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To think my friend is being ridiculous?

(473 Posts)
Galadrielsring Sun 01-Apr-18 12:21:42

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?


opinionatedfreak Sun 01-Apr-18 12:27:55

Can you really not see why she is upset?

Momo27 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:28:57

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

chipsandpeas Sun 01-Apr-18 12:29:09

im divided,
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

peachypetite Sun 01-Apr-18 12:29:56

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

Gizlotsmum Sun 01-Apr-18 12:30:35

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.

ReggaetonLente Sun 01-Apr-18 12:31:43

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.

Idontdowindows Sun 01-Apr-18 12:31:46

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.

UpstartCrow Sun 01-Apr-18 12:31:48

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.

coolwalking Sun 01-Apr-18 12:31:50

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.

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Sun 01-Apr-18 12:31:55

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.

MrsDc7 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:32:02

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

Curious2468 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:33:15

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.

Wildlady Sun 01-Apr-18 12:34:10

I can see why they would be upset. Did you know their little girl has cerebral palsy when you made the comment?

sinceyouask Sun 01-Apr-18 12:34:13

Oh, for God's sake. Hoping your baby is healthy does not mean you do not value people with disabilities.

MorningsEleven Sun 01-Apr-18 12:34:15

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.

Scabetty Sun 01-Apr-18 12:35:05

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.

HanutaQueen Sun 01-Apr-18 12:36:22

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.

t1mum3 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:36:53

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?

LegallyBrunet Sun 01-Apr-18 12:37:02

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

PuppyMonkey Sun 01-Apr-18 12:37:33

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.

Esker Sun 01-Apr-18 12:37:43

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!

PeerieBreeks Sun 01-Apr-18 12:37:55

I think people can be both disabled and healthy - unhealthy and disabled are not synonyms.

kaytee87 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:38:49

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.

Bumpitybumper Sun 01-Apr-18 12:39:13

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.

Nocabbageinmyeye Sun 01-Apr-18 12:39:15

Yanbu at all, I would reply something like

"Firstly I owe nobody a big big apology and I won't be issuing one. I was asked a question and gave a fairly standard answer. There is nothing wrong with wanting a healthy baby, everybody wants health and happiness for everyone that they love, if they don't get it then of course you love that person irrespective of their disability but it is absolutely fine to want the very best, including health, for your children. I won't be issuing an apology"

I think he is a cheeky fucker and stirring shit

PuppyMonkey Sun 01-Apr-18 12:39:34

Saying they don’t think they can be friends with you because of your attitude is totally OTT and ridiculous.

Bluelady Sun 01-Apr-18 12:40:35

You said what everyone in their right mind thinks. Who doesn't want their child to be fit and healthy? I completely agree that their reaction is over sensitive and completely disproportionate. I wouldn't want friends who think the world should walk on eggshells to avoid upsetting them.

80sMum Sun 01-Apr-18 12:41:02


Whilst I can understand that your friend might have felt rather sad after your comment, for her DH to then contact you about it and request an apology is outrageous! I wonder if your friend knows he has contacted you? I suspect she was tearful last night and he just wanted to 'do something about it' so contacted you.

He is in the wrong, not you, OP.

HoppingPavlova Sun 01-Apr-18 12:41:29

YANBU. Surely to goodness everyone hopes/wishes for a healthy baby. That’s not what everyone gets but it’s not hard to understand that’s the aim!

I say this as a parent to a child born with disabilities/defects. I say exactly the same thing to people who are pregnant - ‘as long as it’s healthy/I just hope it’s healthy’ etc. How difficult is this to understand? I find it amazing anyone could take offence at that.

missperegrinespeculiar Sun 01-Apr-18 12:41:48

you were not unreasonable to say it in general, people do, but I think you were unreasonable to say it to her, if you knew

I would apologise

gowernotthegower Sun 01-Apr-18 12:41:56

I would say that you would not love a baby less should he/she be born with an illness / disability; you just do not wish for that to happen - hence hoping for health. Apologise for their offence taken, but just clear up the misunderstanding.

mimibunz Sun 01-Apr-18 12:41:59

I get what they mean, but what a stretch. If I was close to them and loved them I would apologise but I sort of see it as pandering. Are they going to spend the rest of their lives demanding apologies from people who innocently misspoke?

funmummy48 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:42:45

I have a child with Cerebral Palsy & when asked during my second pregnancy, what do you want, I replied "a healthy baby". It's a fairly standard reply to that question and in no way implies that I don't love or value my first child or any other disabled child/adult. Your friend was being very over sensitive, possibly because it's still early days for her with regard to having a disabled child? Parents of disabled children need to grow a thick skin in my experience, although this does take time and in the early years it's easy to misconstrue what people are saying. Please don't beat yourself up about this and if you do reply to the email, be assertive in a gentle manner. I wish you a healthy, happy baby!

