To hate the saying "as log as its healthy I don't mind?"

(114 Posts)
kickassmomma Mon 04-Feb-13 09:42:14

Just a lighthearted discussion/debate.

When most people ask whether someone wants a boy or girl when there pregnant, majority say "as long as its healthy I don't mind" I am guilty of this too but now my perspective has changed because I don't have a healthy child.

It actually bugs me to see people put it on fb or say it to me? I kinda think, well what i your child isn't healthy? Would you mind then?

Wouldn't as long as my baby is happy and content be better?? smile

foslady Mon 04-Feb-13 09:45:43

Yep - always agreed with this. Your love for a child should be unconditional. I always hoped and prayed mine would be healthy but if they weren't I wouldn't love them any less.

CMOTDibbler Mon 04-Feb-13 09:45:55

I know what you mean, but its just one of those pregnancy things people say. I wanted to say 'as long as the baby is alive I don't mind' but people got upset by that.

MortifiedAdams Mon 04-Feb-13 09:46:26

I used to get annoyed when people said that to me when I was pg. I would respond with "as long as its a happy one!"

Disability or not, its still our son or daughter.

noblegiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 09:48:32

I don't think there's anything wrong with hoping for a healthy baby, or saying that you're hoping for a healthy baby.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 09:49:13

I don't hate this saying at all - it's a sensible attitude, what they are saying is that there are more important things than the baby's sex.

I'm grateful for healthy children. I would mind if they weren't healthy because I would like to be able protect them from all suffering. I don't think this has anything to do with whether you love them or not.

Trills Mon 04-Feb-13 09:50:25

It's not a saying.

It's a response to silly "do you want a boy or a girl" questions.

If people stopped asking the silly question then nobody would have to say it.

And yes, I think more people would be sad or upset at having a child that was not healthy than would be sad or upset at having a child of the "wrong" sex.

FantasticDay Mon 04-Feb-13 09:50:37

Well, I think people do associate ill-health with suffering, and no-one wants their child to suffer. It doesn't mean you would love them any less of course. We were initially assessed as quite high risk for baby having Down's syndrome following a transnuchal scan (risk came down after blood test), but we didn't go for an amniocentisis test as terminating the pregnancy was not an option for us, and we didn't want to risk miscarriage. I must admit I was relieved DS didn't have Down's as I didn't want him to be high risk for associated conditions, such as heart disease etc.

EllieArroway Mon 04-Feb-13 09:52:33

It's annoying because it's a cliché now - but it's pretty much what most of us generally do hope for.

What's the alternative? If you express a preference then people will think you're disappointed if you get the other gender, and we all want healthy children. Doesn't mean we love them any less if they're not.

So - I agree. But it's hard to know what else to say.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 04-Feb-13 09:53:04

I hate it to. One of mine isn't super healthy but I don't think that's why I hate it. It's more that you are just trying to make a bit of social chit chat and you get slapped in the face with a smug 'we are above such things' wet fish. Also gender and health are, in the main, unrelated so why bring it up.

neolara Mon 04-Feb-13 09:53:55

Well actually I would have minded if my dcs weren't healthy. I would have been absolutely devastated. That's not to say I wouldn't have loved them as much as a healthy child. But honestly, I would have been absolutely distraught if they had serious health problems.

noblegiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 09:56:28

But 'are you hoping for a boy or a girl?' is a horrible question that deserves to be slapped down with a trite retort. Say you said you were hoping for a girl and it turned out to be a boy? Awkward. Best those sorts of opinions are left unvoiced, just in case.

I think people say it because they are hoping for a healthy child - as we all do. I can see why some parents might find it offensive but it isn't intended to be, it's just a politely dismissive response to a daft and nosey question.

OhTheConfusion Mon 04-Feb-13 10:03:25

When the sonogropher asked if I wanted a boy or a girl I replied 'we have waited so long I would be happy with a baby Gruffalo' she was a bit hmm.

cory Mon 04-Feb-13 10:12:23

Well, I do mind that my baby wasn't healthy. Not because I don't love her but because I love her so much I can't bear to see her ill and in pain, can't bear to see her constantly disappointed and fearful, can't bear the thought that at 16 she has already tried to take her life twice to get away from the pain and stress, can't bear the thought that next time she may succeed... sad

If there is one thing I hate it's the assumption that you cannot hate your child's illness without hating the child. Dd is not her illness!

