During my third pregnancy with my son Casen, I learned that I had developed anti-D and anti-C antibodies. My titer for anti-D was critical, therefore we started weekly MCA scans. Casen never needed intervention during pregnancy, and I was induced at 38 weeks. My sons initial blood work revealed he was in fact affected by my antibodies. He had a 10 day NICU stay needing 3 IVIG treatments, intensive phototherapy, and had one post birth transfusion. He is now a happy and healthy 4 year old.
After Casen’s first birthday we began trying to grow our family again. We quickly became pregnant and began seeing our MFM. My anti-D titer jumped from 1:32 to 1:1024. Sadly we lost our son Owen, at 13w4d. Our doctors did not feel that my antibodies were the cause of him passing. So we decided to try again.
Again, we became pregnant quickly. We were so excited to be expecting our rainbow baby boy. However our journey with Mack got serious quick.
At 16w his MoMs were already high. We started IVIG to hopefully buy some time before Mack would need a transfusion, but that treatment came too late. Mack had his first intrauterine transfusion at 17 weeks 4 days. He had two more successful transfusions over the next 2 weeks. Sadly, we lost our sweet Mack just shy of 20 weeks when I went into preterm labor caused from chorioamnionitis — an infection contracted from one of the transfusions.
If you could say something to health care providers everywhere, what would it be?
I would like to see IVIG/plasmapheresis offered to those who have not had a previous loss. We may have been an exception, but we went from no intervention during pregnancy to being severely affected at 16 weeks. So I guess I would like to know if the standard of care is evolving thru some of these types of situations.
What advice would you give to other parents dealing with HDFN?
My advice to other parents dealing with HDFN is to not give up hope like I did. I knew we hadn’t received timely initiation of care, but inevitably we felt defeated by HDFN. I wish we would not have closed that chapter and that we would have had more courage to try again to expand our family. It’s so important to find a MFM who is willing to treat you aggressively if need be.