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?
Was a bit tactless considering you knew her child.
Hi and thanks for the support.
Can I just ask for no one else to post as I’d rather this thread just went away rather than keep being pulled into active.
Just seen the update- glad all is well with you and your friend!
Yanbu. I got asked that question so many times I responded like you almost automatically. (What do people expect you to say when they ask that? "I only want a boy - if it's a girl I'll put her up for adoption"??).
My brother had CP and when anyone is pregnant my mum says "as long as it's healthy" over and over like some sort of mantra. Because she knows what it's like to have a baby with disabilities and to watch them suffer. Not invalidating my DBs life - but it is clear his life would have been a lot bloody better if he had been born without CP.
Of course everyone wants a healthy baby - it's ridiculous to expect anyone to say otherwise.
Still - as others have said I'd still send a very sympathetic response, because she's upset and she's your friend and she's clearly having a tough time.
Glug44 Really? Why would anyone be offended by the wish for a healthy baby? Why on earth would anyone not wish for that? We can love disabled people but hate their condition.
OP knew the friend had a disabled baby and made the comment anyway. That is on a par with some of the worst things said to be about my infertility.
Sorry I realise now I’ve come to the thread late. And seen the update.
If they were that sensitive about the answer then they shouldn’t have asked such a loaded question !
Yours was a stock answer. She obviously knows that. She was looking for a fight for whatever reason. She possibly feels bitter towards pregnant women because of what happened to her.
I agree, @stayathomegardener because people are posting having only read the thread title. The friend wasn't upset with the OP at all.
She’s being way too sensitive, everyone wants a healthy baby.
Well done for resolving it and thanks for the update but really, ask HQ to take this thread down as I imagine if your friend is even a little bit upset regarding you posting her DH will now turn everything round to this to deflect from his email.
@talimom500 read the thread! The friend had nothing to do with the email and was very angry with her husband about it. He was blaming the OP for the row they'd had, it was a drunken rant.
My career is working with people with disabilities, and I can honestly say that I love and value each and every one of them AS INDIVIDUALS. That said, I think this whole scenario is crazy. I've never known a parent of a child with a disability that finds "healthy" to be an offensive term or an unacceptable wish. Your reply didn't reference their daughter in any way, you didn't say, "well not a kid like theirs", and the fact that the mom heard it that way says a lot more about her than it does about you. If she sees every healthy child as "invalidating" her own daughter, I think that's quite concerning. I really feel that they are not very good friends and should probably be apologizing to you for sending such a spiteful and unsupportive email at a time that's supposed to be special to you.
As an AN mum I wouldn't have been offended BUT if I'd had a bad day, significant difficult situations etc and poss too much to drink then I may have reacted the same way (crying all night!). However I wouldn't want or need an apology the next morning!
mommy2018 Your kids sound very brave. I hope that when your daughter can have surgery that it helps her as much as it has her brother. Hopefully they both continue to avoid any of the more extreme ends of the condition.
@quack not at all. My son was able to have an operation a year ago to correct the physical disability and while it's no cure and will eventually return but it has reduced his pain to non exsistant (as long as he doesn't exert himself). We have a few years to wait before youngest can have the operation as at her age (5) it could cause more issues or not help at all.
They have a chromosome duplication that I passed to them unknowingly. It has many things connected to it but it's quite rare, so unknown who will get which conditions. I am non symptamatically for example but the eldest and youngest both have congenital Lympoedema, heart murmurs, gdd, and possible Adhd in youngest. With the exception of the 1st these are the fairly "easy" conditions and so far have been lucky as there are links to abdominal tumours, cardiac defects and obesity.
It was harder in the beginning with my son as nobody had any idea what was happening just that he was poorly. It wasn't until my youngest was born (and genetic blood testing was done automatically) that we found the answers) and with answers came a much "easier" life for all of us.
So it’s insensitive to say you want a healthy baby, but NOT insensitive to ask whether you’d prefer one sex over the other.
Imagine if you had answered that you’d prefer one sex over the other? Cue all parents of the non-preferred sex texting you to call you insensitive.
Except that the friend herself wasn't upset by the OP's comment, it was her dickhead of a husband. He's come very close to sabotaging the very good friendship his wife has with the OP. Thankfully it looks like he hasn't succeeded.
FFS I think they have taken something to heart that was in no way directed toward them or their daughter. No one wishes or hopes for a child with disabilities or health problems, it doesn't mean they aren't very loved when they arrive. I would explain to them it was a standard reply to a standard question and in no way related to them or their daughter but you are sorry if they felt offended as that was never your intent.
mommy2018 oh god that’s awful. Your poor son. It must have hurt you both so much. I hope all your children are coping well, and yourself. I won’t pry but I won’t wish things to be better incase that isn’t possible. I hope that doesn’t sound horrible.
2 of my kids were born with disabilities and I almost lost the eldest hours after the birth. It didn't stop me from saying "I don't care I just want them to be healthy." And it certainly didn't invalidate my eldests life, in fact he actually told me he was worried that 1 of his sister's (the next eldest) would be like him "cos it's really hard and hurts"
Of course I love all my kids the same amount but I did mourn the loss of certain things when my youngest was born and diagnosed with the same condition as her brother, (he burst into tears when we told him 😢). You have done nothing wrong and I think no matter what you say they will take offense at, so I would simply leave it at, "I am sorry if you misunderstood my meaning and this caused you to get upset"
That kind of thing would mark the beginning of a phase out for me.
So what next? You can’t be happy when your baby reaches any milestone that their child hasn’t reached?
We have two (differently) disabled children within our friendship group - if we got offended about comments like that, we wouldn’t be able to mention the children at all!
That was to Lizzie.
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