Boomerwang Mon 04-Feb-13 10:16:08

OP, before you had your child, do you think you might have responded with 'as long as it's healthy, I don't mind'?

Isn't it hindsight making you dislike the phrase now?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aldiwhore Mon 04-Feb-13 10:21:19

YANBU to feel this way, but YABU to think it better that people wished for 'any child regardless of whether they're healthy or not'.

Everyone wishes for a healthy child, and it would be wrong to wish for a child that wasn't.

However, when people say they only hope their child is healthy, they are not saying that they wouldn't love their child if it's not. Therefore YABU.

I would feel the same way as you if one of my children wasn't healthy, but I would always wish that they were. If you had a magic wand, I suspect you'd use it to make your children healthy in most cases... that does NOT mean that you don't love them as they are.

Summerblaze Mon 04-Feb-13 10:21:37

I'm with cory here. DS1 has some minor health problems (hearing/developmental delay) and I really wished he didn't because I see him struggling and it breaks my heart. That doesn't mean that I don't love him. What a stupid thing to think.

When I was pg with DS2, I still answered the gender question with "I just hope its healthy". Surely thats what we all want for our children regardless of whether the outcome is different.

Wishing for a healthy child is nothing to be 'guilty' of. My son and daughter were both ill when they were born, my son recovered to an extent then died from SIDS my daughter was in pain every second of the 2 weeks she lived.

Every time I have been pregnant I have got down on my knees and prayed for a healthy child, its nothing to do with loving them, thats a given, its everything to do with not wanting your child to suffer.

Wishing for a healthy child does not mean I love my son or daughter any less.

tiggytape Mon 04-Feb-13 10:23:21

YANBU - not all health issues are obvious at birth either which makes it a doubly pointless thing to say.

BillericayDickie Mon 04-Feb-13 10:24:02

yanbu I get what you are saying. it is a stupid thing to say

tiggytape Mon 04-Feb-13 10:25:57

Missy - sorry my post came in right after yours so sounds very callous. I am very sorry for your losses and don't blame you for praying for a healthy child.

My comment was more about other people who say 'as long as it's healthy' when talking about the gender of the baby or not wanting a baby born on Christmas Day or trivial things like that - not because they've had a bad past experience.

PickledInAPearTree Mon 04-Feb-13 10:28:03

I see what your saying but don't we all hope for a healthy child and if the child is born with any problems love them none the less?

I agree as long as the baby is happy is a bit better.

I've said it but purely as a deflector to constant sex questions.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 10:28:38


I wanted a boy with my first pregnancy. I'm not sure why, and I can't think of any reason for it, but I really did want a boy. I'm sure I would have been happy with a girl and have loved her just the same, but I still didn't know that I would have been just as happy while I was still in my first pregnancy.

It made me feel like a terrible mother before my child had even been born because I had a gender preference. No one was prepared to admit that they wanted anything other than a healthy baby. Now I know that lots of other women feel the same and have a preference one way or the other, and I don't see why we should be made to feel bad for having a feeling we can't help. If we don't admit that women do have preferences, we can't begin to support the very small number of women who probably end up with PND related to gender disappointment.

aldiwhore Mon 04-Feb-13 10:31:19

I get "didn't you want one of each"... my reply "One of each what?"

I have two boys, they are so different from each other, polar opposites, that I DO have 'one of each' in a way, bt not in a gender related way.

It IS annoying though. I am sure my polite fumbling question of "Do you know what flavour you're having" is equally unreasonable... my only defense is that I simply want to show interest without personal intimate questions.

Its fine tiggy I didn't think it was aimed at me (as much as I would love to think the world revolves around me grin )

NotSoNervous Mon 04-Feb-13 10:32:50

I kind of think YABU because everyone wants their baby to be healthy and if it wasn't of course there going to be upset and not think "oh well my babies ill but how can I mind". When I was pregnant I wasn't bothered in the slightest if I had a girl or boy I just wanted my baby

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:33:13

Perhaps a bit BU OP? I certainly know that if I were to say it (I usually tell the truth - I want a girl) I merely wish health and no suffering for my child. It's ok to wish for that. What would not be ok would be to have that child and then reject it because it wasn't perfect (and what is perfection anyway save for a perception of reality?)

pigletmania Mon 04-Feb-13 10:33:53

I don't think there is anything wrong with hoping for a happy and healthy baby baby, after all isent that what everyone wants, wouldent it be nice i no chid had to have illness or dusability! Yes unfortunately life is no like that, when a baby is born with illness r disability you have to do the best you can and adapt yourselves and your expectations. Dd 5 has ASD (developmental delays). We lve dd so much but our expectations and outlooks have changed, we don know if she will lead an independent life as an adult, have a job and take what oarents with nt chikdren ate for granted.

