Spherocytosis. Hereditary Spherocytosis. After experiencing unexplained borderline anemia my entire life, I finally have a diagnosis. I only have a mild case of this blood disorder since I've never exhibited any of the full blown symptoms. That's the good news.
The sort of bad news is since I have the blood disorder, the pregnancy is taxing my blood levels and my anemia is getting worse as the pregnancy progresses. Several weeks ago my perinatologist was concerned enough to refer me to a hematologist for further evaluation. After vials of blood draws and a trip to the University of Washington for a highly specialized test, the results showed Hereditary Spherocytosis.
For the rest of the pregnancy I'll have a CBC (complete blood count) each week to check my blood levels. If my blood gets low enough, the decision may be made to give me a blood transfusion. This is to ensure the baby is getting enough oxygen through my red blood cells.
Since the disorder is hereditary, she has a 50/50 chance of inheriting it from me. Each week for the rest of the pregnancy her blood levels will be checked for anemia via a special ultrasound. No needles, no blood draws, nothing invasive. That's great! If for some reason she starts showing signs of anemia in utero, she'll simply get to be born sooner rather than later. After birth, she'll be monitored for the disorder and that's it.
So there you have it. A new word for the day. Spherocytosis.