Bucking the Stereotype

Right after I found out about the two people living inside of me, I went to the nail salon to get my toes painted. I wasn’t telling anyone yet because of a good friend was getting married and I didn’t want to steal her thunder. I figured, however, that telling the girl who paints my nails that I was having twins was fine. I mean, we don’t know the same people, so figured it was fine.

I expressed my nervousness about the possibility of twins–most specifically how much I did not want to end up with two babies in the hospital for an indeterminate amount of time. I really don’t want to deliver early. And she replied casually, “well, I think that if you do all the things you’re supposed to do, you’ll be fine. ” I usually go to the same place to get my nails done, but it’s not like the nail girl and I have some great friendship. We chat while my nails are being done and that’s it. She doesn’t know about Charlie and I’m sure she said that mostly to ease my mind in the moment.

But still.

It may be one of those things that people say, but I think it’s time we stopped. I know better than anyone that doing all the right things is no guarantee. I got to 37 weeks when my child suddenly became incredibly sick. I avoided certain food, I didn’t take baths, didn’t dye my hair, take medication, or drink caffeine. I was a model pregnant lady–and still things went wrong.

Boy smiling at camera

And even if Charlie’s story were different, I know all the mom’s out there in Holland who love their children dearly and surely did everything they could for a healthy pregnancy.

So I think those platitudes are doing us all a disservice. The people who pat themselves on the backs when they’re children are terribly typical, and those of us who did all the right things and got a wrong outcome. Maybe it makes us feel better in the moment, but the end result is hurtful. The truth is that life is a crap shoot. You do the best with the information you have at the time, but there’s no way to know what you’re gonna get.

So it may make us feel better, but it’s time to stop. Let’s acknowledge that the future is a scary unknown. We can take precautions, but that’s all they are. Let’s stop slighting the special needs moms by proxy. As I look forward the prospect of a new baby (or babies!) I love to think about some of the things they might be able to do that Charlie cannot. Things like stand, or talk to me. Those are things that I want, but they aren’t things that happen because I’ve been a good person or because I’m abstaining from alcohol and eating right. I wish it were that way. Wish I could protect my children’s future against potential problems, but I can’t. I can try, and I do. I do everything in my control to help my children, but the idea that only bad moms have children with issues needs to be squashed. It’s time to show a little respect for the wonderful moms who are doing all they can in less than ideal situations. They’re good moms too.

Boy smiling at camera with hands clasped

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Comments

  1. I agree with everything you are saying. Being that mom. No one ever knows and those that say they do are kidding themselves.
    I am so happy for you, really I am.
    All the best.

  2. Sometimes that stuff is hard to hear. I, like you, wouldn’t even eat brie cheese during my pregnancy since it wasn’t pasteurized. Still…. you know. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t care if its a boy or a girl, as long as its healthy.” Even that is hard to hear sometimes. Sigh.

    • I really wish people would do away with that phrase. I mean, so if your child isn’t healthy, where does that leave you? My reply to that was usually “well, I’m just excited that I get to have a baby,” except for a good friend the other day where I said something not as nice, b/c both of my children have medical issues. I know people don’t mean it this way, but when I hear that phrase I feel like they’re implying that my children are “less than,” you know?

      • Gosh, yes. I mean, yes, healthy is important, but so are a lot of other things–like smiles and giggles and tiny toes.

  3. This pregnancy I’ve been considerably more relaxed. I’ve actually eaten sushi, soft cheeses, non-organic fruits/veggies, been less than rigorous in taking prenatals, etc. because doing every little thing PERFECTLY with Bertrand obviously did jack but stress me out. Heck, I’ll even raise a thimble full of wine to your 2 new munchkins, the Fabulous Mr. Charlie, and all the other awesome special needs moms out there–starting with you! Salut. ;)

    • Why, thank you! I’m the same way with this pregnancy. I’m letting myself take baths because they are an incredible stress reliever for me. Also, the occasion Tylenol. Living life on the wild side!

  4. I am actually quite blown away by this because I literally just got done, like, 2 minutes ago, reading exactly what you are talking about in my morning bible study (Ecclesiastes 9:11). You told me something back when Merrick was diagnosed with craniosynostosis and I’ve never forgotten it: that a person can only do so much to ensure her baby’s health and well being, but certain things are just out of our hands. That doesn’t sound as reassuring as “you’ll be fine”, but it’s the truth. And the truth is always the best advice.

