Words that Doctors Should Never Say

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

These are all words that were spoken to me when I was eight months pregnant.  I was eagerly awaiting my second child.

She had a name, a pretty pink nursery, and a family that was already in love with her.

After an ultrasound picked up birth defects and restricted growth, a doctor will little compassion smashed all of my dreams and hopes by telling me these harsh things.

No matter how grim a situation may appear, there has to be a better approach.  

These words caused me and my husband days of heartbreaking sadness and horrible sleepless nights.

The intervention of a wonderful, compassionate Geneticist ruled out the disorder that our baby was thought to have had.

While questions still loomed and we were four weeks from knowing her exact fate, we had reason to hope.

“We may have to just let nature take its course.”

More agonizing words from yet another doctor, one week before our daughter’s birth.

For a mother that was feeling her baby’s kicks and cartwheels from inside, I didn’t want to hear that.  I refused to digest her words.

We were on pins and needles and wouldn’t know anything definite until her birth, but one thing we did know…. as long as our baby was alive and we could hold and love her, we would have the world.

We would take anything else that came along with her.

Fast forward four years….my daughter is a beautiful, miraculous girl that reminds us daily to hold onto hope.

She has a rare genetic disorder that causes her multiple physical and intellectual disabilities, and she holds our hearts in her tiny hands.

We’re blessed to have her here and she is PERFECT.

Even though our life has taken a different path and our journey is different than we ever expected, we embrace it. We are truly lucky.

We still hear those words from time to time that doctors should never say.

“If a child doesn’t walk by the age of four, the chances are very slim.”

We have met many special needs parents that have children that walked at eight, ten and even twelve years old.  We’ve learned to let words like these roll off of our backs.

We tackle challenges as they come at us and we take what doctors say with a grain of salt.  They clearly don’t know everything.

When I look at my daughter, I see a child that THRIVES, and a girl that is very COMPATIBLE WITH LIFE.

In fact, she gives life new meaning.

If only doctors could put themselves in the shoes of the parents, and fill their vocabulary with more compassionate words.

Parents would not have to hear the words that doctors should never say.

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