Julie Anderson, Florida
Julie Anderson ICP Pregnancy Story

I had a relatively normal pregnancy; however, I did see a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist (MFM) doctor from my second trimester on. It wasn’t until Memorial Day weekend that I started to get this horrendous itch all over my belly. I honestly assumed it was from my stomach growing and stretching but it soon became unbearable. Within a week I had a terrible itch and a rash from my neck down to my feet all over my body. When I went to my next prenatal appointment at 34 weeks, I mentioned my itchiness to my doctor and said Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) is typically an itch on your hands and feet and it was most likely not it, especially with how rare it is, however she’d send me for a blood test to rule it out. I spent hours going in and out of L&D because I was so miserable. I even had an entire team come into my room and tell me they had never seen anything like this before. They diagnosed me with a PUPPS rash. I ended up going back to my regular OB and demanded to get the lab orders and went straight to Quest.

A few weeks later at my MFM appointment, I told my doctor I went for the blood test but still didn’t have my results back. She said I most likely had PUPPS and ICP based on everything I told her and the way my skin looked. She sent in notification to get induced during week 37 due to my history with high BP from previous pregnancy but couldn’t send it in for possible intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy since my bloodwork wasn’t back yet. I am very glad she sent in the orders because I just knew I would get diagnosed. I didn’t get my lab results until I was 37 weeks pregnant, and it showed I had ICP due to my elevated bile acids. I ended up being induced at 37+4 but the hospital was so backed up with deliveries I couldn’t go to the delivery floor until the night before I turned 37+6.

My son was born at 9:37 AM on June 24, 2023. He did not cry when he was born, and he ended up needing respiratory support and ended up in the NICU for about 12 hours. He had a chest x-ray and oxygen during that time. I cannot imagine what would’ve happened if I was never sent to be induced due to having high BP due to my first pregnancy. My itching stopped almost 3 weeks after he was born. I still have scars from the PUPPS rash due to the constant itching. Since then, my husband and I have made the decision not to have children. I cannot risk the possibility of recurrence. My son is alive and doing well and I am so thankful I fought to get the blood testing done, which I knew I so desperately needed.

ICP Care was a resource during my pregnancy, and I learned a lot about ICP and what others have gone through. It truly made me feel better knowing I wasn’t fighting the itch alone.

Julie Anderson ICP Pregnancy Story Julie Anderson ICP Pregnancy Story

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Have you recently been diagnosed with ICP?

Would you like your personal experience, test results and medical treatment with this rare disease to further the advancement of science? Find out how your diagnosis can help through our Patient Registry.