>People think they can ask new moms that question, especially if the baby isn’t the firstborn. If the child is the newcomer to a large family (define large at any number you wish), folks might ask that with a laugh or with a semi-serious “how could you have more than the statistical average?” attitude. Either way, it’s what the late Ann Landers would have called an MYOB — a Mind Your Own Business.
When there’s a disability in the mix, the questions and the disapproval grow exponentially.
I am hearing impaired. It may or may not be genetic; I don’t know. There is no medical indication of the precise cause. I focus on treatment: hearing aids, training in lipreading, and the like. Most important, being hearing impaired doesn’t disqualify me from bearing children or raising them.
My 15-year-old son, “Amigo”, is blind and is on the autism spectrum. His vision impairment is genetic. Both Husband and I carry the gene for this autosomal recessive condition. No, we didn’t know it, but it’s really nobody’s business but ours. Our daughter, “La Petite”, may or may not be a carrier of this trait. It will only matter if the man she marries is also a carrier. Given that there is no test at this time (although there is a study in progress), she might never know. Should she have children, knowing that they might be blind? MYOB, turkeys. She’ll make that decision. she knows more than anyone what it means to live with a blind person.
So…will you be having any more children? Or the other question: since you know your children might be disabled, will you have any more? Most of the time, I greeted that question with a blank stare. It really didn’t deserve an answer. A business-style card that says, “Mind your own blankety blank business” would have been handy.
Well, new moms and moms-to-be, if you get that intrusive question, don’t you wish you could just hand them this? Then you won’t have to answer. Your questioners didn’t deserve your time, anyway.
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