    • Great verse, Toni. I’m also really fond of the part about the blind man where it is reassured that he is not blind because of some fault of his parents. Such a nice thing to read when you’re feeling a little less than.

      • Where it is assured. Sorry, Charlie’s blasting salt and Pepa and it’s a little distracting.

        • That is one of my most favorite ones. The blind man. I am comforted in the fact that neither sinned and “this is done so that the glory of God can be revealed in him”

  5. I appreciate reading this. Before I was pregnant with Cayman, I took pre-natal vitamins in preparation for getting pregnant. I ate healthy, exercised, drank plenty of water.. Then we learned of her diagnosis at 20 weeks pregnant…and more recently possibly a syndrome tieing it all together that just so happened to lead to nothing genetic in my husband or I, just purely a one-time fluke that could have happened to anyone, at anytime, regardless of what they ate or vitamins they took. So I understand how a reply “if you do all that you’re suppose to it will turn out fine.”…doesn’t really apply.

    • We’re the same way. People always ask, but Charlie’s heart issues were a complete fluke that could happen to anyone. No way to prevent or predict it for any child.

  6. Damn right. It’s the same when meeting new doctors or therapists. They are looking for what went wrong in the pregnancy or how early the baby was born or why it was that early? What happened with your body? They are always a bit shocked to hear that I had a perfect pregnancy. That EVERYTHING up until the labor that was too long was fine. That Sebastian has a brain injury and subsequent dystonic cerebral palsy because during the last hour he did not receive enough oxygen to his brain because the midwife didn’t monitor him properly and he did not make it out in time to avoid a brain injury. I did all of the things I was supposed to when I was pregnant and I didn’t do the things I wasn’t supposed to. I read the books. Blah blah blah. Life just happens. You don’t know what it’s going to be, you just have to go with it. And you do. Well written, as always!

    I’ve been wanting to write to you since you wrote about your pregnancy, but Sebastian was really sick and in hospital last week so I haven’t had the chance. Your recent posts have really resonated with me and I feel so much of what you expressed in your post announcing your pregnancy. Our son is a little over two and a half and we have been taking about getting pregnant but I just don’t feel ready yet. We have twins in both our families so I know this is a possibility for us too which makes my fear greater. Your words expressed a lot of what I have been feeling. Thank you for your raw honesty. I really appreciate it and l look forward to your new posts.

    • Thank you so much, Kara. Hubby and I had always planned on another baby around the time Charlie was two and a half, but when the time arrived, we weren’t ready. A year later, we were. Charlie’s made some huge developmental gains in that time and I think that’s part of the reason. Also, he’s in school three days a week, so taking care of another child seemed a little more feasible. You will know when and if you are ready for another child.

  7. I think that mindset applies to a lot of things in life. Growing up, my family was very strict and traditional and I can see that a lot of the rules they set for me were because they were trying to protect me from all the bad out there. And because of that I adhered to a very traditional (and Southern) way of living and wound up face to face with more heart break than I ever imagined having to handle. So now, when I think of my own future and worry about it- I don’t think that if I just do this and this and this everything will turn out alright. I focus on the fact that I am strong and resilient and I will figure out a way to make the best of whatever situation I end up with. I’ve done it before and I can do it again if I put my mind to it!
    People like to blame bad outcomes on a specific tangible thing because then they feel like all they have to do is avoid doing that one thing and everything will be okay- which is often not at all the case. Bad things happen to all sorts of people, even people who were doing everything “right.” It’s out of our control. The only thing we can control is how we react to a given situation. Given the strength and grace you’ve exhibited in your life thus far, Katy, I have no doubt that no matter what happens (though I hope and pray for the best) you will do a great job with the situation that you’re given.
    I have no idea if saying that is any more comforting than saying “oh everything will be fine.” but I hope it is. :)

    • Shelly, that is very much how I see it: no, I don’t want my baby to be in the hospital, but I know what that entails and know I can handle it. And yes, it does feel better to know that I am strong–didn’t know that before.

  8. Applause! Absolutely! And amen! (I adore alliteration, can you tell?)

    But those words truly express my agreement with this post, Katy. The platitudes perpetuate people feeling guilty after a less-than-perfect outcome to perfect behavior during pregnancy.

    So then what to say to someone who gives the common pablum? It takes a great deal of finesse to reassure someone with reality. I think most don’t know how (not claiming perfection there myself). Maybe the lesson is not to share your feelings with anyone but someone you trust to say the right thing – ?

