I turned 35 weeks pregnant yesterday and spent most of the day waiting around in maternity day care for blood test results. Maternity day care is not somewhere I ever visited in my pregnancy with Shy and not somewhere I expected to spend most of the last week in this pregnancy either.
There’s only one picture in this post because anything else would just consist of CTG bands on my bump, cannula’s, needle marks or tablets!
Since the 9th September I have visited MDC 5 times. Once because I needed fluids after not being able to keep food or water down for 2 days which then turned out to be OC confirmed on Sunday 14th September.
I won’t get into the technicalities of Obstetric Cholestasis but in short, my liver isn’t doing its job properly which makes my bile acid levels go too high and generally results in severe itching. I don’t have severe itching – in general I have no itching at all.
I’ve been taking medicine for the condition since Monday, something called Urso in short terms. In the space of 5 days, my dosage has been upped twice so I’m now on 2000mg a day. Combined with anti-sickness medicine once a day. I’ve had many blood tests this week to keep checking my BALs which have unfortunately still been going up every time and quite significantly in short spaces of time. It’s been upsetting, overwhelming and frustrating. I’ve been in tears more days than not and I just feel exhausted most of the time!
If you’ve read my birth story with Shy you will know I had the birth I wanted – spontaneous labour at 39+4 weeks, birth centre birth with a lovely water birth delivery. We left hospital the same day and if you saw my recent birth plan post, you’ll know I planned for more of the same. Computer says…. NO.
Due to this condition, I have now become high risk. Baby L is now expected to come a few weeks early of body’s own accord, or I will be induced between 37-38 weeks IF my BALs are stabilised. A little earlier if they’re not. But either way: no water birth; no birth centre; and probably a lot of monitoring etc. That’s been hard for me to swallow but I am just learning to deal with it right now. I had a full blown anxiety attack on Thursday night but been feeling calmer since.
I now have blood tests at least twice a week until they find a way to stabilise or reduce BALs or induce me; combined with CTGs (baby trace) to make sure baby is doing good and not being affected by the condition which is a possibility.
I don’t do scaremongering but I just want to say I’ve been told itching in pregnancy is common and even normal. Not to worry if it isn’t severe. If you are unsure if the itching is severe or not, it’s best to get checked to be on the safe side. I only got checked because my hands and feet started itching on Saturday night and were still itching on Sunday when I woke up. It wasn’t severe – just irritating but I phoned up anyway and they told me to go in. If I had ignored it, I have no idea how bad it could have got and there is a small link, that is still being researched, to still birth hence the early induction.
The two most helpful websites I’ve found about the condition are below and I hope this post maybe helps someone, one day.