Friday, June 24, 2016

Cause baby now we've got bad blood... (sorry, I had to)

Here is what is going on with my pregnancy and Baby Eaton #3:

When we found out Hazel had Coombs Antigen E+ it was not explained to us very well. This is mostly because while Coombs is fairly common, the antigens that caused her particular form of Coombs are not.

Basically, there are blood types that carry certain antigens in them and blood types that do not, this is based on genetics but it can be affected by a blood transfusion (which Gabe hasn't had). Gabe's blood has heterozygus E, e, C, and c type antigens in it, and my blood has developed anti-E and anti-c antibodies.

This wasn't an issue until Hazel's blood entered mine (because of how mild her case was this most likely occurred during the two weeks I was in active labor, but I have had different doctors have different opinions, one specialist believes the issue started earlier and it is why I have had three miscarriages, while others believe that the baby cannot be affected until the second trimester). When that happened my body built up antibodies (the anti-E and anti-c ones) to her blood, started to treat her red blood cells as a disease, attacked and destroyed many of them causing severe jaundice and moderate anemia. Even with those issues she had a minimal hospital stay and is a thriving, happy 1 year-old.

The condition is called "Red Blood Cell Alloimmunization (Isoimmunization)", and even those babies who do have it have an 80% survival rate, chances are baby girl will be just fine. Our biggest concern is the baby developing Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn (HDFN), which can cause liver damage, heart failure, severe anemia, and rarely (even more rare than this condition) death.

If the antibody levels in my blood reach a certain level  (1:16 , I am currently at 1:4) we will begin weekly sonograms to test for anemia in the baby. If she becomes anemic enough an in utero blood transfusion will occur, or if I am far enough along they will deliver.

Right now, we are planning for a delivery around 34 weeks. She will most likely be delivered in Kansas City because of the possibility of a blood transfusion. This could all change though.

She could be born at 37-38 weeks with a short visit in the NICU like Hazel.

Sometimes I feel like we're on a bomb squad and we know there is a bomb but we have no way of finding it or knowing how big it is, or when/if it will go off. It could be tiny, it could be huge, and we have little to no control over any of it.

For now, we wait. And get monthly sonograms and weekly blood tests, and pray the bomb is a big fat dud.

**If you're pregnant this isn't something to freak out about. If you have had blood work done they have already tested for antibodies in your blood. While similar to the Rh factor this is not the same and there is no shot that can be given. Could a shot be developed? Yes. Why hasn't it been? Money. The condition is rare enough that no one has funded the research for it yet. But hey, any of my PD Bio friends who are interested in furthering the research on it, we would totally let you poke us countless times in the name of research.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Two words...

Tonight as I was laying Roland down he sleepily said "Mommy..." expecting a request for a drink or his pacifier I asked "What Roley?" He responded "Love you."
Sometime around his first birthday Roland stopped giving us kisses (he now usually reserves those for Hazel, although he did kiss my belly today saying "Baby kisses, mwah!") and tonight was the first time he has ever told me he loves me without prompting.

Sometimes it really is the little things.

To a father who made me like this holiday...

Dear Gabe,
I love today and celebrating you. It might have started a bit rocky with Hazel projectile vomiting on our breakfast and a migraine that had me asleep most of the day. But here we sit snuggled up as a family and I can't help but reminisce on all the moments I've been able to watch you be a father.

Rides on shoulders.. late night and early morning snuggles... adventures and road trips... family projects.... learning and teaching.... sickness...  tantrums... "I love you" s (remember when Roland finally said it to us?!) the ER and NICU... diagnoses that left us reeling... lunches where we drop by just to see you... loss... labor... bedtime...

You do it so well. And while no one is perfect you naturally know how to help our children feel safe, loved, wanted, and cared for, how to teach them so they want to learn.

You are an example of hard work and persistence. You encourage our son to play with dolls and our daughter to roar like a dinosaur. You fix Hazel's hair and kiss Roland's "ouchie"s.  You teach our children of the love Heavenly Father has for them and their own worth.

You are a wonderful Papa, and we love you more than the vacuum, Kissy Cow, and learning new things.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hazel Turns 1

It is so strange to think of everything that has happened since Hazel was born. We live in a different state, Gabe has a different job, I will be graduating soon, and most importantly little Miss Hazel has grown into quite the one year old.

She fits perfectly into our family and I am unsure if I have ever met a happier baby. She loves her brother and tries to do almost everything he does. Her newest thing is to scrunch up her nose and make a funny breathing noise when she is irritated, but if you do it back to her she usually starts laughing.

Hazel started walking the week before her birthday. She is now pretty efficient at it and would rather fall down than hold someone's hand for help. She loves to talk on the phone and is about as social as her brother was hostile at this age. She loves the swings at the park, reading books, "singing", sliding with her brother, playing in the water (as long as Roland is around to help) and fights sleep more than I have ever seen a child do.

Hazel is independent, joyful, daring funny, and kind. If Roland gets put in time out she sits next to him and cries until he is out. She loves music, peopen, and snuggling (on her terms). When she doesn't feel good Gabe is her go to and she gives the sweetest little kisses.

Happy Birthday Hazel Evangeline! Thanks for making our lives better than we knew possible!