    Like you said on my Christmas post, there’s just so much (little) one can control.

    Another surrender.

    • With the nail girl, I mention Preeclampsia, which requires and early delivery. In general, I try to point out all the medical advances, improved maternal care, etc. that can lead to a better outcome if not a BEST outcome.

      But yeah, sometimes you just grin on the outside and grimace within.

  9. This is very true. Bad things happen sometimes. Even to good people. I had twins with a dangerous pregnancy condition (TTTS) and they survived, went full term and were thriving and doing fine and something bad STILL happened after the scary pregnancy, infancy stage. There are no guarantees in life, that’s for sure. But the truth is also that you WILL be fine. Maybe the more comforting thing is that you will be ok, and if it’s not ok, you will be ok too.

  10. The one that really gets me is when someone says,

    “Do you want a boy or a girl?”

    And then, almost always, because somehow women are trained to say it, they reply,

    “I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy.”

    ????

    And what is that supposed to mean? That they wouldn’t want the baby if it weren’t healthy?

    It’s interesting, because I can remember how scary it once seemed to me: the idea of raising a handicapped child. When I first found out about Elisabeth’s hydrocephalus I was terrified when I thought about the future. But now, I see that there was nothing to be scared of.

    Like you said, we just can’t ever know what awaits us in the future; what experience lies just around the corner. There is no absolute way to prepare. So the only thing to do is be armed with a positive attitude and an optomistic spirit. And I think if a person has those two things, everything turns out fine, no matter what.

    Congratulations on your sweet babies-to-be!

  11. Thank you, Lisa! I agree the “as long as it’s healthy” thing does imply that an unhealthy child is unwanted. How terrible for those of us who love and adored our less than perfectly healthy children.

  12. I totally agree with you. I think people perceive the idea of something being wrong with their children as so scary, that they tell themselves that special needs is something that is “deserved”. A type of punishment, maybe. Somebody even once told me that it was karma – Loren or I did something in a previous life that caused everything to go wrong in this one. Nowadays I just say quietly about the “as long as it’s healthy” thing: “You’ll still want and love him/her even if he/she had problems. People get very defensive, but I think the message gets there.

    • Ahhh, Nelba, well you, of course, had the blog title “As Long as It’s Healthy” which struck me clear between the eyes the first time I saw it. You are right, of course–mothers love their children–I guess people just don’t like to think about a less than perfect outcome.

  13. YES YES YES

    I think this needs to be said over and over again, loudly. People say the dumbest things sometimes (and I am sure I’ve been one of “those people” before). We never know what’s around the corner. Things are out of our hands despite whatever precautions we take or don’t take.

    Exceptional post!

    • Thanks, lady! I know I’ve said this stuff before–I just hope that by pointing it out i can create a conversation about how we can do better.

  14. Just had a similiar convervasation with my husband while lying in tears in the middle of the night. Pregnancy hormones? Maybe. Scared that something will in fact go wrong, again? Absolutely. What can I do? I did it all right the first time and still ended up in Holland…. (just breathe)

    • I just remind myself that at LEAST I know where everything is in Holland now. Also, I think I’ll be a lot less likely to be scared and just get moving on everything I need to do.

  15. I understand what you are saying, I get it and I believe that what ever is thrown at you you can deal with it BECAUSE they are yours and you HAVE to.
    But it still didn’t stop me from doing everything that I could possibly do to ensure that my pregnancy with the twins went smoothly. I was determined to reach to week 37 and hoping for birth weights of 6lbs each.
    I doubled up on my pre-natal vitamins. I ate and ate and ate (got tired of that real quick) I even ate papaya and drank coconut water ( I hate papaya and coconut water) and I prayed. I gave up on the notion of only a healthy child -my prayer was and is very specific I want healthy, well-able, neuro-typical children.
    I know we have no control over it but it helped me move forward by thinking that at least I was giving it a try.
    (I still look out for any red flags with my two/ okay three my older daughter so far has no signs of being on the spectrum though maybe ADHD)

    So yes we know anything is possible but it didn’t stop me from wanting the positive as I know are doing too.

    Once again so excited it is going to be the most interesting time, tiring time possibly painful time but definitely a most wonderful time.

    • I agree that doing everything possible does help us feel better and I wouldn’t suggest running off to a keg party, but like I said, a disabled child isn’t a sign that someone screwed up.

