You Can’t Know
We’re in that period of time where most of our friends are still in that “how big will our family be” mode.
There are lots of babies being born which is great for me. I get to hug and snuggle to my hearts content and then give them back when they start to stink. :D
But as we watch our friends through their pregnancies, we sometimes struggle to understand.
Especially when it comes to the screening tests.
We’ve known several people who have gone through the Down’s ‘scare’, and had to have that discussion around whether to abort.
First off let me say I have nothing against abortion. I believe every woman should have the right to control their reproduction.
Where I struggle is when the decision is made because they don’t want to bring a baby into this world who will have a ‘poor’ quality of life.
I want to scream at them “YOU DON’T KNOW! A TEST ISN’T GOING TO TELL YOU THAT!” *sob*
I’ve known children with Downs that is fairly mild and they are otherwise perfectly healthy. The grow into wonderful people with a unique perspective on life and those of us who have had the pleasure of meeting them are so much richer for it.
Had we done those screens when I was pregnant with Vista, everything would have come back completely normal. None of Vista’s issues would have shown up on those tests. And yet we live a life filled with doctors and specialists and hospital visits and therapists and aides.
You don’t know. You cannot predict if a child will be born healthy. Of all the mom’s in my special needs group, exactly zero of them knew they were having a special needs child before they were born.
And had we known, ahead of time, about Vista’s brain malformation we still would have had her.
Yes, it’s sometimes hard having a special needs kid. But? There are the rewards.
I have learned a patience and understanding I never had before.
I have learned never to tell my child what she cannot do, because she will always prove me wrong. The only limits in her world are those placed on her by those who don’t understand that she is amazing and doesn’t know that she’s not supposed to be walking and talking, never mind running and reading.
I have learned not to judge people with disabilities. They are people… with feelings. And disabled does not mean mentally incompetent or unaware. Quite frankly I’ve met more people with disabilities who have more capacity for caring and compassion than those so called ‘normal’ people in my life.
I’ve learned more about the medical world than I ever thought I would. I don’t rush my child to the doctor for every sniffle like a lot of parents do. We’ve learned to discern what’s a cold, what’s a flu, what’s croup, what’s asthma, and when medical care is really necessary. A lot of parents could do with that training.
I have learned what it means to be a friend. I’ll be the first one to admit that I used to be a complete flake. Now, I forge friendships not a slew of passing acquaintances. Want to know if you have real friends? Face a medical emergency and see who’s still standing at the end. I guarantee it won’t be the people you expect.
Having a special needs child has expanded our world in ways we never imagined. I am so glad I didn’t throw away this opportunity to grow as a person when the universe handed it to me.