“I always knew I would have delay when the time came for me to have children. Somehow, the fear remained no matter how hard I tried to stay positive. When I eventually got married, days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. I found myself getting anxious and desperate. Not knowing what else to do, I turned to God. Being a Christian, I knew how to act in faith. I joined a fellowship of women trusting God for children and began praying, believing that one day, miracle will happen. I prayed and asked God for twins, a boy and a girl, and I named them Kamis (boy) and Kachi (girl).
Eight years down the line, my husband and I decided to go for our second round of IVF. The first one had failed, as well as other various procedures and fertility treatments. To our greatest joy, our second IVF attempt was successful and I knew my twins were finally growing in me. Our joy knew no bounds. Our first ultrasound revealed one fetus, but I quickly told the doctor that she saw incorrectly. I knew without a doubt there were 2 children. The feeling was so strong as the twins had become so real to me after acting out my faith for years. The second ultrasound proved I was indeed carrying twins, and so the exciting 9 months journey began.
Every ultrasound visit after that was horror. One negative report after the other. ‘Your daughter is at risk of bleeding and might not make it,’ I was told. I prayed fervently and trusted God.
Throughout my pregnancy I was anxious but prayed and kept my faith. I constantly spoke to my twins and prayed for them as often as I could. Kachi was far behind in growth at every ultrasound while Kamsi did great. Finally, at 37 weeks I was told that Kachi had stopped growing. I had to be induced immediately for her to survive. I went to the hospital and had a caesarean section. Kamsi came first at 9:44 p.m. and then Kachi at 9:45 p.m. She was too small and too weak to cry, but eventually did. She weighed just 3.5 lbs while her brother weighed 6.1 lbs.
The first time I saw her, I wondered if the nurse was handing me my baby, or someone else’s. I waited a few seconds for someone to tell me there was a mix up, but all I heard from the nurse was how beautiful she was. I was quite surprised by how white she was, but the joy of seeing them both healthy surpassed any other feeling at that instant. I was just overjoyed. ‘Perhaps she’s just very fair in complexion,’ I thought. Albinism never crossed my mind as we had none in my family as far as I could remember. I didn’t see Kachi after that first moment because she was taken to ICU to be looked after.
I was told Kachi was too small and had to stay back in the hospital in order to gain some weight before she could join her brother at home. During my 3 days stay in the hospital, a doctor came to me. ‘Your little girl has albinism,’ the doctor said. By now, I was almost certain of her condition. I noticed my mother was worried about it and that started to get me worried too. I loved my princess like every mother would love her baby, but worried about her condition. Gradually, worry turned to sadness and I started questioning God, wondering why He would put me in such a situation. I worried about her future, how society would treat her, how she’ll be accepted, etc. I envied other black babies and thought, ‘Why me? Why was I the one to have an albino baby?’ How did I get black and white twins?
My husband was also in denial, but reality was staring us in the face and we just had to accept it. I went to counselling but the feeling didn’t go away easily until the twins turned one. Gradually I began to see my daughter differently. I began to see the beauty in her condition. I began to admire her gold hair, her brown eyes, her pink lips and everything about her. I noticed how attractive she was to people whenever I took them out. People admired her a lot and she is usually the one who gets all the attention.
When Kachi was 3 months old, I got a visit from Canadian National Institute for The Blind (CNIB). The representative told me Kachi would be visually impaired as albino’s are legally blind. She told me stories of albinos in the association and the challenges they have with sight. She succeeded in making me imagine the worse and ended up presenting me a braille which she said Kachi would need when she grew older. I couldn’t imagine Kachi reading with braille. I was okay knowing that her vision wouldn’t be perfect, but telling me my daughter will need a braille in school was very heartbreaking. Being a Christian, I knew better. I was going to put my faith in action and that meant not believing what I was told. I threw the braille in the garbage after they left and from then on, stopped them from further visits.
Today, my daughter is 3 years old. Her personality amazes me. Most times I stare at her, knowing how long it took for her to come into my life, the odds she’s been through and already conquered. She’s so smart and has a strong personality. She knows what she wants and will always go for it.
I always tell her how beautiful she is, because she really is. I wouldn’t trade her condition for a million dollars because she’s perfect to me in every way. Albinism may have its challenges but I’m teaching her to be strong and conquer whatever may come her way. I’m showcasing the beauty in albinism by constantly taking pictures of her and twin brother. I’m not sure she`s aware of her uniqueness at the moment, but eventually she’ll know, and it’s my responsibility to educate her and teach her to love herself no matter what.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Judith Nwokocha. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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