"...as long as it's healthy..." - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 03-02-2011, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I'm just a sensitive mama lately - I'm sure that's part of it, but I seem to be hearing a lot of "I don't care as long as it's healthy" when I hear expecting parents talk about their baby to be, when asked if they know the gender.

 

It strikes me as insensitive. And arrogant. Of course we all want our children to be healthy. But even before I had a child with special needs - I would never have said that.

 

Am I off base?

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#2 of 31 Old 03-03-2011, 02:51 AM
 
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I had the same thoughts when I was pregnant with each of mine.  I wouldn't love a baby any less if there was something wrong. 


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#3 of 31 Old 03-03-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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They aren't trying to be insensitive or arrogant.  They don't mean they would love the baby any less.  What they mean is they won't be upset if it's a boy, and they won't be upset if it's a girl, but they will be upset if the ultrasound indicates a problem.  And I don't know that there's anyone who wouldn't be upset to find out there's a problem

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#4 of 31 Old 03-03-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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I'm in agreement with happysmileylady - I don't think people are being arrogant or insensitive when saying that. Of course, everyone wishes their child is healthy.... who would wish for illness? It doesn't mean we don't accept and love our special needs children any less, but we can still hope for the best outcome.


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#5 of 31 Old 03-03-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

They aren't trying to be insensitive or arrogant.  They don't mean they would love the baby any less.  What they mean is they won't be upset if it's a boy, and they won't be upset if it's a girl, but they will be upset if the ultrasound indicates a problem.  And I don't know that there's anyone who wouldn't be upset to find out there's a problem



yeahthat.gif  When I was pregnant we didn't know the gender, but everyone asked us if we WANTED a boy or a girl.


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#6 of 31 Old 03-04-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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Shoot man, I wish mine were healthy. I don't think that's a bad sentiment at all. Who wouldn't want their baby to be healthy? Doesn't change how much you love them, it just means the child's road is an easier one and I think any mom wants that for her child.

 

My son was wheeling around a store once with his daddy and I was looking in a different section. He wheeled right past me and this guy turns to his friend and says "thank God my son is healthy." At first I was so pissed, because that was MY son! How dare he thing that he was anything less than awesome just because of how his body is. Then I cooled down for a minute and I thought, "you know what, thank god his son is healthy! I wouldn't wish this on anyone. I wish mine were healthy too." And I don't see anything wrong with it at all. It just stung because it pointed out to me that our life is different and hard and I wish it wasn't.

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#7 of 31 Old 03-04-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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I understand. For awhile, the phrase "I just want him/her to be happy" really got under my skin because my DD has spent much of her life either unhappy or emotionally flat. It was part of grieving what my child didn't have and I didn't know how to give to her.

 

Of course it's what everyone wants for their child, but it just made me feel sad and isolated.

 

 


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#8 of 31 Old 03-04-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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I understand what the expectant parent is trying to say, but the phrase "as lot as it's healthy" bothers me too. They may not mean it, but it does sound like they are saying if the child isn't healthy they will feel less love for him/her (which I know isn't really true). It has bugged me enough over the years that when people asked about gender in regards to DS my reply was generally "as long as it's human". While grieving is normal for a parent who finds out their child isn't a happy, healthy, perfect little being, I didn't like implying in anyway that DS would be loved less if he wasn't happy or healthy.


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#9 of 31 Old 03-06-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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It's a phrase that only bugs me now, after Sophie's birth, b/c she IS healthy. Yes, she has Down Syndrome, but that doesn't mean she isn't healthy. In point of fact, she's among the healthiest of all my children -- she is very rarely ill. And I feel SO incredibly fortunate that she doesn't have any serious health conditions.

 

Yet amongst the general population, we are still an object of pity b/c we have an "unhealthy" child. That angers me, to be honest.

 

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#10 of 31 Old 03-06-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post

I had the same thoughts when I was pregnant with each of mine.  I wouldn't love a baby any less if there was something wrong. 



this, exactly.

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#11 of 31 Old 03-06-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

They aren't trying to be insensitive or arrogant.  They don't mean they would love the baby any less.  What they mean is they won't be upset if it's a boy, and they won't be upset if it's a girl, but they will be upset if the ultrasound indicates a problem.  And I don't know that there's anyone who wouldn't be upset to find out there's a problem


This, completely. Both of my sons have special needs and I love them to pieces. Has nothing to do with love. Has everything to do with the road you envision for yourself and your children--I think we're all guilty of that to some extent. I never thought about specialists, special schools, OT/PT, when I was pregnant. I see how that "healthy" comment can rub the wrong way--I have a friend whose child died shortly after the birth, and her comment was, "to hell with healthy! I just want a child that's alive." 

 

As a mother of preemies, it grated on my last nerve to hear a mother complaining about how hard it was to be pregnant in the last trimester, because I would think, if you only knew how lucky you are to still have that child inside you!  But I know that's just my experience coloring an otherwise benign/commonplace remark...

 

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#12 of 31 Old 03-06-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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This thread caught my attention from new posts, I don't have a SN kid.

