Kell antigen update

This morning was the first  reoccurring ultrasound appointment, to look into Choo Choo’s ongoing health insofar as our apparent anti-k issues are concerned. It was an early morning, and getting everyone up and rolling within an hour set a new Olympic record in the Getting Monkey Up, Dressed, Fed, and Out Of The House  event.

While Monkey went to hang out with our friend Rebecca, Alex and I headed back over to EFW for her appointment, and for the news on Choo Choo’s progress. Although it’s been only five days since our last appointment, there was hope that there would also be improvement.

How do I spell relief? U-l-t-r-a-s-o-u-n-d.

The sonographer was a master of the machine, and quickly blitzed through most of the up-front “pictures”. It also helped that Choo Choo hadn’t woken up yet, so she was stationary (unlike last week). The sonographer actually had to poke Choo Choo several times to get her to start “breathing” (keep in mind, it’s nothing but amniotic fluid right now), which helped get some of the last of the main internal pictures.

The final pictures came from the doppler on blood flow through the brain. Once again, we saw red, which indicated high rate of flow. It was a moment when I hoped that the red came no matter what the situation, and that the machine’s software keeps the blue-to-red scale, no matter what the child’s condition.  On the bright side, Choo Choo seems to have rotated a bit, with her head more down. Five days ago she was happily transverse, which would raise more than an issue or two come delivery time. Thankfully, rotation seems to have arrived.

The sonographer was soon accompanied by one of the radiologists (I think, no-one actually states what they do when they enter the room, only that they need to do some pictures), and then finally by the senior radiologist / perinatologist / doctor-of-some-kind, who also did the doppler. All three of them got roughly the same values, but given the situation it’s good to have sanity checks — even a slightly wrong reading could have some pretty serious implications.

The count this week is about 1.35, which is an improvement for Choo Choo. As the doctor would explain, the Kell system can be really unpredictable, and without an actual test there is no real way to know with certainty what’s going on, and that test just isn’t a good idea at this stage of the pregnancy. But despite the improvement, the direction we received last week remains the same: the kid is coming at 37 weeks (unless things get worse, in which case it could come earlier), which is in four weeks.

Three more ultrasound appointments have been lined up over the next three weeks, and at each the same assessment will be handled: what’s Choo Choo’s condition, how are things going, and what’s the next step. Probably at the second one, we’ll be scheduling induction (or at least, that’s my sense of it).

So, in short: condition is stable (if not improved a bit), but still going to be an early birth.

2 Replies to “Kell antigen update”

  1. I wish you all good luck. My baby had kell antigen: got 4 blood transfusions in utero, one after birth. She made it to 38 weeks (yeah) – one year later she’s the healthiest baby you’ll ever meet!

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