I sometimes find it hard to believe that I am nearly halfway through with this pregnancy. It has definitely been different than the first two and similar in other ways. I had morning sickness all three times, but this was surely the most severe. Thankfully it has ended for the most part. We're also having a boy, so that is going to bring a whole new adventure for Jonas, the girls and I.
The one thing that has set this pregnancy apart from the others is the presence of antibodies to blood proteins or what my OB calls Maternal Atypical Antibody Complicating Pregnancy. Basically, when they tested my blood at my first OB checkup they found there was a presence of antibodies in my blood. They then typed these antibodies, there are hundreds, by the way. And then preformed a titer of the antibody levels. I have Anti K and Anti Fya.
So, the question was; why do I have these now, but not during my other pregnancies? There were two possibilities. First, a blood transfusion that exposed my blood to those proteins. Second, Jonas' blood carries these proteins, he then passed them onto Ryan and I was exposed to them at her birth. Since I have never had a blood transfusion, the second was likely. So, Jonas' blood was typed for proteins and it was found he was positive for the two I had built antibodies against and a couple more. For anyone that has a negative RH blood type, my blood is reacting in the same way. However, there's no shot for the antibodies I carry.
What does all this mean? There was a 50/50 chance the baby would inherit these proteins from Jonas and if that was the case, those antibodies can attack the baby's red blood cells, causing the baby to be anemic. Scary, yes. How can they tell? I was told my Antibody titers would be retested in a month to see if they rise. If they remain the same, no worries. That blood test was last week and, unfortunately, the Anti K has risen.
Next week I will go see a doctor at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic at my hospital. From what my OB has explained to me, it means extra monitoring for the baby. There are two ways they check for fetal anemia, ultrasound and amniocentesis. The second scares me, that's a big needle. The ultrasound focuses on the blood flow through the heart and umbilical cord. Ten years ago, amniocentesis were done to check for the break down of red blood cells from the baby. It's possible I may need one, but ultrasound technology has thankfully come a long way. If the baby does become anemic they can perform a blood transfusion. If it's late enough in my pregnancy, he may come a little early.
There are so many questions I have, but I just have to wait until next week. I am very thankful I have an awesome OB and he also has an awesome nursing staff that have been fielding my calls since the test results have come in. Medical records are electronic here and you can choose to have access to them. I do, so I have been able to see my test results as soon as my OB has. That's a good things and a bad thing. Always call your doctor's office with questions about test results, the Internet is scary and makes you panic.
As for now, that is where we stand. I am worried, but I am faithful that things will all turn out well in the end. Jonas has been great, he knows I am worried. I do worry and cry at times, but then I am calm and know that things will be fine. It's just scary, because it's so unknown to me. After two uncomplicated normal pregnancies, this is totally new. Like I mentioned earlier, I have an awesome OB and my hospital is also very good, so I am confident in their abilities to monitor my baby boy. He's already had three ultrasounds, I had another one this week to look at his heart because it was too early last time to get the pictures they wanted. He was stubborn, but finally cooperated when the radiologist came in to take a look. That was frightening when she came in, but thankfully his heart looks great! I should have some more answers and information next week when I see the perinatologist for another ultrasound and consultation.
My baby boy is really not going to like getting his picture taken after all of this. By the way, we're going to name him Jack Brady. Before I even got pregnant, Hayley told Jonas and I she wanted a little brother named Jack. So, it was kind of meant to be and she is still very vocal about her opinion of the name choice.
I will update this next week after my appointment, keep us in your prayers. Much love.