Don't Call me Mama (7) - I solved the Mystery behind women eating their unborn children



“There’s a problem with your result.” The doctor said to my husband and me as he took an intense look at my medical report.

I was getting ready to leave the country to continue my pregnancy journey, and I had to take all necessary tests along with me even though the new doctor I was using said they would still take their own tests. I decided to take tests in Nigeria, so I would be armed and equipped with all my medical records.

“What could be the problem?” I thought. At least, I was sure I wasn’t HIV positive. I had read that much from the medical report.

“You said this is your first baby. Right?” The doctor continued.

“Yes sir.”

“And you have never been pregnant before.”

“Yes sir.” I said emphatically. “Even this pregnancy sef ehn, I was dashed by force.” I thought.

I think what I was hearing was, “If you have been pregnant before, now is the time to confess.”

“Your test says you are rhesus negative.”

"Okay, what is the implication of that?" I thought to myself'. I was silently wondering where this was leading.



The doctor went on to explain that I had the rarest blood group and rhesus class in the world. Not only was I an ‘O’, I was negative. My blood was the most expensive type because I am universal donor but the downside was that I couldn’t receive from anyone apart from an ‘O negative’. Our blood couldn’t mix with other types. Women like us have issues with childbirth because once the first baby comes out, the baby’s blood mixes with ours and then forms an antibody. The effect of this is that when we become pregnant again, that antibody kills the next foetus and causes the woman to miscarry. If miscarriage doesn’t occur, a still birth will occur. In short, the woman’s blood will keep killing future children.

You can imagine me in the doctor’s office hearing this terrible news.

Interpretation: “If you have been pregnant before, had an abortion before or dumped your child in the gutter or motherless babies home before, now is the time to confess, or else your child is going to die very soon.”

Thankfully, there was nothing to confess.

The doctor then went on to apologize for not catching the issue earlier. He attributed it to the fact that I didn’t come in as an antenatal patient but as a Red degeneration of fibroid patient, so they didn’t carry out all the routine tests they were supposed to carry out for pregnant women.

So what is the solution?

If my husband was negative, there wouldn’t be a problem because automatically, my child would be negative, and his blood won’t contaminate mine. However, the chances of my husband being negative was very low since negative was rare, thereby the chances of my child being positive was quite high. We carried out a test that day, and my husband was B positive.

The solution was to take a special injection (Rhogam) rhesus negative mothers take at 28 weeks, in order to counteract what would have taken place when my blood mixes with that of my child. I would also have to take the injection once immediately after delivery, and my baby is confirmed to be positive.

I was supposed to have taken this injection at 28 weeks. I was already about 31 weeks during the discovery, and to make it worse, the injection wasn’t readily available. One would have to order it, and it cost N40,000.00

At least, there was a solution, even though it was an expensive one. I ended up taking the injection when I was 32 weeks old, thus giving my future unborn children a chance to see this world.

When I was in Houston, I told my mum about this issue. She screamed saying “where did you get that type of blood?”

I replied with “you tell me.” it is either from you or my dad. She kept saying they were both positive, and I became more confused. I later researched and found out it is possible, if both parents carry recessive rhesus negative genes.

When I got to my doctors in US, they flagged the rhesus negative. On my delivery date, I reminded the nurse about it. Actually, there was no need to remind her because it had been boldly flagged all over my delivery chart for all the doctors and nurses to see (ALARM: HERE COMES A RHESUS NEGATIVE MOTHER. BUYERS BEWARE) Lol.

Thankfully, I had a very smooth and safe delivery (details in a later edition of the series), but my baby was positive. So yes, I had to take the Rhogam injection again, but I didn’t have to shelve out another round of money again this time. It was completely free, or at least covered by the hospital bill I had settled a long time ago.

Here are two musings of mine about this issue.

What of some ladies who had carried out abortions by quack doctors in the past. It means if they are rhesus negative, they’ll have problems carrying future pregnancies to full term, and they’d most likely blame it on God punishing them for the sins of the past.

Secondly, in the rural areas, where there’s less exposure, when the rhesus negative woman has a child and future foetuses don’t stay, they’d most likely say she’s the witch eating her children, or the first child is the one killing all other children. Thankfully, due to medical advancement, we now know what the real problem is. Who said ignorance is not a devil?

Do you know any rhesus negative mother? Did they find out on time, or was it too late before the discovery was made? How did the situation affect them?

