Obstetric Cholestasis and me

As the title suggests all was not well with my pregnancy and things were about to get far from 'normal'. Up until late in my final trimester I was fine, yes I had had terrible morning sickness and was tired carrying around a watermelon but other than that I couldn't really complain. This all changed when I returned to work after the October half term. I had been itchy REALLY itchy everywhere but especially the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet but I thought little of it. So little in fact I didn't even mention it to my midwife at my latest check up. However, I mentioned this to my TA on the first day back as she commented about me being itchy. I told her I couldn't stop and it was   making me lose sleep at night. She pulled a face and told me to get it checked. My reply was I had an appointment in a couple of weeks so I would mention it then. 'No' was her reply. 'You need to ring up now!' After that scolding I rang and was surprised to be told to head to the nearest hospital immediately. I still didn't taken in that this could be serious after all I was only itchy. I waited until the end of the school day and begrudgingly headed to my maternity assessment unit joking on my way out that I was off to hospital but no biggie. Once in the unit I had several blood tests and was put on a baby monitor. The midwife explained the reason they were concerned was there was a condition that can develop in pregnancy called obstetric cholestasis (OC) which effects 1 in 140. It is a liver condition that affects the flow of bile out of the liver. The result of this remaining untreated, and a women hitting 40 weeks, is a high risk of the baby being still born. I went home and nervously googled OC and had a good old cry. I also scanned 'mums net' for any posts discussing OC but again I found surprisingly little. I wanted to be reassured that everything would be ok if I did in fact have OC. 
I found out pretty quickly I had OC and was given tablets to manage it with the aim of me getting as close to 40 weeks as was safe. I couldn't believe that this life threatening illness wasn't talked about or why mums weren't routinely screened for it. As far as I understood there was no reaction to my medical history or anything that I had done in pregnancy to cause this just a case of bad luck REALLY bad luck. I had a blood test each week to monitor my bile salts (0-10 is normal range). My original level that detected the OC was just 25 when I went back a week later it was 77 and the decision was made to induce me at 36 + 6 weeks. I had to have 2 steroid injections in my bum as the only thing at 36 weeks not fully developed was the lungs and the steroid was to give the baby an extra boost for delivery. I was briefed about the baby maybe needing to go into special care when it was delivered and then I prepared to be induced. 

The Pramshed


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