Saturday, April 20, 2013

A belly picture and the RhoGAM

I can't help but feel rather big these days.  I've received a few comments about how small I look for how far along I am.  Such comments make me laugh because, well. . . see for yourself:

Me right now at 31 weeks.

Me with Andrea at 40 weeks.

Lumpy belly for the win.

Two weeks ago I went to the hospital and did my glucose test (which I'm assuming I passed since no one contacted me about the results).  I also got my RhoGAM shot for my negative blood type.  Positive and negative blood types don't mix, so women with negative blood types can potentially create antibodies to attack a fetus with a positive blood type.  Since Paul has a positive blood type there is a 50/50 chance each of my children could be positive as well.  Every time I am pregnant or miscarry I will have to have this shot to keep my body from potentially killing my babies.  Lovely, huh?  My great grandmother was RH negative and lost three of her four children, so I'm extremely grateful for this technology that makes my own pregnancies less stressful.  However, there is one downside.

If you've never had a RhoGAM shot I'll let you know they shoot you in the tush.  A sweet nurse comes into a room, kindly asks you to pull up your shirt a bit and then pull down your pants.  She directs you to lean over a table or bed and then. . . POKE!  The pain is very slight, but then she puts on that dreaded band-aid which you get to rip off later in the comfort of your own bathroom.  That part always hurts worse than the shot.

My first RhoGAM experience was a little awkward.  I was taken into a bright exam room.  A wall of windows greeted me, and the mid-afternoon sun streamed in to calm my nerves.  The nurse entered the room and had me lean over a table overlooking the picture window and front lawn of the hospital.  "Alright," she said sweetly.  "Let's just get your pants out of the way."  I tugged at my layers of clothing until I had exposed what she was looking for.  I leaned back over the table and my eyes met a mother and son approaching the hospital.  The boy stared at me with terror, probably wondering if he was going to suffer the same fate.  Distracted by the embarrassment of being on display during a rather personal moment, I barely remember the shot itself.  Next time I'll ask them to close the window, I thought.

The second time a RhoGAM shot was administered to me was the day I miscarried last May.  After spending the afternoon being poked and prodded and crying in waiting rooms, I was finally sent to the hospital for the dirty deed.  I was taken into a long hallway with curtained stations.  The nurse asked me to expose the appropriate spot, and while she swabbed and prepared the injection site I attempted some lightheaded small talk to ease my own discomfort.  "Yeah, RhoGAM shots aren't that bad," I casually commented.  "If it were up to me I'd get all shots in my--"  I didn't have time to finish the sentence because at that moment I felt the nurse stab me so carelessly that I actually jolted forward.  She quickly bandaged the injection sight and then threw opened the curtain as she walked away without a word.  I tugged at my clothes and tried to cover myself as a male nurse or two walked past.  Paul repositioned himself to allow me some more privacy during the re-tucking of all of my many layers, but he was not fast enough to save my pride.  I had just lost a pregnancy, was shot in the butt, and then mooned some strangers.  I insisted Paul buy me some chocolate on our way home.

For this pregnancy the RhoGAM experience was much more pleasant.  I managed to be in a real room with no windows and assigned a gentle nurse who allowed me all the privacy a person could ask for when getting a shot in the bum.  Andrea watch inquisitively but didn't seem too disturbed by the scene.  This is good because I passed down my negative blood type to her.  In twenty-someodd years she may find herself leaning over a table feeling a draft and a poke.

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