This month has been crazy. My husband has been off interviewing, as I mentioned in my last post. While it is fun, it sure has been draining on the energy. Last week before our trip to Grand Junction, CO I had noticed that my baby wasn't moving the way she had been. I went in for some monitoring on Saturday morning. They checked her out and said she was moving fine. I wish I had pushed it a bit more than I did, but I thought, "Okay, they said she was okay, she must be." We went on our trip the next day and her movements continued to decline. The thought kept going through my head that something just wasn't quite right. We got back into Akron on Tuesday night and my doctor flew out that night for a conference. I was supposed to have an appointment on Wednesday, but as he was out of town it had been rescheduled for next week.
All Wednesday I had a nagging feeling that something just wasn't right, but I kept putting it off. (Dumb, I know) By Thursday morning I couldn't stand it any longer. I called his office (he is the only doc in the practice) and asked them to please do an ultrasound to check on her. They called the doc that was covering for mine and sent me into the hospital for more monitoring. Now, nurses don't always have the full story right away when you get there, so their understanding was that they would just do more simple movement monitoring of the baby. I informed them that it was not acceptable and not enough. I needed an ultrasound to check on her.
Now, a little background. When I was pregnant with my second (Kelsi) there was a placental defect which allowed for a lot of her blood to mix with mine. She had an Rh+ blood type and I have an Rh-. So even though I had been given the RhoGam shots to prevent an antibody from forming, due to the volume, the antibody did in deed develop. This is something they have been monitoring closely with this baby and can change quite quickly. In fact, at my appointment just two weeks ago everything looked PERFECT.
So they did an ultrasound and the findings were not good at all. This Rh Antibody causes my red blood cells to attach her red blood cells. This has caused her to become anemic. Not only that, but she has also developed a dangerous condition called Hydrops Fetalis. This is where the baby gets fluid in major cavities in the body. This little one had fluid and swelling in her brain, heart and abdomen. Most of the time this can be reversed and hopefully without lasting effects with blood transfusions for the baby.
As my doctor was out of town he sent me to a "Super" specialist in Columbus, at the Ohio State Medical Center. The blood bank worked all night to get blood ready for my little girl. They have to do a lot to make certain that it is free of antibodies, wash it and remove quite a few things and thicken it up for these little babies. Friday morning they checked the Hemoglobin (Hgb) of the baby. Normally they want people to have a level around 14, they will typically transfuse around 8 and my poor little girl had 1.9. She was VERY sick.
This is an invasive procedure where they take a needle and go in through my stomach and into her cord to transfuse the new blood. The risks of this can cause premature labor, premature rupture (water breaking) and a few other things. So each time we do this they will have the surgical team on stand by ready to do an emergency c-section.
With this procedure her Hgb went up to 8.4. I will be returning to Ohio State Medical Center Monday night. They will do another transfusion on her first thing Tuesday morning. We are no where near out of the woods, but at least she now has a chance. After this last transfusion, her heart rate improved immediately. Throughout the day she has become more active and is getting stronger with her punches, kicks and movements again. It is such a relief to feel her moving around again. Each of these transfusions typically last between 2 - 4 weeks before they will have to be repeated. This almost ensures that I will not have a full term baby. We are just praying that I can make it into the month of January, but it is touch and go. For the next week I am on bed rest and will be taking it easy. After each procedure I will again be on bed rest for a few days.
Needless to say, the classes that I had scheduled and was about to post are now back on hold. UGH.
We are still hopeful that things will go well, we are very appreciative of all the prayers and good thoughts that people have been sending our way. I can easily keep things updated on my facebook page with my cell phone. If you would like to add me to your friend list to keep updated you can find me at: www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/Melissa.w.Muir
Thanks again for your prayers and well wishes.