Monday, October 25, 2010

For Once I was Speechless...

James David, my mother, and I all went to Wal-Mart today just to pick up a few things. I was looking at sheets in the baby center and I over heard my mother talking to some ladies about James David. They saw his shunt and were asking what was wrong with him. She told them he had Spina Bifida and the elder one asked what that was. So I,  loving to tell everyone about my wonderful son, jumped in and told them the short, but educating version of SB. One of them stopped me halfway through my approx. 3 min explanation and said very bluntly "I know what Spina Bifida is. I used to work in the medical field." Shocked at her bluntness all I could manage was a meager, "Oh..." Then she looked at me and asked, "Well can't they tell he had this before he was born?" Obviously I replied "Yes," and explained that we were very well prepared for all his surgeries to come. But then she confused me. She looked at me and said, "So you knew about this before he was born?" Again, I replied "Yes," but then added "We found out at 20 weeks." She kind of scoffed at me, and then I realized what she was getting at.

This woman. This stranger. This random lady at Wal-Mart, whom I'd never seen before, nor will I probably ever again, was appalled at the fact that I let my child live. She honestly could not believe that I had not aborted him. She had no adoration for the fact that we chose to overcome the struggles. She looked at me like a terrible person for giving my child the life he deserves. I was speechless.

I merely stated that I would let them get back to shopping and we parted ways. I was numb and hurt. I walked off grabbed my crib sheets and continued my search for Drain-O. The more I walked the more the situation sank in. I walked until I found myself somewhere in the middle of the airfresheners crying. Tears just pouring down my face and I wasn't sure why. Was it because I was angry at the ignorance of this woman? The sadness that there are so many uneducated people in this world? No, I found myself mostly angry at myself. How could I not stand up for my son? There are so many things I wish I would have said. Not ugly things (believe I could have said some, but I wouldn't have). There were just so many things I could have to educate her. Explain to her that people with SB lead full and wonderful lives and that they deserve no less than she does. But no, I just ignored her rudeness and walked away. I was a coward.

Will I ever be good at this? Will I ever be able to stand up for him and his right to live? If I don't stand up for him, will he ever be able to stand up for himself? I just want to be a good mother for him, not the coward I was today.


  1. Brittany, you are a wonderful mother, and you have grew into a very strong person. You're going to get more opportunities to stand up for James David (unfortunately the world is full of ignorant people), and I know you are strong enough and intelligent enough to make people feel as horrible as they should for questioning you. I know we have grew apart some over the last year, but know I love you and James David. Don't ever feel you are a bad mother. You're one of the best.

  2. I'm sorry that happened. What a horrible woman, she sounds like a moron. James David is beautiful, and I can't wait to feature him!