Any day now, I will be giving birth to my second child, another little boy. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I had to start making choices that would directly affect him. Choices about the foods I would eat and the medicines I would take. Choices about the doctor I would see and the tests I would have done. Choices about the type of birth that we would like to have. Choices about what we will name him.
Once he is here, there will be more choices to make. What and how he will eat. When and if he will be circumcised. When and if he will be vaccinated. What types of diapers he will wear. Whether or not he will use a pacifier. If he will sleep in a crib, bassinet, sleep positioner, or co-sleep. There are hundreds of choices that my husband and I will be making for our son.
Not everyone is going to agree with all of our choices. Some people may even fervently oppose them. There are people with strong feelings on every choice I have named above. I have strong feelings about those choices as well. One of the rights I have as a parent is the right to make the choices that I think are best for my child. Other parents have that right as well, and we might make completely opposite choices.
We have no reason to believe that we will face any difficulties when our son is born, but the truth of the matter is, we really don’t know. We are expecting an easy vaginal delivery and a healthy baby, but there is simply no way to know what the future holds for us. If our child is born with a handicap, birth defect, or illness, we will be faced with even more choices. Once again, the things that we choose might not be the things that other families would choose. But my husband and I have the right to make the decisions that we think are best for our family.
As parents in the blogging community, we represent a wide variety of views on every aspect of parenting. We have strong convictions about many things. But I truly believe that we all have one thing in common: we love our children. It is our deep, abiding love for our children that causes us to hold such strong convictions about these issues.
There is a chance that at any moment, I could lose either one of my children. Right now, to the best of my knowledge, they are healthy and happy. But that could change at any moment. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, and while it breaks my heart to think of it, I could wake up tomorrow to find out that one of my children has died. That loss could be the result of a choice that I made, or it could be the result of something completely out of my control. Either way, it is the most painful loss I could ever imagine.
It is my hope and prayer that if that day should ever come, I can turn to the community of mom and dad bloggers and receive love and support, rather than condemnation. I would hope that you could put aside your views on my parenting choices and remember the one thing we do have in common: we love our children. I would hope that as parents, you would understand that I had just lost a child. A part of myself. And that maybe you would think about how you would feel if you lost your beloved baby. I would hope that for a moment you could put aside any differences we may have and just extend grace.
And if you could not do that, I would hope that you would just choose to say nothing at all.
I am expecting the day my second child is born to be one of the happiest of my life, but if it is not, will I be able to turn to you?