This Instagrammer Called Out the Problem With Wishing Others a 'Happy & Healthy' Baby

michelle elman
Michelle Elman has had a brain tumor, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in her brain, and a condition called hydrocephalus all by the age of 20. Elman has basically never lived life as a "healthy" person.

  • And despite the fact that this has never been her fault, she revealed in a striking Instagram post how guilty it made her feel.

    "'Wishing you a happy and healthy baby!' 'We don't mind if we have a boy or girl, as long as my baby's healthy,'" she wrote alongside the image above. "That's all parents dream of, right? Happy and healthy. Well that's unfortunately not what my parents got. Instead they got a child that needed 15 surgeries to reach adulthood. They got a baby that had a condition that threatens her life and lowers her life expectancy. And that used to break my heart."

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  • "Every time someone would say this in front of me, I used to wonder if my parents were disappointed when I was born."

    michelle elman

    She noted that they of course were not disappointed and that her amazing parents never made her feel that way -- but the truth is, society does place a heavy value and moral burden on people for being healthy, which is something most folks cannot always control. 

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  • This has especially impacted Elman in her adult years as a plus-size woman.

    "People assume your health is visual and because none of my illnesses or scars are visual, they assume they know everything about me by my appearance," she tells CafeMom

  • And sadly the media stigmatizes chronically ill people and health so much, society tends to forget that health is a broad spectrum.

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    "People with illnesses are rarely shown in uplifting ways -- they either die or live extremely limited lives and when they do 'beat the odds,' it is still the constant reminder that they are the exception," she tells us. 

    And while Elman was extremely nervous to share this image, despite sharing numerous personal posts, she says it is the one that has meant the most to her. 

    "No, my parents didn't get 'happy and healthy,'" she wrote in her Instagram post. "But they definitely got happy. Enough happy to overcompensate for the lack of healthy. And enough wisdom to know there is nothing to compensate for."


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