Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Itchyitchyitchy!

Over the weekend my belly started itching, especially around my stretchmarks. The twins have been growing and stretching my skin a lot lately, so I didn't really worry about it much - just slathered on lotion and continued as normal. And then it got worse. And worse.

I had an appointment with my OBGYN on Monday and asked him about the itching. He said it wasn't unexpected since my skin is stretching so much, and suggested trying lanolin cream for some extra relief. So I did. I tried regular lotion, baby oil, lanolin, even calamine lotion - and it kept getting worse.

Over the last 2 days, it's developed into a full blown rash that covers my entire belly, parts of my breasts and thighs, and even some of my arms. And the itching...oh my god, the ITCHING.

Last night I completely melted down. Mr Bibliosaur came home and asked me how my day was, and I just lost it. I can handle the pelvic pain. I can handle the gestational diabetes - the diet, the insulin injections. I can handle the back pain, the exhaustion, the sheer weight of the babies dragging at my body...but I CANNOT handle this. The itchiness is unbelievably agonizing. It's like the worst burning itch you've ever experienced, and it will.not.stop. I can barely tolerate a shirt touching my skin. Mr Bibliosaur can't even put his hand on my belly, and barely on any other part of my skin lest it set off some kind of itchy chain reaction.

So after lying in bed in tears last night, unable to sleep due to the rash, I called my OB's office first thing this morning and managed to get in to see him today. When I showed him my belly, he made an unhappy face and said that he had been worried at my last appointment that this might happen, but hadn’t wanted to say anything just in case the itchiness really was due to the stretching.

He mentioned Cholestasis of Pregnancy, which 1-1.5% of pregnant women get, but from what I’ve read (and yes I KNOW I’m not a doctor) I think it’s more likely that I have PUPPP, which about 1 in 200 pregnant women end up with. I think this mostly because CP doesn’t normally present with a rash but PUPPP does – plus, with CP the itching is usually concentrated in your hands and feet, but with PUPPP it often starts on your abdomen and then progresses to your legs, breasts and arms, as mine has. They both cause intense itching, and for both of them the only cure is giving birth. CP, however, has significantly more risks – it’s caused by bile acid buildup in the bloodstream – including premature labour and stillbirth, so he may just be playing it conservatively by wanting to monitor me for this.

At any rate, as these things can only be treated but not cured, for now we're just trying to deal with the symptoms, so my doctor has given me Phenergan. This won’t take the rash away but hopefully it will help control the unbearable itchiness. If this doesn’t work, we’ll have to try steroid pills or creams.

And now I'm going to do something I thought I'd never do - I'm going to post a big ole bare bump photo on the internet so you can take a look at this rash, along with all of my swollen stretchmarks. I'm warning you - it's not a pretty sight, so feel free to stop reading now.



Still with me?



You sure?



OK then - here you go:


This photo really doesn't capture just how bad it is - how red, how swollen, how painful, how ITCHY.

I just....I am just so over this right now. I know I only need to hang in there for another 3.5 weeks, but I've got to be honest - that is looking like a LOOOOONG time right now.

10 comments:

  1. aww, owie, that hurts and makes me itchy just to look at your poor bump! :( hugs. hang in there...

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  2. Ouchie, ouchie! I am so sorry honey...that looks like no fun at all. Hang in there...I hope you can find some relief soon.

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  3. You poor, poor woman! I can only imagine that kind of terrible urge to itch! Hang in there and keep your eye on the prize of those precious babies!

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  4. Ouch, oohhhh itch! That looks positively miserable. I hope the meds help and very soon.

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  5. That does look painful! I'm so sorry that you have to deal with that crazy rash.

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  6. Ouch! Please say you're going to get a second opinion.

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  7. I had a terrible rash like that a few weeks ago and it scared the heck out of me. It was soo unbelievably itchy and uncomfortable! My doctor eventually figured out that my pregnant body was fighting a virus. I tried a few things to relieve the itch and using pine tar soap, taking benadryl, and calamine lotion together worked wonders. It eventually went away after three weeks. I thought it would never go away! It was everywhere except for my face!

    I hope you find some relief with something soon! You can make it!

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  8. Oh man I am so sorry you have to endure this. I can't even imgaine how miserable you must be. I really, really hope you find something that helps you feel better immediately

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  9. That looks so painful! I hope you get some relief very soon.

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  10. I had this while pregnant with my twins. Believe it or not I used (caked on) Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion whenever I had an itching attack and it worked wonders! It's worth a try. If you don't use it for yourself you can always use it for the babes when they arrive.

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