ICP Care Team Member
I am a wife and mother to two girls. Our first daughter, Laylee Joy, is our angel baby who passed away at 36 weeks due to ICP on March 28, 2020, during the start of the Covid pandemic. Our second daughter, Laya Jade, was born on March 23, 2021 at 35+1 weeks and is my second itchy baby. Both of our girls had the same due date.
My pregnancy with Laylee Joy was deemed “perfect” by some of my health providers and nurses. I had no signs of ICP until a few days before her passing, which was overlooked by one of the nurses. My 35 week appointment was cancelled due to the start of the Covid pandemic and my questioning of fetal movement one day was overlooked as a sleepy day for my baby; I was told by my nurse at the time that we had nothing to worry about. I was diagnosed with ICP after I delivered Laylee Joy with my bile acid levels being dangerously high. I had to be closely monitored for 24 hours due to high bile acid levels and stayed in the hospital to monitor my liver functioning. After the loss of Laylee Joy, I became determined to educate myself and others about ICP.
With my second pregnancy, I was closely monitored. With my new team of doctors, maternal fetal medicine specialists, and my therapist, I felt very supported and determined to have a living healthy baby. After my first pregnancy I was still being tested monthly for bile acids until my levels were consistently normal since they were dangerously high after delivery. This second pregnancy was full of anxiety and going to the hospital was a norm if I questioned my baby’s movements or my own health. My OB and MFM doctors chose to monitor my bile acids and liver functioning since the beginning of this pregnancy due to my history of ICP and the loss of our daughter. The first indicators of ICP this time was my ALP and ALT started to elevate, then the itching started. My bile acids came back above 10, so I was diagnosed with ICP and put on Urso at 27 weeks.
Laya Jade was born earlier than expected due to a rise in symptoms, my bile acids fluctuating and being hospitalized for 10 days due to early contractions. I was induced at 35 weeks. My team of doctors, my husband and I felt confident that the two rounds of steroids, as well as consistent monitoring with testing, NSTs and ultrasounds would bring a healthy baby this time. Our precious Laya Jade was born at 5 pounds, 11 ounces; she was healthy and needed no NICU time.
This amazing organization became a consistent resource for me during my pregnancy with Laya Jade. The support I received and the valuable information about ICP helped me tremendously during my pregnancy and how to advocate for myself with ICP. I wanted to join this organization to help educate and support parents and doctors about this condition.
I have been an educator and administrator for the last 10 years, primarily teaching preschool education. I hold a M.Ed specializing in teaching leadership and I am also a certified children’s yoga instructor. I currently work for a pediatric neurology company, helping families who have children with autism or are in need of neurological support. I want to continue to support ICP Care through education, advocacy and fundraising; bringing about a change to how ICP is viewed and supported during pregnancy.