We waited for what seemed like forever for results. My blood work came back and showed that I am a carrier for cystic fibrosis. So, my husband needed to get his blood drawn to see if he was a carrier. That meant another two-week wait. His results finally came back and confirmed my gut feeling: he is a carrier too.
Because we are both carriers, any child we have has a 25% chance of not having cystic fibrosis, a 50% chance of carrying one cystic fibrosis gene (these people do not usually have any symptoms related to cystic fibrosis), and a 25% chance of getting both cystic fibrosis mutations (this causes a person to actively have cystic fibrosis). So, we had a decision to make. Did we want to find out now if our daughter would have cystic fibrosis? Did we want to wait until she was born? My prenatal care would not change if we did find out she had CF. So, it was a personal decision.
I am a planner. I want to prepare for everything. That is why I could never wait and be surprised by the gender of our children. I knew I needed to have the answer. I needed to understand how we should prepare. I needed to learn everything I could about what we would need to do to care for our daughter if she did have CF. We decided to find out.
At 24 weeks pregnant, I went to the high-risk OBGYN to get an amniocentesis. The doctor used a long needle to extract amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid has free-floating skin cells in it that can be tested for genetic abnormalities. If you know me, you know I am terrible with needles. I have been known to pass out from a finger prick. So, I was worried that I would pass out during the amniocentesis. Somehow, I stayed conscious through the whole procedure! I did faint when they needed to draw some blood afterward, though.
We did the amniocentesis right before Christmas. So, we had to wait through Christmas and New Years before we got the results. At that point, I knew in my heart what the results would be, but I still needed to know for sure. I needed the doctor to tell me in absolute terms.
On January 8th, we went to my high-risk OBGYN to discuss the results. I wasn’t surprised when the doctor told us that our daughter has CF. I knew it in my heart the whole time. I knew from the beginning that she was going to have some sort of health problem. I knew when my OBGYN told us what an echogenic bowel could indicate that it was CF. I knew.
Do you know who else knew? My Heavenly Father knew. He knew the heartbreak that I would feel. He knew the grief that would come, and He never abandoned me. He carried me through the whole process and brought me such peace. I know that the only reason I could pick myself up from this earth-shattering news is that my Heavenly Father was there to walk with me.