A blogger whose pro-life story tugged on the heartstrings of thousands online has formally apologized for deceiving all who had prayed for and supported her throughout the last few months of what was recently revealed to be a fictitious pregnancy.
"I know this post will not change what has been done," Beccah Beushausen, 26, wrote on her blog Sunday. "I don't expect it to, but I do hope it helps with some of the hurt that I have caused."
For months, Beushausen – who identified herself only as "B" or "April's mom" – wrote about her unborn baby, April Rose, who she said was diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb.
Her posts were long. They were detailed. They were also fabricated.
But the last part didn't stop Beushausen from continuing even as she drew more and more readers and supporters.
"Almost overnight I was receiving e-mails from people who at one point had been pregnant and unmarried, or had suffered loss, or were Christian but believed in the sanctity of life in all circumstances," recalled Beushausen, who describes herself as a pro-life Christian.
And as her readership grew, she continued to "feed the story."
But readers became suspicious after she claimed last Sunday night that she had given birth to her "miracle baby," reporting in her blog that April Rose had survived a home birth only to die hours later. What tipped them off was the photo she posted of the baby, which a number of readers recognized to be that of a lifelike doll made by Salt Lake City-based Bountiful Baby.
Sensing that the jig was up and fearing that her identity would be uncovered, Beushausen scrambled to delete her Blogspot, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.
But it was too late by then. Her true identity was revealed and the web of lies she spun gradually became unraveled.
"I wrote many of my posts under dishonest contexts," Beushausen admitted Sunday.
"I lied," she continued. "Worse still, I lied to a community of people whose only intention was to support me through this time and that is wrong, and for that I am sorrier than you could know."
Though some suspect that she spent months churning out lies for financial gain, Beushausen claims that she did not receive any checks or cash through her P.O. Box and that she had only received a "limited" number of non-monetary gifts – all of which she claims to have boxed up and given to a close friend to donate to a local agency.
Beushausen also clarified Sunday that while the online women's network BlogHer offered to pay her in exchange for posting ads in her blog, she didn't make it past the minimum 45 days, and therefore received no money.
But true as her latest claims may be, many of her former supporters say they are more upset over the time they had spent supporting her, praying for her, and ministering to her – all of which have only seemingly amounted to hurt and sorrow.
"The fact that we want to honor the Lord doesn't mean that we aren't experiencing anger, disappointment, and deep sorrow," wrote three Christian women who had been following Beushausen's blog and drawing readers to it through their network of mothers.
But in a similar way, the women acknowledged that being Christian doesn't make a person infallible or immediately rid a person of their sinful nature.
"[T]his is not an excuse for her actions, but rather what we believe is truth," wrote the three in their respective blogs last Thursday.
Though the women said they were "hurting" along with the rest of those who were drawn into Beushausen's web of lies, they encouraged believers to have mercy on the 26-year-old social worker from Mokena, Ill., and to help her cope as she comes to understand what she has done.
"We sincerely believe that she is mentally ill, and are collectively relieved that she is in the care of psychiatrists who are working to bring her to a healthy place," they wrote, urging readers to "show grace and love to someone who needs it desperately."
In her apology Sunday, Beushausen made no reference to a mental illness nor showed clear signs of such an illness. She did, however, say she suffered from "very constant" pain from having experienced the loss of a baby and that she is and will be getting help with past unresolved issues.
The simplest and most honest answer Beushausen said she can give to explain why she started lying is that she is struggling with her life.
"I have been dealing with unresolved pain that weighs heavy on my heart and which I have been unable to handle alone," she wrote, noting that she has more than once lost a baby – from as early as her college years to just this past year.
And although she is a Christian, Beushausen confessed that she is a "weak," "messed up" and "struggling" one who has dealt with a lot of pain.
"I don't say that to garner your sympathy or to lessen your anger. I say it because it is true," she stated.
In closing, Beushausen directed readers to a site that highlights nearly 100 real families of real T13 babies presently living with the disease or struggling with such a diagnosis that she claimed her fictitious unborn baby had.
In the meantime, Beushausen intends to lay low and pick up the pieces of her life, asking only for respect and forgiveness.