I want to revisit my experience with the hairdresser for a moment. (You know the hairdresser, right? The one who cut my hair all cute and then my husband never noticed! Oh but that’s another story.) :)

Now I  didn’t post this immediately because I wanted to collect my thoughts first. And, truthfully, I somewhat forgot about it. (If that gives you an idea about how common this is for me.) But this always makes me so mad when I think about it.

So the one other thing the hairdresser asked me about was if I had known about Laelia’s arthrogryposis before she was born so that I could have had  an abortion.

*deep breath*

Okay first of all, ewww! How inappropriate is that question? I expect my close friends and family to sensitively broach that subject if they needed to know, but a stranger?

Now don’t be fooled into thinking that my extremely sensitive hairdresser (sarcasm here), has been the only person to ask me that. You’d be surprised how many random people have asked me that question! A few of them just asked if I knew about her condition “ahead of time,” and then later it was clear that they were curious why (or in one case self-righteously angry that) I did not abort.

Secondly, I had no idea Laelia had arthrogryposis in utero.   Thank God!   Even after several ultrasounds (failed attempts to determine gender), the doctor didn’t even catch her severely clubbed feet that were clearly visible! But as much as I bemoaned the doctor for not catching this early so we could be prepared and have therapy already set up for our baby girl (which was desperately needed and received too late), I am eternally thankful that I didn’t know! Why? Because I would have to give an account for the rest of my life to every Tom, Dick and Mary about why I chose to keep my baby! And then be made to feel like a second-class citizen for introducing a blight on society!

Wow. I didn’t know I would need rules for this like  I did with faith healers, but maybe I do. (Click on the word “rules” above to see our rules for faith healers. Click on the word “faith healers” above to see why we needed those rules.) And I’m making these rules universal (applying to interactions with all parents everywhere).  

Rule #1. It is NEVER okay to ask a parent if they considered abortion unless you are extremely close to them. And even then you’d better be $#%&ing sensitive about it! (And if you don’t need to know, DON’T ASK!)

Rule #2. It is NEVER okay to ask if they knew about their child’s condition in utero if the reason you’re asking is to figure out if abortion was an option or not. NO PARENT should ever have to feel guilty for keeping their precious baby!!!

I don’t care if you call women fat, or beat puppies or “dis yo mama” (or whatever), and I’m not the niceness police, but I do care if ever for one second  a parent is made to  feel guilty (or any more guilty than they already feel) for making a choice to let their child be born! This is NOT the same as parents having a ton of kids that go straight into the system or parents who are willfully bringing children into horrible situations, but you wouldn’t go ask those nutjobs why they didn’t abort so why are you asking me?

I don’t care what you believe about abortion either! It doesn’t matter to me what you decide on the issue. And I’m not even going to share what my own beliefs are. Because it shouldn’t matter! Because your beliefs do not give you the right to hurt a parent like that!

Next time I hear the question, I’ll be sorely tempted to respond with, “What’s your mom’s phone number? I want to ask her a question…”

Seriously people!

6 Responses to “Abortion”

  1. thainamu says:

    “Because I would have to give an account for the rest of my life to every Tom, Dick and Mary about why I chose to keep my baby! And then be made to feel like a second-class citizen for introducing a blight on society!”

    Wow. In my circles, the opposite would be more than true. After all, we don’t live in Gattaca.

  2. Bethany says:

    I love your comeback, though I hope you won’t have to get another chance to use it. It truly astounds me how insensitive people can be, and it sounds like you’ve had run-ins with some classic jerks. Even if you had known about Lali’s condition ahead of time, that still wouldn’t give anyone the right to make you justify your choice to keep her. She’s your BABY! Ack, now I guess I’m getting mad too… :)

  3. Kristin says:

    I just read this before I published it…I unfortunately am going to rant too!!

    Oh, yep, I get it too!! People are SO horrible. I always regretted NOT having an amnio, because for us it would have been the difference between watching our baby almost lose her life and working for years to get her back…or have medications, therapies, etc ready and waiting for her. Instead my child suffered and I still have horrible guilt about that. Sadly though, people respond as though they’ve just tasted bile. “you would have kept her?? knowing she would suffer all of her life??” I always respond “do you see that adorable blond girl who loves life and people? Do you see how happy she is? How could I have made such a decision, she was my gift”

    How could you have possibly made that decision with that sweet precious one you named Laelia?!! Jason and I talked about the “God thing”. Early on Jason wanted to know how God could have done this to our baby. At the time Jason was not a Christian, and I was a loss for words, but I knew that her disease was not punishment from God. Then the words came to me..”he didn’t do this to her, he knew she was going to have problems and issues and he CHOSE us, he knew we would love her, that we would have community support and the love and support of a large family, HE knew she needed us.”

    Stupid people will always be there…”Have you taken her to a doctor? Doesn’t that cough sound horrible to you?? It sounds like she needs medical attention!” (sigh) I just smile, and ignore it now. If people are rude enough to say something like that, they won’t understand her illness. Instead to my short information about Cystic Fibrosis they say things like, “oh I’ve heard of that, they outgrow that as they get older” or “wouldn’t it be better if she were at home resting, I heard they die really young” Or “I’m sorry how long is she expected to live?” Stupid people.

  4. Amy says:

    I was so angry when I read this last night, I had to take a break…Honestly, I don’t get it. I really don’t understand how anyone can think that death is better than life. What a fallen world we live in….

  5. Melissa Rowe says:

    Grrr I hate that mentality! But like you said, beside personal beliefs about abortion it’s just a very rude question. Have these people ever had children? Even if you haven’t it seems to me like a pretty obvious thing to keep to yourself, if the curiosity strikes you. But like I said, I hate that mentality anyway, as if children with disabilities somehow shouldn’t be born.

    But I know a lot of people are ignorant and don’t put themselves in other’s shoes (not that it excuses it). I read a story in my child development book about a woman who had previously figured she’d abort a child if she knew beforehand it had down syndrome or something of the sort. Well when it came down to it, her child was in fact at risk for having down syndrome. Her feelings were definitely not the same once it actually happened to her…that was her baby after all.

    Sad stuff :/

  6. peg chaidez says:

    Unfortunately this is all too common. We knew at 20 weeks that Owen had arthrogryposis. The doctors told us to consider our options and we decided to get new doctors. I also have run into people that try and figure out “what I did” to make this happen. Idiots. On a good day I use it as an opportunity to educate people on a bad day, watch out.

    Until you have a special needs child, I don’t think you can ever really appreciate what a gift it is. I hate to hear when this happens. Would anyone ever do that knowing in all honesty that doctors are wrong a lot of the times?

Leave a Reply