Hoping for a healthy child is not the same as wishing for a perfect one (which doesn't exist anyway) nor does it mean you won't love a child with health issues. I think it's a shorthand way of saying 'I just want a child who is alive and likely to stay that way for many years.' That's what I meant anyway when muppets people asked me if I was hoping for a boy after two girls.

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Feb-13 10:38:17


It is one of those silly things people just say.

I know why they say it and Im sure they mean no offence, so I don't think they are 'wrong' as such in saying it, but yes, as the parent of a child with special needs it does rankle a bit.

hippo123 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:40:15

YABU. Having had my dd very sick in hospital as a newborn not knowing if she would be ok or not (thankfully shes fine) I see nothing wrong in wanting a healthy child. Surely thats what we all want? Obviously sometimes this doesn't happen which obviously doesn't mean you love your child any less but ulimately don't we all want a healthy child?

ReallyTired Mon 04-Feb-13 10:42:21

Depends what your definition of "healthy" is. I can't see why its an issue that someone hopes for a healthy child.

I have an indian friend who said she didn't mind whether she had a boy or a girl provided it lived more than ten minutes. She lost her first daughter shortly after birth and it really puts all our worries into perspective.

pigletmania Mon 04-Feb-13 10:43:21

Look there is nothing wrong with wanting a healthy child, I would hate to see my child suffer, watch their pain and sadness. Who doesn't want ther child to be healthy, but as I said life is not like that you ave to deal with the cards you are dealt with

Whyriskit Mon 04-Feb-13 10:44:05

Both DS1 & 2 have genetic conditions. DS2's is cardiac and likely to be life limiting. I am now pregnant with DC3.
Currently there is nothing I would like more than for DC3 to be healthy. That doesn't mean I love my precious boys any less.

oldraver Mon 04-Feb-13 10:44:22

I think its a stock answer to the silly question of do you want a boy/girl or derivatives though my reply was always 'a baby

You also have to remember OP that the people that may be saying what you see as a trite answer may be seething under their breath that they have been asked such a question

'So long as its healthy' seems the easier option to..

this is my 9th pregnancy, I only have one child... anything would be welcome

I have had three rounds of IVF..anything would be welcome

I nearly died in my last pregnancy and it has taken a long time to have the courage to get pregnant again....anything would be welcome

I had severe PND and it was a big decision to get pregnant again...anything would be welcome

Goldmandra Mon 04-Feb-13 10:44:47

I have two DDs with AS. They are my life, the centre of my world. I love them more than life itself and I cannot imagine being without them.

I don't mind that they are girls, not boys except for the incidental bonus that their femaleness was such a disappointment to MIL. I didn't mind that they were both born with mild health issues which required a little extra care for a few days before they could go home.

I do mind that they have AS. If someone had said I could choose their gender I wouldn't have bothered. If someone had said that I could choose for them to be able to perform normal everyday activities without medication to control their anxiety and help them to sleep I would have happily taken that option.

If I ever had another child I wouldn't mind if it was a boy or a girl, whether it was born on a day which was significant in another way, etc but I would mind about whether my baby had a significant disability or long term health problem.

I would still love that child with every fibre of my being but I would mind.

EuroShagmore Mon 04-Feb-13 10:45:56

It's not a silly thing to say at all and it doesn't imply that a healthy child will not be loved, just that you want your child to be healthy. What's wrong with that? I want to be healthy. I want my parents to have a healthy retirement without being in and out of hospitals. I wouldn't want any future child to be in pain or to have to endure hospital treatments or any other kind of suffering.

McNewPants2013 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:47:10

All I did want is a heathy, happy child. But ds has austism.

