A few weeks ago, I decided to go back to school and take a class. Why? Well… why not. I guess I I felt the need to keep my tools sharpened, and to add more stress to my already insanely stressful life. The class that I’m taking is a child development course that focuses on the different stages of development from conception all the way through adolescence. My professor is nice and she’s full of insightful information, but something showed up in her curriculum yesterday that has me scratching my head.
Yesterday, I was handed this.
What is it you ask? A list of toxins to avoid if your pregnant. Now, I don’t know if you got something similar from your doctor when you were pregnant, but I did, but it had nothing to say about avoiding nail polish, mattresses, and televisions retardants. Did yours?
Here’s the back of the sheet.
Well, according to this, it is.
Now, let me paint you a picture of the situation that happened around me yesterday: I just walked into class and put my stuff down on my desk. The girl sitting next to me handed me a stack of papers. Without looking, I take one and pass it on to the girl sitting on the other side of me. I get myself organized, sit down, and take a look at the paper that was handed to me. I laughed out loud and snorted at the same time! I could feel eyes on me. I immediately raise my hand and ask to see the rest of the packet. She said she didn’t have it but will get it to me the next class.
I base a lot of my decisions (when it comes to certain things) on hard core, concrete evidence/data. I’m a behaviorist. It’s what I do. So then I raised my hand and asked about avoiding certain deli meats and cheeses, because that’s what I was told to avoid during pregnancy, because listeria and mold are harmful to unborn children. She agreed that Listeria was equally dangerous and wondered why it wasn’t on her pamphlet. I continued sighlently (in my head) that I was also told by my doctor to avoid Mercury, pesticides, and many other toxic chemicals, but never in my life have I been made to feel so responsible as this woman had made me feel.
So I sat quietly for the rest of the class and didn’t say a word. While she was talking about chapter 3 (pregnancy) I thought back to my own pregnancy. I ate fairly healthy, did a lot of walking, spoke and read to my belly, had healthy weight-in’s and check-in’s, and dealt with my high blood pressure as best as I could. I had high blood pressure towards the end of my pregnancy, and was told to be on complete bed rest for the remaining 3 weeks. Willy was delivered at 37 weeks gestation.
My doctor always told me that my baby looked good on ultrasound, and my blood test and urine tests always looked good to them in the office. I always heard from my doctor that my baby was perfectly healthy and that I was doing all of the right things. So why am I letting a college professor make me feel incredibly and horribly responsible for my sons neurological disorder?!
My theory is this: unless she can produce concrete evidence that proves that everything that I was taught to be right, is now wrong, by way of all cleaning products, flame retardants, foods, air quality, dyes, complex carbohydrates, etc. is causing severe neurological damage to children all around the world, then maybe all pregnant women should live in a plastic bubble for nine months. That way, our children’s neurological systems wont be compromised LIKE MINE WAS!
I guess I’m just looking at this professor as a vehicle to point a finger at. Sometimes I still wonder why I feel like I’m being punished, because everyone tells me that my son’s autism has nothing to do with what I did during my pregnancy. It just happened. It wasn’t my fault. So now, fully knowing that I have to sit through this class until December, and try and not focus on the fact that she’s teaching twentysomething year-old’s that if they color their hair or eat fish during pregnancy, then their child too could have a neurological disorder. Well… I mustn’t focus on the negative. All I want to do is take this class and be done with it.
The best part of all though, is that I’m very unassuming. I blend in well with my surroundings. This professor knows nothing about me except for what I disclose during class. She does know that I’m a 13 year veteran in the special education field. But what she doesn’t know, is that, i’m a mom blogger defending the world against accusatory accusations like hers. She doesn’t know that I’m a published author either, and the fact that she always tells us that both of her 30-year-old sons are married, and that she still not a grandma yet, well, maybe she needs to give everyone some room to breathe. But what she really doesn’t know about me, is that I am barely hanging on by thread at the moment; because of my past experiences still haunt me from last fall.
But what I plan to do, is take all of this in stride. My mantra before class will be: just breathe. This is one persons opinion, not an army. This woman may have two degrees, but she has not walked a day in my shoes. And until then, I will be polite, take my notes, do my homework like a good dooby, and ace this motherfucking class like it’s nobody’s business!
So, if you’ll excuse me, I have a child to go hug and kiss goodbye, before send him on his way to school. Have a good day everyone, try not to let “the man” get ya down.