Tag Archives: Pregnancy complications

The Latest.

17 Sep

Today I had my scheduled appointment for a NST (non-stress test). Before I get to results and everything, I should mention Saturday.

So, on Saturday, baby wasn’t moving very much at all. Typically she is a VERY active baby. So much so, that I asked the doctor if it was normal for that much movement. So, when she wasn’t moving throughout the day, during kick counting, or even when I nudged her multiple times, I was very worried. Especially since Cholestasis has been in question. I decided to go to the hospital that evening and see if everything was okay. I have to admit I had a mini cry sesh in the bathroom before hand because I was so worried, but I got it together in front of everyone. 

We got to the hospital, and I didn’t want to be a burden or for the nurses to think I was being dramatic, so I just explained things and mentioned I had been tested for the Cholestasis earlier that week. They were all so nice and took me into a room where they hooked me up for a NST. As soon as they put the monitors on my belly, she started going nuts! It was like she was stomping on the monitor. I felt stupid of course, like they would think I was lying or just being dramatic. But I really wouldn’t have went in if I wasn’t genuinely concerned. She said, “It happens all the time. We prefer you come in and everything be fine, than to wait and for things to not be fine.”

She moved around the entire test. The nurse assured me everything looked great. I was having contractions the whole time. Since they were Braxton Hicks level, she said it was totally normal, especially being under stress. It was uncomfortable, but I wasn’t worried about them. They were countless. 

The on-call doctor asked for them to do an ultrasound just to double check everything was A-okay. I was excited because I had been expecting an ultrasound since I had one with Rayne around 31 weeks and my doctor hadn’t even mentioned one this time. During the ultrasound the very sweet and generous technician explained every step to me and my parents, let my mom talk to baby while watching her reaction, and even print me out pictures, even though the ultrasound wasn’t for pictures or my enjoyment, she made it very enjoyable. I even got to see her cute face practicing breathing. Everything looked perfect. I had been worried about her position, but the technician assured me she was “locked in” in head down position. In fact, she took a look at my cervix for measurement, and sure enough, baby’s head was RIGHT there, at the gate, ready to go. HUGE RELIEF.

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After the ultrasound I was taken back to the room for more NST. Contractions proceeded. But I was assured everything looked great. The nurse even told me in her 13 years of nursing in labor and delivery, she hadn’t seen a Cholestasis patient have a bad ending. I was so glad they were all so helpful and understanding. Especially since I will be delivering at that hospital, and wasn’t sure what to expect.

Today during my second NST, the contractions happened as they did the first time. In the matter of 30 minutes I had about 5-6 contractions. But baby did great. I FINALLY got the results of my blood work, and I tested negative for Cholestasis. HOWEVER, my doctor did warn me a week ago (before the test), it sometimes is too early to show up in a blood test. So, she says we will do another blood test next week, as I will be coming in weekly still for the NSTs to keep an eye on baby and my contractions. Things look good from that test, but since my symptoms are a classic fit for Cholestasis, we will be keeping an eye on it, since it does usually just get worse. I’m hoping my levels stay low so I can have the birth experience I dream of. I’m happy that things are looking good right now. And am really trying to stay positive. I’m so happy that I can trust my doctor and the awesome nurses to be proactive in this with me.

I will update again after next weeks appointment! 

Watching My Pregnancy Go From Care-Free To High Risk In One Day.

12 Sep

On Tuesday, September 10th, my “Birth Plan” and any hopes of having a completely natural labor and delivery went out the window. I had been so confident and actually looking forward to an awesome birth experience. Suddenly, In one day, it was taken away and replaced with fear, confusion, and near panic. Not to mention a deep sadness. 

In my last update post, I mentioned some itching I’ve been having on my hands and feet. I told my doctor and she told me there are two kinds of itching in pregnancy: The tummy itch, with or without rash, and itching from Cholestasis. As she was explaining Cholestasis to me, she wasn’t speaking in a way that was “it might be”, she was basically telling me I have it. She ordered blood tests to check my bile acid levels, and ordered to see me every week for NST (non-stress test) for baby. That told me this wasn’t a guessing game, no “maybe”. She didn’t go too into detail, I assume on purpose. I know she wouldn’t want to scare me. She told me it isn’t THAT bad, but it is serious and potentially dangerous. I was calm, because she was calm. I always loved my doctor because she always eased my worried mind. 

I was trying to stay positive while leaving the office, and didn’t really feel too scared. But, I hadn’t really thought about reality yet either. When I got home I started my researching. I didn’t want to read the WebMD sort of thing that is always the worst case scenario. But I quickly found that every site, every article, every testimony, wasn’t far off from each other. No one was playing this down. Everything I read on Cholestasis stated it is a serious condition. 

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What is Cholestasis? In short, the flow of bile (a digestive fluid in the liver), slows or stops, bile builds up and goes about the blood stream, which causes the itching. Blah blah blah. That isn’t the part I’m worried about. Here’s the serious part: The bile salt build up can be VERY dangerous for your unborn baby. My doctor only mentioned it could clog the placenta. But everything I’ve read has scarier things to say. Preterm labor, fetal distress, meconium in the amniotic fluid, and stillbirth. I was fear stricken.

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Treatment for Cholestosis? Consistent fetal monitoring, blood tests to check levels (both at least once a week), perhaps some vitamin K in case of blood clotting issues which can cause severe bleeding after delivery (but is rare), a lot of people are given “Urso” to help the itching and bile flow. Some say it works, others disagree.  But the only cure for Cholestasis is giving birth. Here’s the crazy part: After giving birth, usually, neither you, nor your baby are affected by it. Most women say they felt better very quickly after birth. 

The part that bothers me (ugh..where to start), is that up until now, I thought I was healthy, that my baby was healthy and that my pregnancy was normal and that I would have a great birth experience because I had no complications. But in a day, I went from having a normal, happy pregnancy, to considered high risk. 

In the situation of Cholestasis, induction is usually the answer, unless you go into labor before hand. From what I’ve read, they don’t want you going past 37 weeks because after that point the chance of stillbirth jumps significantly. A lot of women had levels so bad, they’ve been induced at 30, 31 weeks. Obvious induction was very far from my birth plan. But honestly, when I found out the risks of having my baby in there, I couldn’t care less about my birth plan. My main focus is her well being. If that means induction or C-section (God forbid), so be it. The sad part is, after having Cholestasis, you’re at least 70% likely to have it during future pregnancies. Which means, my chances of ever having the natural home birth I dream of, are slim to none.

I haven’t gotten the results back from my blood test yet, so I don’t know how bad it is, or was at that time at least. The thing is, it’s completely unpredictable. Your levels can go from moderate to sky high within an hour. My itching has gotten worse in just a day. My heart aches for what my body is putting my baby through, not to mention this crazy itching! But it also mourns my dream of an all natural home birth. 

There is nothing I could have done to prevent this, and since I’ve never had it before, no way of knowing it was possible. There is nothing I can do now but follow my intuition, take my doctor’s advice, and do whatever is best for my growing baby. 

Have you experienced Cholestasis during pregnancy? I could use some support. 

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