As Long As They Are Healthy….Right? Wrong! #specialneeds #downsyndrome

by Carrie with Children with 4 comments

This may not win me any friends, but as a special needs mom this is something that has weighed heavy on my mind for awhile now. So, here goes nothing….

I’d love to delete the phrase “as long as they are healthy” from the English language. Hearing someone tell a soon-to-be mom, those six words makes me cringe. Every. Single. Time.

Sure, every new mom hopes to have a child that is healthy, but for some of us that doesn’t happen. And while life may be a little more complicated – life is still okay.


The first few months after my Molly was diagnosed with Down syndrome were the darkest time of my life. Fear of the unknown and the feeling that I failed my child. And I’m not even sure how it happened, but one morning I woke up and started finding positives all around me. No more negativity, no more disappointment and no fear.

If I could change the past, would I want Molly to “not” have Down syndrome – I’m not sure. In just the three short years I’ve been her mama, she has taught me so much about acceptance, respect and patience. Having a child with Down syndrome or any special needs shouldn’t be considered a ‘negative’ and certainly not a “as long as they are healthy” situation.

Molly on Merry Go Round

Molly wasn’t necessarily born “healthy – she had a small hole in her heart and she was blessed with an additional chromosome. However…  she’s my daughter, she was breathing and eating – and to me that was all I needed. We were ready to face any obstacles ahead – whatever Molly needed, we were ready.

But the mentality of “as long as they are healthy”, is something that I just can’t comprehend. Whether your child is “healthy” or not – life will still be okay. A few more hurdles?  Sure, but you will survive.  I promise.

So, friends, let’s find a new phrase to send best wishes to new mamas. Because “as long as they are healthy” makes it sound like a their life will be over if their child isn’t ‘healthy’. And I’m proof that live goes on and can be fantastic – it’s all in the directions you choose.

What do you think?


  • Jen @ Born Just Right

    I’m right there with you. I’ve told Jordan I didn’t ask for a kid with one hand… But she’s everything I wanted for in a daughter and more. Life comes with twists and turns and when we decide to bring a child into the world, we’re really signing up for ANYTHING… healthy or not healthy. It’s hard to visualize that when you’re an expectant parent.

  • Haley

    YES! So much this!

    I cannot imagine my life without Jackson just the way he is.

    And just like you said…Molly has changed your heart and helped you see the world in a different way…Jackson has done that for me as well and I wouldn’t change him for the world. 🙂

  • Michelle

    I’m so glad I read this. Thank
    You for offering another perspective. I’ve used this phrase before and during my last pregnancy heard it a lot. I loved reading how you realized one day all the negativity was gone. Becoming a parent means so many things, but the biggest things for me has been to accept the unexpected. And share the joy that my children find in the little things~ it’s redefined my life.

  • Jessica

    This is great advice and I hope EVERYONE listens! When I miscarried my first pregnancy, I CONTINUOUSLY heard stupid comments that made me scratch my head! Glad you put this out there!