This post has been rolling around in my head since before I had Ollie. I recently saw something briefly on Facebook that promped me to pour it out, so bear with me.
Since my pregnancy I've been around numerous people expecting after me including two sisters.
There is one comment that always stands out. It's meant to be a positive statment, but is it really??
People always say, "All I want is a healthy baby." or "It doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl as long as the baby is healthy."
Think about that for a second. What does it really mean?
If I were to have a 4th child at some point - I'm afraid I'd get that comment all the time, because people association Down Syndrome as a defect, so they view Ollie as unhealthy. Which granted her heart was not healthy - I know that & don't wish it upon anyone. BUT her heart was fixable & she's healthy now, and we grew as people tremendously through that event. She has Down Syndrome, but it doesn't make her unhealthy.
To me when you say all I want is a healthy baby - doesn't it kind of slap me in my face?? Doesn't it kind of insinuate that anything less than "typical" is less? What does it really mean if your baby isn't healthy?? Does it change your decision?? I hope not.
During my pregnancy when nothing was certain anyway I received I'm sorry statements from everyone. And don't get me wrong, people mean well when they say they are sorry, but I was still thrilled by Ollie Faith. To this day I'm still thrilled with her. It would have helped my heart so much if instead of I'm sorry, I would have been told congratulations, your baby is a gift from God or congratulations just left as simple as that.
I'm pretty sure most of the apologies I received were really focused on Down Syndrome & this preconceived notion in peoples heads that my life with Ollie was going to be harder, that she may live with us forever & it made them uncomfortable, that they were happy it was me and not them...that sounds harsh, but I know that's the truth - for some people anyway.
Maybe you disagree, but then again you most likely haven't walked in my shoes and you don't have the perspective that I have on all of this.
All I'm trying to say is that perhaps we should just be THANKFUL that we are having ANY baby. That we should accept what God has given us with open hands. That we shouldn't apologize for something God has planned in our lives even if it's an unexpected gift in any form and we shouldn't just expect & want healthy babies.
In my case what people see as a genetic defect is by far one of my greatest blessings. Sometimes this unexpected journey is what makes us who we are and makes us grow into better people.
Besides if you saw Ollie's sweet face now, you have to admit - there is absolutely nothing to apologize for.

***I also want to admit that pre-Ollie I have said all I want is a healthy baby, in fact I probably said it about her because I didn't care if she was a boy or girl. BUT now I know better because all I wanted was MY baby, healthy or not.  I said it because I didn't really think about what I meant & assumed I would always have healthy babies.  In fact I delivered a very unhealthy baby with a broken heart.  My parents lost my twin brothers at 17 days after their birth because they were conjoined and shared a heart that couldn't be fixed.  I know what an unhealthy baby is & honestly I do not want anyone to  have to walk where we have walked in fear for your childs life or mourning your loss.  I wouldn't want those heart aches passed onto anyone.  That being said, I don't want people that are getting screened for chromosomal issues to view DS as unhealthy, to abort because DS is unhealthy.  You can in fact have a healthy child that doesn't have the typical amount of chromosomes.  I don't want a lynch mob upset with me over this because I seriously understand the want of a healthy baby, but we don't get to choose.  God gives us what we need & what he gives us is for a reason, a reason we can only wonder or ponder until the day we are called home.

21 Comments