Yesterday Dr. Trevett called with our baby’s antigen results. Right away I could hear the disappointment in his voice. The baby is Kell positive just like our previous four babies. Every baby has a 50% chance of being Kell positive and somehow we get the wrong side of the coin every time. Josh and I are very, very disappointed but we are not surprised. We were expecting another Kell positive baby but we still had hope for a Kell negative baby. I have been pretty overwhelmed trying to figure out how to navigate the rest of my pregnancy with a Kell positive baby in the middle of a global pandemic.
Now we know the baby will be attacked by my antibodies at some point and will become anemic in utero. Until then I will continue to need weekly IVIG infusions and probably another week (maybe two?) of plasmapheresis treatments to lower my antibody titer. I will also need weekly or twice weekly MCA doppler scans to check the baby for anemia. Once the baby is anemic (s)he will need multiple intrauterine blood transfusions before delivery and the baby will be born early, which will include a NICU stay. We are praying that our baby will make it until August before delivery (due date is September 13th.) Besides my weekly IVIG infusions provided by a home care nurse, all of my appointments and interventions will be in Atlanta. This means I will be in and out of hospitals in Atlanta many, many times in the coming months and to be honest, I just don’t know how I will avoid getting the Coronavirus. My family has been self quarantined at home for almost two weeks already but my trips to Atlanta are unavoidable. I also have to make sure I don’t get stuck in Alabama for some reason since no one here can provide the prenatal care that this baby needs to survive. I feel overwhelmed thinking about all of the many puzzle pieces that must come together in order for this baby to survive and for my family to stay safe. So much of this is out of my control.
Even though we are disappointed, we are grieving and we are very worried about the future, we know that we can trust God with all of this. We can trust Him to take care of us and we can trust Him with the lives of our children. He is not surprised by COVID-19 and He is not surprised that this baby is Kell positive. Today these verses were good reminders for me:
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay; and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 45:9 Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, “What are you making?” or “Your work has no handles?”
Should I tell God exactly how to form this baby? Should I tell Him exactly how to write my life story? We are all the work of His hands, including this Kell positive baby. I trust the Creator of this baby to do something beautiful and miraculous in whatever way He chooses. The future is uncertain and I’m not sure how to navigate it, but I know for sure that God is there in the future waiting for me and my baby. He has always been with me, He is with me now and He will be with me in the days to come. He will give me the strength I need to face each day, one day at a time.
Isaiah 52:12 For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Since finding out that the baby is Kell positive I have been so encouraged just by seeing Nora and Callum go about their day, playing, singing, destroying the house, creating things, having hilarious toddler conversations. I had to digest this same news (albeit without Coronavirus in the mix) twice before and now look at these beautiful healthy children I have here with me. Nora and Callum are just as healthy as their big brothers who didn’t have to deal with my anti-Kell antibodies. I remember wondering if Nora and then Callum could possibly survive the pregnancy. Now look at my beautiful babies who aren’t babies anymore (playing on their new slip and slide today):
On Monday I had my 15 week MCA scan and the baby looked great again. Dr. Trevett couldn’t see any signs of anemia or fetal hydrops. The baby’s PSV numbers ranged from 20-24 and Dr. Trevett goes with the highest, clean scan to be safe so he said 23-24. Using this calculator that comes to an MoM of 1.14-1.19 which is great. Once the MoM is 1.5 or higher the baby will need a blood transfusion. Here’s the baby bump at 15 weeks and 2 days pregnant:
Baby’s next scan is on Monday. Please join us in praying that our baby would survive and won’t arrive until August. Thank you to everyone who has shown us kindness and support so far. We appreciate you all so much. Tomorrow we will share our gender reveal video so stay tuned!