SnowiestMountain Sun 01-Apr-18 12:43:40

Eeek, I think that's just an unfortunate situation. You gave a standard response, they're understandably very sensitive about it, they've over reacted massively, but you can kind of see, even if you don't agree with why.

If this were me, even if I didn't agree with the over reaction then I'd try to keep the peace and text something like 'I'm really sorry to have upset you, that absolutely wasn't my intention and I'm sorry if it cake across that way' There can't really be any winners here but no point making a tricky situation worse.

ButchyRestingFace Sun 01-Apr-18 12:43:50


I have a mild variant of CP. I'm disgustingly fucking healthy, thank you very much. Having CP doesn't preclude "being healthy". hmm

If the friend is really that sensitive, maybe she shouldn't ask people a question that has garnered the same bland, predictable response from women for hundreds of years (probably)?

As for this

and that they don’t think they can be friends with someone with my attitude towards disability.

Seems to me that they are the ones who have an "attitude" towards disability.

If you're really concerned about saving the friendship, I'd be inclined to offer an apology-of-sorts, you're sorry she's upset, that wasn't your intention etc, etc.

But if they're this touchy, I think it's only a matter of time before they lose you as a friend anyway - you and countless others.

MorningsEleven Sun 01-Apr-18 12:44:15


Good point

Piffle11 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:44:26

I can see where they are coming from, but think that they are massively overreacting. A little word from your friend would have been better: now they've blown it up into a 'How can we still be friends with you?' argument. I have a DS with severe learning difficulties, and if someone said what you said in front of me I wouldn't have thought anything of it, and certainly wouldn't be accusing a friend of being prejudiced against disabled people! It's up to you how you react to their accusation, but it would certainly leave a bad taste in my mouth if I were you: they are supposed to be your friends and they think this badly of you?

HouseworkIsASin10 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:44:32

Yanbu. Total overreaction.

What are you supposed to say? It's a standard response
Take no notice, you have done nothing wrong.

SnowiestMountain Sun 01-Apr-18 12:45:10

If it came across that way, nothing to do with cake! 🙄

TheJoyOfSox Sun 01-Apr-18 12:46:07

Their child’s ill health is not your fault.

You wishing for a healthy baby did not cause their problems.

They are being ridiculous to email you for expressing your honest answer to a question.

Did they really expect you to say I don’t mind what I have and if it has cerebral palsy that’s just a bonus!

Don’t make their problems your own, you were asked what you wanted, you answered. If they want to be rude and arsey, that’s their choice, but for me their attitude would be enough to put an end to the friendship.

They shouldn’t have emailed you, that was rude and uncalled for. You answered honestly.

Xeneth88 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:47:14

It was a stupid thing to say to her and you should definitely apologise. Yes its a standard answer but you know their daughter is disabled and should have thought before you spoke. Not unreasonable in every situation but in this one yabu.

Xenadog Sun 01-Apr-18 12:47:24

I see why the friend was upset but had I been in their shoes I’d have felt sad but realised what you said wasn’t a slight or intended to hurt, it’s just a stock response.

The fact that they have felt the need to let you know how upset your friend has been suggests you won’t get anywhere by responding. Your friend her husband are obviously feeling super sensitive. If you do want to say something I’d go down the route of, “I’m really sorry you feel upset. I gave you a standard/mundane response to the question you asked. I didn’t think it would upset you but as I clearly did, I am sorry.”

I’d leave it at that and see what they come back with. I actually feel for them but they have to realise that what you said wasn’t meant to hurt. Btw I used your response every time people asked me what I wanted when I was pregnant. It’s a bloody stupid question.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 01-Apr-18 12:47:49

Well, now you know you have a friend who is not coping with the very day realities of parenting a disabled child. You also know that her husband is fiercely protective of his wife and child.

You didn't say anything wrong. They have overreacted but have understandable reasons to have done so.

