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Shutterfly congratulates thousands of women on the baby they didn't have

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Moms respond to
email fail

Shutterfly accidentally sent out a mass email, congratulating users on their new baby — a huge slap in the face for those struggling with infertility.

The popular photo-printing website Shutterfly sent out a mass email to users congratulating them on their new baby. Unfortunately, it seems to have been sent in error, and many recipients don't have a new addition to the family — resulting in some confusion and in some cases, hilarity. However, others are seriously upset and offended.

Congrats on your new baby… what?

"There's nothing more amazing than bringing new life into the world," the email from Shutterfly reads. "Now it's time to send thank-you cards. Find one that matches your birth announcement." A quick look at Twitter reveals that I'm not the only one who received an email congratulating me on a new baby I don't have. If I had to guess, I'd say thousands upon thousands were sent a mass email that wasn't intended to go out. Many are joking around, wondering if Shutterfly knows something they don't.

However, others are genuinely upset. I've read several tweets from moms suffering from infertility.

I was able to speak with Dresden about how the email personally affected her. "It is likely that I will never have a 'new arrival' again," she explains. "While I work daily to heal and overcome my grief I can be sideswiped into sadness easily. The entire world is a trigger but usually someone dealing with infertility knows how to face it. We have friends who look out for us, we know what movies to avoid on bad days, what stores to avoid on bad days, we know how to protect our hearts. Our inbox is usually not a minefield."

Infertility is a terrible thing to go through. I know this from personal experience. While my first three children were easy conceptions, it took years to conceive my fourth child. During that time, I was hyper-aware of everyone else's pregnancies. It was like I had my own unfortunate pregnancy and baby radar. I felt stabs of jealousy even when I was genuinely happy and excited for friends and family, and it seemed downright wretched to feel that way. I grappled with guilt and agony for not being able to sort out my feelings.

I also lost a pregnancy during those three years of struggle, and as I had already signed up for pregnancy info to be mailed to my home, each time booklets arrived in the mail, it was a terrible reminder of what I was no longer looking forward to. So I can easily understand the distress a woman suffering from infertility would feel opening up an email that is not intended for her, one congratulating her on a baby she doesn't really have, yet so desperately wants.

More on infertility

Results of a new infertility study surprise exactly no one
Fake pregnancy announcements are no joke
Why surrogacy is on the rise

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