The birth of two beautiful albino girls

“In September 2015, I met my ex-husband and children’s father for the first time. Because I was overdue on my period, I decided to take a pregnancy test while at work one morning in early January 2016. I assumed I was fine because I was anemic and occasionally missed my periods. It was 11 a.m., and my coworkers were present, but they were unaware that I had taken a test. Because the outcome was positive, it took me a long time to leave the restroom. I was expecting a child.

It consisted of two lines, one of which was highly pink and the other softly pink. I was afraid of them asking me to leave or take time off if I showed them the results. I walked to my manager with a worried expression on my face after taking a few deep breaths. ‘Shawna, I have something I need to show you.’

‘Are you all right? ‘What’s the matter with you?’ she inquired.

I demonstrate my First Response Stick to her. Her face shone with the joy of a child on Christmas morning. ‘Oh my god!!!! LIDA!!!’ exclaims the narrator. Another coworker is Lida. ‘What!? Is everything in order? ‘Are the patients all right?’ Lida inquired, perplexed.

‘Yes! Everyone is in good health! It’s Janell; it’s Janell, it’s Janell, it My manager said, ‘She’s PREGNANT!’ My administrator’s eyes widened so much that I believed she was going to kill me! They hugged me and started talking about the baby shower. I sent a picture of the positive stick to my ex on Snapchat. ‘Omg, we’re having a baby!’ he exclaimed, his voice brimming with joy. Wow, that’s incredible! Isn’t this a serious situation? Please don’t try to fool me! ‘What a blessing!’

Courtesy of Janell Estrada

We went to the doctor for an ultrasound, and he informed us of our due date but couldn’t tell us the gender because the baby was always showing butt cheeks or turning when it sensed movement on the tummy. He proposed to me in his car outside my workplace in mid-January. It was during my lunch break. He had to get the ring resized because it was too tiny for my plump finger. We had only been dating for five months when he proposed that night, and I was completely taken aback.

We married on February 12and now the due date has here! Nothing happens on September 22o pain, contractions, or water breaks. I went to my doctor, even though I didn’t have an appointment that day, and told him, “Doctor, today is my due date, and I don’t know what to do.” ‘Well, Janell, we’ll have to wait,’ he replied. ‘I’m confident the infant is in good hands.’ I left it there and returned home.

The waiting game seemed to go on forever. I was inducing my labor by drinking hot cinnamon water and vigorously walking, leaping, crouching, and so on. Nothing seemed to be working. I’ve decided to return on the 29th. I was waiting to be induced on the bed. The nurse entered, introduced herself, and began cheerfully explaining that they would induce my labor at 8 p.m. My water finally broke at midnight. When the doctor arrived, I was already dilated. He inserted his fingers awkwardly to check, and I only dilated 2 cm. ‘Ms. Janell, we’ll wait until you dilate the 10 cm we need to deliver,’ he stated. ‘What!!’ I exclaimed. I don’t know how I’m going to do it!’ ‘Baby will dilate when it’s ready,’ he joked. As he walked away, I shook my head in agreement. A mask covered my face with an inflated bag underneath it, which the nurse applied. I have no idea what that was for… It was SeptSeptember 3016, at 2:30 p.m. As my contractions became more intense, I requested the infamous Epidural. My dilation was just 4cm with no progress when the doctor checked it. ‘I’ll check on you in an hour, and if you haven’t dilated to at least 8cm by then, I’m going to order a C-Section,’ he added. ‘A what?’ I exclaimed. ‘With a C-Section, we’ll have to open below your stomach and get the kid out,’ the doctor explained. ‘NO!’ I exclaimed. ‘I want my child to be normal!’ ‘Well, at this point, it may be the only option because dilation hasn’t progressed since yesterday, and the baby’s heartbeat is becoming lower and lower with contractions,’ the doctor added. My heart stopped beating at that point. I was nervous, hoping for the best and trying not to consider that I was over 41 weeks pregnant and would lose it.

I’ve been at 4cm for an hour and haven’t moved. ‘You’re in danger now,’ he says with a disappointed shake of his head. An emergency C-section was ordered. When my ex enters, he gives me a troubled expression. ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘How’s the baby?’ I made an effort to soothe him. He kisses me and apologizes for not being present because he was working to support us.