All of which leaves you with a choice:
1. Be right... don't apologise.
2. Apologise for having been thoughtless

Whichever choice you make you will need to step back from them. You have popped your head above their parapet. It isn't unlikely that anything you do now won't change their minds and you will always be 'that woman'. Sadly, when your child is born healthy they may also see that as a personal judgment on them and their child.

So, for your own sake as well as theirs, take a step back and let them approach you in the future. I'd also explain to your friendship group that whilst you feel awful for having offended them, you really don't want to have to apologise for hoping your own child is healthy!

SecretBum Sun 01-Apr-18 12:47:49

I would try and be the bigger person and not point out how utterly OTT and ridiculous their reaction is but I'd not fall over myself apologising either - it sounds like they're already poised to cut you out anyway.

I'd reply:

Hi X,
It was just a throwaway comment and not intended to offend. I would imagine most expectant parents wish for their baby to be healthy and this in no way means anything derogatory to those with disabilities.
I'm sorry if my comment offended you and hope we can move on from this.

Or similar.

Georgina125 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:48:13

It seems a little bit of an over-reaction on their part and, if they know you properly, they must know you would never be offensive about their child. But understandably they may be quite sensitive about comments like that. I would go with a simple apology- "sorry, my reply was never meant to be interpreted that way, I certainly would never devalue the life of any child". Then leave it up to them. I wouldn't grovel or feel bad about yourself because many people would have replied in the same way.

Raffles1981 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:48:20

Nocabbageinmyeye - well said. He is just stirring. You are pregnant and she makes a throwaway comment all about her? hmm sorry but it's an overreaction. If I had a quid for every time someone said that to me when pregnant, I'd be in Venice for the summer, with a built in babysitter. YANBU

LashingsOfHamAndGingerBeer Sun 01-Apr-18 12:48:31

They have been very oversensitive, to the extent that they seem to have believed your comment was almost directed at their circumstances, which it obviously wasn't. I think perhaps you could have been nore thoughtful with your word choices, simply because your friend was there but you also shouldn't feel bad about it and certainly don't owe them a big, big apology. I would reply to say that you did not intend to cause any hurt or offence, that of course you hope your baby will be healthy because everyone does but that that doesn't mean you would love or value him or her any less if they were born with a disability. I would say that you are hurt and confused yourself that she could believe you to be anti-disability, that you wish nothing but the very best for her and her DDs and that you would hope that they wish the same for you.

JaniceBattersby Sun 01-Apr-18 12:50:54

They are being fucking ridiculous, but hey, people are sometimes. If you want to remain friends with them then I’d probably give them a mild apology “I’m sorry about your little girl / boy. Of course I’d love any baby I had, healthy or otherwise. I hope you’re feeling better this morning”

If you don’t want to be friends anymore then I’d probably just ignore.

What a bloody palaver though. My friends say things all the time that make me bristle a bit but I don’t start issuing bloody ultimatums to them because they’re my friends.

LannieDuck Sun 01-Apr-18 12:51:45

If you knew that the person asking had a disabled child, then your answer could be taken as a very pointed comment about their child. I'm sure you didn't intend it as such, but I can see why it might hurt them. In that circumstance, I would apologise.

If you didn't know that they had a disabled child, or if the parents weren't the ones you asked, and just happened to overhear your comment to someone else, then I think they're over-reacting.

YourWanMajella Sun 01-Apr-18 12:52:30

They probably said the exact same thing. He's being a total dick.

whichwayisitnow Sun 01-Apr-18 12:53:22

While I appreciate your friend's point of view, this is as silly as someone objecting to you saying that you hope a friend with cancer will get better, when you happen to be talking with a group of people, one of whom knows someone who died of it.

Of course you want a healthy baby.

DeathStare Sun 01-Apr-18 12:53:28

I'd phone your friend up and say you are sorry that you upset her, but of course you hope that your baby is healthy and that you are sure that when she was pregnant she also hoped that her baby would be healthy. That doesn't mean that if your baby was unhealthy and had a disability that you wouldn't love them, because of course you would love them and you would still be very glad you'd had them. Maybe say something about how much you love her daughter and how you just hope that your baby - healthy or unhealthy - is just as happy as she is.

Birdsgottafly Sun 01-Apr-18 12:53:33

Well some Cultures etc favour Boys, because they are thought to be more valuable than Girls.

So some people with children with disabilities see saying what you did means that a healthy child is worth more than a disabled one.

