What do you do when plans don’t go as planned? As many of you know, I had planned on a home birth. I had planned on going into labor naturally, being able to labor in my own clothes, go outside to take a walk if needed, lay in my own comfy bed if I wanted, and finally crawl into my pool for the rest of my labor and delivery.
It didn’t get to happen that way. And I wouldn’t change that at all.
When Plans Don’t Go as Planned:
Around 20 weeks, my mom mentioned I looked very anemic, I was also dealing with severe fatigue. I found an herbal iron supplement and began taking it. I also started taking another supplement to help my liver out, since I assumed the anemia and fatigue was stemming from that.
The anemia went away, but the fatigue never really did. In fact I had to keep a stool in the kitchen and learn to do most things sitting down because even standing for more than 5 minutes at a time in one place would have me breathless.
Around 25 weeks I began waking up in the middle of the night with my feet on fire. They itched horribly and I wanted to cut them off. I assumed this was due to my body changing and cutting off the circulation. They itched in the morning too and the palms of my hands would at times as well. The itching wasn’t an every night thing, but as my pregnancy progressed, it became more and more frequent.
At my 30 week checkup, one of the midwives asked if I had any itching. I told her my feet would itch at night but I thought it was due to poor circulation. The midwife told me that itching was a sign of ICP (Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy). I brushed it off and said I was fine.
Cholestasis is a rare condition where the liver quits working properly. Instead of dumping toxins and bile acids into the “exit pipes” it releases them back into the blood. The bile acids can attack the placenta and kill it, ultimately killing the baby.
The more I thought about what the midwife said, the more I wondered. So I did some research and realized that this wasn’t something I could ignore. A call to my midwife resulted in a Dr appointment and blood work. At 34 weeks my blood work came back “ok” according to the dr.
However, according to my research, it really wasn’t okay. I spent the next 5 weeks doing things to help my liver dump the toxins properly and I believe it really did help. At times the itching would completely go away. However, by 38.5 weeks, I felt that slipping away. The itching was worse and I felt like I was no longer controlling it. I called my midwife again about it and after a lengthy discussion we decided that more blood work was needed.
This time, cholestasis was confirmed. At 39 weeks and 3 days, I got a call saying that I really needed to be induced, so I made an appointment to the see the Dr before I went to the hospital. I was term and the risks to the baby became greater the longer I waited. (Usually the worst damage happens in the last 4-5 weeks)