Tuesday, September 04, 2007

In recognition of Sickle Cell Awareness Month

I've decided to share my family's experience with Sickle Cell Disease. To learn more, visit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

The Baby God Gave Me

“That boy’s going to be a pistol!”

Mom’s response to my unborn son’s refusal to remain head down summed up our shared personality prediction. Estimated at over nine pounds and still breech at 38 weeks, his fetal stubbornness was just a preview of the challenging personality he'd bring to the world. Born a few weeks later at a very healthy 9 lbs. 15 oz after day-long labor and (finally!) a C-section, Pistol Punkin a/k/a Ethan* and I eventually made it back home where life settled into its new normal.

We enjoyed our daytime aloneness, growing and bonding in our own special way. On one of these “all- is-now-right-with-the-world” afternoons, my boyfriend dropped by for lunch --nothing elaborate, just a Big Mac and fries with Young & the Restless humming in the background. I glanced out the window behind us to see that the mailman had just arrived. But instead of the sound of mail sliding through the chute, he rang the bell.

“It’s another present,” I thought.

What the mailman brought that day was a certified letter from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America--Michigan Chapter. I assumed the communication was a formality, informing me that my newborn carried the Sickle Cell trait like me and his older brother. Cold words from the form letter informed us that our baby’s newborn testing had revealed “a sickle cell condition,” there was a doctor at Children’s Hospital of Michigan prepared to care for our now ten-pound baby, and counselors were on hand if we should “need additional information.”

The mailman brought our whole world down around us.

The story continues on my website
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