During my 6th pregnancy following 2 births (boys) and 3 miscarriages I was diagnosed with anti-S antibodies. I was so scared – not only because of my history of miscarriage but also now fearing my body was going to harm my daughter. I found the Allo Hope Foundation thanks to my mother and sister in law. I felt pretty prepared for my first MFM appointment because of what I read there. At the appointment they explained this can be typically caused by transfusions that the mom has had (I had no history of this), or if my husband and previous baby had the antigen and I was exposed via blood, or there was a minor chance that my body spontaneously created the antibody. I assumed that it was my husband and previous pregnancies, so we opted to have him tested that day at our appointment. About 2 days later we found out my husband was antigen negative so my daughter was negative and would not be affected by my antibody.
The doctor assured me they would still monitor my anti-S antibody levels at the 28 week and 36 week mark but that further testing would not be necessary. Those tests showed no change to titer. The experience really made me appreciate MFM and my pregnancy.
I stayed in the support group mainly to pray for all the moms that pregnancies were still affected by HDFN. I’m happy to be able to share a story where the baby was not affected and I am proud to say my daughter Grace was born at 38 weeks healthy and happy.
Do you have any advice or encouragement for families dealing with HDFN?
I think I went into this thinking that because I didn’t have a prior transfusion, and since the chances of it being naturally occurring were so slim, I felt like I was doomed and dad had to have the antigen so baby must too. I just want others to know my story and that it’s possible to have an unaffected pregnancy. I felt like my providers were quick. I had my first MFM appointment within 2 weeks of my results and was 13 weeks at that time. I know others mention being referred only after 20 weeks and that would have killed me to wait longer. I also made sure to research a MFM doctor that was well versed in alloimmunization (mine fortunately covered most of the cases in my state and was only 30 mins away from me). Being with MFM and creating a plan, knowing that there was hope for a complete pregnancy was so nice. I also think for me just joining the group and reading stories helped BUT I wish I would have seen more stories like mine to help balance the enormous weight felt by the diagnosis and how many stories there are of greatly affected pregnancies.