Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

On Words, take 2

on May 4, 2014

Tessa is doing much better. She is not home yet, but will be soon.

This story is not about that.

Today, as I signed myself out of the Pediatrics ward, three nurses (none of whom were actually looking after Tessa) were discussing genetic testing.

Nurse #1: Well, my sister is having the tests. She’s older… She just wants to know.
Nurse #2: Yeah, I get that. I just didn’t.
Nurse #3: Well, I couldn’t have a kid like that. That’s just too much. I’m definitely testing someday.

This isn’t a piece about whether I’m for or against testing. It’s not about my feelings about abortion. It’s not meant to be religious or preachy… But it is a little bit about hurt feelings.

So to Nurse #3, a medical professional taking care of sick kids like mine, I just want to say the following:

Hey! Those “kids like that??” The ones you don’t want or can’t deal with? My baby, the one in room three that all you nurses oooh and aaah over… well, she is one of those kids. And I get it, Special Needs are challenging and overwhelming. But look around you. You are a nurse, frequently taking care of children like mine, and I can hear you. I can hear you saying that you’d rather not have a baby than have one like mine. And it hurts my feelings. Not because I think you are a bad person, but because you are caring for my child and you’ve put her into a box of unmanageable people. So please, when you decide to tell the world, in a giant open room filled with strangers, that you can’t deal with kids like mine, know that you are hurting a momma who believes very strongly that her child has a life worth living. You get an opinion. So do I. But a little caring and consideration for those who might have to hear you would go a long way. Because I was in a place I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t just switch to a different website or turn off the TV. Talk to your husband, your family, your girlfriends about it. Make your choice. But when you work, please be more sensitive. Because I love my girl. And I want the rest of the world to know that they can love her, too. She’s not “too much.” Just the way she is, she is perfect.

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15 responses to “On Words, take 2

  1. She is beautiful 💞 I have a son with Down Syndrome that is 11 yrs old. Good luck with your bundle of joy.

  2. That is so unprofessional and disrespectful. Like you say, it doesn’t matter what their opinion is on this, it has no place being aired in a workplace where they are dealing with sick babies and their stressed and worried parents. I’d be inclined to place a complaint about that if I were you. I have dealt with so many amazing nurses, the best being people who dealt with me with respect and care. I know some of them might be thinking something other than what they are saying, but they know it is not their place to air their thoughts. That nurse number 3 needs to be reminded that people have feelings and her personal thoughts are irrelevant and unneeded in that environment. She should know better!

  3. Joanne says:

    Stop stealing my posts! 🙂

    I was going to write about the same thing. It’s amazing what people will say to you, sometimes. I’ve made a vow to stop being nice about it. I find medical professionals are usually quite nice – except for the one geneticist we saw.

    That nurse deserves a taco punch to the throat.

    • Maggie says:

      Hahaha, I’m not sure what a “taco punch” is, but you are right!! 😀 I didn’t want to make a scene in such a quiet place, but I need to pledge to be more forward as well.

  4. Joanne says:

    And, by the way, I want to EAT TESSA’S FACE. She’s so FREAKING cute. Seriously. Delicious.

  5. jenna says:

    Well said! That nurse deserves a talking to and a punch in the face. People need to be mindful of where they are when they are expressing their opinions. I mean if we said whatever we thought in front of our students, I’m pretty sure I’d be out of a job by now.

    Is it just me or is Tessa getting cuter in every picture you post?

  6. I agree that the nurse’s boss deserves to hear about that one. But I’d also like to add that I absolutely love/adore ‘kids like that’! Who on earth would want to speak negatively of a child that God made so special?! Just wait until you see how she wins people over as she gets older!!

    • Maggie says:

      I know! She is a little miracle baby… The fact that she has been born and mostly healthy with her different genes… We are blessed.

  7. Aunt Kelly says:

    You didnt ask for my opinion, but as your sister I’m going to share it anyway. 🙂
    It surprises me a little that you didnt say anything. And I have a feeling (or want this to happen maybe) that as Tessa gets older you’ll have less and less of a filter on this type of thing. I think in that situation it would be ok to politely say sonething like “I can appreciate your opinion, and you are entitled to it. But it is not appropriate to voice these opinions so loudly in a public place, especially one which your work for. Your opinions reflect badly on this hospital. My daughter has DS and she is the light of my life. I can only hope that you will be as blessed as I am to know and love a child like I do my daughter.”
    You’re a rock Mags!

    • Aunt Kelly says:

      Or even just simply that last line about being lucky enough to know/love someone as special as Tessa. That might be enough to make your point.

      • Maggie says:

        Yes, I am still finding myself – with strangers – trying to not make a scene. In this particular case, I think I was just hoping that John didn’t notice (he didn’t) and he would be mortified if I had let the words that I was thinking fly out. He is more “live and let live” about this stuff than I am.

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