Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Plagues Of Pregnancy

Everyone told me I'd develop a belly itch during pregnancy.  Silly me thought it would be a mild, slightly irritating itch easily remedied by some belly butter (obviously, I was naive and wrong--and big enough to admit as much publicly).  This itch is so intense it had me on the Internet and calling all my mommy friends for advice--not to mention it woke me up in the middle of the night.  

It started earlier this week, roughly the same time my weekly American Pregnancy Association e-newsletter told me women at 24 weeks might start feeling a belly itch (how ironic).  Initially I thought the itch was psychosomatic based on my reaction to last week's APA email.  

The 23 week email warned of gestational diabetes which causes symptoms like extreme thirst, fatigue and nausea (I had the thirst and fatigue).  Clearly my 'Internet symptoms' proved I had gestational diabetes (I'll do the routine check for that in two weeks at my next doctor's appointment).

Alas, the itch is not in my head.  Everyone I've talked to tells me it is pretty intense and most say it was worse with their first pregnancies.  The website said about as much citing the growing belly stretching your skin and increased hormone levels as the main culprits.

It also claims about 1% of pregnant women will develop itchy bumps or hive-like rashes on the belly known as PUPPP, aka pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.  Might I suggest a smaller, more manageable, medical term like the 'plagues of pregnancy' (because that's what these darn symptoms feel like).  

It's unclear if I have PUPPP, whatever it might be is very obnoxious.  Additionally, there seems to be no solace found when reading the Babycenter website.  Especially when I stumble on phrases like:

"PUPPP usually begins in the third trimester and is more common among women carrying twins and those having their first baby."  (that would be me doubled)

"PUPPP usually disappears within a few days after delivery, although it sometimes persists for several weeks . . ."  (so basically I've got 4 months of this crap . . . clearly a 'plague')

"Fortunately, it seldom appears again in subsequent pregnancies."  (I'm not currently planning to have any more children, but thanks anyway)
Better go butter up . . .

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