I learned of this disease by accident. I never knew I lived with this time bomb inside me. Through all of the check ups I had ever had there were never any hints of the impending doom my kidneys would face, not until I became pregnant for the third time with my daughter. I was six months along when the doctor told me my kidneys were not what they were supposed to be. He said they weren’t working properly, that I might have to give my baby up by having an abortion. That was the last thing I expected to hear from him, at six months along! Do I even have to tell you that that was an impossibility for me? I would never do that. She was a live human being. Strong and alive within me kicking and breathing. There was no room for fear, the choice was very simple. Without her there was no life and I was willing to give mine for hers if that the plan because giving her up never would be. I would never kill my child and that is what I told him, point blank. I told him: I am going to have my child. We are going to do all that it takes to make sure she’s healthy. We are going to work together and I will do all that is required to maintain my health but the option we do not have is abortion. He saw my resolve. There was no need to repeat myself. From that moment on it was a battle to remain healthy and keep her healthy too. And we did.
On December 30 1997 my five pound baby girl was born. She was tiny but strong and healthy. She had a head full of hair and chubby little cheeks. She was my third little miracle. She came home on the 31st and we spent new years together with her big brothers. In my country when the new year strikes we make a wish. My wish was this: God my children are so small and I have this illness and I don’t want them to loose a mother so young. I only ask that if I am to get really sick that you give me until I’m 40 years old. If you give me this time with my kids I promise I will not complain whatever happens after. My sons will be 20 and 18 and were I to die I know that birdie will have brothers to look after her. I will go in peace. That was my prayer on the day my daughter was one day old. My boys were 9 and 7.
On July 15 2000 I became very I’ll with a high fever. I had never felt this sick before and i knew this was no regular illness, something was definitely wrong. My son Chris took me to the hospital. I was 40 years old and I was very sick. The doctor came to my room and told me one simple thing. Ms. Estrella he said, you have nearly no kidney function and you have to go on dialysis as of tomorrow. That night I was operated on. They placed tubes in my arms and on my chest connected to my heart and arteries so that I could receive dialysis the very next day. It was the prayer answered. I did not complain, I simply said Thank you for giving me what I asked for and the time I needed to see my children prepared. I have been on dialysis five years now.
It has been 17 years since I said that prayer. My bird is a beautiful young woman, nearly a high-school senior and I am nearly 46. She is everything I hoped for in a daughter and I know she will be great and do great things. My sons are grown men now 25 and 23 and I am so proud of the men they’ve become. I am truly and tremendously blessed. I say Thank you every day for all of the days I’ve had after that fortieth year. I am one blessed woman and mother.
I rarely tell this story but I decided to write it down today to let whoever it might benefit that prayers do come true. They may not be answered in your time frame or even in the way you find most fitting but they do get answered. God in whatever form he takes for you, listens and when It’s right, he answers. You may get discouraged at times and I was very scared when I asked God for his favor but I let it go and I let God as they say. That for me is what faith is. Believing that it will be ok especially when It’s not in your hands. I am living proof of that, still my greatest proof will be 18 years old this year and I am grateful.