Mother Gave Birth To ‘Black And White Twins’ And Teaches Them To Celebrate Their Differences
Dec 01, 2020 by apost team
When Judith Nwokocha, a photographer from Canada, gave birth to twins Kamsi and Kachi in 2016, she was astonished when she saw the two were born with different skin tones—so astonished that she admits to thinking the hospital had made a mistake when they handed her her newborn daughter.
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Judith Nwokocha, originally from Nigeria, had yearned for a family with her husband for years, and after eight years of trying, she finally became pregnant with twins after IVF treatment.
"Our first ultrasound revealed one fetus, but I quickly told the doctor that she saw incorrectly," she wrote in a personal essay for Love What Matters. "I knew without a doubt there were 2 children."
As both she and her husband are black, they were both in disbelief when they met their children, with son Kamsi coming out black and Kachi fair-skinned with light-colored eyes and golden locks. Kachi was later diagnosed with albinism.
"I was shocked- I thought they had handed me somebody else's baby, I didn't believe she was mine," she wrote.
"It never crossed my mind I was going to have an albino baby, we don't have any in my family, nor my husband's family. It was a real shock for me, I was thinking 'what are they doing, why did they give me someone else's baby?'."
According to the Daily Mail, doctors had told Nwokocha early on in her pregnancy that they suspected the twins would be born with Down syndrome, given Kachi's delayed growth comparing to her brother.
"She was very small, she stopped growing. I remember the doctors telling me she might not make it. I'm so grateful she did," Nwokocha said. "She didn't cry initially, so I was thinking, 'What's going to happen, how is she going to be?'"
Thankfully, Kachi turned out to be, in her mother's words, "perfect" and "healthy."
Doctors diagnosed Kachi with Oculocutaneous albinism, the most common of the two types of albinism, which occurs in around one in every 18,000-20,000 births, according to albinism.org. Albinism is a group of conditions whereby an individual produces little or no pigment melanin, contributing to their characteristic fair features. According to Mayo Clinic, individuals with albinism also have impaired vision, as melanin plays an essential role in the development of the optic nerves. This includes sensitivity to light, reduced sharpness, and involuntary eye movements.
The lack of pigmentation means Kachi is also much more sensitive to the sun, which means she has to take extra precautions outdoors. The condition is hereditary, with a 25% chance a child will be born with albinism should both parents carry the corresponding gene. The fact that Kamsi and Kachi are not identical twins explains why only one of the siblings was born with the condition.
When Kachi was born, Nwokocha became concerned with how society would treat her because she was 'different.'
"I loved my princess like every mother would love her baby, but worried about her condition," the mother of two admitted. "Gradually, worry turned to sadness and I started questioning God, wondering why He would put me in such a situation. I worried about her future, how society would treat her, how she'll be accepted."
"I envied other black babies and thought, 'Why me? Why was I the one to have an albino baby? How did I get black and white twins?'"
She explained that bother her and her husband were in denial about the situation at first and started counseling to learn to deal with their situation. Even with support, she didn't stop worrying about Kachi's future. After that, Nwokocha gradually began to see past the negativity and instead saw Kachi's beauty.
"I began to admire her gold hair, her brown eyes, her pink lips and everything about her," the doting mother wrote. "I noticed how attractive she was to people whenever I took them out. People admired her a lot and she is usually the one who gets all the attention."
While Kachi has vision issues and sun sensitivity, the 4-year-old is now a happy and healthy girl. While the family indeed turns heads when they're out and about, Nwokocha says her twins don't notice a difference.
"I always tell her how beautiful she is, because she really is," Nwokocha wrote. "I wouldn't trade her condition for a million dollars because she's perfect to me in every way. Albinism may have its challenges but I'm teaching her to be strong and conquer whatever may come her way."
With a loving mother like Judith Nwokocha, we imagine Kachi will be just fine.
What do you think about Nwokocha's honest account of having a child with albinism? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family