Cholestasis in pregnancy
Ok. This is no joke. Cholestasis is scary. It happens in the third trimester of pregnancy and the first sign of it is when you get extremely itchy hands and feet. Sounds like no big deal, but it’s way worse than an itch. It’s an all night, non stop scratching, an itch that won’t stop. I woke up with cuts and blood on my hands and feet from scratching so much. During the day it goes away but at night it creeps up like a bat out of hell. I couldn’t sleep at all because I was in pain, and if ur like me and have 2 kids, sleeping all day isn’t an option! Cholestasis is a condition that slows down the normal flow of bile into the gallbladder, causing a buildup of bile acids in the liver — which in turn spills into the bloodstream, causing intense itching. The worst part is the fear that it will get to your baby because if it does- it will kill them. The worse it got, the more worried I felt for my unborn baby. I was exhausted and in tears every night begging God to make it go away. IF You have these symptoms, call your doctor NOW!
I don’t love posting personal things on Facebook but I felt something telling me to call out for prayer and watch God work through it. So I posted a prayer request asking all our friends to pray that God would protect our baby girl. The response was overwhelming, EVERYONE was praying, maybe 500+ people total. Family, friends, Small groups, our friends small groups, my mom and everyone in prison with her prayed together, staff at church, everyone we knew was praying.
I felt the prayers and it gave me more peace. Each time I prayed, I pictured myself at God’s feet begging him to keep baby Brooke safe.
The pain got so bad one night that My husband and I went to the hospital and begged them to induce me, I looked like a crackhead! Crying, itching and rocking back and forth. Not to mention the dark circles under my eyes from three weeks of no sleep. You could see and hear the desperation in my voice. Thank God for my loving husband who did all he could to keep me sane and love on me! The hospital couldn’t induce me because I was 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant and they had to wait until I was 37 weeks, so they scheduled me to be induced the next day at midnight. Long story short, I had an amazingly easy labor with the incredible nurses at Mission Hospital. Sean had me and all the nurses cracking up with his jokes. He prayed over my tummy and held my hand through it all, even the part where the doctor had to basically fist me to move Brooke’s hand up so I wouldn’t need a C section! She had her arm above her head which would cause a super painful labor but most likely a C section. The look on Sean’s face as the doctor was, what felt like, elbow deep trying to get her hand down was enough to make me thankful for the epidural. Haha. No seriously, I didn’t feel it but I could tell it wasn’t pretty. After that I slept on and off for hours, woke up to push and out she was 10 minutes later-safe and sound. PRAISE GOD.
I haven’t stopped thanking God for our healthy baby girl, Brooke. We have a tradition where we always take our babies to church the first Sunday after they’re born, no matter what. Rain or shine, we go. Gotta give thanks where it’s due right?! So we had her on Thursday and on Sunday we took our family of 5 to church, in the rain, to praise God.
In our service, something amazing happened…..
I’m sitting and singing worship music with Brooke on my lap and I’m staring at her. She’s looking deep into my eyes and I’m signing, suddenly I feel God tell me, “she’s only here because you trusted me and covered her in prayer.” My eyes welled up and I was crying happy tears. Tears of such gratitude and joy that God answered all the prayers. And in the moment, I pictured myself at his feet begging with 500 people behind me praying the same thing. I can’t thank you all enough for your prayers for our family, I truly believe that is what saved our baby and made me go to the hospital that day before it got any worse.
I want to encourage anyone who is going through hell, don’t stop praying. Lift your requests to God and have as many people come alongside you in prayer as possible. Don’t go at it alone, we are all a family under God and we need to lift each other up in times of need. This whole situation has been such a struggle for me but I see God’s hand in it and it’s so beautiful to feel Him moving in our lives. I was so nervous to have a third child, she was a surprise to us. But this scare made me realize she wasn’t only a surprise, she is a gift. A major gift to our family and we can’t even imagine a life without her.