Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Sep '07

Kyle the Insurance Guy

While Wesley was in the hospital I had to call our insurance agency twice to get some information about preauthorizing two different things. Both times I happened to speak with the same agent, Kyle.

The first time I spoke with him he told me that his little baby is also in the hospital for an extended period of time. When he asked me how long our baby has been in the hospital I told him twelve days.

“Oh, that’s not too bad,” was his reply.

Turns out that his daughter’s been in the hospital for two months or something like that (she was born three months early).

Still, just because his baby has been in the hospital longer than mine doesn’t mean that twelve days isn’t a very long and very expensive period of time to have our baby separated from us, our home, and our family. I felt he was trivializing our experience. But, still, he was just the insurance guy.

The second time I talked with Kyle was the day Wes was being released from the hospital. He asked me for some information for some forms the hospital needed. He asked me more about our son and his condition. Here’s more or less how that conversation went.

Kyle: So, what’s wrong with your baby?

Me: Um, he was born three weeks early, and really small. He weighed 3 lbs 15 oz.

Kyle: That’s not so bad. Our daughter was born three months early and weighed just two pounds.

Me: Gosh. Um, well, the insurance company will probably need to know that he also has Downs syndrome.

Kyle: Oh? That’s too bad. We weren’t sure if our daughter would be at risk for Downs, because someone else in the family has it. But we lucked out and she’s normal.

Me, thinking to self: Lucked out?

Kyle, going on as if he hasn’t just said something somewhat offensive to a tired and emotionally vulnerable new mother of a Downs syndrome baby: Our daughter was born so early that there was risk of mental retardation and other physical problems, but so far she seems fine. We are really lucky.

Me, outloud: That’s good.

Me, to self: Who are you to say that we’re not lucky to have our son exactly as he is?

I didn’t much like Kyle after the first conversation. And I really started disliking him by the end of our second.

Wesley is a joy to have around. Yes, he’s a newborn baby, which brings challenges to our daily lives and sleep patterns. But he’s Wesley. Our baby. He’s perfect.

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