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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why Do Those People Have Children?

For weeks, my head has been spinning with things I've wanted to write, but thoughts are often tough to get down on paper and with working part time, my time has been limited more. I spend much of my "free time" at doctor appointments, running errands, cleaning, cooking, etc. The balancing act is still not perfected and I often feel overwhelmed and torn by "what I should do and what I wish to do." Writing has taken a big backseat, even though I believe it is essential to my personal wellbeing. It centers me and helps me sort out problems, figure out solutions and celebrate victories. Honestly, my core feels "off" without writing. Facebook fills some of that void, I do share daily struggles and victories there often, but here I share more depth. Today, I am choosing to ignore the many things I should do, because I need this. I need to get something off my chest and I am interested in others views on this topic....

Yesterday I ended up in a very uncomfortable conversation, my reaction was not what it should have been and I've been really bothered by the words both said and unsaid. To understand, you will need some background, but to protect the people involved I am not sharing the story completely.

I was talking about a family I know that has a young child who is not yet diagnosed with a specific special need. The child displays many issues, but the journey is just begun and the puzzle pieces have not been fit together yet. The parents of this child are said to be developmentally delayed themselves, (I personally do not know the parents, but the source I got this from, I trust.) so that may be part of the problem with figuring out the child's needs. The parents may need more support than they are getting in this journey, but developmentally delayed or not, we all need more help in the journey of parenting special needs children! It's a hard road, one seldom traveled before you are thrown into the fire! I have learned much over my years as Teale's Mom, but I still have much to learn. Each step forward, has it's steps backwards or sideways. When a new diagnosis get thrown at us, when glitches in medications happen, when illness strikes or as we wade through the unknown as she grows and matures. It is a learn as you go life, often we are just surviving and sometimes barely.

Mark and I are a good team. We work well together, we both try to remain calm through the unknown or a crisis. We think ahead much. I think ahead more... That's why the conversation I had yesterday has been haunting me. It is something I have ruminated on much too much, but it is real and something I need to come to terms with, just in case, I am faced with it.

The conversation was around the child not getting all the care she needs to deal with an issue. The person was kinda bashing the family for the "neglect" in the problem. I then shared that the child's parents have some developmental delays. In my head, I shared this to help the person I was talking to understand the situation in a different light and to have some compassion for the family and their struggles. Instead she said ~ "Why do those people have children?" 

I had nothing, I said, nothing! I'm embarrassed and ashamed.

I've been stewing since, I've tried to replay the scenario, but with me saying something profound, yet, I still have not found the right words. I think it is because it hit a real cord in my life that I fear, deeply. I have a daughter who is developmentally delayed. I have thought long and hard about the "what if's" of an accidental pregnancy for her. I have worried about her being taken advantage of and I have stressed the consequences of a pregnancy because of such a situation. There would be much risk involved for both Teale and a baby if Teale became pregnant. It is a real concern, the world is cruel and rape is real. I am not and will not be with her 24/7, so the concern is there. At this time in her life she is sensory defensive, so the chances of her having a consensual sexual relationship is remote, but this may change too. I am anything but naive to the possibilities of Teale maturing enough to have a relationship, but, honestly at this time, I don't see it happening.

Teale is on so many medications that if she were to become pregnant, the medications would cause harm to her baby. She could never care for another person, so Mark and I would be parents again. She could not get through a delivery with any understanding of what was happening to her. To take her off her medications to ensure the safety of the baby would put Teale in great harm and possibly even cause her demise. Like I said, I've thought long and hard about all this. It is not a comfortable conversation, but I've had it, with doctors and more importantly with my husband, many, many times. I personally am not a supporter of abortions, but please don't misconstrue what I am saying here. I personally am not a supporter. That means for me personally, I would not get an abortion. I believe in pro choice, I believe in the right to choose, but personally I don't believe in abortion. In the case of Teale though, I would have to choose her life or a babies life, either way would be a huge loss. Teale can not give up her medications, her seizures and behaviors are too severe without them. A babies development and growth may be adversely affected by her medications. So as you can see, this is a no win situation. My only defenses are to be vigilant in Teale's care and to keep her protected against accidental birth. It's a cruel world, this is a tough subject, but I have not backed away from tough subjects. I have even asked about the possibility of permanent serialization for Teale. I have much guilt and angst over the subject, but I am protecting Teale and my family from much future pain by having discussions and a plan.

So back to yesterday's conversation ~ "Why do those people have children?"

What I wish I had said ~ "Maybe for the simple reason that it is a God given right to do so?"

And theres the rub, am I taking away a basic right of my daughter or am I protecting her and all of us? Only God can say....