Friday, November 15, 2013

rare blood type

Not sure how this hasn't come up once in my 33 years of being alive, but it turns out that I have some fucked up rare blood type.

Most people know their blood types right? If you don't, like me, you kind of truck on through life assuming you're an O (44% of the UK is an O).

Or maybe you really really like needles and you're one of those amazing blood donor type people. I've always dreaded the thought of giving blood, the thought makes me pukey and I'm not even in the chair.
But I've had blood tests for things before and somehow assumed that my blood type must've been on record anyway.

I assumed wrong.

With pregnancy you get about 8000 blood tests. - for Down's syndrome, for Hepatitis, HIV, the whole thing.

And this time, a little brown envelope was delivered through the slit in the door by Postman Pat.

It said that I am Rhesus D Negative, which is less than 7% of the global population. It's a rare and precious blood type which can cause me massive complications when pregnant.

But of course - having twins isn't complicated enough.

It's also a blood that can be given to almost anybody. So it's highly transferable for anyone in an accident or needs a transfusion due to its 'antigens' or unique proteins. That bit is fine. Giving me blood is complicated; I need the same type. My blood also cannot come into any contact with my babies' blood.

Fuck. So all this time.

Lesson here of course is that once I have had my children, I will start donating blood. I'm donating my organs to science when I die, and now armed with this new knowledge of my blood type, I simple cannot not give blood.

The complications in pregnancy are that because it's such a rare type, the chances of one or even both of my babies having my blood type are like 1 in 8000. And if our blood mixes on delivery or even just through their placentas - from what I can tell through all the medical mumbo jumbo - I can basically cannablise my children.
They won't be born with the right antibodies and could die. I could die. We could all die.

....And breathe.

To combat this risk, they will start injecting me with something called 'Anti D' in two months from now and up until after I give birth. It's basically a mini blood transfusion with blood from Canada ("the best, most pure, low risk-for-disease blood." Filled with maple syrup, no doubt?) so that I have the right antibodies in my blood and none of these attack my babies.

Apparently this is also for my second pregnancy (Good one! If all goes right this one, there will be no second pregnancy, ever!), so that my [next] baby has some kind of immunity when born.

I mean WTF.

So yeah. Beam me up with a strapping Canadian's blood. I'm not scared.

In case you have this weird affliction and want to know more - here is a point by point scenario on being Rhesus D negative and the risks to your baby(s).


Nicole B said...

Talk about light reading for Friday - who knew the human anatomy et-al could be so hostile!? :(

Anonymous said...

You never really do anything by half measures do you?!

Eish. Sorry to hear about all the complications and scary human anatmy stuff. However, modern medicine is the shit. Maple syrup infused FTW.

I promise when you feel those first flutters it'll be worth it.

(Later on when they are using your bladder as a punchbag & ribs as a drum kit-notsomuch)

Vannessa said...

Wow, trust you to be different! Well, I am an O neg. which has the same sort of issues, basically it is the negative part of the type that causes the problems. I can also give to anyone but not receive from anyone. My first kid was the same blood type as me so no problems there. The 2nd and 3rd were positive instead of negative and all it entailed was giving me and the babies injections after birth to sort out complications. I suppose I was lucky that we did not have any problems, well, not related to blood type anyway. Holding thumbs that all will go well for you too.

Peas on Toast said...

Secret - I know. I thought blood types would be just FAB for a Friday ;)

cestlavie - I don't do I? Even when I don't try on purpose, something will happen like rare blood types and two babies.
Can't wait for the first flutters!

Vannessa - sounds very familiar! O neg is also quite rare. I just hope it all works out xx

Val said...

Scary stuff but they will look after you well and you all will be fine.
Shew! Sorry to hear about the complications. Brace yourself for that Canadian blood! Life does throw curve balls doesn't it?

SheBee said...

Oh holy shit balls, SERIOUSLY PEAS?!

Hahahahahaaa. This is so typical. But what's more probable is that this, just like all of life's other challenges you've already been through, will pass. Because you're a badass motherfucking survivor.

And so will your babies be.

Love oxoxo