I love him more than words can describe, I still wish that he didn't have austism because its a constant worry and seeing him struggle day in day out and get frustrated is heart breaking.

pigletmania Mon 04-Feb-13 10:48:31

That's rght mcnewpants I totally agree. If I could ake away the Autism I would in a eartbeat but I love dd and ds more than life itself

SolomanDaisy Mon 04-Feb-13 10:48:40

Seriously? Of course everyone wants a healthy child. It doesn't mean you don't adore whatever child you get, it's because you adore them that you want them to be healthy. My DS was ill a little while after he was born. I would have preferred it if he was healthy.

FergusSingsTheBlues Mon 04-Feb-13 10:57:59

OP, you are bloody crazy if you can be offended by somebody wanting the best for your child. Im due in three weeks and tormenting myself over every lapse of judgement I have made in this pregnancy. ALL I hope for is that he is fine, and we both come through unscathed. If you love your child, why would you NOT expressly want them to avoid a life of suffering or incapacity?

Go and get angry about the current obsession with gender preference instead (why does everybody get so upset about not having girls?)..that to me is far more irritating.

milf90 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:58:07

i dont like it either, but i think its just one of those saying that you say to keep people happy/stop asking more questions!

Crawling Mon 04-Feb-13 11:08:51

YABU I wished for healthy children doesnt mean I dont love dd who has severe autism and ds possible AS just as much as if they didnt have it but its natural to want a healthy baby.

I find people who are devastated over the sex much more hurtful because it feels like a slap in the face someone being devastated over wrong sex as opposed to my devastation that my dd may never be independant and may always need care and help.

Pickles101 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:11:11

I think this "lighthearted discussion" has taken a bit of a serious turn wink

But I don't think you're BU or NBU, I'm indifferent. It's just a stock response that people say, like someone else said before me.
It doesn't mean that if your baby was born sick or disabled you would instantly stop loving them and go "oh what is it? A girl!? Oh I'll leave it here if you don't mind, that's just one blow too many".

TheFallenNinja Mon 04-Feb-13 11:14:14

I think there are countless throwaway comments that people use, this is one of them.

Others include;

10 fingers, 10 toes
I'll soon get a routine going grin
He/she will love X

Illgetmegoat Mon 04-Feb-13 11:15:00

When asked about gender my stock reply was always 'well we want one or the other' which was just nonsensical enough to get a little nod and then a subject change.

I have always been a bit sensitive to the 'as long as it's healthy' not because there is anything wrong with wishing your child health, god knows we know all about that, but it's always the 'as long as' that sort of got me.
As long as it's healthy what? We'll love the baby? Keep the baby? Not be disappointed in the baby? The baby will only be good enough if it's healthy? It's always struck me as a phrase negatively loaded with conditions and implications. I think it's the way it sounds rather than the sentiment that every parent really wishes their baby was healthy and didn't have to suffer - no-one I know would say they would keep their child's illness or disability, we have only ever said we would never change our child the whole of them, the person - which is different as that is currently the only choice - you can have this baby or not have this baby, there is no other option.

However - I haven't felt that 99% of the people I've ever heard using it have ever meant it in that way and it was just filed away as a stock response to chit chat like so many other things we say everyday to keep the social wheels greased.
To be honest as the sister of a disabled child and subsequently the mother of one I could never be entirely sure it wasn't me reading more into it than there ever was in the first place.

NaicePig Mon 04-Feb-13 11:19:26

Isn't good health a desirable thing that everybody hopes for for the people they love?

The difference is that if you "hoped for" a girl and had a boy, I'd expect that if someone came along and offered to wave some kind of sex-change wand and change him into a girl you'd say no, I love him as he is. If someone came along to your sick baby and offered to wave a health wand and take away the illness you'd bite their hand off. Because the first is something you kind of want for you, but health is something we all want for everyone we love.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 04-Feb-13 11:30:12

YANBU. I hate it too. I especially hated it when someone said it when my DD - unhealthy then and now - was a baby. It made me feel even more isolated. I've often heard it said in the context of discussions about birth - ie 'I don't mind how it comes out as long as it's healthy'. I realise it's just one of those things people say without over-thinking it. But I wish they wouldn't say it in front of someone sitting there with their sick or disabled child - it's just insensitive and crass.