With the way our Society is going and the reduction in benefits and rights for disabled people, many Parents of disabled children are scared. A comment such as yours intensifies things.

Would you still want your baby if a condition showed up, or would you have a late abortion? That answers your question.

Some people don't screen for Downs because they wouldn't end their pregnancy. So they just want a baby, not just a healthy one.

There isn't the appreciation what Parents of disabled children go through and how every day they can come across something that shows Society's opinion of their child.

It was an ill thought out comment and i think you should speak to them. It might increase your knowledge and understanding, which is only a good thing.

ProperLavs Sun 01-Apr-18 12:53:47

OP I am absolutely sure that when the woman was pregnant both her and her husband were hoping for a healthy baby.
Everyone wishes for a healthy baby.
Does anyone wish for a baby with disabilities?
I can understand why they were upset, They are upset because they have to face all the challenges of a daughter with CP, not because you wish for a healthy baby.

ItsAllABitStrangeReally Sun 01-Apr-18 12:54:17

Oh ffs.

Everyone wants a healthy baby, no one sits there with their fingers crossed over their bump hoping their child will be born with lifelong problems.

If it happens then of course they're still wanted and loved. And we deal with that situation, but that doesn't mean we want that for them.or hope during our pregnancy that things will be different.

I say that as the parent of 2 children who have disabilities and will need lifelong care.

Zeelove Sun 01-Apr-18 12:54:19

As long as it's healthy you will be happy. Of course you won't be happy if your baby has a disability. You don't owe anyone an apology. They are being ridiculous.

Bluntness100 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:54:27

Two sides obviously to this, of course it was insensitive to say it in front of the parents of a disabled child. Of course no one wishes for an unhealthy baby.

They have massively over reacted, but it could be due to stress. I would reply and say " it was really not my intent to in any way invalidate your beautiful daughter, please don't take it that way" and leave it there.

LML83 Sun 01-Apr-18 12:55:17

You have not done anything wrong but i would feel bad if I had hurt my friend even if it wasn't intentional.

I would apologise for the upset and a few compliments about their child and their parenting. It's a friend she is being unreasonable but more important than that she is struggling and upset.

Sprinklesinmyelbow Sun 01-Apr-18 12:56:19

I think they’re being unreasonable and unfair.

lljkk Sun 01-Apr-18 12:56:21

I don't think you said anything wrong, OP.
They are inferring all kinds of things from what you said, it's called projection. (happens a LOT on MN!).

I'd probably grovel & apologise in all the ways suggested here to keep the piece ... and avoid them in future where possible. Treat them like kryptonite.

ProperLavs Sun 01-Apr-18 12:56:50

Some people don't screen for Downs because they wouldn't end their pregnancy. So they just want a baby, not just a healthy one.
That is quite true , however, I bet you each one of those women would have a preference for a healthy child none the less.

MacaroniPenguin Sun 01-Apr-18 13:00:46

I think a real conversation is the only way to fix this.

Over-reaction, misunderstanding, mis-construing or not, your friend thinks that you have said something really hurtful about her child. Entrenching in the position that you said nothing hurtful, it's her problem and her DH is being a shit stirrer will do nothing to fix this friendship.

lalalalyra Sun 01-Apr-18 13:01:02

I think that's a ridiculous over-reaction. My youngest has significant disabilities and health conditions. I'd totally understand anyone hoping their child was born healthy. I hope the babies of other people I know are born healthy. No-one ever thinks "Oh I hope my baby has the pain, and needs the operations, that Lala's baby has" ffs.

If you want to stay friends with them then I'd issue a "sorry you were offended" apology, but if that's par for the course with them then you'll end up having to apologise a lot over the years each time they take offence.

Ohyesiam Sun 01-Apr-18 13:01:59

When people say they are hoping for a healthy baby, they are not saying they discount babies with disabilities.
They are saying that they hope not to have a life of worry and stress, fighting for their children’s right to services, going on endless consultants appointments, fighting decisions made about education, struggling financially, worrying about meeting their needs, and about who will care for their child when they die.
I can see how the grief and stress would cause your friends to be hyper sensitive, BUT they are being myopic to not see that you were not insulting them. And that is one of the many problems of having what are commonly thought of as life tragedies. You have to keep on and on being the bigger person, rising to the challenges, hearing things you don’t want to hear, sometimes because it’s the truth, sometimes because people are ignorant , or just make mistakes. Your friends will infortumately hear much much worse from health care professionals that’s for certain. The ignorance there is staggering.

