Mother will continue sharing photos of her stillborn son, despite backlash

Mother will continue sharing photos of her stillborn son, despite backlash

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - If you have ever scrolled through social media, no doubt you have seen pictures from a delivery room, documenting a baby's entrance into the world.  When a Jennings mother got the heartbreaking news that her son would be stillborn, she knew she still wanted to have those moments captured.

The controversy that followed those pictures is something Rosalyn and Paul Racca did not expect as images of their son were reported by some to be "graphic" and "violent."

After having four children, Rosalyn thought her pregnancy days were over, until a big plus sign gave her and husband the best and most wanted surprise.  "All exams were fine, ultrasounds were fine.  He was very active on the screen in the ultrasounds," said Rosalyn.

The Raccas found out early on they were having a boy and chose the name Samuel Tate.  He would be called Tate and Tater Tot as a nickname.

It was at a routine check-up at 21 weeks into Rosalyn's pregnancy when her doctor saw Tate's heart wasn't beating.  "Very quickly assessed that he had already passed," she said, "and he did several measurements, which showed he had probably passed about two weeks before that day."

Rosalyn gave birth to Tate the following morning: August 29, 2014.  He weighed nine ounces and was nine inches long.  "Everything was there," said Rosalyn.  "He had ten toes and ten fingers.  He looked exactly like my husband, even the genetic part of how much he looked ours left me speechless."
    
The time spent with Tate was photographed, something that was very important to Rosalyn.

After Tate's memorial service, Rosalyn posted some of the edited, black and white photos of Tate on Facebook.  "I posted pictures of his little feet, I have a picture of his hand holding the crucifix on my husband's rosary," said Rosalyn.  "I didn't want to offend anyone."

When the one-year anniversary of Tate's birth came in August, Rosalyn decided to share some of the more personal, color images of her son, including photos of his face.  "The day before, I put a warning on my status that I was going to be showing these pictures of him," she said, "because I knew that I did have even family members who didn't care to see him."

Rosalyn posted a few pictures of Tate on her Facebook page the next day.  Shortly after, those pictures were reported as inappropriate content.  "'Graphically violent,'" said Rosalyn, "and I was asked to either delete them or change them to private."

Rosalyn says she is not removing the pictures of her son, even though she has been warned by Facebook that her account could be disabled.  "With all the things that are acceptable on social media, I thought that this was really sad," said Rosalyn.  "I did have a lot of friends rally around me and they said, 'Look, I'm gonna share it and my friends are going to share it and let's see Facebook try to take all of these pictures down.'"

The pictures still show on Rosalyn's profile today, images of a son she loves and does not want to hide.  "The whole reason I was sharing this was to celebrate his life and he was my son," she said.  "That's all I see when I look at his pictures, I don't see something barbaric or graphic."

Rosalyn says having Tate grew her desire even more to add another child to their family.  They now have a five-month-old foster child they hope to adopt.  She says she can see God used Tate's hand to orchestrate that entire "beautiful journey."

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