I’ve been so bad about updating lately! We’ve had a lot going on.
To sum it up:
*A week ago, I came down with a UTI and had to go on antibiotics, which worked, but also succeeded in sending me back into my complete exhausted and terribly nauseous state. Last week was long.
*Emily turned 2 on Sunday! Happy Birthday, my sweet baby girl! I can’t believe it’s been 2 years already! I’ll write more about that and post some pictures soon.
*Last week, I was able to hear our baby’s heartbeat with my home doppler! It registered nice and loud at 160-170 bpm! A beautiful perfect heartrate and so incredibly reassuring and wonderful to hear! Thank you, Jesus!
*I’m 10 weeks along now! That was one of the mini milestones I set for myself. I am so happy things are going so well!
*I had an eye appointment today – I had to go, I’m on my last contact. Darn those doctors who only give you a 1 year prescription, forcing you to make yearly visits. (At least I usually stretch mine out to every 15 months! 😉 )
*And today – the reason I’m blogging tonight – I’m annoyed and I always feel better after I write things out – the nurse called…. (and thus ends the “Summary” because I’m going to ramble on now…)
The nurse from my OB’s office called today. My bloodwork from 3 weeks ago (why does it take them 3 weeks to call me?) showed that my blood is slightly sensitized. I’m RH negative.
-My blood type is O-. Nate’s blood type is O+. That means our children’s blood types will most likely be O+ as well. This is where it gets tricky. The negative on my O- blood type means I have RH negative blood. This means that my blood is sensitive to non RH negative types of blood (Nate’s blood, my kid’s blood types – both Nathan & Emily are O+ like their father.) Basically if the baby’s blood were to somehow mix with my blood, my blood could become “sensitized” to their blood and attack their blood, causing the baby to become anemic and potentially kill the baby, if left unmonitored. During a normal pregnancy, there is very little chance of mother and baby’s blood mixing, except for cases such as a car accident, placental abruption, etc. – things that don’t happen routinely. It’s during delivery that the blood types are most likely to mix – not always, but it can happen. Because of this, I am given a shot called the Rhogam shot, which basically acts like a vaccine and slightly sensitizes my blood, but causes it to not react to a mix with the baby’s blood – hopefully keeping my blood antibodies “asleep”, so as not to attack a future pregnancy. Does that make any sense? Sorry, I know it probably doesn’t.
Basically: My blood has the potential to attack my baby’s blood. I get a shot to hopefully prevent that. So far, it has worked – my blood has remained safely “de-sensitized.”
Now that that has been said, I’ll move on to why the nurse called. At the beginning of each of my pregnancies, my blood is tested to see if it’s sensitized or not. Previously, it has always been fine. This time, the nurse called to tell me that my blood came back slightly sensitized. It’s really low, but my doctor was concerned and talked to a specialist. I told the nurse – “Well have they taken into account the fact that I JUST had a Rhogam shot in Sept because of my miscarriage?” (Rhogam shots always cause a slight sensitization – I know that! ) The nurse said “Well they didn’t know that, but I guess that would explain it.” (And they wonder why I don’t just do whatever the doctor tells me and I actually research things for myself?! )
Now, my doctor is “worried” and wants me to come in right away next week for more bloodwork. I asked if I could just come down and get that done when I have my next check up mid-December, but the nurse said my dr doesn’t want to wait that long.
Furthermore, the specialist is blaming the fact that I had my rhogam shot administered late in pregnancy (with Emily) versus on time at 28 weeks for my now slight sensitization. You see, I did extensive research on this rhogam shot and decided I did not want to get it while I was pregnant. It can pose a risk to the baby and I didn’t want to take the risk. The chance of me getting sensitized would be 10% without any Rhogam shots at all. If I were to get a shot after I gave birth, my chances drop to 1%. If I get an extra shot at 28 weeks of pregnancy, it goes to .1% or something like that. But there’s also a risk of harming the baby – causing the baby to become anemic from the shot, not to mention that there is mercury in the rhogam shot (don’t get me started with that. That’s another topic for another day.) I said “no” to the 28 week shot. My doctor hemmed and hawed and tried to change my mind. I argued fiercely with her, brought in paperwork from my extensive research, and put my foot down. She finally let it go. But then I had to have an amnio when I was 38 weeks pregnant with Emily and my doctor refused to do the amnio unless I had the Rhogam shot. So I agreed to it then. I really regret that because Emily was born really jaundiced as a result. I DID agree to the shot after Emily was born – I have no problem with it then, no possible harm to my baby at that point. So I had 2 Rhogam shots within a couple weeks of each other.
Then I had my miscarriage this past September – practically 2 years later. I had a rhogam shot then, as a preventative measure. Prior to receiving the shot, they took a blood sample to check my levels. That came back at ZERO sensitivity. I was NOT sensitized at that point. Then I was given the Rhogam shot.
Fast forward to just 7-8 weeks later when I had my blood drawn for this current pregnancy. It showed a titer of LESS than 1:1. That’s practically zero, very very tiny.
Here’s the thing that irritates me: Rhogam shots generally last 10 weeks, sometimes more. Rhogam shots work by slightly sensitizing the blood. That would account for the titer of 1:1. Does my doctor or the specialist take the time to realize this? No, they jump to the conclusion that it’s MY fault because I delayed my rhogam shot with my last pregnancy. When it couldn’t possibly be from that because I had a clean blood test in September.
It just makes me mad. And now I’m afraid my doctor will be extra careful and REALLY insistent that I get the 28 week shot this pregnancy too. Which I will again decline and be very firm about.
I’m not a very confrontational person in real life. I hate conflicts, I really prefer to just be nice, and have people be nice to me. But when it comes to my health – and even more so – the health of my children, well I guess you could say the Mama Bear in me comes out. I don’t care what the doctors say or do to me, if I don’t want to do something, I won’t. It’s good to remember in cases like this that they do actually work for us. They can give us recommendations, but WE – as the patient, the client – have the final say.
But I still prefer to avoid those situations if I have to. 😉
Really this all comes down to our sue-happy culture. Do you know that it’s only standard to give the Rhogam shot at 28 weeks of pregnancy in America? Why? Because people sue like crazy and doctors are just trying to cover their butts. And this is why I’m irritated with my doctor now – because I feel like they’re just trying to cover themselves. If you truly look at the medical facts, this is nothing to worry about. But unfortunately, that’s not how it works now days.
So anyways, I’m just mad because the stupid doctors didn’t take the time to get all the information before freaking out and insisting I drive an extra hour out of my way and get bloodwork for something that is easily explained if they just look at my chart! I don’t have time or energy to want to drive all the way to the lab (an hour away – one way) next week. I’m still sick and exhausted and if I have any energy at all then, I want to spend it doing things with my children, cleaning my house, and possibly even baking Christmas cookies. Not driving all the way down there.
I told the nurse I would be perfectly happy to get a repeat blood draw when I come in for my mid-Dec appointment, but she said it needs to be next week. I’m supposed to call on Monday and let her know when I’m coming in.
I’m thinking I’ll just skip it. Either not call or call and tell her I’ll do the bloodwork at my Dec visit. Since they seem to not communicate very well, I suppose I could just not call and they would totally forget about it anyways….
Where’s the *rolling eyes* icon when you need it?
Sorry for the completely rambling post, I just needed to get that out.
And for the record, no I’m not putting this baby at risk. I would never do that. My blood levels now are so incredibly low, it poses no risk to the baby. The only danger is if it went up and I’m 99.9999% sure it won’t because this was all from a simple shot a couple months ago.