Pregnancy Complications

Those nine months of a pregnancy can be an exciting time but it can also be nerve-wracking for those dealing with a pregnancy complication. Women can be affected by a variety of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, bleeding during pregnancy, and premature labor. As scary as these issues can be, hearing how other women have contended with and overcome their complications can help ease a woman's fears. So write to us and tell us your encouraging story about your pregnancy complication.


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ICP a.k.a. ITCHNG!!!!!


After getting pregnant I felt great! Morning sickness was next to none and I was full of energy. The first trimester was wonderful! Then the winter weather started in and it all went down from here! I was having problems breathing and went to the doctor. He took one listen to my lungs and sent me straight to the hospital for x-rays. I found out I had bi-lateral pneumonia. I started a very high dose of antibiotics and went home. I had two more respiratory infections after that. But nothing was going to prepare me for what was about to come.

At 30 weeks I went into labor. Luckily I got to the hospital in time and they stopped it. But the following week I began to itch. At first it started at the bottom of my feet. I thought, "Great now I'm getting athletes foot from my husband!" much to my surprise it was not athletes foot. It then started on my hands, my tummy, my back, shoulders, face... it was EVERYWERE!!! Many people told me to "stop scratching it and it would go away", or my personal favorite- "ITS ALL IN YOUR HEAD!" but it was real! And I was scratching so much that I had open sores all over.

Many nights I would sit in the bathtub of cold water praying it would go away. I couldnít sleep, I was constantly scratching. It would wake me from a sound sleep! The baby was not moving like he should either. I was in and out of the OBs office doing stress tests at least twice a week. My nurse at the OB office noticed me scratching and asked what was going on. As I was explaining it to her she got wide eyed and rushed me in for blood work. Come to find out... I had ICP, a condition where your liver starts to malfunction and your bile acid levels go up.

In some cases the baby can be still born- especially after 37 weeks. My levels were so dangerously high that they scheduled my induction the following day. I had a beautiful son, 7 lbs. 14 oz.!!! It was estimated that if I had carried full term- he would have been close to 11 lbs.!!!!! It took two weeks for the itching to stop after delivering my son. In the end- it was all worth it to have him in my arms.

It was a long bumpy road!!!!


jessica






Cholestasis of Pregnancy

My name is Jennifer and I am a mother to 3 beautiful children but my story actually begins when I was pregnant with my firstborn, Michael, now 7.

At around 4 months of pregnancy, I awoke one night to severe itching all over my body. It being my first pregnancy, I believed my doctor when he told me "itching was normal and not to worry." I was told to take Benadryl, take Aveeno baths, and go to bed. No doubt my doctor thought of me as a whinny person. My next visits were the same complaints. I showed him the marks I had left all over my body and the nails that had been worn down to the quick from scratching-endlessly! I always got the same response..."Take Benadryl and go to bed."

At 37 weeks, my water spontaneously broke. I went to the hospital and 12 hours later, delivered my precious baby boy. I was surprised when he weighed in at barely over 5 pounds and only 18 1/2 inches long! My mother, who was in the room with me, remembers my placenta coming out charred black-not red as it was supposed to be.

On my second pregnancy, at 32 weeks along, the itching was back. Now moved to another state, I confronted my doctor about the itching. I told him the severity and also explained it was in my first pregnancy as well. He ran some Liver Function Tests (blood work) and I received a call back. I was told to go to the nearest emergency room for monitoring. The normal ranges for that particular lab (all labs vary) were 0-40 and my counts were in the 300's.

I went in and was monitored for 24 hours. I was told by a different dr. in the hospital, that I had what was called " Intraheptic Cholestasis of Pregnancy" (or known as ICP). I was also told it was NOT harmful to the baby and that it's just a nuisance in some pregnancies. All would be fine with the baby and the itching would go away once I delivered. Naturally I was relieved-until I went home and researched the condition further on the Internet.

I quickly found out this thinking was a VERY common misconception. MANY doctors do not know the current treatment and are under the assumption the condition is benign. Yet, as I have learned, MANY more doctors do not even know this condition exists. Every document I read said to deliver NO later than 37 weeks to prevent death as the rate of death occurring after 37 weeks, triples (even under 24 hour monitoring of the baby in the hospital!). I frantically called my doctor and told him what I had read and what I was diagnosed with in the hospital. I saw him the next day and he verified what I had read about the condition as being true and that it is NOT a benign condition. I turned 33 weeks on the day I saw my doctor and we developed a plan to deliver early.

At 35 weeks, I went in to the hospital for an amniocentesis to check for lung development. The baby's lungs were not quite developed and so waited one more week for induction. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 36 weeks. She weighed 6 lbs. 8 ozs. She had some trouble breathing at first, but otherwise did extremely well. She did not spend time in NICU. My placenta also appeared normal this time around.

During my third pregnancy, at 13 weeks pregnant, I woke up one night-and the itching had returned with a vengeance! I went back to the same doctor who delivered my second baby. My counts had started elevating and I found myself in the hospital at 23 weeks. My LFT's (liver functions) were in the 300's and I was going through pre-term labor. After several shots to stop the labor, I was able to go home the next day. Again I went into labor at 26 weeks. My urine was very dark at this point, and my LFT's had climbed to over 400! The contractions came to a stop-thankfully, and again went home.

