Pregnancy can be a difficult time for a woman.
But fortunately, in most cases everything goes smoothly. The worries and anxieties change into a sense of relief the second the child is born healthy.
But Jennie Wilco has never had the experience of feeling this relief – quite the contrary.
Jennie had a fairly normal pregnancy. She and her husband were happy to find out they were pregnant, and all the tests came out normal.
But clouds of worry began to accumulate when Jennie had to undergo a caesarean section in her 34th week of pregnancy. Although the surgery and delivery were successful, it soon became apparent that there was a problem with Jennie’s daughter.
“When they took her out I heard a scream and they said: she’s so beautiful, those are the words every mom wants to hear, so I smiled and I was calm”, Jennie said.
“They did everything to help her, but her skin became as hard as a stone within seconds. After the skin hardened, it started to crack. It caused sores all over her body. I saw their frightened faces and asked if everything was fine”.
After the doctor assured Jennie that things were under control, she was given a sedative that made her fall asleep.
When she woke up a few hours later, the doctor informed Jennie. It turns out that her baby, Anna, suffers from Harlequin Ichthyosis.
She looked at her husband when she realized the seriousness of the situation.
“My husband’s silence scared me. He was only in shock when the doctor left the room. He just kept saying it was not good”.
Children born with Harlequin’s ichthyosis usually die a few days after birth.
But those who survive it can expect a normal life expectancy. But unfortunately, they are also prone to complications and developmental problems, especially when it comes to motor skills.
“For the next two days I searched for information about her illness. I realized she was expecting a bad quality of life. I allowed myself to admit it, because it was the most confused and lonely moment of my life. At that moment I thought it would be better if she did not survive”, Jennie said.
But it turned out that Jennie gave birth to a very strong baby girl.
With the help of doctors and family, Anna survived.
The parents brought her home and did their best to take care of Anna.
Jennie told about the struggle in the first days:
“Every two hours I covered her in Vaseline and took a bath for her a few hours a day. For years I dreamed about the things my beloved daughter would wear, and even though it seemed trivial, I fought for it the most”.
Despite the difficulties, Anna gave her mother a new perspective on life.
“I began to realize that if I put limits on the things she could achieve, she would be left behind. That’s why I decided to set a high standard. I decided the goal was for her to do what she wanted and the goals were the same for me”.
Since then, Jennie has set up an Instagram account documenting her and her daughter’s journey.
“Now I realize I got it because of the love that was in my heart for my daughter. Anna was meant to be mine, and I was meant to be hers, and together we will show the world how beautiful it can be”.
What do you think of Jennie and Anna’s story? We think they show that there is also room for love, difference, and warmth in a world that could have been cold and gloomy.
Sometimes we do not always get what we dream of, but if we can accept that everyone is born different and that there are people who do not look like other people, it means we have come a long way.
The fact that Jennie is so open and willing to tell her and Anna’s story, it means a lot.
Please share this with friends and family if you too think Anna is a cute and sweet girl!