I walked into 2017 with my life long wishes came true – I was pregnant! Although me and my partner were living 2 hours away from each other, we managed to come to an agreement and he has now moved to be with me and baby – who’s still yet to arrive!
Even though I am in my early 20’s, a mum is something I’ve always dreamed of and I can’t wait to meet my princess.
To get to the point.. at around 12 weeks I started developing itching over my body, mainly the feet and legs at night time. It often kept me up at night and nothing seemed to work to heal it, I was a good sleeper and it usually takes a lot to keep me awake even through my early pregnancy. My OH would lather calamine lotion on me every night, only for me to scratch it off within the hour and wake up to bloody sheets again. Being a FTM and not having a mum to turn to myself at this point I just assumed this was a normal pregnancy symptom, even online sources told me it’s too soon for Cholestatis.
I would say I went to my GP and spoke to my midwife around 5 times before I was considered to have ICP and this was due to my LFT’s being slight deranged, which was actually something that I had from before being pregnant, but no diagnosis. I’m 21, fit, healthy yes I did occaisonally binge drink but it wasn’t anything serious that doctors thought could have effected my liver.
At around 18 weeks i had a call from my GP surgery asking me to go into a&e as my liver tests had come back very high and they wanted me to get checked over. I ended up being in hospital for 3 days, had MRI and ultrasound scan for baby and liver and all looked fine – I am now due to have a biopsy once baby is born as specialist think I have a rare liver condition. I was then thankfully prescribed 6x anti histamine and 500mg of Urso twice a day and eventually things eased off, but never healed.
After 22-23 weeks I was feeling awful, unable to eat, barley move and loosing weight. My liver functions were 353 and my bile acids were above 180, the machine was unable to take a higher reading, so will never actually no how high they went. The itching was stopping me from working, sleeping and even touching my boyfriend because my hands constantly felt like i had tingles in them. To even carry a cup of tea down a corridor at work would cause my hand to itch furiously. I honestly at one point thought I was insane and nothing was going to help except giving birth.
I am now 30 weeks and the bile acids are yet to drop. I am on 6-7 Anti-histamines a day, 4x 250mg of Urso 3 times a day, and 2 rifampicin tablets a day. That’s 20 altogether.
The rifampicin has unknown effects to my unborn baby, but is usually used to treat TB and for unknown reasons reduces bile acids. It turns stools, urine and even your tears orangey reddish colour and causes constipation. Oh – and you can’t go out in the sunlight for too long or you’ll have a rash. It’s July and it’s sunny btw so that’s marvelous! Despite all of that, the first 4 days of taking it have reduced my itching, but still not cleared it and it still causes me to go insane, i literally have to take each hour as it comes and live in constant paranoia that something is wrong with either myself or my baby and that I could go into pre term labour at any second.
My Obstetrician has said that if the itching is still bad then he will deliver baby by c section at 34 weeks, as induction may not work. If i’m feeling better hopefully we can keep her in until 37 weeks, although I cant help but worry that my body is too toxic for her and all these tablets are going to harm my unborn child. I also worry that the stress and constant negative thoughts that cross my mind are not good for her either and i do my best to stay positive and my OH is great at keeping me happy. Ive become rarther selfish now and just want her out but I know she isn’t ready yet 😦
The midwife at the hospital says that diet does not affect ICP but I DISAGREE. I find if i eat a fatty meal the itching gets worse throughout the night and into the morning. I try to eat a low fat diet, and recentley discovered dairy also increases eastogren production, which is the cause of the bile acids not being released efficiently so am changing to almond milk as I write this… I barley have an appetite but I know I have the keep my baby fed and nurished so she can grow properly and have a safe delivery.
I’d love to hear from other mums that have been diagnosed with icp, I understand that i’m a rare case and this condition is not always as bad as this, so I do apologise if youve just been diagnosed and youve read my nightmare so far it may not be this bad i hear some people dont even itch!!!!!! I suppose if it’s not you could read this and be thankful your experiance is not as bad?
I’m at the stage where I just want to give up and feel like there is nothing anyone can do to help me but i’m just thinking of the little bundle of life i’ll meet at the end of it as ive been told it’s highly likely ill have this condition again, I honestly dont think I will be having anymore children.
Please email me if you’d like anymore information or even just want a rant about how bad or even how good you’re feeling! firstname.lastname@example.org