Yvonne Casuso is a native New Yorker transplanted to NJ recently. FTM to baby Octavio born on March 13, 2020, just days before the COVID-19 quarantine took over.
My story: After my husband and I purchased our first home in July 2019, I found out that I was pregnant with our first child. At 32 weeks, I started to have severe itching. Thinking that I was having an allergic reaction, I tried to alleviate my symptoms at home, after a week of suffering at a regular OB appointment, my doctor mentioned that she wanted to test my bile acids and mentioned the possibility of an Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) diagnosis. That was a terrifying thought of the increased risk of stillbirth and cutting my timeframe of nesting in half as a FTM. I cried the whole Uber ride back to work and had to sit at my desk desperately Googling to find anything I can find on the diagnosis. Two long days later, I had been officially diagnosed and went to see a high-risk doctor and put on Ursodiol. The team at NYU was helpful in talking me through what needed to happen next for the health and safety of my child and self.
At 36 weeks and 6 days, my little guy arrived safely into the world weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Coming out from the fog, I realized that I needed to do more to help other women and families that were in the same boat because I was fortunate enough to get through it. The only thing I could think of was to use my powers for good, my career! I have been fundraising for various organizations since 2008 and built a career I am proud of. When I saw a post about joining the ICP Care board, I knew that was it.
I am so grateful that this organization exists and has extensive resources for families in this situation. I only hope I can bring more light to ICP.