Our old CF Commercial that plays on MCTV. Still working on this years.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My first encounter with CF

I know it seems odd for me to start this story talking about my own personal experience but it will make sense later on as I develop the story for you. I apologize in advance for the novel that I've written on this post!!

It was my fourth pregnancy & the beginning stages of my pre-natal care with this child. This pregnancy had been different than the others from the very beginning. I was three months along & instead of being horrendously nauseated with morning (all day) sickness, I was ravenously hungry all the time & barely nauseated at all. Having miscarried my first pregnancy, I was very nervous at this change in what I knew to be standard pregnancy issue for me. Fortunately I had an early ultrasound but I won't bore you with the reasons why. Suffice it to say, the ultrasound showed the baby as being right on track and alleviated my mind a great deal. As all pregnant women do, I went for my battery of bloodwork that week & never thought another thing about it. I had two other kids to take care of & no time to worry over bloodwork that in my mind would be perfectly fine.

It was a complete surprise a few nights later when I listened to the messages on my answering machine & heard the voice of my Nurse-Midwife. It took a moment for the words she said to register in my mind. I played the message back & heard her say "Your bloodwork came back & showed that you are a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis. You'll need to bring your husband in for some bloodwork to see if he is also a carrier...". She went on & said other things but I couldn't tell you what they were. All I heard repeating in my head was "you are a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis" over & over. Immediately followed by "How can this be? I've had two other children & never heard a thing about this...". As it turns out, my last pregnancy three years earlier, was prior to the mandatory CF testing.
I am not a hysterical person but I called my husband that day about as close to hysterical as I get. Tripping over my words & trying to Google this unknown disease on our kitchen computer while I was talking, I felt fear wrapping it's hands around my heart. By the time my husband came home that night, I had pulled myself together & could talk about things somewhat rationally. The fear was still with me though. We both had done plenty of research by that point & knew what it would mean if he were also a carrier.
I have to stop here & offer an apology to my younger (middle) sister. (I don't like to use full names online, so for the purposes of this blog we will call her "C") She had just had her first baby a few months earlier & said to me "Don't you remember? They tested me for this & I was positive as a carrier too." To this day, I have no recollection of her sharing that with me. It has bothered me since we spoke that night that I could be so insensitive at a time when she & her husband undoubtedly went through the same experience that I talked about above. So, one more time, I offer my apology to C & her husband for not being more supportive to them during the early days of her pregnancy when they received this same news.

As for the story.... It was a stressful couple of days for us. Full of prayer for this unborn child and that ever so human inner struggle to accept & submit to God's will in our lives even if it wasn't what we wanted it to be. Fortunately for us, as it was for my sister C, my husband is not a CF carrier. I don't think I can describe the relief & profound thankfulness to God that flooded my being when we received the results. I couldn't wait to call & share the news with my sisters...

On the heels of that great joy however, came concern for my youngest sister, M, who had recently miscarried her first pregnancy & was actively trying to get pregnant again. The prevailing thought was, if C & I were carriers, in all liklihood M would be too...

Thanks for listening tonight....I'll catch up with you again tomorrow.

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