 

First, I wanted to say that as a pregnant person I never said the "as long as it's healthy" phrase.  I always proudly proclaimed I was hoping for a girl ;)  I think the healthy thing is obvious and isn't really necessary.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post

It's a phrase that only bugs me now, after Sophie's birth, b/c she IS healthy. Yes, she has Down Syndrome, but that doesn't mean she isn't healthy. In point of fact, she's among the healthiest of all my children -- she is very rarely ill. And I feel SO incredibly fortunate that she doesn't have any serious health conditions.

 

Yet amongst the general population, we are still an object of pity b/c we have an "unhealthy" child. That angers me, to be honest.

 

Guin

 

I wanted to address this too, I have an acquaintance who was completely freaking out because the markers for Down's were high and she really wanted a "healthy" baby.  And I honestly was confused for a bit.  I was thinking, children with Down Syndrome can be very healthy.  

 

PS.  I also never counted their fingers or toes, because, honestly, if the worst that happens is that my child is missing a digit, we're doing alright.



 


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#13 of 31 Old 03-11-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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My little dude has down syndrome and was diagnosed with Leukemia September of 2010. He is in remission, but still has 3 years of chemo ahead of him.

 

I get asked about his health all of the time and I say, "He's perfectly healthy... except for the cancer." That's how I see him. He's healthy and thriving, he just has lots of meds to take at the moment to make sure he stays that way. ;)

 

I am not bothered by folks wishing for a healthy baby. That's what we all want. Plus having a special need does not automatically mean that you are not healthy. Just like being typical does not automatically mean that you are. Health is not even a permanent state of being anyway.

 

Hugs to all the parents that are struggling with this. I'm cool with this particular issue, but there are many others I am not so cool with so I understand the feelings expressed here.


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#14 of 31 Old 03-12-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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I said "we're just hoping for healthy" or some form of that comment with all four pregnancies - all in response to the "do you hope it's a ___" gender question. It was the worse with dd - we had three boys and people were always saying, "Oh, are you hoping for a girl?" like having a fourth boy was a bad thing. That is what grates my nerves. So, I responded with, "We just hope the baby is healthy" because honestly, we did. Never did dh nor I ever mean that we would not feel as happy with the birth of a not-healthy baby, or an otherwise special needs baby. We were excited to have the baby, period. But, that was my go-to response whenever we were asked about hoping for one gender or the other. As it is, dd was diagnosed with Down syndrome after birth; and we were (and are) still tickled pink (pun intended) that we are lucky enough to be her parents, just like we are lucky enough to by our boys' parents. (And I'm still irked whenever I get the "Oh, you got your girl" comment ... like my boys weren't good enough for us.) 

 

I don't think anyone who says the "I hope it's healthy" type of comment is being insensitive or arrogant. I think it's an honest hope for all of us. We hope that the road our child has in front of him or her will be smooth and even. And I think we all know that it does not matter if the child is born "typical" or born with special needs, that there is no guarantee that their road will be easy. It's just something that we hope for because we love them, no matter how many chromosomes they have, or which special needs they have, or what gender they are born. 


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#15 of 31 Old 03-13-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post

 I don't think anyone who says the "I hope it's healthy" type of comment is being insensitive or arrogant. I think it's an honest hope for all of us. We hope that the road our child has in front of him or her will be smooth and even. And I think we all know that it does not matter if the child is born "typical" or born with special needs, that there is no guarantee that their road will be easy. It's just something that we hope for because we love them, no matter how many chromosomes they have, or which special needs they have, or what gender they are born. 


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The card we were sent when J was born which means the most to me was from DH's brother who has temporal lobe epilepsy, and acquired brain injury and ASD. It simply says "Dear [Brother] and Katelove, I hope your child stays healthy, Love from ________

I don't believe we have received a more sincere or heartfelt wish.

 


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#16 of 31 Old 03-14-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

They aren't trying to be insensitive or arrogant.  They don't mean they would love the baby any less.  What they mean is they won't be upset if it's a boy, and they won't be upset if it's a girl, but they will be upset if the ultrasound indicates a problem.  And I don't know that there's anyone who wouldn't be upset to find out there's a problem



This.  We all want our babies to be healthy.  There really is no good way to answer questions about which gender baby they would prefer.  Its a loaded question. 


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#17 of 31 Old 03-16-2011, 05:56 AM
 
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I saw a video on autism once where they were interviewing the parents - it was interesting as this whole issue came up and the mother talked about how they kept adjusting their expectations.

First they quoted "boy or girl, doesn't matter as long as it's healthy" - then it was 'doesn't matter as long as he's verbal' and when that didn't happen it was something else - and so on... and they just came to the point that they knew they would love their son no matter what and always strive to give him the best quality of life they could...

this thread just reminded me of that and I think that's where the sentiment comes from.

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#18 of 31 Old 03-17-2011, 05:37 PM
 
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I sympathize, it can be a big "Sux2BU" in your face when you have a child who is off-the-mark.  Sure, they don't mean it, but it's there. :hug

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#19 of 31 Old 03-20-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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Isn't it equally as offensive to call a special need "something wrong"???

