Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Blood type sciency stuff.

I found out that my blood type is O negative a few months ago. The universal donor. Should I add that I have never donated blood (yet)?  I was always bordering on the accepted weight before, and then in England we could not donate because BFG was an  "African male" and I had slept with an "African male". I plan to start donating when I am not pregnant though, my blood is useful!

All this blood type stuff is not important to the majority of the population when you are pregnant, unless you have the "negative" part attached to your type. Then things get a bit complicated. Yippee.

People who are RH - do not produce the RH antigen, so if we are given RH+ blood with the RH antigen our blood forms antibodies against it and  kind of attacks it. So if you are a negative mom and you have a positive baby and your blood mixes at any point during or after pregnancy, mom's blood will then attack any future positive babies you might have if any mixing occurs again. Yikes.

This RH negative blood type is rare. Of course it is. Of course I am left handed, RH negative, and apparently have a personality type that is very rare for women. Only about 15% of white people have the negative type, and only about 5% of black people! I should just add that there are some VERY rare blood types and clotting issues and other mutations that it seems I do not have, so I am very lucky. This RH stuff is not a very big deal. Just an expensive deal. The injections they give you to block your response against RH positive blood cost R700 each time and they give you at least 3. More if you have any kind of injury or bleeding during pregnancy. And I do not have the kind of medical aid that covers that stuff so we would be paying it all.

Luckily for me I managed to hook another rare RH negative person in this RH plus sea. BFG is RH negative too! This means we have no chance of producing a positive child. And negative blood does not attack other negative blood. How awesome is that? And how slim the chances. No injections for me! Shew, this pregnancy was already costing more than it should have. I just feel a bit sorry for our kid. Being negative just seems to be more trouble than it is worth.

It seems the BFG really is perfect for me in every way :D 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I am growing a giant.

All of a sudden it has occurred to me that I am... HUGE. I do a pregnancy pilates classs and another lady there has the same due date as me. She is really short, but her stomach is way smaller than mine. And why this is, I don't understand. At my first scan my baby was measuring a whole week ahead so it may be that I am cooking a giant baby in there.

It also occurred to me that no one is monitoring my weight at all. My back-up OB-gyn did weigh me both times I saw him at the 12 and 20 week scans, but I don't see him again until the end. The midwives have not weighed me. I thought that this was awesome because all that weight gain was likely to be depressing but then I remembered that rapid weight gain is a sign of pre-eclampsia and it would actually be worth keeping track so I don't miss something like that.

So I weighed myself. The torture. It's crazy to think that the baby does not even weigh 1 kg yet. Where does all the weight come from? Well, I know it is the extra blood and the placenta and the amniotic fluid etc, but even then I doubt it explains everything. I do feel scared as my weight is about to enter new territory, I am currently at my highest ever weight from years ago. I am tempted to not get on a scale again! But I think it is worth keeping track in case something weird happens. Another lady in my pilates class had sudden onset pre-eclampsia at 30 weeks and had to give birth to her little one immediately. I would like to avoid that if possible!

Still can't figure out why I am comparatively so huge though. All I know is that the pilates must be working. I have not had any sciatica so far or any unusual pains other than the usual back issue that I have had for years, despite my baby being the size of a (very large) lettuce.

Also I am giving up coffee again, that one cup a day was making me too guilty. I am finding it harder than when I originally gave it up. I think because I need to be awake to write my thesis. But I have also been getting headaches. Ugh. I think it is worth it though, for my peace of mind if nothing else.

Thursday, 11 September 2014


I passed the 24 week mark this week. The Americans on my Babycenter birth board seem to consider this a big milestone - the baby is now viable. But as far as I can tell, this is not the case in South Africa and 28 weeks is considered the viability landmark. Although I have heard of stories of babies born at 24 weeks surviving here in SA too, the survival rate anywhere in the world for such premature babies is only 50% anyway, with very high rates of lifelong health issues, so lets hope my little one decides to stay in MUCH longer, thank you very much.

It's hard to consider any date a landmark when you know that loss can occur at any time. At least 4 people I know via the internet or real life have had late losses, and I cannot begin to imagine how devastating that must be. So my milestone is birth, really.

I am really struggling with the whole diet thing. Eating healthily. I had the best intentions for this pregnancy but 9 months is a long time when eating healthily is not easy at the best of times. And I started drinking coffee again. Nescafe, once a day. Well within the limits but I feel bad about it. I am just not sure I will make it through my thesis write up without any caffeine. All nighters are already off the table for me and I doubt this has anything to do with pregnancy. My brain shuts off by about 9.30pm these days and refuses to work any more. I think if I drank coffee I could keep going but I am not breaking my one a day barrier. Unfortunately I was using decaf as a very effective substitute but it triggered morning sickness twice and now I have a mental block against the stuff.

Protein, vegetables. I am not eating enough of these. I am so off food and cooking right now really. I think it is the fact that the baby is squishing my tummy and makes me feel full quickly. I mean, I am getting quantity fine, but quality is the issue. Oh the guilt. I just hope my average to subpar diet and caffeine intake don't do something bad to this kiddo.

I have 4 months to go. Perhaps you can tell, I am finding that time moves like an exhausted snail right now. Except when I calculate how much time I have left to do my thesis. Then it flashes past like a really flashy thing.

Also I FINALLY told my fellow students in the department that I am pregnant. I was just too damn shy but I managed to blurt it out yesterday. I am a good 10 years older than most of them, and some of them are considering their own kids in the near future. It is kind of fun answering their questions, even if I am extremely late to this baby party and they all probably know more about babies than me. Maybe they can babysit??