When I went in for my doctor appointment last week, the specialist that I am seeing was in an emergency consult with another patient and I saw one of the residents on her team. She told me that the E-antigen levels in my blood have not gone up and that everything else was looking good. I walked out encouraged. I called Sam on my way out, excited. This is what we, and so many others, have been praying for!
However, my regular doctor called me later on in the week and told me that they found another antigen in my blood this time around, this one is Anti-Cw. It’s even more rare than E. The way she explained it to me, I probably had this in my system after Oliver was born (just like the anti-E). The amount of it in my blood before this point was negligible, but has apparently been increasing throughout the pregnancy.
I sat down at the table and grabbed a note pad, trying to come up with good questions to ask and thinking: Another one? Seriously? Why does this have to keep getting more complicated??
Here’s what we know:
At this point, the Anti-E and the Anti-Cw are both very low. They measure them at what is called titre ratios, so right now I am 1 to 1 in both cases. It jumps by 4’s…so it would go 1/1 then 1/4 then 1/8…if I get to 1/8 they start to become concerned, 1/16 and higher is considered critical and is monitored by ultrasounds every 1.5 to 2 weeks to measure blood flow to the baby’s brain – and then further action would be taken if it seems necessary.
The doctor said that if she had to guess, the fact that the Anti-E is still so low is a pretty good indicator that the baby either does not have the E, or that my immune response to the E is not very strong and my body is just not actively fighting…either case would be good news. But, the fact that there is now enough of the Anti-Cw to show on tests would make her guess that the baby has the Cw and my immune system IS responding to that one. The doctor wants me to make sure I do not miss any of my blood draws and will be watching even more closely now that there are two of these antigens to be concerned about.
So, we kind of felt like we took one step forward only to take one step back last week. We are praising God that the Anti-E levels in my blood are not going up – which has been our prayer all along. But, finding out there is now another, even more rare antigen in the mix…it has been hard not to find that frustrating, discouraging.
I know that was probably a little bit technical, but we wanted to make sure we got an update out to those of you who have been praying for us and this precious little life inside of me. Please be continuing to pray that my levels stay low (for both E and Cw), and that we have no further complications! Thank you so much to those of you who have contacted us to let us know you are praying for us and with us. I cannot even begin to express to you how thankful I am to have so many people lifting our family up in prayer. It has been a huge encouragement to Sam and I these last few weeks.