Rolling! “Don’t Talk About the Baby” films in San Francisco
On a typical summer-in-San Francisco day film director and producer, Ann Zamudio, and producer, Krista Gervon, flew in to film a portion of their documentary “Don’t Talk About the Baby”. The film focuses on the silence and shame surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth and infertility. Ann sits on the board of directors for “Women in film” and her first time feature length film is funded from wildly successful crowdsourcing campaign. The film is set for a 2017 edit and release in two versions: one for parents and one for the medical community. The crowdsourcing campaign has raised nearly $50,000 to date. The goal is to bring families out of the dark and #ShatterTheStigma” of loss and infertility as well as help understand various birth professional’s role and the gap in sensitivity and resources for the men and women suffering in silence.
1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage
1 in 160 deliveries result in stillbirth
1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility
Join the movement today
I connected with Ann via her Seed & Spark social media crowdfunding campaign. After a few email exchanges and listing her movie as a resource on our Grief & Loss page we finally had our first phone call. It was a warm summer day and I was sitting near a lagoon. The subject matter is so heavy it was nice to look at the mountains and water as it registered how important this film is. How many conversations it will create. How much it will mean to the grief community in regards to healing and unity. I knew I wanted to be a part of this film. I knew I had to be part of this film and contribute to the crowdfunding to ensure this film was made. I also knew:
I was the 1 in 4 in 2008, 2009, and again in 2010
I was the 1 in 160 in 2011
And I know many couples struggling with infertility
I found I was no longer the “same” person after my losses. I had many friends and family come forward with a shocking announcement: they also suffered a miscarriage, multiple miscarriages, had a stillbirth, or were infertile. It was heartbreaking to hear they suffered in silence. I knew I couldn’t solely make loss disappear but I could change the conversation and prevent others from feeling alone.
Post-loss I became a certified bereavement doula, because I know a birth trauma or loss is something no parent should walk through alone. I am certified in Perinatal Mood disorders and as a multiple pregnancy loss survivor I am also a peer.
Ann and Krista arrived at my home around noon. I had a chalkboard welcome sign and some snacks awaiting their arrival. I was not sure exactly what I signed up for but immediately I was relaxed by their warmth and down to earth demeanor. During an email exchange with Ann she mentioned she prefers more organic conversation and I was relieved as I feel I am at my best when I am not as prepared. They both confessed they were also in the 1 in 4 club. They asked me to sit in a spot I am most comfortable in and in a position I am comfortable in. I choose my extra large, dark brown recliner with my legs tucked under and prepared for the Q & A coming my way. The first conversation wave focused on my work in grief and then the time came to retell my personal stories. It doesn’t matter how many times I share my story, the tears flow. I am human. It did happen. They did exist and I will carry my hurt throughout this lifetime.
The first part of filming was over and now it was off to film B roll (footage where you’re not talking, and it’s the video that plays while you’re talking).
Time was slipping away and the wind picked up so our idea of the beach or Golden Gate bridge was out and Twin Peaks was in. I began reflecting as we filmed B roll. It didn’t matter that hundreds were also up there taking pictures of our breathtaking San Francisco skyline. It was my job to sit and not talk. To stand and not talk. To have the wind blow my hair in my face and not talk. Just to look away from the camera and reflect. It was Saturday, July 23, 2016 and my Auntie Ginger’s birthday. It was a very surreal experience to realize I am part of this documentary because of my loss and career change.
The final scene
I originally had three mama’s lined up. Women, mothers, who I helped in someway through their loss. One backed out. I was nervous for a minute but knew the other two were ready to tell their stories and timing wasn’t right for the third (and it might never be right and that is okay). I asked one of my best friends and business owner, Bernie, of Bernie’s coffee if we could film in her coffee shop for free (as the budget was tight). She agreed to close down early to let us film. We eventually picked a spot near the street window and sat down as a group. The conversation was never stagnant. It flowed and flowed and our bond in grief was cemented. Together we helped #ShatterTheStigma.
A very special thank you to Ann, Krista, Dori, Sandra and Bernie.
In memory of Athena, Rose, Tierney & Eden
And to all the pregnancy dreams we lost
Throughout the day, I felt my daughters’ presences more and more. I realized because of both of you, my daughters Tierney Faith and Eden Hope, I have done so many things I never imagined I would do. I traveled alone. I didn’t do anything alone. I walk alone. I never liked to walk alone. I fly alone. I didn’t like to do that either although now I realize I am not alone. You are both always with me. Whatever I do that appears to be “alone” to others we know is not the truth. We are really together all the time. I met the best people I wish I never met and with each new parent we have comfort knowing you two are waiting to take their child in. We are united on earth and you beautiful babies reunited in death. I promised you both the world will know your names and your deaths would not be in vain.
Jennifer “Jake” McKenna Ibarra is the COO and content manager for Doula Spot.com as well as a writer. Jake studied Early Childhood Education at San Francisco City College, is a certified birth and bereavement doula through SBD University, certified in perinatal mood disorders by Postpartum Support International and is also a PSI member.
To date, Jake has been published over twenty five times and in her own candid way she recounts her third pregnancy loss in: “Miscarriage in New York” and her heartbreaking preterm labor and loss of her twins in: “Loving and Losing Tierney & Eden“.