Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) – My pregnancy journey and struggles
We planned to have a baby in January 2019, after setting our career and life goals accordingly.
I got pregnant in one go. Thanks to the lord! My pregnancy ride was not a smooth one, though.
Now when I look back, I feel nothing about those days, but those nine months were harsh on me.
1st trimester – had me with severe morning sickness, vomiting after every meal. Evidently, I was getting weaker, and within ten days, I had my Ketone body positive which happens when your body is starving. So though I was eating, my body went into starvation mode due to severe vomiting.
My doc wanted to put me on IV fluids, but we thought to take a medicine go home, and I should eat well and recover.
It helped, and I had it in control. Nd, my mum, was away, so husband dear took care of me alone with office work. But everything was normal and was going well according to blood reports and scans.
2nd trimester- This seemed like a big relief from vomiting. But Boom! Now I started to feel a lot of body pain, especially in the lower body on the pelvic floor. Dr informed me that it’s because your body is stretching to accommodate the growing baby inside. I had pains while walking, sitting, squirming, and everything I did. I would work n study for long hours, which I started avoiding in the later stage. But scans and everything was going normal.
My baby was in a cephalic position(head down).
3rd trimester- all was ok until the 7th month. I started to notice that am having nasty itching not on my tummy but all over my body, hands, n legs. I got worried when I began spending my nights just sitting n scratching like mad. Then I saw my dr, and she said I needed an urgent LFT liver function test done. I got it done, and few liver enzymes had shot up but not much. So Doctor gave me the shock of my life; I was having Intrahepatic Cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP- which affects the liver). I met an endocrinologist to see if it ruled out any hepatitis symptoms. So I just had ICP symptoms, so my gyne said I would have to be Induced at 37 weeks and have to deliver, which meant we cant continue my pregnancy till 40 weeks.
Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy(ICP), a term which i will never forget. I like many others, wanted a normal delivery, and I strived hard for it. I walked a lot; I did much strenuous work that people would avoid during pregnancy; I would climb stairs to my house on the 5th floor, all till the day I have delivered.
After I noticed severely itchy skin, esp legs and hands, I reported this to my gyne. She, for understanding the problem, asked me for an urgent Liver Functioning Test(LFT). The reports had few enzymes-SGOT, SGPT elevated.
This lead to my bile acid not easily digested by my liver. ICP in the initial days is riskier to a mother than a child as it is you whose liver is affected.
But once you cross the 37 weeks deadline, it starts to become riskier for your baby as well. They might have breathing problems; they might intake the first poop called meconium(usually green or black), which can be life-threatening; hence doctors prefer to induce at 37 weeks and not go beyond that.
19/9/19- I was induced twice 6 hours apart with gel applied externally called prostaglandins gel. But I had no signs of pain, and we kept praying that I get into labor, but yes, my body was not ready. My baby was not willing to come out. Hence it failed.
My gyne said I had HIGH PAIN THRESHOLD; hence i don’t feel any pain as there are people who go to labor with one application itself.
So god had different plans for me to meet my angel. They say it correctly-
” Life happens to you when you busy planning other things.”
What exactly happened to us till today. I get upset about what did not go down well with what I had imagined about my birth plan.
I was so upset and equally scared of C sections uncertainty that if I don’t get the labor by 37w.
I worked out, been active all my life, walked a lot, mopped my big flat, and climbed 140 stairs up n down every day until the day I delivered. My doc and physiotherapist would applaud my efforts.
On 19/9/19, I was scheduled for induction. I, accompanied by Mr husband, went to the hospital alone on my demand to surprise our parents once I get into labor naturally( as I was hoping for the miracle to happen). Dr tried twice 6hrs apart with prostaglandins gel etc., but I had zero signs of pain. And came the horror at 8.10 pm- she decided to operate upon me. I cried inconsolably, and my husband hugged me and said not to worry and that I would get to see our baby sooner and healthier.
I somehow collected myself and went ahead and called Ma- who, on hearing this, said Do not Worry, go happily to OT, and we r just reaching in 10 mins( Hospital is kinda nearby). At 10:14:27pm, my bundle of joy, my cotton ball, came into this world. He was pure love with tons of beautiful hair. I forgot how he was born; his father was overwhelmed and couldn’t believe he became daddy to this boyWe thank god for all that he blessed us with!! It is a sheer joy being the momma of this child.