My Trisomy 18 Baby Girl


Throughout the pregnancy I had a lot of financial problems. My seven-year-old son and I became homeless. I attended my antenatal appointments in a public clinic, but I never could afford to have an ultrasound done and didn’t expect to have any issues with the baby. The father not in the picture and out of country meant it was just me and my son, so we chose a name that is suitable for both genders, Zothando. Zothando is in a South African language, Xhosa, and simply means ”…of love”. My son is Izipho meaning ”Gifts” and together they are Izipho Zothando meaning “Gifts Of Love.”

On February 4th, I had labor pains, and it was also the big brother’s birthday…we didn’t have cake for him, so we just got excited over the coming baby. I made my way to the local clinic, and due to their fear of limited resources and noticeable small baby size they transferred me to Johannesburg Hospital for my delivery. I delivered my baby there on the 4th of February 2016. She is now 12 days old. I am trying to be strong for her, but I do break down sometimes. I don’t care about any of the disabilities; I just pray for her life.

Her brother has not seen or touched her because they don’t allow kids to visit. I am all on my own with my kids with no support structure of any kind that I can lean on. I go express breastmilk and feed her and just stay with her the whole day, every day. It breaks my heart to know I will have her just for a little while and that’s why I don’t mind walking from 6:30am to be there by 8:00am and walking back from 6:00pm to be home by 8:30pm. I do feel I am neglecting my son, but I feel even more guilty with each hour I am not with my daughter.

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