Thursday, December 4, 2008

The 2-3 Week Itch

Yes! We've made it to 34 weeks. The doctor on Monday said they wouldn't let me go past either 36 or 37 weeks, so only 2-3 weeks left max! Scary thought. But at the same time, I am SO ready. What has started pushing me over the edge is the itchy skin I've had for awhile that has now turned into a rash (or multiple rashes). It is ridiculous. I had an appointment for an NST today, so I asked to see one of the doctors. The rash could be one of two things that are related to pregnancy, or it could be some other type of rash unrelated to pregnancy. The itching started on my abdomen a week or two ago, but the doctor at the time thought it was just dry skin related to the stretching. Now, I've developed red bumps both on my lower abdomen and sides, and on both hands.

One of the most common pregnancy-related rashes is PUPPP. The doctor thought it was possible that I have this, but she didn't seem to think it likely because PUPPP doesn't usually show up on the hands. And the bumps are usually smaller than what I have on my abdomen. There is no definitive way to diagnose PUPPP and they usually just do it by visual exam of the rash. Unfortunately, there isn't much they can do to treat PUPPP.

Another possibility is Cholestasis of Pregnancy. This one involves the liver and usually involves the hands. I asked the doctor if it could harm the babies because I had done some reading ahead of time. She said she thought it was a very low risk. It is possible, but she has never seen it affect the babies and really is just an annoyance (which I think is an understatement). She did say if this is the culprit, it is treatable, although she didn't mention what the treatment would be and I didn't think to ask. They took blood today to check for cholestasis, but results won't be back for a week.

The doctor also suggested I make an appointment with a dermatologist because I could have a rash that is unrelated to pregnancy or not caused by pregnancy, but is being aggravated by it. I will be putting in a call or two tomorrow to beg for a quick appointment. In the meantime, I'm supposed to use hydrocortisone cream twice a day and 50mg of ben.adryl every 6 hours. I've been on the hydrocortisone for a couple of days now and it doesn't seem to be helping. So I'm adding the bena.dryl and hoping for the best.

The good news is that the rash shouldn't affect the babies, but it is driving their mother MAD. The rash on my hands is on the outside of the hand and runs from the last knuckle of the pinky down to the wrist bone. It is also starting to show up between the fingers and my palms itch too. This morning in the shower I was using an exfoliant for my face and I ended up sitting there for a minute or two rubbing it between my hands because it felt so good. The rash on my abdomen just looks gross along with the stretch marks. One of the nurses commented today that my skin looks like it's been through the wringer. Yeah, that's how it feels.

The NST was fine today-for one of the babies at least (we think Banana). We couldn't get the other baby on at all (likely Apple). So it was a big waste of time again and they ended up relying on ultrasound to check fetal well-being. The ultrasound was pretty miserable for me today. It took forever because both babies were pretty sleepy and weren't moving around enough to pass the BPP quickly. Both ended up passing, but I think it took almost the full hour. I was really uncomfortable lying on the table for so long and I'm quite sore tonight. The sonographer did note that both babies now have hair on their heads. Yea! She also noted that Apple emptied her bladder. At the beginning of the scan, it was full and then when she checked back later, it was empty.

We didn't get any good pictures today because the babies were facing each other with both heads facing out. They are now lying like mirror images. Can you tell what is different now from Monday based on this statement? Banana seems to have turned Vertex (head down)! I had a sneaking suspicion that this was the case because Tuesday night there was so much violent movement that it was painful and I actually yelped involuntarily a couple of times. So I think I was feeling Banana struggle to flip himself head down. What a good boy! I'm hoping that at this point there is not enough room left for him to flip back to breech, but you never know. If he does, I'm sure I will feel it. They did not do measurements today, so no estimates for weight.

Next appointment is on Monday. I have to go put some icepacks on my abdomen and hands now or I'm going to claw my skin off the bones.


Duck said...

sounds itchy, i know when i get skin irritations if i stop eating dairy for a while they go away, don't know if you can do that in your state but, that's all i got! hope all is well

Ms. J said...

I am so proud of you for hanging in their and baking these babies!!!

Amanda said...

I am so sorry about the rash. I hope it's nothing too serious and they can clear it up quickly and easily.

Hooray for doing so well and keeping those kids healthy and still in! And congrats on two properly positioned babies!!

bb and mtb said...

Glad the babies are doing well even if Mom is a little itchy. Hang in there... only a few more weeks to go!!!!

Spicy Sister said...

SO glad the babies are well and Banana has flipped himself down - but so sorry about all the crazy itching! Ugh! You have been through so much - I am sure you just feel so ready for them to be here already!!!

Rhonda said...

the itch sounds awful! high five for banana moving head down - that is awesome news!!

momofonefornow said...

Ugghhhh!! The rash sounds just wretched.

I am glad the babies are doing well. Three weeks max? Pretty exciting!

Jules said...

Oh Denise, I'm sorry you're so uncomfortable with this rash. It's amazing what we go through to have these little ones in our life. Let's hope that it is related to pregnancy and that when the babies are born, the rash will go away.

Congrats on getting to 34 weeks! That is amazing!! It's hard to believe you're going to meet your babies in less than 3 weeks! YAY!!!

Hang in there!

Rebecca said...

Mmmm...exfoliant! I never tried that! Sorry you're not feeling much better skin-wise, but those little buggers are still in there and that's what is important. You're doing a great job!

Mo and Will said...

Wow - you must be so uncomfortable! It must be great to have made it to the 34 week milestone. You're almost there!


JJ said...

Oh no fun..Im so sorry for the itchy feelings--makes me itchy!
Glad the babes are doing so well=)

Jen said...

Were you in exam room three? Right by the scale, well across from it? I was in exam room two. With Dr. W.

But I hope the rash goes away soon!

So if he's vertex does that mean they aren't worried about discordant growth and vaginal delivery?

Maryanne said...

Oh Denise, I am so sorry this rash is so bad. I can't believe you have just 2 weeks left-it is amazing it is already here!