So it’s tricky, on lots of ways you have nothing to apologise for, and yet I would try and find enough love in my heart to respond well to my them, because they are carrying the biggest burden here.

Congrats on your pregnancy.

MargoChanning Sun 01-Apr-18 13:02:52

I'm disabled. My daughter has cerebral palsy. I would have no problem with your comment. You are not saying you hate disabled children or that you would love a disabled child any less, you were using a bog standard response when asked about your baby. My daughter spent two months on a neonatal unit alongside other sick and premature babies. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. (She's doing really well now).

Your friends are being very oversensitive and although I have sympathy and compassion for them, I do think it's unfair for them to upset and cause you stress whilst you are pregnant. I think they are probably upset about their child and directing it at you. Please don't internalise their distress. Instead, recognise that they are coming from a place of pain and whatever you chose to do now, be gentle, show compassion and don't take their comments personally.

I too wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy and baby thanks

chocatoo Sun 01-Apr-18 13:04:17

They are being overly sensitive. Their response to you is completely OTT and when they pause to think sensibly, I reckon they will realise so - you just gave a standard response.
I would send a very brief message saying 'sorry didn't mean to offend, was just a standard response.' They are going to have develop coping methods to deal with a lot worse.

AnnieAnoniMouser Sun 01-Apr-18 13:04:27

It used to be a very stock answer and of course people hope for a healthy baby.

However, years ago on MN a woman posted about how every time she heard that, she felt her very disabled child wasn’t ‘good enough’. She said she totally understood that wasn’t anyone’s intention, but it crushed her all the same. Her words, her emotions, have never left me and I think of her everytime I hear it said.

It’s easy enough to avoid saying it, so I think it’s better not to.

You clearly didn’t mean to upset her and in an ideal word she would have taken it as you meant it. Her DH has gone well over the top with what he said to you, but I’d try to be the bigger person here. I’d send her some flowers and a letter, just be open & honest. Tell her you adore her DD (if you do), tell her you care about her (if you do) and that your there for them to talk to (if you are) and to help practically (if you can). TRY to see it as an opportunity to let them know you’re there for them.

Life is hard for them, this isn’t how they imagined their family & their future, try to make it a little bit better for them 💐

LotsToThinkOf Sun 01-Apr-18 13:05:02

But their child isn't unhealthy, their child is alive. Their child has a disability - you wished for a healthy child, you didn't wish for a child without a disability. You also didn't say you'd love it more if it had good health and no disabilities. They are massively overreacting and I don't think there's anything you can say that they'll be satisfied with.

I think this is the tip of the iceberg- what else are you not going to be able to say? I'd send an apology which included the above information, I'd make a clear differentiation between their situation and yours and then I'd avoid them for the rest of my life.

YANBU, there is nothing wrong with wishing for the good health of your child.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 01-Apr-18 13:05:59

Massive or reaction, of course we all want healthy babies, sometimes reality is different. I have a dd with Moderate ASD, leRning difficulties, developmental delays. The comment would go right over my head. I would apologise and just distance myself from them.

Gide Sun 01-Apr-18 13:06:11

Firstly I owe nobody a big big apology and I won't be issuing one. I was asked a question and gave a fairly standard answer. There is nothing wrong with wanting a healthy baby, everybody wants health and happiness for everyone that they love, if they don't get it then of course you love that person irrespective of their disability but it is absolutely fine to want the very best, including health, for your children. I won't be issuing an apology

Perfect answer, IMO.

“I’m sorry about your little girl/boy

Yikes, don’t say this!

PlowerOfScotland Sun 01-Apr-18 13:06:23

Other than one virtue signalling muppet (on Mumsnet no less) who claimed to have hoped for a disabled child no one would ever wish for anything other than healthy.

Yes, we'd love our children regardless, and no we wouldn't change them for the world, but the husband and wife sound crackers.

I hope your pregnancy is happy, healthy and uneventful.

BlankTimes Sun 01-Apr-18 13:06:38

Did you know their child is disabled at the time you said it ? Have you directly spoken to them in the past about how hard they are finding life with a disabled child?

If so, you could have been more tactful as they've taken it (wrongly) that you said 'I don't want a child like yours'
If that's the case, I'd apologise but also qualify that you used a standard phrase that's pretty common without thinking of their situation at all. It's akin to saying 'fine thanks and you?' to the question of 'How are you?' without checking everyone within earshot and sight are not disabled. Poor example though, hope you get the gist.

