Molly Mathews

My name is Molly. I have been married for 5 years and have two children. A 10 year old step-son, a 2 year old daughter and I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with a boy! I live in the town I grew up in and have a large family that I see often. We all live close to each other right now and I hope it stays that way as we draw a lot of support from one another. I have been a nurse for 6 years, mostly in the emergency department, and I love my job. Since young childhood I dreamed of being a nurse and a mom and here I am both! I couldn't have imagined how difficult the journey would be but neither could I have fathomed the Joy that would come from both. Becoming a mom has made me into a better person in many ways and a bit of a crazy worry wart in other ways! Having support from other moms who have been there before or are there with you makes all the difference in the world!

kelly-mulder

I’m a Cystic Fibrosis Carrier

Nora and me (I'm 26 weeks)

When I was pregnant with Nora I agreed to all of the tests the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune (and the state of NC) wanted me to do. One of which was the cystic fibrosis screening. I later went to a routine appointment and found out that I am a cystic fibrosis carrier. My world stopped. I had always joked with my husband that my family has superior genetics. We have good hair, soft skin that isn’t prone to acne, and are all athletic and healthy.

But here I am, a cystic fibrosis carrier. I researched cystic fibrosis to try to help myself feel better and only found myself getting sadder and sadder. Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs and digestion. It does not have a cure. It means a lifetime of medical procedures and treatments. Most people with cystic fibrosis don’t live past the age of 35.

God must like math because if I’m a cystic fibrosis carrier and my husband, Garrett, is a cystic fibrosis carrier then our child has a 25% chance of having cystic fibrosis, a 50% chance of being a carrier (like me), and a 25% chance of not being a carrier and not having cystic fibrosis.

Garrett and my plans of having 6 children were crashing down around me. With statistics like these I couldn’t help but wonder how often we would actually play the lottery and gamble with our family?

My friends, family and doctors tried to calm me down. We didn’t know the full story yet. We don’t have Garrett’s test results. Just send Garrett to the lab, right? That’s not so easy when you’re a military family and your husband is deployed. He had no way of getting the testing we needed done. So I started to go and see a specialist and started praying fervently for my unborn child.

Garrett’s parents, confident in their genetics, approached Tricare about getting tested in lieu of their son. They were hoping to set my mind at ease and give us all the answer we were looking for.

The test results came back. Garrett’s mom is not a cystic fibrosis carrier. Garrett’s dad is. He is a carrier for the exact same (most common, most severe) form of cystic fibrosis that I have.  That was not good news for my unborn child. Now, we have a 50% chance that Garrett is also a carrier and no way to tell for sure until Garrett gets home –four to six weeks before I deliver.

This resulted in many months of worrying and praying over our unborn child. Thankfully our prayers were answered and Garrett is not a cystic fibrosis carrier! We can have as big of a family as we want without worrying about passing along a genetic disease! (Well, our kids may be carriers like me, but hopefully they’ll marry someone who isn’t a carrier).

Are you a Cystic Fibrosis carrier? Do you know someone who is?

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6 Comments on “I’m a Cystic Fibrosis Carrier”

  • toni July 6th, 2011 6:14 pm

    I remember all of this like it was just yesterday! WOW…times sure does go by fast! You are too cute, and well Nora…LOVE her too!:)

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly July 7th, 2011 7:28 pm

    I know Toni! We really lucked out with Garrett not being a carrier! Did you ever get tested for that? :)

  • Stephanie Geraghty July 8th, 2011 12:30 pm

    Wow, Kelly, that’s crazy. I did not know that. I sometimes wonder why Cole has to struggle with his current impairment, but I still remind myself that life is a gift and no matter what happens, we’re still blessed. I am sure you would take that same perspective, but I cannot blame you for worrying. I worry all the time! I’m just very glad that the testing eliminated your worries regarding that particular disease. I cannot wait to see pics of your newest addition. The pink in the household will now have a rival. LOL.

  • toni July 9th, 2011 8:39 pm

    I don;t think they tested for that…wait. Not my Dr. now, but the Dr. I saw in NC. He tested for EVERYTHING under the sun, and I was not a carrier.

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly July 9th, 2011 9:08 pm

    Hurray for not being a carrier! With the Naval Hospital no news is good news… so I’m sure if you don’t know if you are or not, you’re not ;) .

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly July 9th, 2011 9:52 pm

    Steph,

    You are so right. Life is a gift and we are so blessed to have our children in our lives! I hope all of the testing Cole is going through will pay off for you guys. I think in a way it, hopefully, already has since it has ruled out so many things, right? I wish I was there to help you out and drive with you, etc! I know you believe in the power of prayer, keep praying! I’ve been praying for you guys and I know lots of other people are too :) .

    I cannot wait to see our newest addition too! We’ll have to have a skype date to show him off. Now if only I can figure out a name for him, lol! He is definitely going to rival the pink in our house. Did you know our ‘pink load’ of laundry is often bigger than the lights and the darks? I bet that doesn’t happen in your house! haha! do you even have a pink load?

    miss you Steph! keep your head up!
    :) kel

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