Tuesday, April 04, 2006

negative (updated)

Five minutes after my husband left for work on his Vespa, the weather forcast changed from light rain to chance of flooding. Also it started pouring. I am concerned.

My blood type is A- which means that I am Rh negative which means that if the baby is Rh positive there could be problems. Traditional care in this country would have me getting a Rhogam shot at 28 weeks. I did not, opting instead for a blood draw to confirm that I was not sensitized to Rh+ blood. I had another blood draw yesterday (32 weeks and some days) and have the option to continue this way or have the shot at any time.

On the one hand, the chances of blood crossing the placenta and me becoming sensitized are extremely low. I think less than 2%. If that happens, this baby will probably be fine (though future pregnancies could be difficult or even impossible). However, I will probably have to deliver in hospital, which is my worst-case scenerio (er, I have two worst-case scenerios � this is the one that involves a relatively healthy baby).

I keep changing my mind about the shot. I will definitely get one after giving birth (the most likely time for sensitization) once we've typed the baby's blood (if it is negative too there is no need). But should I get one now? I just can't decide.

The risk of hospital delivery and/or no more pregnancies is one that I am absolutely not OK with. And yet, everytime I say "Let's get the shot" it feels like absolutely the wrong choice.

I can't finish this thought � my poor soaked husband has just called from the office asking for dry pants. I am curious about your thoughts on what I have said, though.


More information: Will is Rh+. I don't know his parents' blood types. The chance of the baby being Rh+ is 50% or higher. I have not done any prenatal testing except blood tests. The risk associated with the Rhogam shot is described as "negligable," but it was also described that way back when the shot contained massive quantities of mercury (as recently as 2001). It is very rare that blood would cross before the birth without some major trauma (such as a car accident); however, both cases my midwife has seen of sensitization were without explanation.

Logically I think the best thing to do is get the shot. But I am very opposed to doing anything unnecessary and this is right on the line. It is probably silly but I am just sick with worry over whether I am making the right choice (whichever choice I've made at any given moment).