20 Weeks

20weeks.wordsAh, the official “normal person” half-way point in pregnancy! Yay! But alas, I am not normal. Blah. I think the insanely nice weather we’ve been having has made the itching worse…I’ve been trying to walk 2 miles/day, but I find it really exhausts me. That, and the warmer my body feels, the more my skin prickles. I’m trying to stay VERY hydrated and drink plenty of water & my favorite lemon-lime Gatorade. It’s such a crappy situation.

Because my itching as gotten worse the past few days, I have been referred to the Perinatal Clinic (high risk) at Meriter hospital for a consult, and see if they can offer any more relief. I mean, I’ve been waking up with bloody scratch marks on my legs, and I’m pretty positive we don’t have a poltergeist in the house. ;)

Also, last week I met with my hepatologist (liver specialist), and he told me the medication has lowered my levels from 44 (toxic for baby) to 25. Much improved, but still elevated (10 is normal). So that’s good. AND ON TOP OF ALL THIS, my doctor also suspects that I have “carpal tunnel syndrome of pregnancy,” because my right had has been getting numb/tingly, so I’m supposed to wear a wrist brace when I sleep. Not sure if that’s gonna fly. Anyway, on to the survey:

How far along are you? 20 weeks, 2 days. He will probably be here in 4 months! That’s crazy.

How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of a banana.

Weight Gain? Still 7 lbs.

Maternity clothes? Loose work-out clothes (still yoga pants & sweatshirts)…helps the itching.

Stretch marks? Tiny ones on my inner thighs. And my boobies.

Sleep: Sleep has been better, I’m just taking 2 Benadryl before bed every night.

Best moment this week? Pregnancy-wise, Baby Boy’s movements have dramatically increased the past week or 2. Oh, and someone called me “tiny” today…definitely haven’t been called tiny in awhile. Haha.

Movement? Yep! ^^

Food cravings? Last week it was French Onion Soup. Yum! And yesterday I posted the recipe for all to enjoy!

Food aversions? Nope.

Labor signs? Nope.

Gender? BOY!

Symptoms? Itchy. And now whenever I sneeze, McKenzie asks, “Did you pee, Momma?!” Hahaha. Joy.

Belly button in or out? In. With McKenzie it just went flat…it was never an “outie.”

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody? Pretty happy.

What I miss: My hubbs. But I think we’ll get to speak every Sunday now. Yay! Something to look forward to.

What I am looking forward to: 20 week Anatomy Scan tomorrow! I’ll probably post pics ASAP. And I’m also looking forward to meeting with the Perinatal Specialist to see if there’s any itching-relief in my future. And tomorrow night I meet our doula!

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9 thoughts on “20 Weeks

  1. Hi! I’m so sorry you are dealing with Cholestasis. I was diagnosed with it at 29 weeks, and I’m now 34. It is such a scary diagnosis, and I feel so bad that you’re dealing with it so much earlier. I wanted to share a little bit of my experience with you in case it helps / gives you some new things to try.

    I self-diagnosed too, after a weekend of crazy itching. My OB agreed to test for it, and was so surprised I had it, as she’s only seen one case before. Obviously, with her limited experience, she referred me to a perinatologist right away. My bile acids at diagnosis were 22. I started Ursodiol (I assume you’re on this already) right away, and then my husband and I started researching ways to naturally improve liver health as well. It sounds kinda nuts, but we found a lot of research surrounding liver health and artichokes, as well as lemon, in regards to helping reduce toxins and improving liver function overall. We figured, even if it didn’t help, it certainly couldn’t hurt, right? So, since diagnosis, I’ve been eating a steamed artichoke 3-4 times a week with dinner, and squeezing a whole lemon into my water every day (I try to target a total of 100-130 oz a day). I also started taking a different version of my prenatal vitamin that has “liver support enzymes” (artichoke powder and ginger).

    At 32.5 weeks (3.5 weeks post-diagnosis), my bile acids were down to 6 – within the normal range. And my itching is almost non-existent (knocks wood a billion times). Obviously, this could be strictly a result of the Urso, but who knows, right?

    It’s encouraging that your BA’s went down so much already. And if they keep reducing, I think you’ll find your itching gets better, too.

    I felt compelled to send you a note because I know I needed encouragement when I was first diagnosed. My OB was all doom and gloom, induction and stillbirth. But my perinatologist (who see’s 3+ cases of Cholestasis per week) was much less doom and gloom from the start. In fact, he said that he thinks in general, the US treats this condition much more conservatively than other countries, and that he believes the stillbirth rate (when patients are on Urso and monitored with growth ultrasounds and NST’s) is much less than the current studies out there show it to be.

    And, I got the wonderful news yesterday that if my BA’s stay low, he doesn’t even recommend induction. This is my first baby, and we’ve been planning a natural birth at our local birth center and so this diagnosis was initially really upsetting (beyond the obvious fear and worry about baby’s health) – and now I feel so much better.

    Sorry for the long, long post, but I spent weeks after diagnosis being SO upset and worried and feeling all alone dealing with this rare condition. I scoured the internet (hence how I found your blog) and read everything I could. I just wanted to reach out and hopefully make you feel a little more hopeful and encouraged. :)

    • Thanks so much for the advice & words of support! It’s definitely an ordeal…at first, I felt like I couldn’t even be excited anymore because of the stillbirth risk. And yep, I’m on Urso 500mg 2x/day, I was diagnosed at 17 weeks (but all my labs were done my 16th week). I joined the FB group ICP Care/Itchy Moms and I find the moderator’s knowledge very helpful (I recommend it if you have facebook!). I will definitely try those tips, I already drink tons of lemon water…is there a recipe you like for the artichokes? I’m glad you’ll probably get the birth you want for your child! I’m meeting our doula tomorrow. =)

      • I hope it went well with the doula! I totally sympathize with your emotions and all the worries that go along with this condition. Check in with me anytime! Thanks for the FB recommendation, I’ll check it out! As far as the artichokes, we steam then in a veggie steamer on the stove. To prep we just trim the bottoms and pour a little lemon juice on. I think husband steams them about 45 minutes. It takes awhile. When they’re tender, we just eat them with more lemon (my husband likes melted butter too). In case you haven’t eaten them like this before, you just kinda scrape the insides of the leaves with your teeth and the pulp/meat of the leaf comes off and that’s what you eat! As you get closer to the center leaves, they get softer and you can pretty much eat the bottom half of the leaf. They’re actually yummy!

  2. Good luck with your meeting with the specialist – I hope he/she can help you feel less miserable. Sounds like you’ll have your air on this whole summer :)
    Looking forward to pictures tomorrow!

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