Last week was my best friend's wedding and as matron of honor, I had a few tasks. Wearing a giant orange maternity dress was first among them; followed closely by speech writing, gown wrangling, standing for long periods of time and being on call for pretty much anything the bride needed.
This girl is my ride-or-die chick. I love her like a sister. SO despite my condition, I wanted to do absolutely everything I could to make her day special. Still, I was nervous my size and symptoms would somehow interfere.
Happily, they did not! My dress fit. My speech went well. I wrangled that gown like a BOSS! And not for one second did exhaustion or soreness get the better of me. The best part: I got to be there for my amazing friend on the most important day of her life.
I had done it! I accomplished everything I set out to do while carrying my precious boy. Only a few days more and my near-perfect pregnancy would end in gentle coos and long-awaited cuddles.
At least --- that was my reality until the following morning.
I awoke to some skin irritation on my abdomen. Thinking it was just stretch marks, I got more aggressive with my cocoa butter regimen and went on with my day.
By nightfall, the minor irritation had spread like a raised, red spider web covering my entire stomach and itching me to within an inch of my sanity. I did some research and was shocked to learn there is actually a pregnancy rash called PUPPS. The rash affects roughly one in every two-hundred pregnancies - usually first time moms who are carrying boys.
A rash caused by pregnancy? I had no idea! Nobody tells you this sh*t!
I wrote an email to my doctor asking if there was anything I could or should do. She advised there is no known cause or cure for PUPPS. She then instructed me to use some over-the-counter itch creams and take Benedryl at night. But by the time my Friday doctor's appointment rolled around the rash had spread with a vengeance.
My hands, feet, thighs and breasts were now covered in RELENTLESSLY itchy bumps that no cream in my possession could appease. I couldn't sleep - I just paced the floor trying desperately not to scratch my skin from my bones. When I explained this to my physician, she said the best way to get rid of the rash was to deliver the baby. Since I'd already reached the 40 week mark, she encouraged us to consider induction. So together we decided to schedule a slot at the hospital for Monday.
In the meantime, my mom and sister came over to help Will with last minute preparations while I rested up. We found some natural home-remedies that seemed to manage the pain for short periods of time. Yesterday I took four lukewarm showers with Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap, drank two V-8's and lathered myself in A&D ointment. All in all it was a good day but still the rash persisted.
I woke up this morning bloody from an apparent bout of sleep-scratching and found myself conquered by agonizing welts from temple to toe.
Horrified, I called my physician's office and spoke with the OB on call. She seemed completely disinterested in my plight but begrudgingly agreed to call my doctor for instruction. About a half hour later, I received a call back.
I was presented with two options - move up the induction to tonight or take one round of steroids. When I opted for the former the on-call OB sighed.
"You know this induction won't work right?"
"What?" I responded in shock.
"I mean, you're not dilated, your baby hasn't dropped and if you weren't itchy we'd make you wait another week."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I've been nothing but an excellent patient this entire pregnancy. My doctor KNOWS I'm not a whiner and my only birth plan is to get the baby out safely. I have no agenda other than to do what is medically wise for myself and my child - so to receive this response was incredibly disheartening.
Sternly, I replied "my doctor and I are on the same page, thank you... and I opt for induction. See you at four."
With that, my friends and family - it's showtime. One more pine tar shower stands between me and my party of three. And whether this induction takes or ends in C-section, I'm more than confident I'm doing the right thing.
Thank you all for the readership and support leading up to this moment.
I love you all.