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Do you know your partner’s genotype?

Do you know your partner’s genotype?

Anna met Dele…

I feel like that could be the begining and the end of my story.

Anna met Dele.

Have you ever met someone who singularly divides your life into two? The time before and the time after them.

I met Dele. It was not a dramatic moment, it wasn’t romantic. We shared a taxi from the airport.

I arrived Nnamdi Azikwe Airport Abuja late one evening from Calabar. It was my first time in Abuja. I tried bargaining with the taxis i saw, they were ready to charge me a head and a foot to Gwarimpa, my intended destination. That was when he showed up, he was going in my direction and suggested we share a cab.

We were silent through out the ride. We got to my destination before his. He spoke for the first time,”Can i have your number? I would like to keep in touch”.

That was it!  Everything happened so fast after that. We were so in love. It was like finding a missing part of you and never wanting to let go.

I returned to Calabar but he kept in touch. Despite the distance we would see every other week, i would meet him in Abuja or he would come to Calabar. Everyone around us knew we were in love. It seemed like fate supported our union, i got a job at a foreign embassy in Abuja. He got promoted at work and started getting several contracts.  We moved in together despite warning from my mother to slow down.

Why slow down when everything was going so great? Why stand in the way of fate?Our fairy tale romance continued.  We were ecstatic when we discovered i was pregnant. We hurriedly started our wedding preparations.

Dele accompanied me for my first ante-natal visit. We were asked to conduct a comprehensive screening since none of us was certain of our medical history.

It was that day we discovered we had the same genotype. We were both AS. I took this as a slight glitch, a little bump on the road till i turned to look at Dele. His face was ashen, the pain and confusion i assume he was feeling was visible on his face. It was the next words out of his mouth that ended my fairytale.

“Doctor, how far gone is she? Is it too late for a termination?”

I was weakened by his words. This was someone who was so excited at home imagining he and his son with their Manchester United jerseys. He was so sure i was going to have a boy. The Dele in the doctor’s office was a stranger to me. I began to weep profusely. He held my hand and led me out of the office.

“Anna, we need to talk”.

The talk that changed my life began. He told me how sorry he was but we could not have this baby, actually we should not be together. He had lost two of his siblings to Sickle Cell Anemia crises and he could not go through it with his own children. He said he had watched their suffering and the strain it put on his parents’ marriage. He was so sorry, we should not have the child and we should not be together that it was best to end the relationship now. I cried, i pleaded, i went spiritual on him how God would help us, how we could be lucky. I cried, i begged.

He left.

I had my baby, he was wrong. She is the most beautiful child i have ever seen. He was wrong again, her genotype is AS. He is wrong, he knows he is wrong but he would not come back.

I look at my baby and i am reminded that half my world is gone.

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Here’s the frightening statistics: If you and your partner both have sickle cell trait (AS), your child has a 25 per cent chance of being born with sickle cell anaemia (SS). If only one of you has sickle cell trait (AS), your child cannot be born with sickle cell anaemia (SS), but there is a 50 per cent chance that your child will be born with sickle cell trait (AS).

If one parent has sickle cell disease (SS) and one parent has sickle cell trait (AS), there is a 50 per cent chance that their children will be born with sickle cell disease (SS).

Doctors therefore advise intending couples to know their genotypes and forgo relationships that can lead to the birth of a child with this painful disease.

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Written by StayHealthWise

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