Because my whole body was moving up and down when I was finally ready, I only felt the tugging when opening up. ‘IT’S A GIRL!’ exclaimed the doctor after some time. Hearing her cry made me so pleased; knowing she was OK lifted a burden off my shoulders. ‘5 pounds 12 ounces,’ the nurse says. ‘It measures 19 inches!’ After 17 difficult hours of labor, Jayannie (Jay-Aw-Knee) was born at 7:45 p.m. on SeptSeptember 3016! Those 17 hours was a complete nightmare!!! However, I was given a lovely baby daughter.

Courtesy of Janell Estrada

When the physicians had finished cleaning me up, I returned to my room and waited for Jayannie to arrive. I was taken aback by how white/blonde her hair was. I never imagined having a blonde child in a million years. My ex-boyfriend has black hair, whereas I have light brown. It didn’t disturb me, and I didn’t pay attention to it because my maternal grandmother had a fair complexion. All I knew was that I was relieved that my daughter had arrived. She was alive and well, and I had the opportunity to breastfeed her and converse with her.

Our pediatrician comes in the next morning with a bewildered expression on his face. ‘Is that your mother?’ he asks, pointing to my mother. ‘Have you been adopted?’ ‘Yes, that’s my mother, no, I’m not adopted,’ I replied, irritated but respectfully. ‘Well, your baby seems OK; she may have little jaundice — her skin is a little yellow,’ he says as he checks on Jay. Do you have any people with albinism in your family?’ ‘I believe your child has albinism.’ I had had enough of him and had told him off. I thought he was being obnoxious. I requested that he leave, and he did so.

Courtesy of Janell Estrada

We were told we’d be freed on OctoOctober 3 p.m. I was thrilled to be taking my new baby home with me. Jay had her one-week checkup five days later. Her pediatrician confirmed that he had a strong suspicion that she had albinism. He referred us to a San Bernardino, California-based geneticist. Dr. James Bartley was extremely pleasant and accommodating. He had our Jay’s blood tested. The results took a week or two to arrive. Jeannie possesses two more genes. He was perplexed and inquired if my ex and I were related in any way. Our detailed response was ‘NO!’ He went on to say, ‘Jayannie has two more genes that caused her Albinism.’ ‘OK?’ even though I didn’t comprehend, I said something. ‘Would both of you agree to do some lab work to figure out where she received the genes?’ he said. Naturally, we agreed and completed our labs.

A few weeks later, our results returned, indicating that both my ex-husband and I carry the albino gene. Dr. Bartley observed, ‘There’s a 1 in 4 chance you’ll have another albino baby.’ I didn’t mind him saying it because, at the time, all I wanted was one child. I had no clue I’d be having a second child with white hair so soon. We left that day with information on how to care for our child, links to other albino websites, and brochures for support groups, all of which helped us be extra cautious with our bundle of joy. We purchased the darkest window tint legal to keep the sun out of her back seat; we put sunglasses on her, had car seat canopy covers, she wore sunblock; it was like she was a vampire. We probably went a little too far! But that was all because we were concerned about her safety.

Courtesy of Janell Estrada

Jeannie grew bigger and healthier, with no evident issues. She was a cheerful, unruly child. Months passed, and my ex-husband and I had no idea what was coming, but in early April, we were surprised. We were expecting our second child at the time. I was concerned this time. Not because I was pregnant, but because the doctor said our next child might be ‘normal,’ I was afraid that if my second child weren’t albino, people would confuse them. But I was relieved to learn that Jayannie would not be the lone child.

We couldn’t wait to find out the gender of the baby this time. It was yet another young lady! I began by looking for names that began with the letter J. Jacqueline was the name of my great maternal grandmother, which is why I named my second child Jaclyn.

Let’s move on. SeptemSeptember 30, I’ve begun organizing Jayannie’s 1st birthday/baptism. I was three months away from giving birth to Jaclyn at the time. Everything went smoothly, there were no issues, and everything was fantastic. I had an OBGYN checkup a week later, and they were planning on performing a second C-Section. They informed me that Jaclyn would be born on January 5, 2018January 5lt like an eternity!!!! I was desperate to get this baby out. I couldn’t wait to see her. I couldn’t wait to find out if she, too, would have albinism. When December arrived, I began decorating the entire house for Christmas. I started to have a lot of discomfort in my lower back, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to walk. I was perplexed as to why I was so exhausted all of the time.

