There are some topics in the special needs community that are very controversial. While I tend to keep my opinions to myself on these topics, there are a few that I am okay talking about in a public forum. One of them came up again today, and has been sitting with me. Some people in my community get really upset when they hear a pregnant woman comment that they “just hope the baby is healthy.” That comment has never bothered me, and never will.
Why do some get so upset when they hear that comment? Some assume that the person saying it would reject a child that is not healthy, or somehow love it less. Sometimes the parent with the special needs child feels judged or pitied for the situation that they are in. While there are other reasons I have come across, those are the two main ones.
Here is how I feel: OF COURSE THEY WANT A HEALTHY CHILD! WE ALL DO!
When someone says “I just hope the baby is healthy”, it is as simple at that. They hope that it is healthy. I hoped that my second child was healthy. In no way did that mean I was rejecting Lyra for not being healthy. In no way did it imply that I loved her any less, or that I would love the new baby less if he wasn’t healthy. Heck, if I could wave a magic wand and make Lyra healthy, I would! I wouldn’t do it because it would make my life easier, or because it would somehow make me love her more. I would do it because it would make HER life easier.
Of course people want to have a healthy baby. No one gets pregnant and thinks, “it would be really great if my child had to be in a hospital all of the time. I just hope that they have complications that require emergency surgeries due to life threatening complications. It would be amazing if I had to see the fear in their eyes when they are held down when someone places an IV. They won’t understand that the IV will help make them better, but that’s okay.” Or, “I would love to have a child who struggles to interact with their peers, and the world around them in general. It would be really nice to have a child who can’t seem to find a way to tell me the simplest things they need.” If they did think that, they shouldn’t be a parent.
Really people? Let’s be honest. When we all were pregnant, we hoped the baby was healthy. When they baby wasn’t, when we were thrust into this world, it didn’t change how we felt about that baby. We didn’t love that baby any less. We love that baby with everything we have. We fight for them, celebrate them, cry for them, and care for them. We do this because they are our baby. Do we STILL wish they were healthy? Yes. Life would be easier for them if they were. In the end, don’t we all want that for our children?
So, if you are pregnant how, or become pregnant in the future, don’t be afraid to tell me that you “hope the baby is healthy.” Also, don’t feel guilty for thinking it. I hope that your baby is healthy, too.