If you didn't know their child is disabled, then it's even more fine to say what you said. Reply and say you didn't know, so it couldn't possibly have been a slight to them.

The dad who emailed you did it from being very hurt and seeing his wife even more so, it's part of having a disabled kid, most days everything's a struggle and people can and do say insensitive things which slip through your usually tougher than a rhino skin and it does pierce the heart, even when it's not intended to. Of course, it won't be just what you said, it will be a culmination of all sorts of ways her daughter's been in her eyes belittled and denigrated by everyone with "normal" children since the last time it hurt her so much.

MacaroniPenguin Sun 01-Apr-18 13:06:44

however, I bet you each one of those women would have a preference for a healthy child none the less.

That doesn't mean they would say to parents of a child with Down syndrome that they hope their child doesn't have Down syndrome. Which is tantamount to what the friend thinks OP has done.

abigailsnan Sun 01-Apr-18 13:08:28

I think every expectant parent says the same at some point and I would have imagined your friend uttered those words when she first found out she was expecting apologise and say the words have been taken in the wrong context and I'm sure they will understand how it just tripped off your tongue.

ProperLavs Sun 01-Apr-18 13:08:44

macaroni I agree, but she didn't, she just wanted a healthy child like every other parent on this planet.

ButchyRestingFace Sun 01-Apr-18 13:09:04

That doesn't mean they would say to parents of a child with Down syndrome that they hope their child doesn't have Down syndrome. Which is tantamount to what the friend thinks OP has done.

Except that she didn't say anything like that. And nor, to be fair, did the friend say that she thought that.

OP received a shitty text from friend's shit stirring husband, and friend may not even know, far less approve, of him sending it.

BarbarianMum Sun 01-Apr-18 13:09:46

Ultimately, you get the baby you're given. I've never known anyone hope for an unhealthy child though, or a disabled one for that matter. Illness or disability doesn't detract from a person's worth but it can affect quality (and quantity) of life, so why would you hope for that?

Coco134 Sun 01-Apr-18 13:09:47

I think you were insensitive and inconsiderate to say it in front of them when they clearly have a daughter with CP but there over reacting.

I’d just reply saying you didn’t mean to cause any offence and leave it as that.

Makingdinner Sun 01-Apr-18 13:09:48

They're over reacting. I assume They did not wish for an unhealthy baby?

It's just something everyone says. Not everyone gets it but it doesn't make the children who are not in perfect health any less special or wanted. Nobody wants their child to be poorly do they!

I'm not sure how I'd respond to be honest.

KoshaMangsho Sun 01-Apr-18 13:10:28

What about:
I am sorry if my comment offended you. As you know, it wasn’t intended to suggest anything about your daughter (NAME) because to me she is indeed healthy and beautiful. I hope you also know/realise that if my child turned out to have disabilities they would not be any less loved or welcome. I am sorry you feel that my comment was directed at X but it wasn’t. I hope you can see past this but if you can’t I would be sorry to lose your friendship.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Sun 01-Apr-18 13:11:55

They’re being really over sensitive and making it all about them. I wouldn’t be apologizing for wishing what every parent wishes for their child, but I would say they have taken it the wrong way.

Besides, disability is not synonymous with being unhealthy.

KoshaMangsho Sun 01-Apr-18 13:12:20

It raises the question of whether a child with Down’s syndrome is ‘unhealthy’? Many would argue that they are not, right?

The husband is also implying that you would consider a child with disabilities to be ‘lesser’ in your eyes which is equally offensive.

ButchyRestingFace Sun 01-Apr-18 13:13:31

It raises the question of whether a child with Down’s syndrome is ‘unhealthy’? Many would argue that they are not, right?

Perfectly possible to have DS or CP and be healthy.

It was the husband who conflated having CP with being unhealthy, not OP.

DragonMummy1418 Sun 01-Apr-18 13:14:12

I can see why she might be upset but at the same time she has to know that this is a typical saying and you didn't mean anything by it and she will undoubtably come across people with much meaner comments so she needs to grow a thicker skin.
I'd ignore the email, pretend you didn't get it.

haverhill Sun 01-Apr-18 13:16:19

Yanbu. Your answer was the standard one to the question. I feel he is over-reacting.

