Friday, May 3, 2013

I'm a Fairly Positive Type-A who is Type-O Negative.

This morning I met with the perinatologist to get clarification on what my blood sensitization dealio is.

To recap:
Oliver had a positive Coombs test at birth indicating that his blood had been attacked by something in my blood, leading to significant anemia and jaundice. My blood tests reveal no suspect antibodies. Who was the attacker? MEDICAL MYSTERY!

I needed to know what the official deal was so that I could make informed decisions about family planning. I felt like I was preparing for an exam when I was doing all my reading to understand blood types and Rh factors and antibodies and antigens. That shit is complex and I say that as someone who has studied it at a collegiate level. Little c! Kells factor! Saying you are type A or B or AB or O is just the tip of the blood typing iceberg. There are so many more blood types out there.

[You: stop saying blood.]

In the end, the conclusion I reached on my own was correct – I have an ABO sensitization (high fives self and ponders future career as forensic scientist). This is the best possible outcome as that means that I am not in the high risk category of blood sensitization. I don’t have to worry about complex pregnancies with extra ultrasounds and amniocentesis or the scary possibiliy of my baby turning very anemic in the womb. I can enter into another pregnancy with pretty much the same risk level of my previous pregnancies and it means that the Rhogam did work after all – and would work again in the future. It also means that I am not in a special minority of people who would have major complications when it comes to getting a blood transfusion (something I have to consider as a woman who tends to hemorrhage at birth).

I am lucky.

That is what I am feeling with all of this. From the fact that I can cross a potential worry off my list to the fact that Husband and I can comfortably decide on a third pregnancy based on our own agenda versus that of a medical complication.

I am deeply grateful to be in the position to calmly weigh the pros and cons of trying for a third baby and to make the decision on our own terms. I feel like I am now much less naïve when it comes to the complexities of baby making. My friends and peers  - and even my own experiences - taught me a lot about just how simple and how damn complex, not to mention unfair, attempting to have a baby can be. I know more now and what I know is that I know very little. I am smart enough to see that I am, in fact, in possession of very little knowledge about life.

But today, at this moment, I feel open to all the possibilities. We can decide to have another baby or we can decide to not. Yes, I know I proclaimed just a month ago that we FOR SURE want another baby and now I’m saying I’m back on the fence. What can I say? I’m complicated. And Oliver just had two molars poke through this week and Oliver teething means the family teeths as a unit. We would prefer to not do family teething again. And yet we would love for the chance to do family teething again – what a gift family teething could be. (Okay, so maybe not that exactly, but you know what I'm saying.)

Life is complicated but I’m open to it all. How refreshing to be here at this junction in the road. We can turn left and life will be okay or we can turn right and life will be okay. Whichever direction we pick will contain wonderful things and sad things. Both choices are right for us, and in some ways, wrong for us. But either way is just fine.

Green arrows in all directions, people.

Also: SNOW.


  1. I'm glad that you got that all worked out and have the freedom to decide about your family for yourselves rather than medicine deciding for you. But in all honesty what really struck me was SNOW?!?! WTH, you guys just can't catch a break can you?...I'm officially opening my home to you in case you want to get away from that cold junk! :D

  2. Awesome picture! And I feel the same way. My husband and I are on the fence about even having kids, but it's nice knowing there are highs and lows, pros and cons to each path. It's just picking the "best" path that's tricky!

  3. So glad you were able to get such good news! It is incredibly complicated - this is my 2nd antibody pregnancy and I still feel clueless especially when the perinatologist talk about it in medicalese. I have my initial consult next week and am hoping for good news as my titers are much lower so far this time than they were last time. I love how teething is an issue for you about whether or not to have another baby. For me, it's everything before the baby comes out - like all day sickness, food and smell aversions, etc. I am jonesing for some Life cereal, even dreamt about it and I haven't had it in a decade probably. In my dream though, I was able to open the cupboard and there it was! Pretty sure though that if nothing else happens this weekend, I will have Life cereal for at least a meal or two! With whole milk! P.S. It's supposed to be 90 by next Thursday!

  4. Once in awhile we get a woman who refuse to receive Rhogam who actually needs it. They are Rh Neg and their babe is Rh +. While many things in labour and delivery I am flexible with, Rh is not. I totally do not understand why someone would refuse this potentially life saving product. Hmmm...this is one that I totally don't get.

  5. I don't think I knew this complexity about you and your blood. Very interesting. Love reading your thoughts on expanding your family--and how at peace you seem with either possibility right now. Exciting to think about a third and exciting to think about being a complete family unit, too. Gotta love being on the fence;)

  6. Rachel - The teething thing is just this week's stress. Next week it will be that I can't imagine dealing with 3-year-old tantrums with a third baby :) And I LOVED Life cereal with both pregnancies, which was kind of random :)

    Andrea F - Yes, I avoid a lot of meds and will often decline things like antibiotics for sinus/ear infections for me and the kids but Rhogam and immunizations are no brainers for me.

  7. I am also RH negative, but had no idea the complexities of it. My husband is RH positive, but somehow both of our children have been negative. I have never fully understood it. Glad to hear it is not a factor that will stop you from having more children. At least you can decide what you want without that factor. I know I just had my second...but I really want three, so we will see what the next year brings. I decided I would give it a year to decide (convince husband).

  8. Oh good, I'm glad biology won't interfere with your decision making. WRT #3, basically what I wanted was to "throw caution to the wind," end up pregnant and shrug my shoulders, assuming it was meant to be. HAHAHAHA. As you know, it didn't go down like that but here we are anyway.

    I can really relate to the schizophrenic feelings on the topic. If I had one piece of advice, I'd just say to bear in mind that six months (or even a year, really), makes a HUGE difference in the ease of adding a baby in terms of how old your current youngest is, but isn't such a big deal in terms of your and your husband's ages. I'm sure that's a factor (uh, because you've said so, not because I think you're OLD), but I would just say try not to feel pressured to make a decision before you're ready.

    But seriously, have another baby because you make cute ones with awesome hair ;)

  9. 1) I found out recently that I'm expecting ... Since I don't have anything to do (I have a million things to do), I sat for hours and read through your Preggy Blonde blog. Love it!!

    2) I'm a positive blood type, so I don't think I have to worry about all of this, but this post is still so interesting.

    3) I'm glad you got a green light (and some peace of mind) for baby #3!!! Your babies are the cutest!!!

    - The Baby Tale

  10. Sweet Dreams - He must have the recessive gene for negative and it just worked out well with your two kids. Keeps it simple that way:)

    Jaida - I consistently forget that Oliver will not be a small tornado forever, nor will Bella be at my side talking-talking-talking for years. Why is it so hard to keep that perspective? And we have talked about baby #3's hair! Haha

    The Baby Tale - Congrats! I loved pregnancy blogs while pregnant (actually I first fell in love with them as we were deciding to go for having a baby). However, I'm not kind of horrified/embarrassed by the TMI and awkwardness of preggy blonde, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!