Oh my goodness the itching.
It's worse at night and just starts with my feet and spreads all over my body and the more I itch, the worse it gets. I had an apt with my Dr. and told him about all the itching and how I have been on all those meds (he had been out of the office for a while so I had them prescribed by another Dr in the office) and he looked a little concerned and started asking me all these other questions.
I had lost a lb since my last apt, which again, being sick I just figured that's why.
I was getting a lot of braxton hicks contractions.
and the itching was mainly on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet.
He said he wanted to test me for cholestasis. I have never heard of cholestasis so I asked him quite a few questions which didn't put my mind at ease at all. But he made it sound like it would be a little crazy if I had it because it's usually genetic and it's more common in other countries and other ethnicities of women. AND I have never had it with my other two pregnancies. Which isn't uncommon, but kind of strange.
He mentioned that if I did have cholestasis that he would deliver no later than 37 weeks. There is a high risk of stillborn so I would also be monitored every week.....so he sent me over to get my labs done and I was just kind of in la la land about everything he just told me, but I was trying to stay positive. I wouldn't get my labs back for a week, so in the meantime I just had google.....curse you google. I love and HATE you.
So my labs came back and my levels were "elevated". I was in Boise for a few days hanging out with my parents and the boys and just getting the last few things I needed for baby. Idaho Falls shopping isn't the best;) and my favorite consignment sale was happening so I had to go! The down side was that I wouldn't see my Dr. for a week but he didn't seem too worried about it. He just told me to do my kick counts and if anything changed to let him know.
Tuesday morning was my apt. I woke up to do kick counts and I wasn't really feeling anything so I just got up and got the boys breakfast and waited to feel the baby kick. About an hour past and I started getting worried. So I laid down and rubbed my belly and started talking to him and just praying for a kick. He's usually pretty active and it takes no time at all to feel him kick. So after about 2 minutes I just started bawling. I was just waiting and waiting for him, nothing was happening. Not even a flutter. I had to get Damon dressed and ready for school then off to my apt but I just couldn't move. After about 10 minutes I finally got 2 little kicks on my hand. I can't tell you how relieved I was. That was the longest 10 minutes of my life. The worst part of having Cholestasis is the constant worry I have about my baby being Ok. Women talk about how they go to bed with a baby going crazy in their stomach to nothing when they wake up. That things can change so fast and you don't even know or feel different. It scares the crap out of me and it's just made me so paranoid.
So I went to my ultrasound an hour later and he was moving around and his heart was beating well so I was so happy! Just seeing his little face on the ultrasound made me so happy and relieved. She even gave us a few 3D shots, and he looks exactly like his brothers! His nose and his lips are the exact same.
Then we met with the Dr. I asked him a whole lot of questions. I wanted to know my levels on things and just how bad things were. My bile acid count was 45. The normal is 12. Then the 2 or 3 tests they did on my liver ranged from 200-500. The normal is 50. Women have higher levels than that all the time, but they are definitely high. Especially my liver tests. Having both that high isn't a good sign, so I'm being monitored twice a week. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and non stress tests. If anything changes we might have to deliver sooner. But for right now the plan is 36-37 weeks. I'm 33 weeks 5 days today so it's just right around the corner.
So the main question I've been getting is what is Cholestasis. Basically there is too much bile in your liver and the excess gets released into your blood stream. If too much of the bile salt gets to your baby, it's not good. The main risks are still born, preterm labor, and hemorrhaging. I really think I have this because I had my gall bladder taken out last year. There's no where for that bile to be stored and my liver cant keep up or process it through the right way so it gets back in my blood.
So I take 300 mg of urso 3 times a day. It's supposed to help get my levels down to a safer place. Then my Dr. gave me a pill to help with the itching and it has a sleep aid. That's been great to have but I find myself waking up at 3:00-4:00 every morning just wide awake.
I joined a support group on Facebook that has been pretty helpful. Some of the stuff can freak me out, but it's just the reality of the situation that can be scary. It sounds like a lot of areas of ICP are kind of a mystery and Dr.'s don't have a ton of experience and information on it.
Luckily my Dr is really great and seems to have a good handle on things. He's been talking to a really good high risk Dr. and I like having him in the loop. He asked me if I would like to be referred to him full time, but I feel pretty confident in my OB right now. Tomorrow I'm going in for a non stress test and I will hopefully get my labs back from the beginning of the week. Hopefully they will be lower this time.
I've been trying to stay positive and look at the silver lining in all of this.
I get to have my baby here in just a few weeks. I get to hold him and see his sweet face.
I don't have to go through the last month of pregnancy, which is the worst!
I get to have him before Halloween which gives me plenty of time to heal up from a c section before the holidays hit.
I have 2 siblings getting married so I have a little more time to feel like a normal person before their weddings.
The itching and worrying will stop once I have him. He might spend some time in the nicu, but he is looking healthy, and measuring big!! Most babies at 33 weeks weigh a little over 4 lbs, he is measuring at over 6 lbs! I've been measuring big this whole pregnancy, and I don't know how accurate the ultrasound is, but I think either way he will be a little bigger than normal so i'm hoping he will be nice and healthy even though he's about a month early.
The other day dan and I were having a little pity party about how it seems like life just always seems to be crazy for us. That when things finally start to turn around, it's only a little while before we get hit with something else. I saw this quote from Richard G Scott and it just really hit home for both of us.
Even though this is definitely one of the harder things we have gone through, I can feel the Lords hand daily. He helps put my mind at ease and I can't help but think that everything is going to be fine, even though the risks are scary. I know with Dan by my side we can get through anything. He's been my rock and always knows what to say or do to help me out. When I got home from Boise, he had the whole house cleaned top to bottom. Bathrooms, carpets, kitchen, EVERYTHING! The baby's room was put together and looked so cute. I cried when I walked in and saw everything, it was exactly what I needed. He said he just didn't want me to stress about the house being ready for the baby and he just wanted me to relax. He is so sweet and thoughtful.
I know this is a super long post, but I have so much friends and family asking about this, and I figured this was the best way to keep everyone informed. I'm so grateful for the love and support we've had these last few weeks.