I can hear you. It’s not so much what you say but how you say it and the implied meaning behind it.
I have vacillated about writing this post and addressing this. I understand WHY. I understand FEAR. Please also know that my deepest wish and passion is for no one to ever know my fear and the path that I walk. I wish everyone a healthy baby and child all of their days. Now y’all know there is a but coming riiight?
I hear “our sonogram came back and nothing is wrong” or “we are 3 months and all tests came back ok so we are telling everyone” constantly.
What I infer from those statements is relief, which is obvious. Who WOULDN’T be relieved? You should be ecstatic!! Congratulations. However since Larkin was born I read the “I am so glad I’m not you” in between the lines. It happens at least once a week. I see the pity. I see the sideways glance in my direction. Do you notice that I keep my head bowed during such conversations? I can’t look at you. I can’t let you see that little stab I feel during such times.
It’s ok that you are glad that you aren’t me. I’m glad you aren’t me. Does that make sense? With that, relief comes the one-two punch. I realize that my child is a human being that is devalued. She is something you don’t want. She is something you pray never happen to you.
The second statement of everything tested ok and now we are telling. Ok I can deal with that too. How awesome. Did you know Larkin passed every single genetic test and 3-D sonogram? Did you know my blood work was perfect? I infer that you would have chosen another outcome for the child if the testing did not come back ok. Am I always correct in the inference? No. Perhaps you would have educated yourself on whatever challenge or disability was coming your way. Perhaps you would have taken the time to enjoy your pregnancy and not let anyone taint it. However, to a mother of a child with disabilities I keenly notice based upon the sideways look in my direction, or the body language you give off, that you probably would have made a choice.
I understand. Let’s be clear on that. I don’t blame you for not wanting to be me. Hell there are days that I don’t want to be me but it’s because my butt is too big or I don’t want to go to work.
It is NEVER because I do not want to be Larkin’s mother.
So when you see me in church or the grocery, popping her into the car, picking her up at school, laughing with her in the pool – or changing a diaper – know that I am glad you aren’t me.
I am happy that I get to enjoy this little girls smile, laugh, love, hugs and pure strength and passion of life. I get to hold her tight and smell her baby smell. I get to tickle her and smash her tight with hugs. I also got the other stuff. The payment for the “other stuff” is beyond imagination. Jealous? You should be. Be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it. I on the other hand got exactly what I needed.
Just know that I know what you mean. I hear you loud and clear. I am ok with it.
You are the one that needs to be ok with it.