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36 Weeks

For most of my life, I didn’t actually want kids.  Then I hit about 30 and I felt like all the planning and responsible adult things that we were doing were for nothing without a family.  Why build up a 401k and have a great career when I could just be a waitress living in NYC, going to art shows every night?  These feelings were really accelerated by several deaths in my family, and the loss of Audrey.  Seeing as we live in Utah and the nearest family is thousands of miles away, I felt adrift.  So I was really excited to start having kids.  And I still am, but being eight months pregnant is really hard.  I am huge.



I think I mentioned that I have a lot of trouble sleeping.  I have to sleep on my side and it causes the other side to go numb.  But not just numb, it was a painful numbness.  So I had to spend half of my sleep in a recliner.  But that was okay, because I would eventually sleep.



This week, however, brought something much much worse: PUPP.  PUPP stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.  It’s a type of urticaria that affects pregnant women.  It often starts in the stretch marks at the bottom of your stomach and spreads.  I don’t have it nearly as bad as this lady on my stomach.  But I have very serious rashes on my hands, arms, legs, and feet.  Here’s what my hand looks like during a flare up.



Those white lesions have appeared on almost every part of my body below my chest.  I can’t figure out what causes the flare ups, although I think stress is a factor.  The worst thing that I can do is to scratch, but it’s incredibly difficult at times to refrain from scratching.  There are also pus-filled blisters between my fingers and toes that get very itchy.  The problem with these is that you can’t treat them with the anti-itch cream because just the simple act of rubbing in the lotion causes a flare up.  You can’t see the blisters in this picture, but you can see the aftermath.



I’ve tried a lot of remedies.  Nothing works 100% of the time, but so far the best thing has been to make a paste out of oatmeal and let it dry on the skin.  I’ve had luck with Gold Bond, but it’s temporary.  As is pine tar soap and calamine lotion.  Topic steroids, oral steroids, and Benadryl are useless.  Some of the literature says that the worst of the itching occurs in the first week.  I really hope that’s true.  Now when I sleep the itching wakes me up every few hours, so I don’t have the opportunity to go numb, so I guess there’s that advantage.

PUPP goes away after the baby is born, although it can take up to six weeks.  The baby is now six pounds, and I say that she can come anytime she wants.

5 Responses to “36 Weeks”

  1. Tess says:

    Ugh, as if being 36 weeks pregnant is not uncomfortable enough by itself. This sounds really rough. I hope it does let up some after the first week. Haha, yes, no time to go numb sounds… umm… awesome. Regarding being not so sure about natural birth with all the pain up until now, at least when it’s go time, you are on a high of knowing you’re about to meet your baby, the pain is almost done, it helps some.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks! I keep hoping I’ll be one of those people who doesn’t know she’s even in labor until an hour before the baby comes. I could stomach natural childbirth for an hour…but the usual 15 hours you hear about sounds intolerable.

  3. Tess says:

    Ah, yes, those 1 hour births. I think those are usually when like at least 3 babies have paved the way.

    I think my birth with Zoey was fairly average, and although it was 15 hours from when my water broke to birth, the contractions were not very painful until around 9 hours in. It was then when I was like, oh, crap, I think I’m done breezing along the hallways. Time to hunker down in the room and start doing some foolish looking grimacing. So, I dunno, I’d say 6 hours of serious pain is probably more realistic than 15, not quite to ideal as 1 though….

  4. Tiffany says:

    Wow Liz…I had no idea about rashes like that and pregnancy. It looks so painful. I don’t know if you have heard of Domboro (or if it would be suitable for you to use)…is a powder you mix with water, maybe you could pour it on for some relief.

    I think she’s a little bigger than Cookie now, just a little.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    It only occurs in 1 out of 150 pregnancies, so I’m one of the “lucky” ones! Today is the second day when it’s been substantially better. I’m really hopeful that it stays like this. I’ll check out Domboro, I’ve never heard of it.

    We saw a 7 pound baby at the doctor’s office and I said, “We almost have one of those!”