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Choosing to Give Birth to a Child with Special Needs


Parent blogger on special needs children

Deepa Garwa

This blog post has been contributed by Deepa Garwa.

A teacher by profession and a writer by choice, Deepa Garwa is an opinionated blogger, a self advocate on disabilities and a parenting enthusiast. She believes that by thinking out of the box parents can help their children reach their best. A mother of two, (a soccer crazy son and a special needs daughter ), Deepa writes about her parenting experiences on www.twominuteparenting.com. Stop by and say hello!

As long as it is healthy! And what if it’s not?

I never thought these six simple words could hurt me this much! And surprisingly, the used weapons (words) were not new but they never hit me like this before or perhaps I was a different person then!

A different person before I had my daughter, who was born with an extra chromosome and severe heart defects. I was a mother before but this time the motherhood came with a cost. It shook my social status and made me refrain from giving any advice to expectant mothers, just because I did not give birth to a ‘perfectly healthy child’.

Meeting a friend, who was glowing with the first time approaching motherhood, over a cup of coffee seemed like the best place for a great conversation! Starting with a harmless question, I asked, “So what do you want? A boy or a girl?” And out came the expected default response, “I don’t mind having any, as long as it is healthy! I mean that’s all you want for your child. For them to be healthy! Isn’t it?”  “Absolutely”, I said. She took a long sip looking at me, further adding that she had already got the screening done for any chromosomal abnormality and the baby was perfectly healthy! That’s what did it!

I felt a lump in my throat! Not because any of what she said was wrong or intentionally hurtful, but it meant a thousand things for me and my daughter.

As long as it is healthy! And what if it is not?  Then it is not to be welcomed? Loved?

Since when is motherhood run by investment bankers where we only put our stakes on shares or funds that can give us great returns in the future? Since when did motherhood become a conditional love that we would only bestow on our child if it were born with a perfect head, ten fingers or a fully developed brain?

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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.

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12 thoughts on “Choosing to Give Birth to a Child with Special Needs

  1. Anitha

    Speechless!!! My thoughts…….. really!! I have thought about this always! How sure is anyone??? Fantastically written. Kudos to you Deepa.

    Reply
  2. Sudha Kumar

    Great post Deepa. It really made me reflect. Right from the title to its unapologetic style, it does pose questions to many of us who approach parenting with ‘expectations’.

    Reply
    1. Deepa Garwa

      Thanks Sudha for writing. I see that increasingly we all struggle to come to terms with our circumstances because of our’ perceived expectations’ and once we know how to deal with that, life can be lead much better! thanks for taking out time and writing.

      Reply
  3. Deepa Garwa

    Thanks Anitha for appreciating and liking. While it is extremely difficult to change perceptions that are carved in stone ( like this one) but challenging rigid outlook towards motherhood can change outlook of generations altogether and in this age of inclusion, everybody should strive for that. Thanks again for your kind words.

    Reply
  4. parul singh

    Grt article Deepa as i always say acceptance comes with situations ,without facing the facts we act differently,,,,,nature have her own ways

    Reply
  5. Kritika Srinivasan

    Wonderful piece Deepa. As Sudha remarks, your style is unapologetic and straight-forward and that’s refreshing in a world of political correctness. It’s also emlightening to read a first-hand perspective of a mother who is parenting a special needs child, day in and day out. Usually, we only end up reading dos and donts from a theoretical perspective. Hope to read many more such posts.

    Reply
  6. Deepa Garwa

    Thanks Meera for reading and commenting. The whole idea is to make people think about the things we’ve been doing or saying for thousands of years without giving any thought to them. I am glad you liked the effort.
    Thanks again for writing!

    Reply
  7. Deepa Garwa

    Thanks Rekha mam, You can’t possibly imagine how much I appreciate your words. I truly believe that we only fight our prejudices, convictions and perceptions and then anything else and as long as that is in place, irrespective of whatever happens to us can be taken care of!

    Reply

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