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My-PUPPS-Pregnancy-And-Birth-Story

My PUPPS Pregnancy And Birth Story

Leanne Bolton had a challenging pregnancy, but it was worth it when she met her son Harry:

When my husband and I decided to have a baby I never expected that I would be pregnant one month later.

I couldn’t wait to blossom, but unfortunately, hyperemesis gravidarum hit me hard – I had nausea and vomiting for 23 weeks. I am now in awe of women who go through this and manage to look after other children, I could barely look after myself at the time. Thankfully, I never needed to be hospitalised. 

Rare skin allergy

At around week 23, I developed a rash and hives. My GP diagnosed PUPPs (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of pregnancy), also known as PEP (Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy) a skin condition that causes itchy, red, raised bumps that appear on the thighs and abdomen (tummy).

Grandpa's Wonder Pine Tar soap was the only thing that would relieve the itch. I smelled like a barbecue! Still, it wasn’t to end, I have a twisted pelvis and was waiting for it to cause problems in pregnancy. Cue week 33 when I was diagnosed with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction), and eventually needed crutches to walk, to ease the pelvic pain!

By week 35, I’d had enough – thanks to my 6ft 3” husband, our baby was a big one! I was set to ask for an induction at 38 weeks, I felt that I couldn’t carry this baby any longer. However, at 37 weeks and five days, my waters broke at 2:13am while I was lying in bed. I remember thinking: There’s the weak bladder they keep talking about, it can’t be my waters, that’s too rare.” It turned out that it was my waters. I was excited and relieved that the pregnancy would soon be over. I had visions of waiting for labour to establish at home feeling comfortable and excited, before heading off to the birthing pool.

Plan B

The hospital informed me however, that due to strep B in my urine, I had to go in immediately to be induced. So, no birth pool for me. I wasn’t even in labour, no contractions and no dilatation. I was induced and the contractions came thick and fast. I was amazed at how well I coped, to the point that I would forgo gas and air to enjoy a mouthful of chocolate.

Due to being induced however, I needed constant monitoring and could barely move. A midwife was present at all times, when all I wanted was to be alone with my husband so I could swear and stop trying to preserve my dignity. Thirteen hours later, with no progress, I was taken up to theatre for an emergency C-section.

Supportive midwife

My midwife was excellent – she told me to just focus on her. I’m sure I nearly broke her hand when the spinal block (anaesthesia) was going in but it was her words of encouragement that got me through it. In came my husband with a gown and hat and everything, he looked so adorable. The spinal block was the oddest experience, as I had no feeling whatsoever.

Next, I heard the midwife say, “Baby’s out! Big baby!” and I heard his cry. As they carried him over to be checked all I could see was a little foot, five toes! He was brought over to me and I panicked, “He’s only got one eye!” All was okay, his eye was stuck shut and this was soon rectified by a student midwife.

It was all worth it

Mummy and baby Harry (8lbs 13oz) had a good cry, and as I fell in love with the cause of all my recent troubles, numerous doctors and nurses stitched away below and I felt nothing.

My pregnancy or birth was nowhere near what I wanted or expected, but the result has surpassed my expectations. Harry is now six weeks old now. Yes it was definitely all worth it, but I’ve no immediate plans to have another!

Do you have a birth story you'd like to share? Email editor@easyparenting.ie and it might even in Easy Parenting magazine as well as online!


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