I always knew I carried the sickle cell trait from the first child to the 3rd child but it wasn’t until the fourth child did I finally know what it meant. The hubby came in all in awe of what the doctors had just told him. His twin was not a match to donate a kidney to his mom. He would have to go and be tested. It was a no brainer! Of course, he would donate a kidney to save his mom’s life! He rushed to get to the clinic before closing to get testing. They would let him know the results the next day. We prayed he’d be a match and went to bed.
Being 7 months pregnant and not being able to sleep good had me up most mornings at 5am. So by 8am I was done cleaning and on my way to find a good book. The phone rang and I wobbled over to answer it. It was the doctor’s office for my husband with his results. I called for him to get the phone. He picked up in the bedroom and I heard him scream yes. I knew he was a match but then I heard him say “what does that mean?” “Oh okay, no I don’t know but I will talk to her. Thanks, Bye” he said. A few minutes passed and he came into the living room where I was laying on the couch reading. Hey, baby, the doctor says I have the sickle cell trait. I couldn’t open my mouth and couldn’t breathe for about 30 seconds. All I could hear him say is “What’s wrong with you? Why are you crying?” I snapped out of it and said “I have the trait too and that means our baby will have the disease.” He said “They said it’s a 25% chance the baby will have it.” “No sweetie, I believe, its’ more like 50% + 50% = 100%”, I said.
I was devastated but I wanted to find out exactly what I would be facing so I began to read anything I could find. The more I read the more I cried. The more I cried, the more I read. No one ever told me to ask my partner if he has the trait but in truth, he wouldn’t have known any way. I was depressed for about a week but I was addicted to reading about this devil of a disease that would change my baby’s life. I skipped church that week but decided to go the following week. Church renewed my strength and faith in being victorious against all odds. I stopped thinking of my baby to be as a victim and started thinking of her as victor. I stopped blaming myself and started forgiving myself for not knowing.
This was the beginning of a fight that would never end. This was the path God choose for our family and he makes no mistakes. My prayers over my stomach took a different voice. I stopped asking why and started saying how! I started saying what should I do and show me how to be that rock she needs me to be. Let me cry in private and always smile in her sight. Let her draw from my strength when she has none. This is our journey together and God will see us through.