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James, part II…

April 15, 2008

Like most first time moms, especially those who have planned their pregnancies down to the first time they throw up, I was all over every book and resource, magazine article and parenting tipsheet, that hit the press. I’m a huge reader anyway, and research is my special hobby. Put me onto an event or idea, particularly one of my own making, and I’m a veritable bloodhound. Without the long floppy ears though.

So even as I threw myself into reading everything I could find on pregnancy and childbirth, I was also very busy deciding in my head how things would go. I set goals. For example, I don’t like to throw up, so I didn’t believe morning sickness was a necessary thing for me to experience. My positive thinking made Norman Vincent Peale look like a depressed pessimist. I set my mind to the rational, or irrational, thought of not throwing up, and when I made it to 3 months with less than four unpleasant events, I nearly broke my arm patting myself on the back for a successful first trimester. Things were still going as I wanted.

(The hyperemetics have permission to despise me.)

The first blip on my radar that all things pregnant might not be perfect in my world came during a routine visit where a discussion about Rh factor occurred. Husband and I are opposites in Rh, and the doctor informed me that I’d have to receive The Rhogam injection. I thought, and said, no problem. As long as The Rhogam injection doesn’t have IgA in it.

You see, another unique statistic that affects me is the complete lack, zip, zero, null and void, amount of IgA in my genetic makeup. IgA is one of the five immunoglobulins that a body usually contains doing oh so helpful things like protecting against viruses and their evil ilk. As a child this meant a lot of bouts with respiratory and gastro issues since IgA is the buffer for those areas. However, any blood products and their ilk, such as the Rhogam shot, contain IgA because they are derived from human donors. To give IgA to an IgA-deficient person, like me, is inviting an anaphylactic reaction–where everything goes haywire and south, dangerously so.

The solution seemed to be, and this was pursued, to find a Rhogam shot not containing IgA. They do not make this stuff apparently. Plan B was to avoid the shot until the baby was born and then if, and only if, he was not my Rh type I could receive the shot under ICU watch and tons of steroids to mitigate any potential trouble. The doctor’s additional advice was for me to see a perinatologist who could advise us as to other potential difficulties Rh related.

So now Rh and all of its related issues became the subject of my bloodhounding research, even before my appointment with the specialist. I just knew that if I could read enough about the problems, then I could certainly happen upon a solution. This was to be the perfect pregnancy and perfect childbirth of the perfect firstborn son. I just knew it.

Only God knew that Rh factor would be the least of our concerns.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2008 1:06 am

    Since I know how this story ends, my heart is heavy for you.

    What a precious life.

  2. April 18, 2008 11:50 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how God allows us to get on the trail of one thing, only to discover that trail is taking us where we least expected?

    I can totally relate to the “need to read.”

  3. April 23, 2008 4:01 am

    These posts are so meaningful, I hold them until I can sit down, with no distractions, and read them with full attention. I’m sorry I’m late.

    I’m a researcher too. When I can’t solve my problem by learning, I am shocked. and sometimes unable to move forward. My security is sometimes grounded in the idea that knowledge is power.

    but God is all powerful and my small attempts to gain knowledge pale in comparison. tough to accept sometimes.

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