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Feb-13 11:30:26

Well put Illgetmegoat

moajab Mon 04-Feb-13 11:43:06

I always interpret it as being grateful for a healthy child and not wishing to change it. For example when I was pregnant with DS3 and I was asked this question I always answered with as long as it's healthy, because it would seem very ungrateful and an insult to those parents who lose a child or have to watch them suffering if I looked at my healthy baby son and just thought 'why isn't it a girl?"

yaimee Mon 04-Feb-13 11:44:59

I always just thought this went without saying!

HeyHoHereWeGo Mon 04-Feb-13 11:49:39

I HATE this saying, as to me it smacks of "Well I am not as superficial as you clearly are, I have my priorities straight"
Smug smug smug

AllYoursBabooshka Mon 04-Feb-13 11:52:08

What Trills said.

pigletmania Mon 04-Feb-13 11:58:23

Heyho would you want your chid to have illness or to suffer than! Teir is nthing wrn with hoping your unborn baby will be happy and healthy

AllYoursBabooshka Mon 04-Feb-13 12:00:11

Well I certainly don't feel that way when I say it HeyHo.

I honestly don't give a fig what sex this baby is, I don't mind people asking what I want but I'm not going to lie about it.

I do want my baby to be healthy.

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Feb-13 12:07:29

Its not the wanting the healthy child part, its the 'as long as' bit.

So what if it isn't is the thought that follows when I hear it.

Anyway, as said previously, its just something people say to counter the gender questions.

LimeLeafLizard Mon 04-Feb-13 12:15:05

What Trills said.

MMMarmite Mon 04-Feb-13 12:21:26

Well said illgetmegoat.

ivykaty44 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:28:32

"Do you want a boy or a girl"

is a silly question

so I gave a silly answer

I want it to be a baby

I had such strong gender preference the health was secondary to the sex.

I resent the reply because it implies a preference is immoral, and/or something you can and should control; and because it implies a disabled child isn't good enough.

There are blander responses to a stupid question. "DC1 wants a puppy ha ha ha" or even just "Yes".

kickassmomma Mon 04-Feb-13 12:36:07

I never said that it offended me I just said I didn't like it! Nor do I think that if people wish for a healthy baby and dont get one that they don't love them anymore. I just simply wanted to know of people felt the same about it as I do! No need to get heavy about it smile

fromparistoberlin Mon 04-Feb-13 12:36:11

what a strange thing to "hate"

nowt as queer as folk eh

3monkeys3 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:36:18

I get what you mean but I tend to get angry (internally!) with people who admit a gender preference, because I have had the experience of having an unwell child (thankfully dd was able to have surgery which cured it completely, but it was a very tough first 6 months). My eldest has hfa, but I don't consider there to be anything 'wrong' with him. I think that all people should hope for is a healthy baby and personally find gender preference very distasteful.

Believe me, gender preference is as distasteful to those suffering it as it is to you. That doesn't mean it isn't real.

3monkeys3 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:48:14

Sorry, that was a bit harsh. I know that people don't really choose to feel a preference for gender, I just find it hard to get my own head around it.

Nancyclancy Mon 04-Feb-13 12:49:01

With all 4 of my dc, I didn't care what sex they were but wished for them to be healthy. If any of them did have health issues I would have loved them regardless, but I do not think it's unreasonable to say you don't mind as long as it's healthy.
However, the sentence 'as long as it's healthy I don't mind,' implies that you do mind if the baby is unhealthy, iyswim.

There is nothing wrong in hoping to have a healthy baby, there is nothing wrong in having a preferred gender, there is nothing wrong in dreaming to have a baby with blue/brown/whatever eyes etc.

A person is pregnant and has hopes and dreams for baby. This doesn't mean they won't love baby unconditionally.

Goldmandra Mon 04-Feb-13 12:55:54

However, the sentence 'as long as it's healthy I don't mind,' implies that you do mind if the baby is unhealthy, iyswim.

But why shouldn't I mind that my babies had a disability?

Nancyclancy Mon 04-Feb-13 13:02:10

I'm not saying you should or shouldn't mind. But the sentence is quite blunt! So I can see why people hate the saying but can also see why people say it, not meaning to cause offence!

BartletForTeamGB Mon 04-Feb-13 13:18:29

YABU. I've delivered a dead baby and I still say this. I dearly wish that DD had survived despite her problems, but I also desperately hope that the baby I'm carrying right now is healthy. If he or she is not, I'm not going to love him or her any less.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 04-Feb-13 13:33:53

Because its a stupid question!

