Let me tell you a story.
One day, a few months ago, I was at Ochsner, riding the elevator after one of Elam's many doctor appointments. It was raining and we had just heard some discouraging news.
Elam was riding in the Ergo, snuggled closely to my chest, I kissed his forehead as the elevator descended downward.
From over my shoulder an old man asked how old 'the cute little boy' was. And when I answered his first question, he then took the opportunity to ask about the braces Elam had on his feet.
With 7 more floors to go, I mentioned he had spina bifida, clubbed feet, and lack of movement in his legs.
I smiled, kissed Elam again, and reassured the stranger, "We couldnt possibly love him any more than we do, and we're learning life doesn't end with Spina bifida."
As I was finishing my story, the elevator came to a stop.
When it opened, the old man nodded, again mentioning Elam's cuteness as he tipped his hat in farewell.
After he exited the elevator, I then noticed stares from a women to my right. Stares I did not understand. She was with her teenage daughter. She hurried out, with her hand on the small of her daughter's back, encouraging her to move a little faster.
She stopped just outside the elevator, making sure to keep me within earshot.
Then she said,
'See, honey. That is why you take your prenatals, so kids like that don't happen. People like her shouldn't be allowed to have kids if they can't even take their vitamins.'
I'll let you think about that for a second.
'...so kids like [Elam] don't happen.'
[ I shouldn't be allowed to have children.]
To this day, my heart hurts when I tell this story. It hurts for Elam, it hurts for me, and it really hurts for people who judge without knowing someone's details.
This woman judged me on something she knew nothing about. She determined I was unfit for motherhood because of the physical disabilities of my child.
I challenge you to realize we all have our details that others may not know about.
It is easy to judge when you think it is something that couldn't happen to you.
It is easy to judge when you think you take every precaution to 'do everything right'.
Sometimes, it is just easy to judge.
But we need to stop.
We need to stop belittling others in this journey that isn't always easy.
We need to love. Love despite mistakes, love because of mistakes, love because none of us are perfect.
Let's just love.