Today is the day I've been expecting since my first blood test of this pregnancy. Expecting...dreading...it's all the same.
My antibody screen came back titered.
Oh...that means nothing to you? Well, that's okay. It means nothing to almost every single mother on the planet since the 1950s. You know, because the Rhogam shot eradicated this issue. At least, that's what everyone thinks... and that's almost true.
Out of the 15% of the US Caucasian population that is Rh-negative, only 1.8% have a chance of becoming Rh-sensitized after getting the Rhogam. So out of the tiny amount of pregnant women who are even Rh-negative, I've hit some kind of crazy jackpot, but out of the total number of pregnant women, the odds are impossible.
Now wait, I know I've talked about this before. I know it's not interesting, but something big happened, and I'm getting to the point.
Titering means they take a blood sample and check it for antibodies. We know they are there. But then they dilute down the specimen one time and see if the antibodies still show up. Up until now, they haven't passed that test. This week, all of a sudden, they did. And then some. Now, not only do they stand up to that first round of dilution, but after diluting 4 times, the antibodies still show up.
Well, what difference does all that make? Basically, the more antibodies I have, the more likely those antibodies will team up against Matt's Rh-positive blood and shred his red blood cells. You know, just because they're different. *tragic laugh* That Rh-profiling would then lead to anemia...or worse.
I explained it in this adorable story to Mike: This whole pregnancy, there's been a crazed general, yearning to attack Matt's blood. All of a sudden, he's gotten together a small group of zealots, hungry for war. It's likely that the zealots will soon raise an army. And then the battle will rage.
So now what? Well, I'll get blood tests all the time. My next one is in two weeks, but we'll likely switch to once a week, since the levels escalated so quickly. Apparently the big red flag will be if I hit 1 in 16, which would mean that the antibodies would be visible after 16 dilutions (explanation simplified a little for my own sanity...).
So here we are. Knowing full well what we're facing and that it could get worse at any minute.
How do we hold on to our sanity?
God bless the women who get pregnant after a loss. We're insane.