It's been a while since I last updated you all on my journey with ICP (Cholestasis of Pregnancy). If you haven't gotten a chance to read my first blog about this pregnancy condition, I suggest you do that first. You can follow the link here to do so.
I am now 34+5 weeks pregnant (where did the time go!) and have been dealing with ICP since about my 18th week of pregnancy. Up until recently, I have not experienced the severe itching that most women complain about. However, around 29 weeks, the itch came with a vengeance and even an increase to my prescription has yet to take it away. As many women note, the itchiness tends to increase in the evening and often prevents me from falling asleep and/or staying asleep during the night. At 32 weeks, I had scratched my legs so badly that I made them blister and bleed. The upper quadrant pain and general feeling of exhaustion has remained the same. I am still required to give a blood sample every 2 weeks so that my OBGYN can monitor my bile salt levels (which has remained at a moderate level thus far).
When my husband and I first found out that we were expecting, I envisioned this beautiful home-birth (maybe even a water birth!), surrounded by candles and blaring our favourite music. As of today, it won't look quite like that - in fact; I will be induced at the hospital in just 2 weeks from now. Not exactly the magical experience I was hoping for - but as a doula, I have learned that you can really make ANY environment beautiful with the right people and the right mind set.
I feel so grateful to have experienced ICP. In a way, I feel like it has made me better prepared to serve my labour clients. I totally get that some of you are having a really challenging pregnancy (I'm there too!) and I can now completely relate to not being able to follow through with your birth plan. ICP has taught me that birth plans can be changed, tweaked or thrown out the window and still be perfect.
Writing this, I am reminded just how lucky I am to have carried our healthy baby this far. Here's to our induction date!
Photo credit: EG Photography (Please see contact page for information)