Non-invasive, risk-free, easy blood test. Doesn’t sound so bad right? During our first prenatal appointment Jason and I were encouraged to opt in for DNA testing to screen for disorders like Down Syndrome, Trisomy 21, etc. We knew without a doubt that we would keep our baby no matter what the outcome but decided to go ahead with the tests to prepare ourselves in off chance that our baby was diagnosed some sort of health issue. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have the peace of mind that our baby was healthy for the next nine months…
But peace of mind wasn’t what I got. When the results came back that I’m a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis I was worried, but at that point we knew the chances were still slim that our baby would be born with the disease since both parents have to be a carrier for it to be considered a risk. A week later Jason went in for his blood test, and the genetic counselor reassured us that given his background there was only a 4% chance he’d be a carrier too. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case; the results came back positive for CF.
So what does that mean? Statistically speaking, our child has a one in four chance of being born with severe or mild CF. Ultimately CF affects the lungs and digestive system, leading to life-threatening infections and difficulty breaking down and absorbing food.
Decades ago, kids with CF lived only a few years. Today, with advanced medical treatments and lung transplants the life expectancy is around 35-years-old. Still, even for those who receive the best medical attention, it’s a tough journey which can include the need for daily treatments.
Since CF is an inherited chronic disease there isn’t anything we could have or can currently do to make the chances of CF any greater or less. There is no prenatal treatment, no cure, no home remedy that will change our baby’s prognosis… except prayer.
From the beginning of our marriage, Jason and I have prayed for the health of our future children whether they be adopted or biological. And from the instant we found out that we were expecting we’ve been praying over our little one in the womb. To say our prayers have been bumped up a notch since we received the test results is an understatement. I know God is more than capable of healing our baby, and we have faith he’ll do just that. But there’s power in numbers (“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20), and we’ll certainly take all the backup we can get.
My request is this: Set aside a minute to prayer over our baby today. It doesn’t matter if you’re normally a believer or not. God will hear your prayer just the same and we will be eternally grateful for your support.
With appreciation and love,
Desiree, Jason & Baby Stordahl