  16. Enjoy the pregnancy!!
    People say ‘dumb’ stuff based on their inexperience, not (usually) to be mean or rude.
    do what you can, when you can. The rest you have no control over.
    hugs and joy to you!

  17. Reading this statement actually made me wince a little bit. I know a lot of moms that have really struggled with feeling responsible for this child’s diagnosis. Did they do something during their pregnancy that may have caused it? Was there something that they should have done and they didn’t? It breaks my heart! Of course, we all need to do our part to keep our little ones healthy, but none of us can tell the future. None of us know how things will turn out. Doing all the right things is not a guarantee because life doesn’t have guarantees. God is the only one that knows the future before it happens. I am happy to trust Him with it rather than carry that burden on my shoulders!

    • I remind myself often that everyone has things happen to them in their lives and I don’t have the ability to see the larger plan at work. That gives me comfort.

  18. I was on put on bed rest for four months while pregnant with Nathan. I had two small children, a husband trying to write his dissertation and no family in the area. But we complied with complete bed rest and did everything necessary, above and beyond, to prevent premature labor and deliver a “healthy” full-term baby. It’s bitterly ironic that Nate’s brain damage occurred on or around the day he was born at 39 weeks and it had nothing to do with what I was on bed rest for.

    In regards to the anticipation of two “normal” babies. I have to confess how guilty I feel sometimes that I’m enjoying our newest edition so much. Stewy is 10 months old now and he’s been such a joy. He’s so vocal and wiggly and has the cutest antics. It’s probably because there was so much stress before and after Nate’s diagnosis that I just don’t remember the adorable things he did too. I was in bad shape as a mom. Nathan never slept, and cried all the time and while I know he eventually smiled and has a wonderful smile and personality now, it was difficult. It’s still difficult. I love Nathan to a depth and degree that I can’t express. But things are different with the new baby. Those moments of joy and happiness and laughter with Stewy seem so much more frequent. I love to be with him, I can’t get enough of him. I know I sound disloyal to Nathan and not impartial as a mother should be and I feel very guilty for that. Sometimes I want to (but resist) the urge to tell other mothers of kids with disabilities not to stop with one child; that there is a certain sense of completion and joy that comes when your child develops normally and interacts with you in a more typical way, just as there is a special love and unique relationship that develops with a child with special needs. Love is so multi-dimensional.

    I hope that makes sense and that I haven’t offended anyone. Bleh, just having one of those guilty mom days.

    • I understand this completely I have been marvelling at my two girls for the same reason.

    • One of the reason’s I love L so much is because she is different and becase she has enhanced chromosomes (22q duplication).

      One of the reasons I love my other crew so much is because they are so normal. Ellie was my first experience in what most parents go through.

    • This has actually been one of my big worries–that I will love another child more because they are “normal.” But I realize that I won’t love another child more–I will love the experience more. An experience that isn’t tinged with warning and death, an experience that doesn’t include a million doctor and specialist visits. And I think that’s OK–Charlie’s entrance into the world was terrible. Not Charlie, but the experience. I think I’d be weird if that was my preference.

      • Katy, you are one smart cookie. I wanted to comment on the whole post but your comment here really called to me – it is the difference between the experience of dealing with all that goes with having a special needs child and learning to live with that, not the child him or herself. The child is not regrettable, the experience for the family might be. And I really would have preferred to never have the experience be tinged with warnings and the risk of death, but I’ll take all that to get the sweet creature who is my daughter in my life. Even the ever present risk of death if I fail to take good care of her, which absolutely blows, but, whatever!

        I loved this post and the comments and commenters (I keep visiting commenters here to see their stories and give a virtual hug but I am running out of play time)- I’d like to send this to every person I know – it really should be required reading. I said “as long as it’s healthy” until it wasn’t healthy, and my first one wasn’t actually unhealthy, being an IUGR, low birth weight baby has really done nothing harsh to Claire except make her smaller than her peers but trust me, I did stop saying that. Instead I would say well I hope we don’t have another hospital stay but at least I know what that is and I know I can do it if I have to. Then everything for Hannah was different – I made my high risk docs let her go to her due date, she weighed more than six pounds (a little!) I actually called people from my hospital bed saying this baby is healthy! Is nursing! Is fine! without knowing she wasn’t nursing well enough, her genetic metabolic disorder is the outcome of the 1 in 4 chance when two parents carry a bad copy of the same gene and her sister just didn’t get it so we had no idea, she would crash two days later and the nurse who did the IV was 75 minutes too late after they tried to get her to take food, and if they’d given the IV sooner she’d likely not have had a stroke and we’d be smugly “normal” except with the whole metabolic risk of death thing . . . but it wasn’t my age, my diet, my being overweight, the drink I had every now and then after the first trimester, whatever. It was just fate. Not something we deserved, just something we got. I still don’t think I am good at all these conflicting emotions – today I took H to her first dance class, and I wanted no one to notice her gait, her hand bracing scheme, or that she was different and at the same time I wanted everyone to know and recognize what this little girl is capable of: she can kick stroke’s butt! But from experience I know I also don’t like the “she doesn’t look like she’s had a stroke” response. I may be expecting more of people than they can possibly come up with I am glad I have places like this where I can come to learn and vent. Thank you all!

