used to having your cry and then putting your mask right back on to face another day until you get ripped down again. And that happened today, when the mail decided to rape me again. Here's what we got today.

Wow. Thanks Toys R Us! Way to rip me down. Again. So I called them. That was fun. Here's a little "transcript" of the convo:

Me - I would like to be removed from all of your mailing lists. (Give info....blah, blah, blah)
Them - Which ones are you on.
Me - I don't freaking know but I don't want to be on any.
Them - Well I need to know so I can get you off them
Me - I never signed up for any. Can't you just get rid of them all on my account?
Them - No.
Me - great. Well, I had a registry with Babys R Us. Maybe from there?
Them - What was your registry number?
Me - I have no idea.
Them - Well, I guess I could find it some other way.
Me - Great.
Them - okay I found it. Do you really want me to delete all of the lists. You can get some great deals and even have help planning birthday parties.
Me - Yes.
Them - But you are going to stop receiving coupons. Why would you want to miss out on that?
Me - Because my baby died and I am sick of seeing this shit.
Them - Oh.

And that is my life my friends. Yes, I am a freak of nature and the unthinkable happened to me. I'm just so sick of life always having to shove it in my face.


  1. Although my only experience in this department is one miscarriage and that doesn't even compare what you are going through, I remember the only company (if you can call it that) that allowed for a graceful exit was I cancelled my account, it redirected me to a page with resources for dealing with pregnancy loss. I don't know how it's run now, but I appreciated that. I'm so sorry that you have to have this shoved in your face day after really should be illegal for companies/stores to send out their coupons and flyers unsolicited for this very reason. I don't think they care though, as long as they can entice a few people into their store with their coupons and make a few bucks, who cares if they rip a few people's hearts out along the way? I'm usually not anti-business but wow, have some class and sensitivity.

    1. I agree - Babycenter was pretty good with everything. I have found it to be a very helpful place after a loss, although I don't visit as much as I did before. It's such a hard call as to what to do about this stuff. After all, most people don't lose their babies :(

  2. This has been happening to me too.. It's enough to drive you crazy. I live in the UK, and there's a form they give you when you fill in your child's death certificate (which, incidentally, I signed directly after my son's birth certificate..), which blocks all baby related mail from being posted to you. I should have filled it in, but I was too worried about what would happen if I had another child - would I still be able to sign up, or would stuff be permanently blocked? So I ignored it, which seems to have been a massive mistake. And now I've lost the form. Figures..

    1. I think the form is a fabulous idea. We have nothing like this in the US. Hmmm...project time for me?

  3. One time after a loss I received a box with actual samples of baby formula in it. Rather than just calmly throwing it away as I had been doing with all of the other shit they were flooding my mailbox with, I instead went completely ballistic and took all of my anger and sadness out and that little box: I kicked it across the room; threw it repeatedly; stomped on it and screamed at it until I was crying too hard to scream anymore. Looking back it was kind of a low point in my grieving process, sure, but it was also a bit cathartic. It does hurt like hell to have to get those reminders out of the blue that your life should be different than it is, and that the rest of the world doesn't even have a clue about what you lost. I'm so sorry you are having to face such painful reminders of what you are already so very aware of as it is. Hugs to you. I wish Naya was turning one next month so you really COULD use the free cake. It's not fair.

  4. Sounds like when I beat the hell out of printer with a baseball bat on my bday. Best.Idea.Ever. I think taking out our frustrations on inanimate objects is completely healthy - at least we aren't taking them out on other things.

  5. Exactly! I could punch and kick my husband (or other women who complain about pregnancy/young babies/or anything related to that amazing gift they take for granted), but instead we go all Office-Space on things that won't even care b/c we know they can't respond. Totally healthy, and a great release!

  6. Do you shop at Target? Have you read about their customer profiling?

  7. Such a slap in the face. I am not sure if it ever ends? I wish there was a better system when a child dies they could delete from all of that crap! I am so sorry, I know how bad that can hurt and I think we need to brainstorm some way to make this better for others? I love the response "Oh" when you mentioned your baby died, NOT! Could they maybe have said, "I am sorry for your loss"?! WTH??