You have once again left me hovering between anger and despair after receiving an email advertisement urging me to order a photo book of my baby's sweet face and her first moments.
I don't have any photos of my baby's sweet face, or her first moments. I can't fill my home with memories of my baby's first year because my baby did not survive past 6 weeks gestation. The photos I have documenting my pregnancy still bring tears to my eyes. I have an empty nursery decorated with handmade curtains and carefully selected mementos of trips taken to Disney with my husband, a quilt made by my mother, an afghan made by my grandmother, a wooden key whittled by my late grandfather.
This nursery exists because I couldn't bare to look at that empty room any longer after I lost my first pregnancy, a pregnancy I had desperately longed for, battling stage IV endometriosis, for which I have had three surgeries in two years. That empty room reflected my empty womb, devoid of life, a reminder of my failure. I've since decorated it and find hope and peace imagining a day when it will be filled with the laughter of either a biological child or a child born in my heart through adoption.
I suffered an early loss, and unfortunately made the mistake of signing up for an account on The Bump to track my pregnancy before we really knew whether the pregnancy was viable. I guess I was just so overjoyed at finally, FINALLY getting my wish! So eager to plan for my long-awaited child. But like many women, I found out it was premature, as was my baby's departure from this world.
I left a message as to why I was canceling my Bump account after my loss, in the hopes that they might have some keyword trigger that would stop the flood of ads for diapers and chord blood banking. Silly me! I had hoped when I cancelled my account with The Bump and requested to opt out of any future emails, I might have spared myself the heartache of receiving updates of how far along I ought to be (as if I wasn't still counting the weeks leading up to my due date). A few weeks before my due date, I received a packet of magazines geared toward expectant mothers, which I threw into the trash immediately. A little pang hit my heart, but I pushed it aside. I received an offer for a free breast pump, and actually considered ordering one anyway, you know...for the future. Heck, I might need it someday! There's still hope! For the most part, though, the ads stopped coming when I opted out...but not yours.
No, Shutterfly has sent me multiple ads now, although I swear I opted out months ago, reminding me of my early loss and the baby that should be keeping me up at night. In particular, there was a beautifully thought out hard copy ad welcoming my newborn into the world (don't forget to document these early days and save on a photo book!). Really, the quality of that ad was top notch. Instead, I'm up tonight with insomnia, fired up because of your emails.
The straw that broke this camel's back happened in the last 24 hours. I was frustrated, but assumed I must have forgotten to submit my request to be taken off the mailing list, when I opened the email yesterday. It's possible that I misremember...it was a hectic time, and there were so many emails to opt out of. It is truly overwhelming how many companies swoop down on expectant mothers!
I don't need or want any more of your reminders of where my baby should be today, and all the moments I am NOT documenting and ordering prints of from your website. Yesterday, I opted out AGAIN from receiving "valuable money-saving offers and exciting promotional emails" because I did not want my loss rubbed in my face any longer. I need to focus on the future, and hold onto hope of future motherhood.
Yet, early this morning, as I chatted online with other women struggling to conceive and considering adoption, that familiar ping went off signaling I had another email from Shutterfly. And what do you know...another email urging me to "fill your home with memories of your baby's first year" and turn my birth announcement into a piece of art.
Less than 24 hours after I opted out.
Shutterfly, this has to stop. On November 30th, just two months from now, I will be faced with the anniversary of the greatest loss I've ever experienced, weeping in my bathroom as my baby slipped through my fingers like so many grains of sand. The last thing I need is an email showcasing your wonderful photo books and souvenir mugs at a 25% discount PLUS FREE SHIPPING!
When a customer opts out, please...stop sending emails. Offer a space for the person to list the reason they are opting out (because I do enjoy ordering photo books for my wedding and vacations!), and maybe you will spare thousands more couples the heartache of remembering what might have been.
Please...keep in mind the 1 in 4 pregnancies that end in miscarriage, and change the way you market to expectant parents.
And maybe, just maybe, I'll utilize your services when I really DO have a sweet smile to cherish.
A Valued Customer