Courtesy of Janell Estrada

At 9 p.m. on December 21. I December 21, my mother with her morning routine when I noticed a big amount of discharge on my underpants. My water appeared to have broken, but it didn’t touch the floor or my legs, so I dismissed it. If I needed to go to the ER, she urged me to call her or my sister to watch Jay. I went to the refrigerator to fetch what I wanted, Aguachiles (Spicy Mexican Seafood). I’ve always liked spicy food with both of my kids. By 10:20 p.m., I was fast asleep, and my mother called to see how I was doing and if I was in any pain. I made a falsehood and claimed I didn’t. That I was OK, not to be concerned, and that I was fast sleeping. We hung up, and I tried to fall asleep in my bed, but I couldn’t find a comfortable position. It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to sleep.

‘Are you OK?’ my brother said as he opened his bedroom door. You’ve already been walking for an hour. If you require assistance, I am available. Your baby may be itching to get out.’ I dash into the room and jolt my ex awake. ‘Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, ‘What?’ he asks, startled. What exactly is going on? ‘Are you all right?’ ‘I think Jac is looking for a way out,’ I informed him. I’m not feeling well, and I’ve been walking for an hour with the discomfort becoming worse.’ I grab the baby bag and begin stuffing it with Jaclyn’s warm onesies, extra clothes, diapers, baby supplies, and my clothes.

At 4:30 a.m., we arrived at the hospital. ‘How long have the contractions been going on?’ the nurse inquired. ‘I started feeling intense pains at 10 p.m. but assumed they were Braxton Hicks,’ I explained. Nothing happens after hours have passed. This kind, sweet doctor greets me with a warm smile at 6:30 a.m. ‘Greetings, Mrs. Estrada. Dr. Anzaldo is my name. Today I’ll be giving birth to a baby. Is it right that we’ll be performing a c-section on you?’ ‘Yes, but when will this happen?’ I replied. I’ve had it with the pain and can’t take it anymore.’ ‘Soon,’ he murmured, his gaze falling on his wristwatch.

Finally, around 7:45 a.m., the doctor enters and begins preparing to open me up and remove Jaclyn. I hear her wailing as if she were a kitten! I grinned and dropped a tear because I was so delighted. Jaclyn also has a full head of white/blonde hair, which I noticed when I rotated my head to the right. Jaclyn was born on December 22 2017December 22. She was a healthy baby with no jaundice who clung to my breast with no need for persuading! I was as content as I could be.

Courtesy of Janell Estrada
Courtesy of Janell Estrada

On December 24, Dr. AnDecember 24 in and as he examines my c-section scar and baby, he offers me the wonderful news that we would be discharged at 6 p.m., just in time for Christmas! We arrived at home at 7:00 p.m. and shared our Christmas supper. We also took Christmas pictures of Jayannie and Jaclyn with the Christmas tree in the background, and I was relieved to see that Jaclyn also had albinism.

Courtesy of Janell Estrada

Jeannie is already two years old and has the time of her life. Her favorite activity is swinging in the park. She has prescription glasses that she wears every day, but she refuses to wear them when she does not want to. Because of her vision, walking difficulties, and a slight delay in her speech, she undergoes Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy. Aside from that, she’s fantastic!

Courtesy of Janell Estrada
Courtesy of Janell Estrada

Jaclyn is a one-year-and-four-month-old baby. Although she does not wear prescription glasses, she visits an eye doctor and enjoys doing what her older sister does. Her favorite park slides are the ones in the park.

Courtesy of Janell Estrada
Courtesy of Janell Estrada

They’re wild, crazy beings who drive me insane, yet I wouldn’t change a thing!!! I’m a sucker for what matters, and they’re the ones who matter to me!

Courtesy of Janell Estrada
Courtesy of Janell Estrada

I am grateful that God chose me and blessed me with albino babies, which I refer to as my Albino Beauties. I am extremely fortunate. I’ve always assumed that if I was given special children, it was because God regarded me as having the potential to be something special for them. They are both my pride and joy, as well as my most valued things. “My most valuable possessions.”

Courtesy of Janell Estrada
Courtesy of Janell Estrada
Courtesy of Janell Estrada

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