50 transfusions bring a baby into the world
The partner of a pregnant woman has a tough gig on the day of childbirth. There’s no doubt it’s a nerve-wracking day, even when things go according to plan. Then there’s the 19% of pregnancies and childbirth that require blood products, and that can result in an experience you hadn’t planned for.
Jeremy’s wife Shannon received up to 50 transfusions throughout the course of two of her pregnancies, so he knows the value of partners and family of pregnant women donating blood. Now the father of this happy, healthy family looks back and tells his story of becoming a father for the second time.
Having a happy and healthy 1 year old from my wife’s first pregnancy, it was an easy decision to make the choice to have another baby. While the first pregnancy had been relatively smooth sailing, and understanding that each pregnancy carries the potential for things not to go as planned, the news that Shannon’s platelets had dropped to dangerously low levels early in the following pregnancy meant that careful management would be needed all the way through.
Blood Transfusions Keep Mum Healthy
Blood tests followed, and frequent transfusions became the weekly norm to ensure safe platelet levels were maintained for her and the baby. It was reassuring that the regular monitoring and treatment enabled her to continue most normal activities, including playing with our young son, and culminated in the safe delivery of our daughter.
Still wanting another child, there was no certainty in what might happen in another pregnancy, and the decision to try for our third took several years. With support from the haematologist and obstetrician, and the knowledge that the blood transfusions from the previous pregnancy had enabled her condition to be managed, it was an anxious but assured start to the third pregnancy.
Shannon’s blood condition returned once again (although earlier this time), but the knowledge that our daughter had arrived safely from the previous pregnancy helped to quell the nerves. Towards the end of the pregnancy, the responsiveness of the treatments started to diminish resulting in more frequent transfusions to boost her platelets, and ultimately became daily in the lead-up to the delivery.
One Big, Happy Family
Shannon would have received in the order of 50 transfusions throughout the course of her last two pregnancies, but have enabled us to have three happy and healthy children. We are indebted to each and every donor; the access to the blood products that Shannon needed during her pregnancy has given us the privilege of being the family we always dreamed we would be.
Even if your partner doesn’t need blood products, your donation can save up to 3 lives. Donate blood every trimester of your partner’s pregnancy and save 3 lives as she brings one into the world.