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#20 of 31 Old 03-23-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Having had a child with a serious abnormality that WASN'T detected on any ultrasound I can 100% agree with the statement ''as long as they're healthy''

Believe me, being a parent to a medically, sick, disabled child is any parents worst nightmare and I wouldn't care what I got, boy or girl, or in my last case two of one particular gender - as long as they are healthy that's ALL that mattered to me.

If that makes sense.


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#21 of 31 Old 03-23-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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A child who is chromosomally or genetically different isn't sick. When I was a teen, I always hoped that if I have a down syndrome child, he or she would not have heart defects.  I'm sure any parent of a sick child wishes for them to be healthy. My daughter has special needs, and I wouldn't have her any other way. But she is a very healthy girl and I'm so grateful for that.

A friend of mine once told me that she'd much rather have a child who is physically ill than developmentally delayed, and I thought she was nuts.

 

 

 

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#22 of 31 Old 03-26-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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Just another perspective, and I suppose I'm likely not the norm but... I have 6 kids and I actually said some variation of that phrase to hubby about each of the younger 5, but it wasn't at all how you interpret it. See my first daughter passed at birth, then I had 26.5 wk twins and one of them died a day after birth due to severe kidney and lung problems, and the doctors were very grim about my oldest's chances acting like odds were against him and I should prepare for another loss... but he survived. He had probable asthma, two holes in his heart, hypertonia, sensory issues, sleep disturbances, and a poor immune system... but because he's living and growing, etc I think of him as healthy. I guess I have never considered a child with special needs as not healthy, and that was the farthest thing from my mind when saying it. I had had 2 out of 3 babies die, failed pregnancy attempts, etc. and I just really didn't feel strong enough to to bury another child, so for me 'I hope it is healthy' meant something more like 'I hope nothing is fatally wrong and rips my child away from me'... So with all the other kids when I was pregnant and said I just hoped they end up healthy, what I really meant was I hoped they'd LIVE--and thankfully they did, so I feel lucky no matter what comes along the path. S                    i   

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#23 of 31 Old 03-26-2011, 09:32 PM
 
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I don't think anyone who says "as long as it's healthy" automatically means "as long as he/she isn't special needs."  Sometimes healthy just means healthy. 

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#24 of 31 Old 03-26-2011, 09:50 PM
 
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You are right on. It is a rude statement.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack*and*Kate View Post

Maybe I'm just a sensitive mama lately - I'm sure that's part of it, but I seem to be hearing a lot of "I don't care as long as it's healthy" when I hear expecting parents talk about their baby to be, when asked if they know the gender.

 

It strikes me as insensitive. And arrogant. Of course we all want our children to be healthy. But even before I had a child with special needs - I would never have said that.

 

Am I off base?



 

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#25 of 31 Old 03-27-2011, 01:32 AM
 
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I agree with those who've said they don't think people are being insensitive or arrogant. They just want the best possible outcome. Heck, when I was pregnant with DD, it's what I wanted. It's what we thought we got, too. She didn't get her Autism diagnosis until she was 4.She IS perfectly healthy, she is also on the Autism Spectrum. There is nothing wrong with her at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#26 of 31 Old 04-04-2011, 11:55 PM
 
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I don't see anything wrong with hoping for a healthy child.  What bothers me more is when people go into the u/s as if the only important information they get will be whether the baby is a boy or a girl.  It doesn't even enter their minds that the u/s might actually find something wrong.  THAT makes me cynical.

 

Or maybe I'm just jealous of being that worry-free.

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#27 of 31 Old 04-05-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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I don't think there's anything wrong with hoping for a healthy child.  Why on earth would you want a sick one?

 

I've had two children with a genetic syndrome.  One has had a very hard life and the other died at 20 months.  That doesn't mean that I love them less, or that their life is not worth living, they are/were not happy, etc. etc.  But I wouldn't wish what we've gone through on anyone.  I wouldn't say, " Hey, I sure hope that I have a child who chokes when he swallows and ends up on a respirator everytime he gets sick."

 

I'm sorry that it offends you, but unfortunately it seems that with some people you just can't say anything without them being offended by something.  This makes me really sad.

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#28 of 31 Old 04-05-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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When ever people say to me "I dont know how you do it."   I know they are really thinking "Better you then me"

 

 

 

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#29 of 31 Old 04-05-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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Yep. After losing my daughter during pregnancy, I always say that if I have another, I don't care if it's a boy or girl, as long as it's healthy. And by that, I totally mean "I hope it doesn't die!" but saying healthy seems a lot less... shocking, I guess.

Quote:
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 So with all the other kids when I was pregnant and said I just hoped they end up healthy, what I really meant was I hoped they'd LIVE--and thankfully they did, so I feel lucky no matter what comes along the path. S                    i   



 


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#30 of 31 Old 04-06-2011, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vermillion View Post


Yep. After losing my daughter during pregnancy, I always say that if I have another, I don't care if it's a boy or girl, as long as it's healthy. And by that, I totally mean "I hope it doesn't die!" but saying healthy seems a lot less... shocking, I guess.



 


I agree. I lost a son, my first. The "as long as its healthy" mostly meant that I hoped to have a LIVE child. Both of my subsequent children have mild special needs... invisible to most of their peers but with more doctor's visits than other kids.
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