Oh Baby Baby
Have a baby they say, just get pregnant, you will figure it all out once the baby comes, having babies is the best joy you will ever experience in your life… these are just a few things I have heard over the past year or two of my life. Having kids was never really something I invested much of my time in and it wasn’t until the past 2 years that I really did start reading and finding out more. After my loss in July it seemed that I sent myself on a wild goose chase and have been on a never ending hunt to find out why this happened to me and what on earth I did. After what seems like 100+ doctors’ appointments and having every test you could for repeated losses all of my results came back 100% normal and I found out it wasn’t anything I did.
A few weeks ago we had one more set of blood testing done to find out some more info on my blood type and Jeff’s blood type + what that means for us. After my miscarriage we found out that somehow in the course of my life I have developed antibodies to the D antigen found in many people’s blood. I’m Rh- (meaning I lack the D antigen) and Jeff is Rh+ (meaning he has the D antigen). We also found out that Jeff is homozygous meaning he has identical alleles on both homologous chromosomes. So what does that mean? Our baby no matter what will have his blood type and be RH+. In turn my body will see those antigens in the baby’s blood and attacks them in utero. If enough of the baby’s blood cells are killed off, the baby can quickly become severely anemic and we could lose him/her.
Once you develop antibodies, there’s no way to get rid of them, but luckily specialists can monitor the baby regularly throughout pregnancy via an ultrasound of the brain that will show signs of anemia. If they see those signs, they can perform blood transfusions while the baby is still inside (a challenging and risky procedure, but obviously necessary in the case of severe anemia).
We explored the thought of doing IVF because if Jeff was heterozygous there would be a chance that some embryos would inherit my blood type and some would have his. They would implant one that had my blood type (Rh-) and we wouldn’t be a risk. Unfortunately that isn’t an option for us and doing IVF would not change our scenario + I don’t have any issues getting pregnant. I am lucky to have an amazing reproductive endocrinologist who has done all of our testing, my surgery and been 100% open and honest with me. He flat out told me IVF is not the route we need to take and close monitoring is what he wants for me. I also have a really great perinatal specialist as well who will be doing my weekly monitoring once we are pregnant. I am happy to share any of this info with anyone who has questions or may be in the same situation. It’s far more common than I ever thought and I have recently connected with many women in the same boat. Luckily and to give me peace of mind I’ve learned they all have had healthy babies.
All of that to say, we have a lot to consider but it isn’t stopping us from continuing to try. We will continue to do what we have been and when the time comes that I am pregnant again we will be high risk no matter what. Lots of weekly ultrasounds, extra monitoring, blood test ect. Prayers and positive vibes are what we need as we continue on this journey to our Rainbow Baby!