ICP Care Team Member
My cholestasis of pregnancy journey began at 33 weeks one sunny Monday afternoon with severe upper quadrant pain and intense itching. Later that night, I was the itchiest I have ever been! I was up all night scratching my belly, arms, palms of my hands, and soles of my feet. I found no relief from the itching despite many lotions, creams. and Benadryl. The only thing that brought me some comfort was an oatmeal bath. I mentioned my itchy hands and feet to a friend and she immediately brought up cholestasis of pregnancy. I had never heard of it and frantically turned to Google.
My OB was doubtful it was cholestasis, but ordered labs just to be sure. My bile acids came back at 205 umol/L. She prescribed Ursodiol and scheduled me for weekly NSTs. Although my bile acids drastically decreased after taking Ursodiol, because my levels were initially so high, my OB wanted to induce me as soon as possible.
I was 36 weeks pregnant and couldn’t believe I was going to meet my baby a whole month earlier than I was expecting. My induction was scheduled for a Saturday night. Things were moving along with the help of Cytotec, Cervadil, and Pictocin. My water even broke by itself while I was standing next to my hospital bed, just like you see in the movies! Despite 3 hours of pushing, little man was not budging and I ended up getting a c-section 2 nights after my induction began. My cholestasis of pregnancy journey began on a Monday afternoon in May, and ended exactly 3 weeks later on Monday night with a healthy baby boy.
After I had my son, the itching stopped. Unfortunately, the upper right quadrant pain stayed and got worse. In March 2023
I got a cholecystectomy and have not had any pain since.
After the birth of my son, I took a deep dive into educating myself about cholestasis of pregnancy. Whenever someone mentioned pregnancy, I would tell people my story. Often shortening it to- “Are you or a loved one pregnant and super itchy? Tell your OB!”.
I look forward to bringing my 13 years of non-profit knowledge to the ICP Care team! I currently work at Norfolk Botanical Garden as Director of Guest & Member Engagement where I foster a guest-centric culture within my organization. I also serve on the advisory board for the Customer Experience Program at University of Richmond. I’m very excited to join the ICP Care team to help raise awareness, connect, and educate folks about cholestasis of pregnancy.