Hello, my name is Rosanne Schaller, the proud mommy of Michael Schaller. I had a very normal pregnancy and nothing to ever indicate a problem. In fact, I continued normal everyday activities (work, exercise, ect) right up until I started to have contractions and went into labor. I was a couple weeks early, but the doctor sent me right to the hospital after my 38 week check-up and told me the baby was ready to come! The labor came extremely quick, and at the very end, the babies heart rate was getting dangerously low. The doctor was ready to use the vacuum to pull the baby out as it was too late for an emergency C-section, but the midwife working with the doctor refused to use it, and motivated me to push as hard as I could to get the baby out. I did exactly that, and little Mikey was born. Immediately my happiness turned into shear panic when I was holding my son and noticed the petechiae that was covering his skin. I asked the nurses about it, and they told me they needed to take him to check him out. Minutes felt like hours. I was a nervous wreck the entire time he was gone and we hadn’t heard anything from anyone. I remember different people coming into my room at different times to try to distract me, and all I could do is ask, how is my son? Where is he? What is going on?
We finally received answers when a Neonatal specialist came in to tell us about Michael’s dangerously low platelet count. At that point, they could not be certain what caused it, and described two scenarios…..the first being an infection that depleted his platelets, and the second being Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT). Either way, we had to consent to IVIG treatment and platelet donations. My blood was taken and send to the Wisconsin lab, and soon later a report indicating that there was NO Infection that would cause this low platelet problem came in. The doctors were 99% sure that Mikey had NAIT. My only thoughts at the time where thank you God. Thank you for giving me the strength to push that baby out, as the vacuum would have been catastrophic. I prayed that Mikey would respond well to treatment and be home with his daddy and I, and that is exactly what happened. After only 4 days in the NICU, Mikey was home. In the NICU, the doctors performed an ultrasound of his brain and the results were normal. Once discharged, we also made appointments with a neurologist to do a MRI and a Cat Scan, and everything came back normal. Since that time, my blood results came back positive for the HPA negative platelet type, indicating NAIT. My husband’s blood was also checked, and he is homozygous HPA positive which puts us in the 100% group. We have done a plethora of research on this condition, and it is very disheartening to know that this could have all have been prevented or at least minimized if we had known and there was NAIT screening.
I found the Yahoo group and have been added to the Facebook group, and the mommies in these groups have been such an inspiration to me. I know that I will find the strength to try a treated pregnancy in order to give Mikey a sibling. My husband and I are both from very big families, and receiving the diagnosis of NAIT at first was devastating. However, we are now educated enough to know that there is treatments available to minimize the severity of this condition, and we are strong enough to try. I constantly look to the support groups to gather information and strength, and am very excited about the possibility of expanding our family!