Ocean County Woman Shares Pregnancy Warning
A mom from the Lacey Township area has a beautiful, one-week old infant. But she could have lost the baby if she hadn't been made aware of something that her regular doctor didn't warn her about.
Here is the story Danielle tells. Please share this with anyone you know who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant:
At about 30 weeks pregnant I starting getting very itchy. Mostly all over my body but the worst on my back (despite dousing myself in moisturizer) I would scratch sometimes until I bled. I didn’t think anything was wrong because I thought having itchy skin is just a side effect of pregnancy. Still, I mentioned it to my OBGYN because it would keep me up all night. She never said anything was wrong.
It wasn’t until I visited my high-risk doctor the next day and mentioned how I wasn’t sleeping at all because the insane itch I was experiencing. That’s when she made me aware of a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). ICP is a liver disorder that occurs during pregnancy. This condition affects the normal flow of bile and bile flow begins to slow down. In tern the bile acids build up in the blood. This results in the severe itching. She also explained how dire this condition could be for the baby. If left untreated it could cause the baby to be stillborn. She sent me for blood work that day and called in a prescription for Ursodial.
Side note: Typically women with this condition are tested weekly because bile levels fluctuate. If the test is positive and bile levels are low they like to induce by 36-37 weeks. If they are higher induction could be anywhere around the 35th week. Meaning my test could have come back with normal levels even though I still had cholestasis but there was no time to retest being I was already at the 37 week mark.
By the time I went into the hospital last Saturday (because I thought I was leaking amniotic fluid, which I was not) I was still waiting on blood work... and it had been almost 2 weeks! Very long story short my OBGYN (different Dr then the one who initially wrote off my itch) explained she tried calling the lab in California herself and results wouldn’t be in until Monday. Sunday I was officially 37 weeks so the doctor suggested induction based off my symptoms alone. The OBGYN also explained that even at 37 weeks there were still risks in delivering her because there was a chance her lungs were underdeveloped and she’d have to spend time in the NICU. Not delivering her could result in her death. The choice was obvious.
I am so grateful to my high risk doctor who made us aware of this condition and my OBGYN that made the decision to induce but most of all I’m grateful to my Lord and Savior who kept my sweet Rowan safe. Cholestasis of Pregnancy is REAL and SERIOUS and I want to make sure more women (and doctors) are aware of it. Not every family is as fortunate and my heart breaks for them. Infant death with this condition is preventable. Please spread the word.