I couldn't have cared if my baby was a boy or girl but I was concerned about if there was something wrong.

Probably paranoia stemming from being a children's nurse and never seeing a healthy child. It skews your perspective.

We didn't find out what we were having as it didn't matter, simple as. That's not to say that if our child had had disabilities I wouldn't have loved them.

Goldmandra Mon 04-Feb-13 13:35:45

not meaning to cause offence!

No offence taken. I just don't get why people think it's not OK to mind if the child isn't healthy.

These parents to be aren't saying that as long as the baby is healthy they will still love it. They are saying that they don't mind about gender/birth date/hair colour. All they mind about is that the baby is healthy. That doesn't seem unreasonable.

I do mind that my girls have AS and I would mind if they had any other long term health problem or disability even if they were happy. I don't think you would find many parents of children with disabilities who wouldn't have hoped that their child would be born without it and I don't think you would find many parents to be who don't mind whether their child will be born with a disability or health problem.

I think we all go to the first scan hoping to be told that our baby is healthy don't we?

LiegeAndLief Mon 04-Feb-13 13:38:37

YABU. I had a prem baby first time round and when people asked if I wanted a boy or girl for dc2 I used to say I wanted a full term healthy baby. Of course if I'd have had another 2 month stint in SCBU I would have loved that baby just as much, but would I have minded? Yes I very much would have!

A lot of people genuinely don't mind if they have a boy or girl, but I think all of us have a preference for a healthy baby.

It's just a way to get stupid people to back off when going on about gender preference. I'm due my second girl and have been really surprised how many comments I've got along the "don't worry, you can try again" line (yes, Dp's family, I'm looking at you). Ffs, there is nothing wrong with my girls!

tilder Mon 04-Feb-13 13:52:09

Would love to have seen the sonographers face confusion!

When pg with dc3 I got sick of being asked are you hoping for a girl (i had 2 boys). I know a lit of the time people are just making small talk, but still. I think I just used to reply as long as there is only one (terrified of having twins, imagine 4 boys under 4) but I think dh was a little cutting occasionally.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 04-Feb-13 13:58:11

When I sat there with my sick little baby and a friend said merrily about her own that she "didn't mind how it was born as long as it was healthy", what I heard was "I'd hate to have a baby like yours". So yes, keep making that trite observation if you want (yes, we'd all prefer to have a healthy baby), but try not to do it in front of someone who's baby isn't. That's all.

goldenlula Mon 04-Feb-13 13:59:10

I don't think it is a silly saying at all, but perhaps that is because it is what I said, especially during my 3rd pregnancy after 2 boys and it was assumed I was not doing it to try for a girl hmm. I would not have loved dc any the less had she have had a disability or illness, just that for each of my children I hoped for a child who would not have some life debilitating condition or illness that would make their life hard or uncomfortable.
Ds2 may have an SEN, he is under the paeds, seeing an OT and SALT and we are waiting to see if he is just immature or I there is more to it. I am praying it is just immaturity and he will 'catch up' with his peers, but if not then so be it. My feelings will not change for him and surely it is not wrong to want that for your child?

atthewelles Mon 04-Feb-13 14:05:10

Its a statement of fact. They are not saying 'I don't want this baby if its not healthy' they are just saying that they hope it will be a healthy baby which is totally logical and normal.

diddl Mon 04-Feb-13 14:13:17

Well in a way it´s a ridiculous answer to a personal question.

If I told people that I didn´t mind-boy or girl would be fine, some would keep on-"oh no, you must have a preference".

Sometimes it was the only way to shut them up.

Especially if you´re pregnant for the second time-then "I don´t mind" really doesn´t seem to cut it all with some folks!

And to be honest, I didn't mind to be asked what gender I was hoping for. It is just normal, non committal conversation, to which you can answer how you like...

diddl Mon 04-Feb-13 14:32:03

I didn´t mind the question-as long as the answer I gave (don´t mind) was accepted!

Although I was lying as I did have a preferenceblush

grin, diddl!!!

diddl Mon 04-Feb-13 14:45:48

Am I in a minority??

firawla Mon 04-Feb-13 14:47:26

I got this with having 3 of the same, you get people ask "what you having? another boy? oh well, as long as they are healthy.." and actually they are not all healthy as in NT but dont think people making these comments would have realised that at the time. People are just trying to be nice but without thinking about what they say - but yanbu it is a bit of a stupid saying

MrsHoarder Mon 04-Feb-13 14:48:25


If someone asks for a preference as to what you are hoping your child will be, healthy is good to hope for.