  19. When I was pregnant with Noah I heard time and time again from family and friends that it would be so nice for me to have a “normal” child. I remember being so shocked that they actually said that.

    I would then cite the studies that say if you have one child with autism you are more likely to have another. They all would IMMEDIATELY say, “That won’t happen to you!” or as one mom put it, “God could never be cruel enough to give you two children with autism”. That one had me spitting nails I was so mad.

    Thank you for writing this. It was therapeutic for me to read and comment

    • I know, Sunday. As if they’re saying our children are some type of curse or punishment. No one has mentioned that it would be wonderful to have a “normal” child to me. Like I said, I look forward to the possibility of doing things with a healthy child that aren’t possible with Charlie, but another Charlie wouldn’t be a curse.

      • Thanks, Katy, for this post. Like Sunday said, it has been therapeutic for me to read all of these comments and to write my own comment. Sometimes writing things down really puts an order to my thoughts and I begin to look at things more clearly. Thanks again.

  20. And oh yeah, these pix of Charlie would be the ones I was referring to when I commented elsewhere how awesome he is looking! I love Charlie pix. Please, more school pix, please?

    Katy, if I were you I would be freaking about twins regardless of any prior experience or not just because 2! helpless newborn babies and 2! pillaging toddlers and 2! sets of needs at the same time is really quite daunting. The upside is getting two kids out of the deal, so you’ll get extra satin smooth cheeks to kiss and extra sticky kisses back from them, and twice as many baby snuggled into your chest moments to cherish, and I guess it is kinda like those commericals for Doublemint gum – obviously there are a lot of good things in every life that you share that you’ll get twice as much of, to make up for the sleep deficit. I’ve recently seen that referred to as being sleep depraved by the way, you might want to remember that one when you need to make excuses. ((HUGS))

    • You love those school pictures, don’t you! And yes, my overall worries are more about what to do when these little babies get here. The work! The lack of sleep!

  21. First of all, congratulations! I’ve been out of touch for a while and only now discovered that you’re having twins. Secondly, you’re right. I think people try to make us feel better, but often in so doing end up negating our feelings. It’s scary and uncertain, especially with twins, but you have to do your best and trust that all will be well. Because if you think of everything that can go wrong, you’ll make yourself crazy. Love those babies in side you and give yourself lots of love too.

    • Thank you so much! Right now I’m in super-worry phase right now (same as last time), but I will hopefully pull out of it the further along I get.

  22. Hi Katy,
    I’m going to go against the grain here and say this: When someone says ‘I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy’ to me doesn’t imply that they wouldn’t love their child no matter what. To me it says, that they wish health to their child..so that the child could live a pain free, medically free life. Is that a bad thing..that they don’t want the child to go through a life of struggle, pain, heartbreak? I guess it’s all in how you look it…

    • Oh, Irene, I think you’re totally right at the intent of “as long as it’s healthy.” I mean, I want a healthy child (children!) this time. But I do think that once you’ve given birth to an unhealthy child, that phrase strikes you differently. Not to say that it’s a bad thing to say–I don’t think it is. But I also think it’s OK to point out that lots of parents don’t care if their child is perfectly healthy or not. And I also think it’s OK that it bugs some people–we’re all different.

  23. I agree with Irene. I am glad she wrote in. I enjoy your blog Katy and have been reading it for some time. It has given me a different viewpoint to life with physically challenged children. I feel like there is a chip on some of the writers’ shoulders. The nail tech was just wishing you and your babies good things. What is wrong with that? What did you want her to say? Nobody can say anything anymore without offending someone. You can’t say handicap, special needs, challenging… I don’t know how to refer to anything anymore for fear of being misunderstood and seeming heartless by the otherside of the coin. My child has special needs, but he looks “normal”. He’s was turned down by the insurance company. I was hurt that they did not think my son “worthy”. But that is just me, I’m his mom. I know him and love him. The insurance company is just looking at him like another number, I get it. As Irene said, “it is all in how you look at it…” I don’t want to look through angry, hurt glasses all the time. Feeling the world just doesn’t understand or cares. Everyone has a different boat to row and that’s okay.

