What Is That Itch

If you are a regular reader then you may know that I have got Obstetric Cholestasis - also knows as ICP - for the third time. I am currently 33 weeks and I have been diagnosed since 21 weeks, where as in my previous pregnancies I was diagnosed at 30 odd weeks. When people ask me what is it I always answer the same things "It's a liver disorder that can make you itch". Most of the replies I get then is "Oh!" and that's it. I know what they are thinking. It's just an itch, why should I be complaining so much? 
The itch you get with OC isn't that typical pregnancy itch. It is different and somehow feels different {my opinion}. You literally itch all over your body, as well as the main parts the palm of your hands and feet. It's not just the itch that you have to deal with though. There are weekly appointments to attend too, there is baby movements you need to keep an eye on aswell as pains. You have to take weekly bloods to keep an eye on your blood levels and then there is the sleepless nights.

The sleepless nights are the worst. During this pregnancy I have only had 2 or 3 sleepless nights and a few nights of broken sleep. Which isn't bad I guess as when I was pregnant the second time round I had a lot more sleepless nights then. When you have sleepless nights it can ruin your day, it made me really ill and struggle to look after my girls. I couldn't do much with them during the day and most of the day all I did was cry. I was fed up and I still am. 

One night I couldn't sleep until 3am. I remember going downstairs hoping the leather sofas would help me settle to sleep as it would be cooler for me. I managed to get 10 minutes. At 1am I went back to bed. I tried the cream again, it didn't work. I also tried piriton and it didn't work. I didn't settle to sleep until 3am. A few hours later Elliw decided it was wake up time. I gave her the iPad hoping I could get some more sleep to function better but instead she only played it for under an hour and that was it, I had to get up. 

Another night I went to bed at 9pm. I couldn't sleep until 11pm and then woke up itching at 1.20am. I was itching like crazy. I managed to go to sleep at 5.30am and again, Elliw woke up 7am. My partner had to go to work 8am so I was up out of bed by 9am as of course, no child likes their parents having a lie in do they?! 

Another symptom you can get in OC is depression. I suffered depression during pregnancy from 30 weeks during my second, and something tells me I am starting again but I am trying to change things by somehow distracting myself, going out more, inviting people over and so on. As when I was pregnant the second time I didn't do any of those things. I stayed home and struggled. 

From the minute I found out I was pregnant, I knew this was going to be our last baby. I wanted to enjoy the pregnancy and I have tried to enjoy it but so far it has to be the worst pregnancy I have had. I've had a lot of aches and pains during this pregnancy as well as just feeling generally unwell, loss of appetite, mix of emotions and now the itching due to ICP/OC. I must say that the itching is much worse than all the other symptoms. Even writing this I have had to stop many of times so I can itch places on my body and right now, at this second my hands, wrists, knees, arms, ankles, feet, chin, stomach, cheek and legs are itching me. 

Somehow it makes me feel like I am in some other person's body. I don't feel like I am in my own body. It's quite hard to understand if you have never had OC/ICP before but it is strange. I have sat on my bed many of times with parts of my body red raw from scratching and just breaking down crying because I want my body back. Knowing I only have a month or so to go now, I am excited for two things, meeting my little boy and the itch stopping. 

June is awareness month for Obstetric Cholestasis / ICP. Through out this month I will be talking a lot about the condition and hoping to raise more awarness of this rare liver disorder pregnant women can get. You can read more posts here.

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