Saturday, 31 March 2012

Just Something Else I'll Never Know

Sometimes I feel like things are back on track. In the year and 7 months since my son died and was born I've done a pretty good job coming to terms with his loss. It's not been easy, especially since I'm pregnant again, but I'm managing. But then, every now and then, something hits me out of the blue that knocks me back down again.

It can be anything really. There are lots of triggers out there. But for some reason it's the things I'll never know that get me the most. I could go through the whole list, but my heart can't take writing that kind of post right now. I'll save that for another day when I'm not feeling quite so vulnerable. Perhaps after Frostina is born happy and healthy and I'm not so worried that I also won't know those things about her. So for now I'm going to put that list aside and get back on topic.

I was chatting with a friend over lunch this week and she was asking about my pregnancy. As I was filling her in on some things the waitress came over and asked if we wanted dessert. After we both said no, I mentioned to my friend that it's probably better if I taper down on my sugars for a while as I'm pretty sure I'll be having my gestational diabetes test sometime soon. That got us on the subject of all the blood tests and injections you have to endure when you're pregnant and how you end up feeling like a human pincushion.

I mentioned in passing that I'm almost due for my anti-d injection. She had no idea what I was talking about and asked what that was. I went on to explain to her that I have an RH-negative blood type and if you have that then your body can create anti-bodies to your baby if he/she has an RH-positive one.

I went on to explain how before they knew about this, babies used to die sometimes as a result of the Mother's immune system thinking the baby was some kind of virus. So now, they give you the anti-d injections as a way to prevent your body from building up any kind of antibodies that can hurt your baby. If the baby is also RH-negative then you won't build up the antibodies, but since they have no way of knowing until after the birth, they give everyone the injections as a precaution. **I am not a doctor so please don't think that I'm any kind of expert on this kind of thing. This is just my understanding of things.


That made me think about my first pregnancy with my son. "You know," I said to her, "I don't know what blood type my son had."

It's not something I've ever wondered about before. Now that I'm pregnant again I suppose it's relevant though. Did the anti-d injections I had in my last pregnancy save me from building up antibodies against this one? Was my son RH-negative like I am? Or was he RH-positive like The Hubby? As I was at a lunch with friends I quickly let the question slip out of my mind and I went on with my day.

For some reason I woke up thinking about this question this morning. One of many questions I have about my son, who will never grow up and help me answer them. There was only one place I could think of to check for the answer. His post mortem report. Not an easy read by any account, but I felt compelled to give it a go. So I dug it out and read through it for probably only the second or third time ever.

It's a completely heartbreaking thing to read, even though I don't understand half of it with all the medical speak it contains. I scoured the entire document with it's charts and figures, but no mention of his blood type. It seems like a strange thing to leave off. I mean, they have the weights and measurements of all his organs, but no blood type?

So basically, I tortured myself with reading in detail about how my son died and didn't get the answer to my question. Nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon! I had a small breakdown after that. Not because it's so important for me to know what his blood type was, but because it's just one more thing I don't know about him.

One more item to add to the list that I'm not ready to write yet.

Just something else I'll never know.

12 comments:

  1. I'm sorry that you tortured yourself without getting any answers. :( If it makes you feel any better, I don't know what any of my kids blood types are. Believe it or not, unless your kid needs an operation or blood, they don't test it. Reading this post I just realized how strange that is that I don't have any idea what their blood type is. I didn't know what my own blood type was until I needed an operation. Huh. Now I want to know.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rh factor is dominant, so your baby boy would have been Rh+, and your injection ay very well have protected Frostina from your antibodies. It seems like the medical field finds so little about our lost babies interesting enough to actually test and document, things of course we would be curious about. I hate that.

    Hugs to you, Sweetie...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Blessings to your grieving heart today

    we never got a copy of our son's post mortem, didn't know we could.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I too am RH-. I didn't even know about it until after I gave birth to my daughter and they came in asking my consent to inject me with the Anti-D. That seems strange now that through my whole pregnancy no one let me know of this potential problem. I remember asking when they told me about it if they knew her blood type, but they said they were unable to test her blood because of the situation (as she had died a few days before birth) - I don't understand why or know if that was true or not?

    Just another of those many things we'll always wonder about them...

    ReplyDelete
  5. That must have been so hard to read... and so frustrating to not find the answer you're looking for. I still find it almost impossible to read Gabrielle's autopsy report. There are so many things that we'll never know... you're so right. And I always find that unanswered questions leave the greatest doubt in my mind about whether I could have done anything different when really it was completely beyond our control. Love to you always xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hope's blood type turned in to a huge saga for us, the day after she was born. As I was RH neg as well so they needed to know her blood type to see if I needed another shot after her birth. But pathology would not test her blood, as she was dead, so therefore not a patient! It was so ridiculous and there were people yelling at one another over the phone. Eventually they tested her blood, and tested her under my patient number. And she had my blood type, o-neg, so the shots weren't necessary. So I do know that detail, but like you my heart breaks for all the millions of other little things I don't know about her. I still kick myself I never unwrapped her and looked at her naked little body.
    Love to you.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  7. So sorry about this. Wishing you peace.

    ReplyDelete
  8. One more thing you will never know. That list well it is never ending. We all have one...at least in our minds. The who, what etc...of who our children would be. I don't know my daughter's blood type either. I know it doesn't really matter. I still wonder. I am thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I did exactly the same, I found it strange her blood type was never mentioned lots of love x

    ReplyDelete
  10. The number of times when I was pregnant with Sunny that I found myself sifting through Riley box of things o check something to see if it was the same to check a small detail I may have forgotten, only to realise I didn't have that information. I didn't have the picture I was looking for. It would just leave me more upset and wondering if I would actually get to bring her home.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I too am Rh negative, and don't remember if they gave me a shot after Anna's birth or not. If they tested her, I never knew and her blood type wasn't mentioned in her autopsy report either. (But they sure had her Apgar scores. 0 at one minute, 0 at 5 minutes, 0 at 15 minutes. That was the worst of the report for me.) It actually hadn't occurred to me to wonder about her blood type until I read your post. I guess it falls into the same category for me as for Renel. It doesn't matter. But now that it's out there, I wonder.
    I'm sorry it was a bad day - how could it not be, reading the report? At the same time there is comfort knowing I'm not the only one who pulls it out once in awhile, or intentionally goes back into hell for some reason or another.

    ReplyDelete