    • I think it’s totally a mine field these days, and I personally take offense to very few words. I don’t like the “r word” used as an insult. Other than that, I’m comfortable with people using the words they are most comfortable with.

      I also think that some people have a chip on their shoulders–I see that too. I try not to do that. I hope that my post did not come across as angry because that isn’t how I feel. I’m trying to point out the fallacy in the argument that “doing everything right” is the key to healthy children. And sadly, there are people who believe this and who blame the parents of disabled children for their loss.

      That said, I appreciate your perspective and am always happy to hear a dissenting voice when it’s polite: ) We’re not all going to agree on anything and I hope that’s OK.

  24. We seriously need to let go of the illusion that we should be able to control everything. If people could just remember that life is full of the random we’d all be a lot more compassionate. It may seem comforting in the moment to believe that if you do everything “right” (as though there’s even consensus as to what that means) then everything will be fine but in the end, as you so eloquently stated, that belief is a set up for unnecessary guilt and judgment. Also, while having a special needs kid doesn’t mean your a bad mom, it can make you into a great mom.

    I have the utmost love and respect for all the moms who work that much harder than the rest of us to raise their special needs kids with love, compassion and respect.

    You rock.

  25. Great thoughts and well communicated, as usual. About a year after my twins were born (TTTS – one typical, one not), an acquaintance of mine delivered two healthy twins. Soon after, she made some comment about how everything was okay because she’d “had so much faith.” I’m sure she was thinking of her own situation and not mine, and that her intentions in that statement were only good, but still, it felt like a slap in the face… Are my twins not both okay because of some lack of faith? (Of course not.) Anyway, I agree it can be hard when certain innocent comments are made. I don’t think people should tiptoe around what they say, because it is probably impossible to always say the “right” thing, but I have certainly had occasions like this where I take a deep breath, offer a smile, and think, “good intentions, good intentions…”

  26. I’m already touched by your blog and I’ve only read one post. :) I look forward to reading more.

    And I’m sorry her comment was… difficult. I understand. You’re right, sometimes its better to not say anything or avoid the platitudes and … I dunno what. I’m not great in those situations either.

    Congratulations on your beautiful twins. They are lucky to have you as their mama.

  27. Wonderful post. This is my first time reading your site but you mirror exactly my thoughts on “it’ll all be okay” platitudes in general, not just specific to pregnancy. I find it very patronizing when folks tell me things like that and it is usually about the person wanting to get off the topic than about providing true comfort. I took a class on compassion in college and they talked about how dismissive it was to tell someone grieving not cry, they are in a better place, etc – as if them stopping crying will ease the burden of grief at all.

  28. Wow, so hard. What a thoughtless thing to say – but of course she said it without thinking or knowing Charlie! I also hate when people say things like (when talking about whether you ‘want’ a girl or a boy and you say that either would honestly be fine) “As long as it’s healthy, right?” Ummmm, if my baby isn’t ‘healthy’, would I not love him or her just as much? Would I not be thankful for him or her as my child? What does that even mean? Drives me crazy!

  29. Amen Mama! Just now reading this post from a link on your main page this am. . . and I have to say, now that I’m pregnant the second time (after having a pre-term baby with unexplained developmental delays and mobility disability), these statements HURT. In my office, when someone sees me skip caffeine or skip wine, they say stupid shit like, “Oh, I totally had caffeine when I was pregnant and my kid is FINE! dont’ worry so much.” Just heard this one yesterday and wanted to slap her. Wanted to say, “yeah, well, you got lucky. now shut up and mind your own.”

    It will ALWAYS bother me that I too was the model pregnant woman and yet, my little girl struggles to do the things that come so easily to others. My husband’s cousin took (illegally) oxycontin while pregnant and her daughter . . . typically developing, ahead of age for milestons (though not in the care of her mother whose rights were terminated). So, sometimes, life isn’t fair. And these woman that flaunt there, “my kid is fine” crap and attribute it to their own perfection just need a healthy dose of reality.

    So, I say again — AMEN MAMA.