Before I got pregnant in 2003, I thought I had read all the things I should read.
I had a good set of medicals, including a gut wrenching breast cancer scare that almost made me halt all baby plans, and then disappeared in the space of a phone call. I cleaned up my diet (so I thought), I stopped anything resembling fun (smoking, drinking, drugs) well before the games truly began. Seriously, I thought I was a mother-to-be out of a funky HBO series.
I didn’t stop my mother-in-law from kindly decorating the nursery with new carpet, paint and treated wood furniture. I didn’t stop cleaning my house with hospital grade bleach (it had the word ‘hospital’ in it for Christ’s sake). I didn’t stop using my microwave, wrapping and heating food in plastic, eating crap loads of fish because we lived on the coast and people go there to eat the big fish the doctors tell you to eat.
Anyway, if you are reading this and you are thinking about autism for reasons either perverse or frighteningly real… here’s my advice.
Stop hiding behind not wanting to be blamed and take responsibility for the mothers-to-be that you once were. Read the above link, if you haven’t already, and then send it to anyone you know that might be thinking about having a baby.
The worst that can happen is they think you are crazy. Blame me, if you want.
We live in different times. We know stuff, or at the very least we suspect stuff, so even though that stuff is uncomfortable and inconvenient and unconfirmed… we should at least listen to it.
If I had read this over a decade or so ago, I would have done things very, very differently. Especially if I was a time travelling superhero who could have had known what we know now, then.
Read it. You won’t be anymore.