Friday, May 9, 2008

100 to go!

The first 100 days of a presidential term are supposed to be very telling. (a little tribute to this little one's Dad!) These last 100 days should be just as telling!

I have a form of RH incompatibility. It's not the simple kind where I can get a shot though. Basically, there are lots of blood alleles and one of them is E. I am anti-E. W is obviously positive for E because he passed it on to M and she left enough in me that I built up antibodies in the last two years. So when they did my blood tests when I got pregnant, they discovered that I had anti-E antibodies. It caused a lot of worry at first until we learned more about what it all meant. (Heaven forbid I have an uneventful pregnancy, right? :)

-if this baby also inherited the big E, then the antibodies can cause problems with this baby's blood. If my antibodies get too high, it means they could start attacking the baby's blood and cause anemia in the baby. If the baby gets anemia, it reacts by blocking blood flow tot he brain to send it other places which of course is very dangerous for her brain development. However, 1) we don't know whether she inherited the big E or not. 2) it's milder in earlier pregnancies-I haven't had that much time to build up the antibodies. 3) there's nothing we did to cause this and there's nothing we can do but monitor it. So, the bottom line is, we get my blood checked every month to see if I'm building more antibodies or just maintaining. IF I built up more antibodies, they would start weekly ultrasounds to watch the baby more closely. They would monitor her blood flow and make sure her brain is developing fine and getting enough blood. If the blood flow did become interrupted and there was anemia, they could actually do an intra-uterine blood transfusion to supplement. Those last two steps are where I get freaked out and scared.

-Not many people know about this complication with the baby, so for all of the rest of you who are now freaked out, here's the good news! I keep telling myself that everything is absolutely fine as long as my blood levels stay okay. And that's true. And it's going fine so far. My blood levels or "titres" have stayed nice and low and haven't budged for three months in a row. We'll keep monitoring it for the rest of the pregnancy but so far, so good!

In general though, this pregnancy has been so easy! I was HARDLY sick and I have felt great. I expect to get really huge over the next 100 days and really uncomfortable! :) And we're excited!


Grandma Jan said...

OK, so I admit, I am a little freaked out. Don't you think a little warning would have helped. But I am OK because I know you will both be fine. I'll will keep you all in my prayers.
G Jan

Liz&Meg said...

Don't worry. Everything has been fine and I'm confident that everything will continue to be fine! But it has been a very big part of this pregnancy so I thought it was worth documenting here. Sorry to worry you!

Linz said...

Keep us updated, Liz.

Spencer Family said...

Oh my goodness--you are the first person I have met who has this. I have it too! Except ours is M. I had to do the blood draw every month and the special u/s's to keep an eye on things but luckily the titers stayed low. You are in our thoughts and prayers!