Crystal Melton

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I am a mother to 4 beautiful daughters. With my oldest daughter I was having itching but, had no clue what Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) was and didn’t think anything about it. I was having lots of pain in my ribs and really bad headaches. This went on from weeks 36-39. I finally went to the hospital and demanded that they figure out what was wrong with me. They noticed that my daughter wasn’t doing well on the NST and decided to induce that day at 39 weeks. I don’t have official proof that I had ICP but all signs pointed to that.

Along came my second pregnancy where the itching came really intense around 27 weeks. I didn’t bring it up to my doctor until 28 weeks and she prescribed me a steroid cream and told me that it was normal itching. I came back a week later to her office and told her the cream wasn’t working and that I was bleeding from scratching so hard. This time she took me more seriously and sent me for bloodwork. My bile acids came back at 154!!! I was put on URSO right away along with SAMe and was set up for NSTs and also weekly ultrasounds. My daughter also had a heart defect and was growth restricted so I was considering extremely high risk. I was scheduled for an induction at 37 weeks at a hospital over an hour away. I received steroid shots for her lungs due to her small size they were concern her lungs weren’t developed. I ended up going into labor the day before my induction and had her on my induction day. She was very small (4lb 3oz) she had to undergo a procedure for her heart right after delivery and spent 2 weeks in the NICU.

10 months later I got pregnant with my 3rd daughter. Most wouldn’t have any more children after the trauma of the second one but, I assumed that ICP was a one-time deal and I wouldn’t get it again. But I was wrong and around 24 weeks the intense itching came back very strong and I immediately knew what was going on. I got my bile acids checked and they were on the mild side (25). I began URSO and continued my pregnancy with NSTs and scans weekly. Around 32 weeks my baby girl started to have decreased movement and they ran my bile acids again. It came back at 256!!!! The URSO was no longer controlling my bile acids and I was induced at 33 weeks after receiving steroids for her lungs! She came out breathing on her own and was 3lbs 10 ounces. She just needs to learn how to keep her body temp up and eat. She spent 10 days in the NICU.

And now you are probably wondering why I decided to have baby number four after the issues with the last two! Well she was a miracle surprise! Knowing how ICP affects me I decided to go on a liver cleanse diet my whole pregnancy. I didn’t eat much fat. I am not sure if this had a factor in my ICP this time around but, I felt a lot better knowing I was trying to do something. My pregnancy was very normal with the exception of mild itching! My bile acids remained normal until 33 weeks when they came back at 12. I was put on URSO and scheduled for induction at 37 weeks. NSTs and ultrasounds were done weekly also. She came without any issues at 37 weeks and zero NICU time.