BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The unknown illness

My pregnancy has been defined by TOO MUCH HORMONES.  Excessive morning sickness... pelvic problems... and now a new condition. Cholestasis.  Something I'd never heard of before Tuesday when I went in and mentioned incredible itchiness to my midwife.

The itchiness was waking me up at night, and though it was all over my body, it was my feet that were the worst.  I was sent off right away for some blood work which came back the next day with elevated liver enzymes.

After spending the whole afternoon at the hospital yesterday being poked and prodded, I now know the following:
-the baby is healthy
-I have a "starry sky" liver (and I'm not including a link for that one because it is a technical term so all the links were technical and scary)
-the only conclusive test for cholestasis is done in Edmonton for the whole country, and only done when they have enough people needing the test to be done.  Since this is pretty rare, it could be a week or so.
-they have no idea what causes cholestasis, other than it's a reaction to pregnancy hormones

The cure for cholestasis is to deliver a baby. So today I will be induced.  My very non-medical plan of a home birth is gone to the wayside and replaced by what will undoubtedly be a very medicalized birth.

So now I must focus my head on the positive side of all this.  (Hence the blog... I think best in writing and a public declaration of my positivity can only help to keep me focused.  Yesterday was for crying, today is for having a baby.)

1. At 39w 3d I will be having a healthy full-term baby.
2. My cervix is favourable for induction, so I likely won't be having a c-section.
3. I can still have a drug-free birth (and considering I have a certain degree of liver damage, that will be a priority for me).
4. I still get to be delivered by my midwife.
5. The baby won't be born on the 24th or 25, so we'll get to enjoy our Christmas.
6. I will heal and since I have a fairly late onset, the baby probably hasn't been very affected by this.
7. I get to pack well for the birth, and did a bunch of grocery shopping (I explored the hospital food options yesterday, and they pretty much were stuck on sandwiches and donuts.)
8. We kept the receipts for our home birth supplies!

Below is a fun picture of Nikolai commanding his sleigh, and above is a fireplace stocking waiting for a name tag.

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