I did make it to 37 weeks, when I was induced and I delivered my third child, a boy. I am fortunate and I thank God for my beautiful children!

I want to get the word out that if any one out there is experiencing severe itching, get it checked out immediately! MANY doctors are not aware of the condition and even IF they are, the "old schoolers" still believe cholestasis is benign! If this is the case, find another doctor immediately! It is very urgent to get the best care possible to get through this condition! I found a very helpful website at www.itchymoms.com. This site lists all the symptoms, course of treatment, what questions to ask your doctor and even all the current date to bring him/her, and offers THE best support group! We have seen many women lose babies because of some doctor's ignorance...and even more sadly that a lot of women out there doesnít know this disease exists! So, get educated and learn as much as you can! With the proper guidance and treatment, moms CAN deliver healthy babies!

~Jennifer Hall~ (3 time ICPer)


Jennifer






AM i PREGNANT OR AM i MiSCARRiNG?!?!

Hey my name is Charla and I am 17 yrs of age. My last normal period was in October. November period was 3 days and just spotting, and I skipped December. Me and my boyfriend have been together for a while and I just found out last Tuesday that I was pregnant. I took 3 pregnancy tests and all 3 said positive. I was happy and so was my boyfriend. I thought I was about 2 months.

Yesterday around noon I started having sharp period pains. I called my dad, and he took me to the ER. They did a blood and urine test, then they took me to go for an ultrasound, they did a vaginal and regular, and it turns out that I am about 2 weeks pregnant, but while I was at the hospital, I started my period. I asked all the nurses what was going on, and they did all kinds of tests (letís just say I was at the hospital for around 6 hrs.).

They said that I could possibly be having a miscarriage or I could be one of the women who have their period and are pregnant. I also read that having sharp period pains and bleeding is a sign of having a miscarriage. My heart was broken. I have to go again to get my blood taken on Friday and my hormone level has to double!! If not they said that I could be having a miscarriage. In 2 weeks I have to go get another ultrasound.



Charla






special care baby

My son is now 6 years old; Iíve had another in between and am 34 weeks pregnant. I had a rotten pregnancy with my first, really sick all the way through. Health-wise the baby and me were fine. However at 36 weeks I suddenly had a seizure and had to be rushed into hospital for an emergency section. I'd had an eclamptic fit. I didn't have any signs of pre-eclampsia but when I arrived in hospital had really high blood pressure and protein.

Anyway I was given drugs to stop me from fitting again and drugs to stop me being sick. I was high as a kite and didn't really know what was going on and was on intensive care for 3 days. My baby was taken straight to special care but I didn't really know what was going on for at least 36 hours so it didn't really affect me.

When I came to I found it so hard being on the ward with all the other mums having their baby next to them while mine was down the corridor being looked after by someone else. I felt like Iíd been robbed of sharing those first moments with my baby. I missed his first feed, first nappy, first cry, first eye opening - everything. I found it really hard that I'd lost 3 days of my life too. I cried and cried and cried.

I spent every spare minute next to him, didn't want to speak to anyone etc. The nurses were really good and I knew he was in the best place but all I wanted was what every new mum has - my baby. There were lots of other baby's in special care who were much worse than mine and in the long run I knew he'd be okay but at the time it didn't make me feel any better.

The worst was leaving him behind when I was discharged. Although he came out a few days after me I felt like my heart was being ripped out that first time I walked out of the hospital.

It all sounds distressing but you shouldn't feel guilty if your baby is one of the healthiest in special care and it shouldn't stop you feeling just as upset and worried as a mother whose baby is born earlier. Every mum wants their baby to be healthy and with her.

However, it hasn't stopped me having two more, you do get over it!


Alison






The child that defined life

My story is about my little boy who beat all the odds and to this day I don't know what life was like before him.

I was in my 28th week of pregnancy before any complications arose. I was feeling pretty listless and my son just wasn't moving enough to suit me. After calling my doctor I went into labor and delivery to have some tests run and that was when they discovered my urine was full of protein and my BP was extremely high.

They said they just wanted to keep me for a while and see if they couldn't get my BP down. After a week in the hospital I started suffering from severe upper abdominal pain and after a blood test it was determined that I had developed HELLP Syndrome and my son would have to be delivered immediately. I was told that he would be very small, with no hair and he would not cry so not to panic.

Well! He was born with a head full of hair and he came out screaming at 2lb11oz! He was absolutely beautiful. He overcame every obstacle that was thrown at him and 35 days after he was born he was home in my arms. He has since had 3 surgeries and 2 life threatening illnesses but he has come through them all with a big smile and a sparkle in those huge blue eyes of his.

It was later determined that I have Antiphoshpolipid Syndrome and I have since suffered through a miscarriage and a still birth and I have been told by three different doctors that the hopes of me having any more children are pretty much nil. That doesn't matter though. I have the most precious gift in the world and nothing can take that away from me. Whenever he smiles or laughs I know that all will be well and that every complication in my pregnancy was well worth it and I would do it all over again just to see his face!


Mindy







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