Monday, June 20, 2011

A Little of This, a Little of That...

I feel badly that it’s been a whole week since I updated my blog with anything, but the past week has been quite busy! Here’s a brief run-down of what I’ve been up to:

As part of my dissertation research, I am hoping to use 3D laser scans to analyze shape variation in the human temporal bone (nerdy, I know). So, for part of last week (Wednesday-Friday), I spent a large portion of my days with a NextEngine scanner figuring out how the machinery and software operate so that I can better plan my research protocol and timeline. There’s a fairly steep learning curve, but by the last day, I seemed to be getting the hang of it.

Broken Hill Cranium (Kabwe)

My 28 week OB appointment was also last week (Thursday). Since I have an Rh- blood type and my husband is Rh+, our baby is at risk for Rh disease or Hemolytic disease of the newborn (caused by Rh incompatibility), from a build-up of antibodies in the mother’s bloodstream which fight against an Rh+ fetus. This only happens if some of the baby’s blood crosses the placenta into my blood stream (usually due to some kind of abdominal injury during pregnancy, but it can also happen during birth), and it is usually not an issue with first babies (though it can cause problems with subsequent pregnancies if not monitored and managed due to the blood transfer during birth). 

If some Rh+ blood from the baby crosses over into my Rh- blood, then my body will build antibodies against it and can try to attack the baby, because it recognizes the Rh+ entity as something foreign that should be destroyed. So yeah, needless to say, it CAN be a big deal. We don’t know yet whether our baby is Rh+ or Rh- (theoretically, she could be either), but just to be safe, I have to get tested several times during the pregnancy (once at the beginning, once at 28 weeks, and again after birth) to see if my body is building antibodies.

So, as part of our 28 week visit, I got to have my blood drawn to test it for antibodies. It was still negative, which is great news. I also got to have my first shot of Rhogam – which is a preventative medication that is given at 28 weeks and usually after birth to keep an Rh- mother’s body from potentially building those antibodies against Rh+ blood. Let me just tell you, that shot burns going in…and it will make your shoulder sore for a few days…but, I suppose it is worth it to make sure our baby girl is born healthy!

We also got to have a second ultrasound of the baby to check her growth since the 20 week mark. She is still a girl (good news, since I don’t want to have to take back all the stuff we’ve already bought) and is growing just perfectly. The sonographer estimates that she was around 2lbs 6oz on the day of the scan. We didn't get a lot of great pictures because baby girl was sleeping...with her arm over her face...and refused to move (despite poking and prodding) for most of the ultrasound, but she finally brought her arm down and we got a view of her pretty face.

nestled in, snug as a bug!

a profile shot


  1. I had to get the shot too, but I didn't get it my shoulder!!! I got mine in my tooshy (or "hip" as they said!). Both of my boys are rh+ and don't worry the second shot after you gave birth doesn't hurt nearly as bad, lol!!!

  2. Yikes, I knew that was a possibility, so I was wondering if it'd be in the arm or the "hip" - I'm so glad I got in the arm!