Makingdinner Sun 01-Apr-18 13:17:39

kosha I wouldn't consider having downs syndrome as beinh unhealthy no. The child might have different needs but in my head it doesn't equal beinh unhealthy.

To a pp I did have the downs syndrome screening - i would never have ended the pregnancy but I would have been more prepared if the baby had downs syndrome (or a higher chance)

Shampaincharly Sun 01-Apr-18 13:19:56

I think you gave the answer that most expectant parents would give.
An exception to this are friends who had several miscarriages and were desperate to have any baby .

Hedger Sun 01-Apr-18 13:20:01

Were they being over sensitive? Yes. Should you apologise? Absolutely. Because she has clearly been upset by what you said and if you can do the slightest thing to make her feel better you should - because her life is probably immeasurably harder than you could possibly imagine. Don’t expect her to be reasonable - what life has thrown at her is utterly unreasonable and if she overreacts then who can blame her.

Don’t try to work out who was in the wrong - just focus on what you can do to make her a little happier and her a load a little lighter - i.e., apologise.

GeminiWarrior Sun 01-Apr-18 13:22:20

My daughter had meningitis when born. I wouldn’t be angry if anyone said they wished for a healthy baby. Of course they’re going to wish for a easy/happy/no hassle time and not the hell I went through.

She is being over sensitive

FabulouslyFab Sun 01-Apr-18 13:22:22

Yanbu. What are they going to throw at you when your baby is born healthy? Are they going to take that as a personal dig as well?
Ignore them and move on. You are pregnant and don’t need this stress. flowers

FancyNewBeesly Sun 01-Apr-18 13:22:40

You’ve upset her - yes, she’s being sensitive. You would be too. Think a little more carefully before you say things like that and consider who you’re saying them too. Being a parent of a disabled child is heartbreaking.

TheFirstMrsDV Sun 01-Apr-18 13:23:14

The friend has every right to be upset and those saying you can be healthy and have CP are missing the point.
As it happens the majority of babies with CP have a lot of health issues which may or may not resolve as the develop. But again that is not really the point.

I can understand you being bemused and upset yourself . I don't think you did anything wrong. It may be that your friend doesn't know about the email.
She might not want you held accountable for your comment but still needed to let out her grief.

I don't think you need to grovel. It would be a nice gesture to acknowledge her upset and make sure they know it was not intentional.

Aridane Sun 01-Apr-18 13:24:35

You were insensitive, they were over sensitive.

Obviously DON’T send th e cabbage draft of I did nothing wrong I’m not issuing an apology (well, unless you’re a cunt). And don’t do the SORRY IF YOU WERE OFFENDED faux apology - that’s so insulting, better to be silent than do that

Oddcat Sun 01-Apr-18 13:27:09

I wouldn't reply , they are over reacting . If you said you were hoping for a boy would that then offend all those that have girls ?

Lacucuracha Sun 01-Apr-18 13:27:47

No, I wouldn't apologise.

You did nothing wrong. Everyone wishes for a healthy baby, and yours hasn't even been born yet.

They are hurting but they shouldn't take the hurt out on you.

I suspect the friendship is finished anyway.

I would either not reply or gave DH call the husband and tell him off for upsetting his pregnant wife.

Chrys2017 Sun 01-Apr-18 13:29:19

Ridiculous. I would be tempted to ditch these friends. Do you really want to be walking on eggshells every time you see them in fear of saying the "wrong" thing?

Takeaweeseat Sun 01-Apr-18 13:29:37

My god, how did we get to this? How can it even be possible to offend someone just because you wish for a healthy babyconfused.


Think a little more carefully before you say things like that
No, OP said nothing wrong.

peacheachpearplum Sun 01-Apr-18 13:30:21

I got pulled up about this once. The person said to me that if I'd said I hope the baby is healthy it would be OK because why wouldn't I? By saying "as long as it's healthy" makes it more of a condition not a wish. I probably have lost of some that in translation but I hope you see why I mean.

I think it is pretty obvious you didn't mean to offend but now you know this is something very sensitive so I would, and did, apologise for any offense.

ButchyRestingFace Sun 01-Apr-18 13:33:20

My god, how did we get to this? How can it even be possible to offend someone just because you wish for a healthy babyconfused.

And not only that, but this is the stock response that women have been trotting out since the year of the short corn.

It is a totally predictable response.

If you were truly that sensitive, you wouldn't go around asking questions that you could easily predict a response you know is going to "trigger" you.

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