Last Friday looked a little something like this…
I had been up in the middle of the night with incredibly itchy skin. My feet in particular had been bothering me for the past week or so but I didn’t think anything of it. However, when I got up that morning something told me to google “itchy feet during pregnancy.” A bunch of different results and remedies popped up, some of which were scary enough that I thought I should call my doctor just in case. Within an hour of leaving them a message, I received a call back saying “Go straight to labor and delivery.”
I called Sam and was crying as I told him he needed to come home from work to take me to the hospital. While I waited for him, I did everything I could to keep calm. I did the dishes, made the bed, took a shower, packed the hospital bag and put the car seat by the door (we so weren’t ready yet!) I even took a couple of pictures of my belly thinking this might be my last day with it. Sam, being the ultimate saint in a crisis, comes home with only positive things to say. “Oh let’s install the carseat now- it’ll be easy!” and “Worst case scenario, we get to meet our baby girl a few weeks early!”
That second one was comforting and yet so scary at the same time. I was only 35 weeks along. Its too early.
We pull up to the hospital. A place we have never been before because our tour is scheduled for two weeks from now (oops.)
“Hi, where is labor and delivery?”
“Oh, who are you here to see?”
“Its for me. My skin is itchy and my doctor told me to come in immediately.”
“….Um, okay. Follow me…”
Itchy skin. Thats what ended my almost-perfect pregnancy and put me in L&D 4.5 weeks before my due date. They put me in an oversized hospital gown, took some blood, and strapped up my belly to fetal monitors. And then we waited… and waited… The first results came back and the doctor was afraid it may be toxemia which would mean delivering that day. We would need to wait another hour for more blood tests to confirm.
Sam managed to share his positivity with me. We kept the thought of “maybe we get to meet our baby girl today” running through our minds. We had just done our 35 week ultrasound and knew she was strong, weighing in at almost 6 lbs! Everything was going to be okay. We passed time by playing with the stirrups on the bed and raising it as high and as low as it would go.
Then the news came that it wasn’t toxemia (thank goodness) and they decided to start treatment for something called cholestasis or ICP. It’s a pretty unusual disorder that means I have elevated liver enzymes and potentially increased bile acid in my blood. We were sent home for now, and are waiting on a second round of blood test results that will tell us how quickly we need to induce. Most likely that will be around the 37 week mark. WHICH IS NINE DAYS FROM RIGHT NOW.
Right now my heart breaks a little thinking that anything is wrong, and my body could put our baby girl in danger. I was really looking forward to experiencing naturally going into labor. Would it be like the movies where my water breaks in the middle of the night and we rush to the hospital? What would the pain really feel like? But as disappointed as I am, I’m also incredibly grateful for this diagnosis. Cholestasis greatly increases the risk of stillbirth if it goes undetected. Something told me that my itchy skin wasn’t normal and I called the doctor to ask about it even though it felt silly.
So here we go. Non-stress tests and fetal monitoring every other day and playing the waiting game until we get my blood test results. We could use all the prayers and good vibes you have to give! Baby Hickerson is coming soon <3