February 21, 2010

A Cause for Concern

The results from the first routine blood work for this pregnancy indicated that there was a weak antibody reaction in my blood. The doctor said that they would repeat the test and he believed that since it was weak that it wouldn't show up again. I asked him why this was a cause for alarm and he explained it to me, but I still left the office puzzled.

When the test was repeated, the weak antibody response was still present. When the nurse called to tell me this information, I asked her the significance of this response. She told me that it could interfere with future pregnancies, but that since I was so far along in this one, that there was no cause for alarm and it would not cause a miscarriage. She also told me that I would be tested again 2 or 3 times more during this pregnancy for the reaction.

After the prompting of a friend who always prefers to be informed, I did a little research on WebMD and found this informative article. It turns out that the cause could be that the baby's blood has mixed with my own outside of the uterus. This is an excerpt of what alarmed me most:

If a pregnant woman with Rh-negative blood has a baby (fetus) with Rh-positive blood, Rh sensitization may occur. The baby may have Rh-positive blood if the father has Rh-positive blood. Rh sensitization happens when the baby's blood mixes with the mother's blood during pregnancy or delivery. This causes the mother's immune system to make antibodies against the baby's red blood cells in future pregnancies. This antibody response is called Rh sensitization and, depending on when it happens, can destroy the red blood cells of the baby before or after it is born. If sensitization happens, a fetus or newborn can develop mild to severe problems (called Rh disease or erythroblastosis fetalis). In rare cases, if Rh disease is not treated, the fetus or newborn may die.

Jeramy and I have the same blood type and we are not Rh negative. I will do my best not to get anxious about the possibility of losing this child, but I pray that this will in no way affect the his or her birth. Currently I'm 14 weeks. My carpal tunnel surgery is still a go.


The Shadburn Family said...

Oh, Meggan, I can imagine that is not easy to hear. My prayers are with you. Please let me know if you need anything.

Erin said...


Michael and I are incompatible in that way - I am Rh negative, and he is not. I have always had to get an injection called Rhogam, which I receive at about 28 weeks pregnancy, and as well as after delivery. It has prevented any issues related to the incompatibility. Has your doctor mentioned it to you? Have they told you how you have this if you and Jeramy aren't incompatible? Are the girls of a different Rh type, by chance?

We will be praying for you to have peace, find the answers you need, as well as for your sweet little one to be healthy and protected!!

The Culbertsons said...

Praying for you and your doctors as they take care of you and your little one.