I am a mother to 4 beautiful children, a girl and 3 boys. I was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy with each of my three boys, but I had all the symptoms of ICP with my daughter as well. I remember itching on the bottoms of my feet. I knew about ICP, but because I wasn’t scratching my skin off, I brushed it off. At 40 weeks+6 days, I went to labor and delivery since she wasn’t moving like normal, and I had this mother’s instinct that something was very wrong. When I was hooked up to a NST, her heart rate was 180BPM without moving. Then it would drop to 90 and her heart would stop. I was rushed into an emergency C-section, and my daughter spent 5 days in the NICU due to respiratory distress. She is now a very happy and healthy 7-year-old girl.
My 2nd pregnancy seemed normal until the second trimester. I remember this distinct itch that started on my right arm. At first, I thought it was a rash, but as the weeks went on, the itching increased and all I thought about all day was the itch. I just wanted to scratch everywhere. I was also extremely tired and had no appetite. I asked my OB’s to test me for cholestasis of pregnancy this time. I was diagnosed with ICP, and at 36 weeks+3 days, my healthy baby boy was born.
My doctors were cautious with my third, and I was diagnosed from symptoms and rising bile acid levels in the third trimester, although I had some mild itching early in my pregnancy as well. He was delivered at 37 weeks.
My fourth (and so far, final) baby was born in 2021. With him, I knew I was pregnant even before I took a test because of how severe the itching was. My doctors were again cautious, although they insisted that ICP isn’t possible in the first trimester. Once again, my bile acids started to rise along with my continued symptoms, and in the late 2nd trimester, I was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy a third time.
All 4 of my children are truly miracles and wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the awareness and support currently being brought through by ICP Care and this group of amazing women. I was proud that I got to be a part of this team: to learn more about this awful disease, bring awareness about ICP, and support other moms who are going through the same thing.