Many weeks ago, during a routine bloodtest, I was informed that I was tested positive for Thalmessemia minor.
It freaked the shite out of me. Seriously. I had no clue whatsoever that was. Turns out mom didn’t either, nor friends around me.
Ironically, the one person that I didn’t ask – which was the husband – knew a thing or two because his bestie’s wife had a similar diagnosis and told me that I didn’t have to worry being tested positive for it (of course he had to do a little bragging about how he suspected I had thal. all along because of my pale complexion and frequent faint spells) as long as he didn’t have it (tested negative throughout all his medical checks).
And the darnest thing definitely had to be being told this piece of positive (in a not so good way news) after our pregnancy was confirmed. Yay.
So I calmed myself & refused not to be scared over nothing, tear a little, said a prayer & left it to God’s hands and that was that.
I don’t know how, but the Thal. registry soon got wind of my results and asked that I come in for a detailed DNA/genetic test. They asked if I was pregnant, and I said technically yes although I hadn’t passed the all-important ‘heartbeat stage’ yet; and insisted that I brought the husband along for testing, although for all of his life he had been tested negative for it – routine medical checks, army checks, school checks, annual check ups, etc.
I wasn’t impressed with how the blood test session went at the T.R. It was filled mainly with stories of early termination in pregnancy and all, not something that I was opened to listen to – especially for someone who fought her way to this beautiful & wonderful stage (finally). They informed us that the report would be marked ‘urgent’ because we were now pregnant (which is a little too late, don’t you think!) but I did not receive a single call nor report from them till…7 weeks later. And while I kinda knew my result when I finally received a call from them, I was scared stiff and shocked stunned when I was told “your husband has thal. alpha too, but very very mild @ 25%. Don’t worry! At most combined is 75%”. [p.s.: Apparently a 75% carrier can have symptoms that mimic that of a major carrier]
Holy cow! What was that supposed to mean? We had been living with his side of normalcy & negativity (of thal.) since my diagnosis…and now, this?! I plunged into tears of course after sharing the news with the husband. I did stop myself immediately after I realized how much I could potentially stress baby out with all the sobbing and told myself that we still had a 25% chance of producing a kid without thal. and a 50% chance of a kid only being a carrier and leading a normal life. I said a weepy prayer to God, and told him that he wouldn’t give us one of his greatest gifts only to not anoint with other good things. And I said to him “Lord, I believe that you can take away thalassemia from our little Chung. Because you can.”
I was also told that I could go for some invasive tests to see if our little nugget was indeed a major carrier but (and it was probably one of the fastest & strongest decision I’ve ever made in my life) decided that I wasn’t going to opt for any of them. There was definitely a risk of miscarriage and/or stillbirth by going for these tests and I didn’t want to stress my body/baby/myself out further.
I had a very good, strong feeling about being pregnant on the month my husband wasn’t at his most optimistic – and it came to pass. Now I have another good, strong feeling that baby is going to come out strong & alright – so I believe this will come to pass to.
So today, I was fretting a little before gynae visit as I held both of our reports in my hands. I shared with the dr. beng about the matter and was delighted to hear that he was pro-life and supported me 101% not to go any of those invasive tests too because regardless the outcome, I wasn’t going to abort this child of God. Not an option or consideration. Dr. beng also shared with me a story of a patient who had a similar case as me and I felt even more at peace, as if God had made my gynae his instrument to reassure me to continue trusting in Him (God).
Being told that there is a possibility that baby may not be able to survive should it be a major carrier is really a scare.
BUT I have a really good feeling about this pregnancy and I know I can indeed cast my cares on Him and be anxious for nothing.
I don’t know what other surprises lie ahead, but I know that I’m definitely not alone in this.
Its amazing, this fighting spirit a mom-to-be possess. If not for herself, then for her little nugget