Diddl, I also had a preference, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Glitterspy Mon 04-Feb-13 14:51:16

If people ask "Is it a boy or a girl" I just respond "Well hopefully it's a baby"

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 04-Feb-13 14:51:21

Am I in a minority??

I always thought I wanted a girl, until I had a boy. Now I can't imagine having a girl. I adore my son.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 04-Feb-13 14:53:48

Eh? Ofcourse people prefer their baby to be healthy but it doesnt mean they'd love an unhealthy baby any less hmm

I wasnt bothered about what sex my DC would be but I really did want them to be healthy and happy. Surely any parent would want that for their DC? confused I certainly didnt mean to imply I would love them any less if they'd been ill or disabled.

diddl Mon 04-Feb-13 14:56:53

Have just asked the question here

DeWe Mon 04-Feb-13 15:15:04

I grew to hate the phrase when I was pg with dd2. She was spotted on the scan to be missing her left arm, and, to know you have a child that a lot of people would regard as not healthy (people have both aborted after the scan and abandonned at birth children with this) it really hurts to have this spouted at you again and again, often by complete strangers.

I wish people wouldn't say it, because you don't always want to share things like that at the time they say it.

Perhaps worse was the person who said "as long as it's got all it's fingers and toes" when I was pg with dc#3, they knew perfectly well about dd2 as well.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 04-Feb-13 15:27:37

DeWe that 'fingers and toes' comment is AWFUL. I wonder if the person who made it was dying a thousand deaths afterwards, or if they were sweetly oblivious. Most of the time I think people aren't really thinking that much about what they're saying and who they're saying it to - but I think they SHOULD be thinking about it!

Inertia Mon 04-Feb-13 17:00:47

Oh DeWe, it must have been very difficult to listen to that comment. I guess there's a possibility that they were trying so hard to avoid saying the wrong thing that they said completely the wrong thing- or maybe they were very clumsily trying to convey their hope that your baby would have no health problems given the difficulties you'd already faced. Or maybe they were actually just being thoughtless or spiteful.

My MIL and DH always used the "as long as it's got the right number of fingers and toes" line when I was expecting DC1- who was then born with a non-standard number of fingers and needed surgery to rectify. They haven't used it since.

FlorriesDragons Mon 04-Feb-13 17:03:30

Well of course you would mind if your baby wasn't healthy. Doctors thought ds2 would have ds and I was very upset indeed. Obviously I would have loved him regardless and luckily enough he was born without any medical problems but I definitely minded...

LucieLucie Mon 04-Feb-13 18:29:46

Yabu. Why shouldn't people be allowed to wish their baby is healthy?

IAmLouisWalsh Mon 04-Feb-13 18:31:43

I used to respond with 'I'm hoping for a puppy'. That got me some looks.

diddl Mon 04-Feb-13 18:34:38


When a friend of mine was pregnant her toddler son was hoping for an elephant!

Baby was about 11lbs!

As she said, she did her best!!grin-and ouch!

BackforGood Mon 04-Feb-13 18:36:08

This :

Its a statement of fact. They are not saying 'I don't want this baby if its not healthy' they are just saying that they hope it will be a healthy baby which is totally logical and normal.

feministefatale Mon 04-Feb-13 18:39:37

I think it is an odd way to respond to a question about the sex of a child.

But I don't think hoping your child is healthy and wishing for it can be seen as a problem? I certainly don't think parents who are sad or disappointed that their child is born with long term disabilities or health conditions are bad parents for being sad that their child will have a poorer quality of life/ or be in pain compared to other children.

I give my kids good food and exercise and do all things parents are supposed to do so they will be healthy. I will love them no matter what there is no sliding scale, but if they are ill it certainly won't make me happy! All I wish for them in life is good health and a roof over their heads.

MammaTJ Mon 04-Feb-13 18:53:09

Does 'as long as this one doesn't nearly die on me' sound any better, because that is what I meant by 'as long as it''s healthy, I don't mind'? That was after my DD had come very close to death shortly after being born.

