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