By Cathy Jameson
I know it wasn't too long ago that I shared this post, but I wanted to share it again today. Five of our friends are due in the next few months. Years ago, I never used to be nervous when people announced that they were having babies. I love new babies! But now, with how many challenges new parents face - including being bombarded with an unnecessary vaccine minutes after baby arrives, nervous is the best word to use. Two of our friends are having what I call organic babies though.
What's an "organic" baby? It's a baby whose parents are opting out of some of society's pre- and post-natal standards. That includes vaccines. Having learned things the hard way the first time around with an older child, they care not to make the same mistake with Baby #2. Empowered to create a healthier environment for the new bundle long before they're due, I'm not nervous at all hearing about their pregnancies. I'm actually very excited! I hope you are, too.
The best things in life are unexpected…
Two of my friends are pregnant. Both are in their 40s. Both have a typical child. Both also have a child on the spectrum. Both have been enthusiastically congratulated. I was happily shocked to learn of each of these pregnancies. Then I was excited. It’s almost as if these pregnancies are a first-time pregnancy. With all that these Moms have already gone through, they sort of are first-time pregnancies.
No longer will Mom be timid about what typically happens in a regular OB office.
She is so much more informed!
No longer will Mom let one person dictate all that she must do.
She knows she has other options!
No longer will Mom allow a medical professional trump her mother’s intuition.
She now has experience, knowledge and confidence on her side!
In each case, Mom knows so much more. She knows how to ask for certain things. She also knows how to politely yet firmly decline others. Mom wants so many things to be different and better. Yes, better. Better for her and better for her unborn child.
Part of me is worried for my friends. Being pregnant now, compared to ten or fifteen years ago when youth was on their side, will surely be different. According to literature, they’re OLD. Old means tired, exhausted, fragile. But, knowing these women and their personalities, old is just an adjective, and would never be the first one I’d use to describe them.
Both Moms are active in their other children’s lives. They are both movers and shakers in their own communities. They are both looked up to, respected and sought out for advice. Who better than an already inspiring woman to bring new life…and hope to our world.
Sure, I’m a little worried for my friends, but I’m downright giddy that these two women are pregnant. I’m more excited for these pregnancies than other. They will be far different than that of the younger people in my life. The younger people are having their first and second children and are clinging to every word, statistic and procedure their medical provider tells them. Then, their children are taken to every appointment that the powers that be have dictated. When pictures are shared, I see darkened circles under baby’s eyes and hear of food allergies, eczema, early speech problems and endless sleepless nights. Red flags are waving violently behind baby but Mom has yet to connect the dots or see the destructive path her children are walking.
It saddens me to know that these young Moms are marching in my own footsteps, the foolish steps I so blindly took with my children before I forced myself to open my eyes. These young Moms haven’t had the “I wish I’d known” moment even though they do know. They are aware. They have witnessed. They’ve watched my son and a host of other children decline. They’ve heard stories of seizures, of loss of speech, of daily struggles that have become life-long struggles. They’ve seen children slowly decline and then fall hard on the spectrum. But they’ve chosen to brush that knowledge away. These young Moms have watched it all happen right in front of their eyes, but they refuse to see any of it.
I know that so many of us here would do things over if given the chance. We would read more. We would ask more. We would demand more. We would stand up for our health and that of our child without hesitation. We would take that chance and hold tightly to it if given the chance. The two older friends that I have who are pregnant will do all of that because they have that chance. I applaud them and am ready to support them.
As surprised (and tired, and slower, and achier) as these older mamas might be, I believe that their pregnancies are a blessing that and that their child will be a beacon of hope for many. God bless these Moms, and God bless the new life they carry.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.