Monday, 13 July 2015

MY ANTI (E) PREGNANCY STORY

MY ANTI (E) PREGNANCY STORY

 
Alivia having UV light therapy
 
Early on in my fourth pregnancy I was told I had a unusual blood sub group called Anti (e) these are known as antibodies. This came as a real shock to me because this sub group was not present during my previous three pregnancies and that is fairly unusual in itself. Having a sub group is entirely harmless on its own but can cause complications during pregnancy. There are several types of sub groups such Anti (D) and anti (C) and in my case anti (e). Usually you are most likely to pick up these blood group sub groups from having a blood transfusion or occasionally from blood crossing over the placenta or mixing during birth. I have added a link here for a more in depth description. Having antibodies during pregnancy can cause Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn.
 
 
Having my particular antibodies thankfully was not the most at high risk category of antibodies was told depending on the babies blood group it would be a 50/50 chance on whether further action would be needed. Because if the baby was the exact same blood group as mine then my body wouldn't see the baby as a threat but if the baby had my husbands blood group there was a chance my body would see the baby as a threat and attack the baby with my antibodies. This then put my pregnancy as high risk although I was told by my consultant that most cases don't tend to need any intervention. That certainly wasn't the case for me but we will get to that soon.
 
 
In the first few months I was going for monthly blood tests to check my titre levels of antibodies in my blood. Staying under the 16 mark in my first 5 months so we were quite happy with that. Once I passed the 6 months mark my levels were steadily rising which began to be a concern for the consultants as reaching 32 becomes dangerous to baby. At 36 weeks they new I wouldn't be able to go full term as my levels were almost at maximum and having blood test twice weekly. At 38 weeks I went for my next appointment and my results were now over 32 and sent immediately up to maternity to start the induction process. 
 
 
I was given a sweep to get things going naturally and from that I started getting twinges. Meanwhile they kept me hooked up to the monitor for the entire labour, they were keeping a very close eye on baby. Two hours after the sweep not much was happening so they went on to break my waters which went with an almighty whoosh! They then decided to give the induction drip rather than the gels and suppositories as they wanted baby out quickly. Unfortunately for me the dose of the drip was very high as they wanted baby out quickly, which meant my contractions were extremely intense and rolled on one after the other with very little break in between. I was offered an epidural but it didn't work for me and my labour was horrendous, a lot worse then my previous.
 
 
Once baby was born she was taken off to be checked over by the paediatricians and SCBU staff.  When her results came back she was indeed suffering with HDN, she was very jaundiced and dehydrated. Thankfully the consultant who had been looking after made the brilliant decision to induce my labour at 38 weeks and she was out 8 hours later receiving treatment.  I can't imagine how poorly she would have been if my pregnancy had been left to go full term. She was given UV light therapy, extra Iron supplements, hydrated and stayed in the SCBU for 1 week. She was then well enough to come home and continue having her Iron by mouth for the next 6 months and regular visits to have blood test and check ups.
 
 
Alivia having UV light therapy

 

She is now a lively 21 month old little girl with bags of energy. What I would say to any mums or dads worrying about having antibodies during pregnancy is try not to worry I done way too much of that during my pregnancy and it really didn't do me any good. Don't google it too much people only seem to share the worst case scenario and worst outcomes. My daughter did get HDN but she got immediate treatment and had no ongoing issues or long term medical problems. Expect an insane amount of blood tests way more than normal. I know carry a card in my purse to show that I have antibodies should I ever need a blood transfusion it's quite possible you may need one too.


Alivia 21 months old
 
Thanks for reading my little story and as always if you have any questions or comments just pop them in the comments box below or you can email at hanwalker@gmail.com.


 
A Cornish Mum

5 comments:

  1. Hi - I fond your post doing a google search - I got a call from my OB today telling me I am anti-c. This is my 4th pregnancy too and I did not have it with the others however I did have a blood transfusion 10 years ago with my first baby. I am waiting for the specialist to call me and schedule my appointment, my ob said they would reach out to me. I am hoping that call comes soon because the waiting is killing me. Do you have to visit a what to expect at a perinatologist weekly, monthly? I am trying to figure out what may go on, any insight you have would be great!

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  2. Hi Amy, I'm glad you found my post and hopefully found some comfort. I too didn't have an issue with my first 3 pregnancies and it came completely out the blue no explanation. It can be a real shock but even tough it's easer said then done try not to be stressed out about it for now. You should have a specialised appointment where they will discuss the condition in a lot more detail because it can be quite complicated for us regular non medics to understand my own family doctor had never heard of it. In the first and most of the second trimesters you will you normal appointment and most likely one specialist appointment with and extra blood test purely for monitoring the levels of anti c in your blood. In most cases it never reaches a level to cause concern. Some times is will creep up a little and back down and that's fine too. Some times the levels will continue to climb. Expect the blood tests to go from monthly to fortnightly in the last trimester and then weekly in the final weeks of your pregnancy. I have to stress most ladies with antibodies have completely healthy full term pregnancies. If your levels do creep up they will monitor you closely. My levels went crazy around 37 weeks and I was induced at 38 weeks. My daughter did have HDN but only just and it was treated with UV light therapy and iron and we had an extra week in hospital. She's now approaching her 2nd birthday and couldn't be more healthy. You can expect more check ups than usual, more blood tests and potentially being induced slightly early. Please don't read all the horror stories people write online about they only seem to share the very unusual worst chase situations. I know two other ladies that had it around the same time as me and their levels never raised and went full term no issues. All the very best and feel free to ask any questions you chat if you worried and just need natter x :-)

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  4. I also found you during a google search. I have anti-E (big E) antibodies. I am surprised that they gave your baby iron though since several studies have come out saying not to give it to babies with HDN since those babies usually have normal or high ferritin levels. Iron will not treat hemolytic anemia, but will treat iron deficiency anemia. I don't know if you are doing another pregnancy, but I wanted to share with your readers another website I found about antibodies in pregnancy. I hope that's ok. I found www.allaboutantibodies.com to be very helpful in walking me through my anti-E pregnancies.

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