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.
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).