Lollydaydream Mon 04-Feb-13 19:49:04

I agree with illgetmycoat and lightthelamp's posts. It's the as long as bit and I think there is a naivety to the statement. Also, historically, babies with health problems have not always been accepted; this phrase seems like a throw back to that. I don't think people mean that when they say it; it's like other phrases whose initial meaning has been lost.

cory Mon 04-Feb-13 20:25:39

I always assumed that "as long as" bit stood for "I'll be happy". Which seems fair enough to me.

It's got nothing to do with acceptance of the child- I don't have to accept dd's illness and pain in order to accept her.

And fwiw it doesn't seem to have much to do with whether the child has Downs or is on the spectrum either: that doesn't necessarily make you unhealthy (though I know DS is often associated with health problems). When I say healthy I mean precisely that: not ill or in pain.

MamaBear17 Mon 04-Feb-13 20:34:44

When I was pregnant with DD I replied the same way each and every time someone asked that stupid question with:
Either, I just want a baby.

TigerseyeMum Mon 04-Feb-13 20:40:50

If I ever manage to get pregnant I'm going to tell people I'm hoping for a puppy. As I am generally the mad-dog-lady I think they will probably believe me grin

giraffesCantEatNHSPotatoes Tue 05-Feb-13 03:27:31

I say it a lot. When I say healthy I mean alive and breathing! As I have had the alternative. I feel saying "as long as it's not dead who cases" would be a tat blunt, but true! I do get the point you are making, will have a think.

giraffesCantEatNHSPotatoes Tue 05-Feb-13 03:28:21

Oh I am not pregnancy ATM!

Morloth Tue 05-Feb-13 04:42:58

I didn't care whether my babies were boys or girls, but I did care an awful lot that they would be healthy.

So yes, I did 'mind' that they would be healthy, of course that was what I wanted, which I assume is what people are saying.

sashh Tue 05-Feb-13 05:54:16

but now my perspective has changed because I don't have a healthy child.

Has it really? No matter how much you love your child when you were expecting did you hope to have an ill child?

If you get pregnant again will you be hoping for a child who is ill?

You love your child as much healthy or ill but I don't think anyone wants a child who isn't well, until they arrive.

kickassmomma Tue 05-Feb-13 10:08:34

How people have got this idea that I hope for a healthy child just because I dont like the sayin is daft. I never once hoped for an ill no child nor will I ever hope for one.

I am a little strange about sayings like this. I don't like to tempt fate. When I have my next dc I will only have a bed carseat and a few weeks worth of clothes for it. Them I will buy things once it's here. So that if anythin did happen I wouldn't have everything to try and get rid of which emotionally would be too much. Same goes for this saying I would rather hope for a happy and content baby and not tempt fate by saying 'healthy' this in no way means I want a poorly child! I have a very poorly child and it is awful having to cope with it all but. Baby is happy and content and I could ask for more. Her medical problems have made her who she is she is amazing!! My main intention I this post was to see of anyone else felt like the saying was still specifying a certain want. Yes of course everyone wants a healthy baby but when you don't have one it almost feels tempting fate to say 'as long as its healthy' u was also interested in what the thought would be 'if it isn't healthy'

cory Tue 05-Feb-13 10:27:55

I don't suppose we all have the same take on tempting fate; I don't, for one. I know that dd's genetic make-up wouldn't have been changed by anything I said or did during the pregnancy.

BarbarianMum Tue 05-Feb-13 10:43:29

I'm a bit confused by this thread.

I always understood the 'as long' part to refer to the preference in gender question that this is commonly a reply to.

As in 'As long as it's healthy, I don't mind whether it's a girl or boy.'

What sort of person doesn't mind if their baby is unhealthy. Unhealthy isn't the same as disabled. I know quite a few people that don't mind that their child has a disability, others that do, or mind the effect it has on their lives due to other people's fuckwittery. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't mind that their newborn has breathing problems, or a heart condition, or has contracted Strep B at birth.

Am just puzzled, or possibly missing the point.

Kafri Tue 05-Feb-13 10:44:25

When people asked me if I knew what I was having, I always replied 'a baby, I hope'

Having said that, I take the meaning of the OP's phrase to mean healthy as in not poorly which I guess is what we all hope for.

I work with kids with various special needs and disabilities which I love but I (and all my kids parents) consider the little monkeys to be both happy and healthy.

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