Saturday, November 16, 2013

Giving Blood After Pregnancy

I need to get out more with Jack.

Most days we spend in the house because it's easier. Getting ready while he's in a good mood or sleeping, getting him fed, changed and into something seasonably appropriate with a diaper bag packed, lugging a stroller out and setting it up while he's in the play pen and then rushing in to get him, locking all the doors with a baby in hand, hoping I didn't forget anything... ugh. It's really time-consuming to leave the house.

Back when I had no baby and I wanted to leave the house, I'd think, "I'm going to get dressed and leave the house." Then I'd linger around getting dressed, maybe have a snack and at my leisure mosey on out with my purse, which always contained all I'd need. Do-dee-doo-dee-doo.

But as cold weather approacheth and my maternity leave narrows to a close in less than four months (...what?!) I really ought to get out more and make use of the free stuff to do around the city.

And speaking of free things to do around the city, today I went to donate blood. I've done it once before and because I'm O-, I'm a prime donor candidate. Universal donor, baby! Thing is, I got pregnant right after my first donation so when they called me for my next appointment, I had to tell them I was out of commission for awhile. You can't give again until you're six months postpartum.

So, they call me six months after my due date and since I went nearly a month past that, I had to put them off again. But this time, this time, I could go back and perform a civic duty of sorts. I like giving blood. It gives me a good feeling. Plus it takes mucho calories to replace all that life juice, so you get to eat goodies.

Somehow the morning got away from me today. By the time I had to leave, the Dude had taken Jack out with his brother and niece with all our TTC tokens in his pocket, and I hadn't even eaten breakfast yet. I arrived a wee bit late and went through the intake process.

Have you eaten? No. Okay, well, you need to eat first. Okay.

Do you have AIDS? No.

Have you had sex with someone who's had AIDS? No.

Have you paid for sex? No.

Have you had a blood transfusion in Africa? No.

Have you received blood products in the past year? Well, yes. Yes, I have. I was pregnant. My Rh is negative and the Dude's is positive, therefore I needed a shot of immune globulin. (Why? Oh, just read this, I'm no doctor. I got it in my third trimester, which began last December.)

So... I couldn't give blood. There was a lot of back and forth, hemming and hawing, confusion over just when I got this injection. Ultimately, it was not deemed safe for me to donate. I was questioned about why I didn't mention this while making the appointment, but when I suggested the person who called me to set up the appointment (Who knew I'd been pregnant) should be familiar with blood products in pregnancy, I was told they're not trained in that knowledge.

Which confused and irritated me because if the Blood Services Canada people aren't expected to know and ask this simple question ("Did you receive any blood products while pregnant? If so, we'll have to wait 12 months since it happened before we can make another appointment.") then how could I as a civilian be expected to know this? I mean, they know enough that pregnancy means no donation for six months postpartum, and this Rh shot is very common. It's not like leaving your baby behind and going out is wildly easy to arrange all the time either.

I suppose the intake nurse was irritated because they need the blood, one, and, two, O- is in the highest demand. Turning me away must've been frustrating.

Well, gotta wait till the new year now. I'm still very pro giving blood. It's important and valuable public service. But I reallllly think they could fine-tune a few things. Obviously you can't delve into deeply private medical matters over the phone with everyone. But I don't think it's too much of a stretch, when odds are very high that a routine pregnancy treatment has been administered, to ask a newly non-pregnant woman if said treatment occurred. You know, to avoid wasted everyone's time and BCS resources.

At the very least, I got confirmation my iron levels are good and my blood pressure is on the low end of normal. So yay.

Tomorrow we see our newlywed friends for lunch, which should prove much more relaxing.


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