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Heather's Pregnancy Journal

Week 18
~ Itching, Itching, and More Itching!

This week I have felt more flutters which is exciting. Of course it is never enough and I’m encouraging the baby, "Come on! You can give me more than that!" It is such a fun feeling. I don’t think I appreciated it so much with our first since it felt as if his foot was being drug across the inside of my ribs on a regular basis. But I have come to enjoy and look forward to the tumbles more and more with each pregnancy. Joshua was also the baby who seemed to never have enough room and was constantly pushing somewhere. I don’t know if it was my teeny, tiny size or just him; my goodness he was only a 5 lb. 13.75 oz baby. Just as I have learned not to rush their growing, so I have also learned to take each step of the pregnancy for what it is and try to enjoy it or embrace it. Though not always easy when you can barely lift your head from the pillow especially during that first trimester or like with Jesse (our third) I was in the bathroom more times than not up until almost the end while working full time. It still amazes me how each one of my pregnancies has had something different about it.

Speaking of differences in pregnancies, remember that itch I mentioned last week. Well it has developed quite a bit. I have a rash over two-thirds to three-fourths of my body now and it itches like crazy at times. It started with tiny little bumps that looked something like a flea bite except in very large areas. As time progressed they would cluster into larger patches and become red. With my thighs the best description I can give is that they look like small cottage cheese curds turned fire red from panty line to below the knees. On Sunday evening it was starting to form on my stomach, by the time I saw the doctor on Monday, it was forming on my upper chest and at the base of my neck. I was lucky if I got 3 hours of sleep Sunday evening because the itching was so bad. The lotion I was supposed to use had lost most of its effectiveness by then. The nurse got me in and doc was amazed and was not sure which rash we were dealing with.

Since it had only been two weeks since my last appointment the nurse still wanted the usual routine of peeing in the cup, lovely weight check, etc. Doc said we had grown quite a bit in that short time. (My sono is Monday so now I’m really excited as if I could get more excited!) I could tell he was quite concerned about this rash ordeal and was not sure what we were dealing with at all. He wanted me to see the dermatologist immediately and had the front desk on the phone scheduling me by the time I got there. On my way out I ran into the call nurse who wanted to see my little mess; she was glad I was headed to the dermatologist. Once over there and itching like crazy I stumped them. Boiling it all down and putting it into English, the theory is that it is probably something to do with my immune system. It has found something it doesn’t like and is trying to clear it out thus the rash. Worst case scenario and the one I am praying is that it's not is ‘cholecystitis of pregnancy’; in English the baby and uterus are pushing up on my gall bladder and irritating it. The bile salts could be building and releasing through the rash. Since I had a gall bladder attack a year ago with surgery suggested, but I chose to take a natural approach to heal it and expel the gallstones, this has to be kept in the back of our minds so said the dermatologist. When he asked for the senior dermatologist to come in for a consult he felt it was more of the first scenario (Immune system reaction) and suggested that course of action first. He smiled and said to me “the good news is you have a very healthy immune system and it is doing its job.” Yeah! I think!

So not that I am thrilled with the treatment, we all agreed we had to calm the rash down at this point. I was sent home with a script with a mild steroid crème for the rash to be used twice a day, Benadryl as needed, and as much Sarna lotion as I need; also suggested was a special soap for cleansing. I would see the dermatologist in two weeks, unless nothing had changed and then I need to return next week. I called the obgyn nurse back to clear everything with her and she said go ahead with the treatment suggesting what I had all ready determined in my mind about the Benadryl; take only when needed and at least 6 hours apart. If this does not work we are looking at a mini steroid treatment; if that does not work a biopsy and it just gets uglier from there. Last night I was able to sleep with minimal interruptions and itching. The rash is still there; dog-gone-it no miracle cure with the first two lathers of crème! I have managed to be without Sarna lotion for about 8 hours which in itself is amazing. I went through one bottle in 6 days @ $11-$12 per bottle that is progress!

Other things did happen this week--really they did--but you can see what took most of my concern. We finished Kids Kamp and the kids had a blast. The final program was fun. Jesse made a basket during the basketball scrimmage. He grinned from ear to ear, trying to keep his head in the game. He received a trophy on Friday evening for participating. Joshua has been helping with stage props for their mission’s trip. I think the painting is done and he was asked to help with the framework for the props tomorrow. Most of his lines are memorized and I think they have some trial runs with games over the next two Wednesdays and Sunday. KayCee thinks she is ready to take her boating test so she can drive the jet skis this weekend.

Sunday we celebrated Darius’s birthday at On the Border; a special treat for all of us. Darius doesn’t like a great deal of attention brought to him so he was about to strangle me when I told our waiter that it was his birthday. They used to do a whole big production with a fancy desert; but the waiter showed him mercy and brought him a bowl of sopapias and no song. Darn I thought for once it would be his turn to be put on the spot on his birthday since he has done it to me several times. Later after a quick nap we went out to the lake for bike riding, food and fellowship with the youth and others from church. I was still stuffed from that huge lunch so skipped the hot dogs. I got the camper unloaded and everything into containers for toting to the lake. Now I need to get the food ready for this weekend’s outing since we leave in two days! Personally I’m looking forward to the weekend with a whole lot of relaxing and water play. KayCee and I have planned very simple meals with little work needed. Hopefully the fireworks display is wonderful; we have been told it is. Our homemade ice cream will have to wait until we return home. Maybe I will think about making a Miracle Whip cake to go with it. We have not had that in several years. It used to be tradition when I was growing up for my birthday with homemade ice cream and that delicious, moist, chocolate cake. One year mom decided to try sparklers instead of candles on the cake…it does not work, they burn the icing!

I better scoot since WW 3 is breaking out upstairs over markers! Enjoy the Fourth and celebrate our freedom joyously!

~ Nancy

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