I’ve been feeling itchy for the past several weeks, and more so over the last few days, so I went to the doctor yesterday to get it checked out. The doctor said that she’s fairly confident I have developed what’s called ICP. Do not Google this. It was too late for me -- I’d Googled about the itchiness and read all about "fetal demise" and the like. So I most definitely freaked out there on the spot. But, it’s not as bad as all that:
Basically, about 1% of pregnant women’s livers start malfunctioning around the third trimester (I’m at 28 weeks today). This results in bile salt deposits in their systems (hence the itching). This is dangerous for the baby. The medical community doesn’t know why this happens, and there likewise isn’t a cure, but they do know that the vast majority of fetal complications from ICP occur in the final month of pregnancy, so the going practice is to monitor very closely and induce at 35 weeks, once the baby’s lungs are mature. The problem corrects itself in moms once the babies are born
I asked my doctor if she’s dealt with this before, and she said she has, many times (it’s a high-risk clinic). I asked if she’s ever seen it go south, noting that I’m six months along and damn attached to this kid, and need to have him delivered healthy and sound. She said she has always seen a healthy baby at the end of this road. Lots of uncomfortable moms, but no tragic losses. She assured me that it’s going to be okay.
I got two blood tests done yesterday. The first is a liver function test. The results are in: normal. That’s good! The second test, which really tells us definitively if there’s a problem, comes back in ten days. Ten. There’s still a good chance I have this problem, but if so, the first indicates that it’s not as severe as it could be. There’s also a chance that I’m itching because it’s cold out, the heat’s on, my skin’s dry and I take too many hot showers. I certainly hope that’s the case. I'll know in nine days
Did I freak out yesterday? Yes. Am I freaking out now? No. I guess I’m getting some direct practice in opening up and going with the flow. My baby’s ahead of the weight curve and quite active, so if he debuts at 35 weeks, I’m okay with that. If the next test comes back normal, I’ll thank my lucky stars and load up on the moisturizer. Either way, I’ll keep you posted. (Update: I’m not itching right now)
Did any of you experience scares or major changes in plans in the home stretches of your pregnancies? How did you go with the flow?