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To think my friend is being ridiculous?(473 Posts)
I’m 15 weeks pregnant.
Was at a party last night and chatting to friends and was asked if I wanted a boy or girl. Replied that I didn’t mind as long as it was healthy. Carried on the night having a laugh and joke as we usually do.
Woke up this morning to a massive long email from one of the friends husbands, the jist of it saying I’m hugely insensitive and have really upset my friend who has been in tears all night, as by saying that I only want a healthy baby invalidates their daughters (who had cerebral palsy) life, that I owe them a ‘big big apology’ and that they don’t think they can be friends with someone with my attitude towards disability.
I’m struggling to see what I did wrong here. Surely everyone wishes for a healthy baby?
I don’t know whether to reply or just leave it as 1) I don’t think I have to explain myself and 2)if such a casual comment, one I’m sure everyone has possibly thought, can upset her then surely anything else I have to say could go the same way.
Is there something I’m missing? Was I in the wrong?
Can you really not see why she is upset?
It’s always such an inane thing when people ask if you want a boy or girl. But I always used to say ‘I just want a baby.’ I think while everyone would hope that their baby is born healthy, the reality is that not all are
on the one hand i think she slightly overreacted, however the whole i dont mind what it is as long as its healthy is a bit dumb saying, like you dont want the baby if its not healthy, and slightly insensitive knowing your friend has a child with a diasability/illness
It was insensitive to say healthy given the context of your friend's daughter. You could have just said you didn't mind or wanted it to be a surprise
Actually I can see their point, but they are being a bit sensitive understandably.
In their eyes you said you wouldn’t want a child like their daughter. Yes everyone does say it (and mean it) but if you knew about their daughter it might have been tactful to just say you didn’t mind which sex you ended up with.
However they have been over sensitive to take it so personally.
I would apologise for any offence they took from what you said as you genuinely didn’t mean it how they have taken it.
Ah it’s tricky. I think the ‘as long as it’s healthy’ response is quite a normal and expected one, and most take it in the spirit it’s meant - that the baby’s sex is not the most important concern - but I understand why that would hurt to hear if your own child wasn’t healthy, and likely never would be.
I’d reply saying I was sorry, explaining that I never meant to hurt them and that I think the world of their little girl.
So saying you'd like a healthy baby (which is not an order but a wish) now invalidates the lives of every unhealthy baby ever born?
Cause, you know, it's sort of what you wish for, a healthy baby. Sometimes you don't get your wish, and that is shit, but it doesn't mean other people are now no longer allowed to wish for healthy babies.
Yanbu. Its ridiculous to ask if you have a sex preference, for one thing there are sex-linked diseases. And no one would wish for a disabled child. You haven't invalidated anyone.
YANBU. would anyone hope for a baby with disabilities?
Under the circumstances I would reply that it was a throwaway comment, you feel terrible that your friend is upset and offer to meet them and clear the air. If they don't respond favourably then leave them to be upset. I hope you can sort it out.
I think what you said was a totally normal response to the question you were asked. I've responded that way lots of times. But clearly your friend, for obvious reasons, has heightened sensitivity. I wouldn't feel bad about what you said, but would apologise as she is hurt.
Bit insensitive given the situation but massive over reaction to be in tears all night over it. I would assume your friend knows you and realises you aren't trying to say their child shouldn't exist
Honestly they are being over sensitive as what you said is a really really common response to 'what are you hoping for?'. However.... this is clearly a sore spot for them and the decent thing to do would be to apologise and explain you didn't mean any offence and are mortified they think you are implying their disabled child is worth less. Yanbu but the right thing to do would be to apologise anyway.
I can see why they would be upset. Did you know their little girl has cerebral palsy when you made the comment?
Oh, for God's sake. Hoping your baby is healthy does not mean you do not value people with disabilities.
Don't reply. It's obvious you weren't trying to offend. I don't think you can win in this situation so I'd step back and let it go. You don't need the stress.
FWIW one of my kids has hugely debilitating mental health issues and special needs but I would never take offence at someone wanting a normal, happy child.
I think it’s the standard reply but if I was aware of her situation I wouldn’t have used healthy. Apologise for unintentional comment and assure them your child will be loved regardless, as is theirs.
Overreaction from her. Massively. And she probably knows it too underneath because when it comes down to it when she was pregnant I bet she didn't sit and wish specifically for a disabled child either. Everyone hopes for their children to be happy and healthy. It doesn't mean you love them less if they have challenges or disabilities.
It is quite an ableist thing to say although also quite a normal thing to say. If I were in your shoes, I would apologise for using an expression which you now see is actually quite offensive, that you will be much more careful in future, etc. I’d also say how gorgeous you think their baby is (ie not how brave they are, etc etc, just find something lovely to say about their baby as a person). Of course you didn’t mean to upset her but you must see that society’s view that children with differences are less desirable is quite upsetting?
I think she overreacted and is being over sensitive. My little brother has severe cerebral palsy and we absolutely adore him but it’s not something anyone would wish for because it’s bloody hard and emotionally draining
God, that’s just the standard response to deflect intrusive questions like that isn’t it? Just email him back saying this and you’re so sorry it caused offence, that wasn’t the intention at all.
They have misunderstood what you meant and blown it out of proportion. However in the interests of the friendship I would just apologise massively and explain that that's not what you meant.
In sensitive situations people can jus massively over interpret things, reading hurtful meanings into innocuous comments when there's no harm meant at all.
FWIW my first son has serious medical issues and has spent most of his life so far in hospital. I'm expecting no2 soon and all I want is a healthy baby!!! That's no insult to my son, I just don't want another child to have to go through the struggles that he has had to face!
I think people can be both disabled and healthy - unhealthy and disabled are not synonyms.
If you value the friendship then just apologise anyway as it's obviously upset her.
Just say you're sorry for using the expression as you didn't realise before now that it could be offensive.
YANBU, it just sounds a bit of an unfortunate situation.
Did they honestly wish for a child with cerebral palsy before they got pregnant? I doubt very much that they did. It is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of to want a healthy baby. Of course saying it to a parent with a disabled child isn't ideal, but I would hope that they could see that you weren't commenting on or judging their DD. If you had responded differently to the question and said you wanted a boy, would they have seen that as a slight on their DD?
I think if they were going to be that sensitive to the standard response, then they shouldn't have asked you the question.