22 comments

  1. I am one, I found out when I was about 8 weeks pregnant when I went to the ER for spotting. They did some tests and immediately knew and gave me the rhogam shot. I also got it when I delivered my daughter as well. It's a big deal, the doctors kept on asking me if I took it throughout my pregnancy. such a shame they flagged it that late in your pregnancy. Thank God .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes o. Thank God it was caught on time

      Delete
  2. Lol @ the post title.

    I'm also O Rh D neg.
    Found out a few years ago.
    I had always thought I was O pos...till a chance test showed O neg. I refused to believe it was my result. Between then and now I've repeated the test about 5 times. It took me a while to come to term with it.
    Lol @ expensive. I had to donate recently for a colleague's newborn baby who had jaundice.

    In pregnancy, ideally it should be picked once the woman registers for Antenatal. I'm glad it was finally picked up for you.
    Like every other thing the price of Rhogam has shot up. It used to be 8k

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. It's nice to know you've been able to help someone with your expensive blood, lol.

      Na wa o. To think that something that used to cost 8k is now 40k... well, God dey sha.

      Delete
  3. I'm not, but I have a friend who is. I remember her saying something about waiting for her rhogam shots before leaving the hospital because she's O-, when she gave birth and i dropped by to see her. My SIL is too so I'm thinking it must not be that rare I mean I know 2 people already, plus you now that's 3 and then the first 2 ☝up there that's 5... The thing should be free now jare. Lols.
    Thank God they caught your potential abiku oh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I was just following statistics and what the doctor said, lol. It's not very common though.

      Delete
  4. Hmmm. Interesting read..... thanks for putting up your story. It has shed more light on info about Rhesus neg & O- blood grp though I no no one who carries it.. thank God for ur safe delivery

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes o, God all the way. Thank you for always reading and commenting

      Delete
  5. LOL It's not as dramatic as you make it sound jor.

    I am also negative my doctor told me about it after the test and as a ftm i quickly went online to do my research which said I should take the injection at 28 weeks when I went back to the doctor, he said they can either give you the injection at 28 weeks or at the point of delivery (UK and US style) but in Nigeria, they give at 28 weeks but they adopt the US style and give immediately after delivery. I know i got the injection less than an hour after delivery. I didn't even think too much of it sef.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the job of a writer if not to find the dramatic in the regular? Lol.

      I think why the doctor was dramatic ablout my case was that he almost missed it. I'm not sure about what you mean by Uk and US style. But in the hospital I used both in Nigeria n=and US, they give it twice... at 28 weeks and after delivery.

      Delete
  6. I need to get tested...I am not even sure of my blood group right now....It must have been a tough period for you mehn... That's why you should have named your baby Mobolaji....Atttttiiii you can still consider it o *smiles*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yaayyyy, you are back to blogsville. I hope you will stay this time around. I will consider your name next time, lol.

      Trust me, I was like you. I had no idea what my blood group was. There was never any need for me

      Delete
  7. this is all soo new to me...
    *taking plenty notes*
    Your last points are super duper valid... Ignorance is the biggest devil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you are learning from all these. Thanks for always visiting

      Delete
  8. Thank God for you. But you see ehn, don't even let me go on about how and why the Dr "almost missed" it cos that is the one that is what I can't get my head around. We need to start to hold ple accountable in Nigeria. Irrespectiveof whatyou came in with when you registered, blood tests are one of the basic things that should be done....common seriously!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very right. We need to start holding all our sectors to high standards, elseo lives could easily be lost.

      Delete
  9. I'm Rhesus negative.
    I took Rhogam during pregnancy and after delivery of my first child but even at that i had a miscarriage during my second pregnancy. The Drs weren't able to confirm though if the miscarriage happened due to my rhesus factor.
    Kisses to my baby.
    -Beautiful (sorry not signed in, this isn't my device lol)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haaaa. Are you serious??? So sorry about that. At least, I know you are okay now, and that makes me glad.

      Delete
  10. My sis is one. And she didn't know till she lost 5 children twins inclusive. This was about 15years years ago though. I think the solution is more readily available now. But it wasn't before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh. This is so heartbreaking. I'm so sorry. But even 15 years ago, doctors should have known this na. This is really really sad.

      Delete
  11. I am O neg..still single though and currently searching for a guy with O neg blood..lol..my Mum has been telling me about the injection since I was a teenager...and I have done my own research..Congrats on the birth of your son..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looolll. It's not that serious naaa. Marry any bloody guy, no pun intended. The injection has come to make your single searching life easier, lol.

      Delete

What's your opinion on this? Let's learn from one another.