I have wanted to add to our family for a long time but other circumstances kept getting in the way. When we lived in Burley we had private insurance that didn't cover much and by the time we felt like we had saved up enough money, Chris lost his job. After 7 months of unemployment, I felt strongly that we needed to continue our plans to have a baby so we got supplemental insurance and decided that we would go on faith that everything would work out. Well, about 1 1/2 months later, Chris got a job! Then we had to wait until January for his work insurance to start and save money (again!) because we spent most of what we had moving to Texas, and then finally about 5 months later I found out I was pregnant! Yeah.
I was way excited of course but a little apprehensive about the timing. I always have pretty bad "morning sickness" (more like all day sickness) and I was planning on flying back to Idaho with the boys with no hubby right in the middle of my first trimester! Yikes. All in all in actually went fairly well. My family was also planning an adults only cruise to Alaska at the end of July which would be right at the tail end of my first trimester. I was hoping and praying that the morning sickness would be gone by then. I got a prescription for anti-nausea medication but each pill cost me a whopping $8 so I wanted to use them wisely! Luckily, I didn't throw up once on the cruise. Success! But mid-cruise I started noticing a rash on my arm. Then it spread to both arms and then to my legs. By the time we got home I was a hot mess (but definitely not hot!) My ankles and feet were so swollen that it was painful to walk. I am so thankful that I was with my family and they were able to help take care of me and my boys at this time. We were advised by a family friend that is also a doctor that it was most likely PUPPP.
I was visiting my sister Sarah in Utah when it became unbearable. We went to the local Insta-Care Clinic and the doctor there scared me half to death. She was unsure what exactly is was but thought it might be Steven-Johnson's Syndrome, a severe allergic reaction to the anti-nausea medicine that could be potentially fatal! She sent me right away to the ER. Keep in mind that I am 3 months pregnant and extremely emotional. Well, at the ER almost every nurse and doctor would comment about how painful my rash looked. I felt like a circus act. I had about 3 doctors all coming in and discussing what they thought I had. Unfortunately, there was some conference that all the dermatologists in the area were attending so none were available to diagnose what I had. Finally, the doctors got a hold of one dermatologist from the University of Utah Hospital and he diagnosed me over the phone. Most likely, it was gestational pemphigoid. I was discharged with some benedryl to help with the itching (yeah right!) and told the derm dr. would get a hold of me when he had an available appointment. I was nervous because I was going back to Idaho on Monday (and this was Friday).
Thankfully the derm dr. called Saturday and said I could come in even though they were closed. I had 3 derm dr. marveling over my impressive rash and taking pictures for future use (learning and teaching etc.) After a biopsy, it was finally determined that I did indeed have gestational pemphigoid (PG) which is an auto-immune blistering skin disease that occurs during pregnancy typically in the 2nd or 3rd trimester and/or immediately following pregnancy. Lucky me, it started in my 1st trimester! Treatment is steroids in the form of prednisone (60 mg). There is no cure for PG and will likely occur in subsequent pregnancies. There can be several complications to mother and baby including but not limited to preterm labor and intrauterine growth retardation. Which all meant I had to be monitored closely. You would think that would have been enough drama for one pregnancy but oh no....