January 29, 2010

Unpredictable

Today was my first visit at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic. I've been relatively calm about everything so far, but my nerves were beginning to get to me as it got closer and closer to appointment time. I ran errands, did a bit of shopping for the girls at the Outlets, picked Hayley up from school and even bought some well deserved Godiva. The time finally arrived to leave, so Jonas and I left the girls with a sitter.

Shortly after we arrived the appointment began with an ultrasound and everything looked great. Although, again, he was highly uncooperative with the technician. Luckily, they had the images from my last scan and were able to look at those. He's right on track and weighs around three quarters of a pound. He also had his hands in his face the whole time, he's already trying to get away from the camera.

After the ultrasound, we met with the doctor to go over test results and where to go from there.
One interesting thing we learned is that Jonas' gene for this blood protein is double positive, so our children would inherit it no matter what. It's normal not to have any issues with the first pregnancy, but he was surprised there was no indication of these antibodies during my pregnancy with Ryan. I guess we were lucky.

He also explained that one of the anti-bodies my blood is creating is highly unpredictable and there's really no way of knowing what it will do. The titer tests they perform don't give the doctor's any indication of what could happen. So, it has to be monitored regularly. As of now, I have to be seen at least every two weeks for ultrasounds.

During ultrasound they watch the blood flow of a vessel in the brain. If it is slow/normal, then there's no indication of anemia in the baby. If the blood flow becomes faster, then the anti-bodies have attacked the babies blood, breaking down the red blood cells and causing anemia. Then they would go on to a amniocentesis, then a possible blood sample from the umbilical cord and the last would be a blood transfusion to the baby through the umbilical cord. There's also a chance, if the baby becomes too anemic, early delivery.

It's a lot of information to process. For now, we just have to wait and see how everything goes. There's nothing I can do, but wait until my next appointment. It's hard to deal with knowing that my own body can attack my baby. There's nothing to be done to prevent it. I'm scared and have a feeling that I won't make it to term. The doctor couldn't tell me whether I would or not.

That's what we know right now. Thankfully, he is healthy and growing right on track. He'll have to get used to these ultrasounds, because they'll be happening every other week. I'm dealing with everything the best I can. It's causing stress, so I am trying to make myself relax since that doesn't do me or the baby any good. It's so hard to not know what could or couldn't happen, it's all up to chance. I have faith that I can get through this and my baby will as well. I have faith in my doctors. And most importantly I have faith. I have hope. I pray.

Please, keep us in your prayers. Much love.


Baby boy Jack, 20 weeks.

January 28, 2010

What's that noise?

Last night, Ryan was sitting with Jonas and I after dinner. She was busy talking to her daddy after his long day at work. She heard the refrigerator make a noise. (The ice dropping from the ice maker.) She became a little serious and here's their conversation:

-Noise-

Ryan: Daddy, you hear that?

Jonas: What?

Ryan: The milk is trying to get out!

The mind of a 2 year old, how funny our girl is!

January 22, 2010

Not Like Last Time

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.

January 7, 2010

No Longer a One Man Household

From the moment miss Hayley was born, Jonas became outnumbered. Me, her and the girl cat. We had a boy cat, but he was evicted from our household when he started spraying anything to do with our new baby girl. (We adopted him out to a very nice family, don't worry animal lovers!) After we moved to Washington, Jonas got me a puppy for Christmas. Penny, another girl. Shortly after that, we learned we were pregnant with our second child and again, a girl. Although, I wanted a girl all along, Hayley needed a sister.

When we were ready to have another baby, Jonas was pretty sure he was destined to be a daddy of girls. He loves his girls. Hayley and Ryan adore their Daddy. Most guesses for this baby were for either, but many leaned towards another girl. And this was it, we weren't having anymore regardless!

In the back of my mind, I thought it was a boy. I am not sure why, just a feeling. I was also stuck on two names for a boy, so maybe it was a sign. So, this afternoon we went for my ultrasound. Jonas and I were both really excited to know the sex. When the technician got to scanning that area of our baby, I knew (well was pretty sure) that I saw something on the screen that Hayley and Ryan did not have. And with 98% certainly, she told us it was a baby BOY!

Of course, we would have been thrilled if it was another girl. But this will be completely new for us, so it makes it a little more exciting! Now, it's to planning all things blue! Just need to buy a bunk bed for the girls and figure out how to masculinize Ryan's room. And I need to figure out what to do with the bins and bins of girls clothes I have accumulated over the years! Yeah for our little baby boy, we can't wait to meet you.








It's a boy!

Christmas, in a Nutshell

Yes, Christmas was well over two weeks ago and it's 2010! I've been meaning to blog about it, but just haven't found the time. Poor excuse, but oh well!

We had a wonderful Christmas, one of the best! Hayley and Ryan were both really looking forward to it, so that made it even more fun. On Christmas Eve we left cookies for Santa and sprinkled Reindeer food on the front lawn. We all opened one special gift, new pajamas for everyone and the girls each received a book with their pajamas to read before going to bed. Ryan is still a little young and fell asleep relatively fast, but Hayley was awake forever. Just when I thought she was finally down for the night, I would hear her singing Christmas carols along with her CD. It was so cute, but she finally gave in to her sleepiness over her anticipation.

Soon Christmas morning arrived and I heard Hayley enter our room. She told me that she saw that Santa had filled the stockings and there was a sign. She wasn't supposed to go downstairs without us, but she just had a sneak a peek. She was ready to go downstairs, but was a bit miffed because she had to wait for Ryan to wake up. I turned on the TV for her and she "patiently" waited.

Finally, Ryan was awake and we could head downstairs for stockings and gifts. Hayley ripped through her stocking and was ready for the presents. Ryan, however, became occupied with her hotwheels and didn't want to open presents. Hayley had no problems with that area and anxiously tore through all her goodies. Ryan was happy to sit in her chair and help mommy open the gifts. Once she opened a few petshops, she was happy to hold those and her hotwheels and continue to one-handily help unwrap her presents.

Hayley's favorites included her new easel from Grandma, (or sign as she referred to it before she realized what it was!), a Nintendo DS and art supplies from Santa. Ryan, of course, was a big fan of her hotwheels and petshops. She is also very fond of her Tinkerbell Doll and ABC fridge toy. Jonas was surprised, by me, with an XBox 360. Jonas was an awesome gift giver with my Silver Tiffany Charm bracelet.

But, besides the gifts it was a great Christmas. We hung around the house, made French Toast for breakfast and watched a movie with the girls. We helped the girls out with their new toys. It was just wonderful being able to hang out in our home and be together. The holidays can be so stressful at times, so it was nice just to have a day to relax.

I hope everyone was able to enjoy their holiday season. As fun as it was, it's nice to finally have a little break from the craziness that it comes with. Now on to a new year, with new adventures!







My little blue box!


Yeah, Jonas!


Petshops and Hotwheels!


New DS!
 
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