I am on my final lap towards becoming a mom. At 31 weeks, I thought I was in the clear and it’s only a matter of waiting for my baby to jump out into the world. I thought wrong.
About two weeks ago I started feeling an itch on my belly. People have warned me that this will eventually happen and that I should not scratch because it will lead to stretch marks. Thinking this was nothing more than the overstretching of my skin, I decided to ignore it.
One week later, I started noticing tiny red bumps on my tummy. I asked a friend if she had red bumps during her pregnancy and she said it was natural. The skin is stretching so there will be red marks at some point. Okay then. Everything’s fine, I guess.
A few days ago, I checked my tummy again and the red bumps have turned into full blown rashes and they looked very angry. The tiny red bumps turned into masses and became unbearably itchy. It wasn’t just itchy, though. There were times that the masses were so sensitive that I have to take off my dress because it stings.
I couldn’t sleep from all the itching and stinging. My sister suggested I use sunburn cream to soothe the itching. Her theory was that my gestational diabetes was causing the itch. I tried it and the cool cream relieved it a bit. But it would just come back with a vengeance after an hour or so.
It became so unbearable that I couldn’t believe it’s just normal stretching of my skin. I finally decided to go see my OB and get myself fixed before I scratch all the way through my uterus. As soon as my OB saw my tummy, she immediately said,
“This is PUPPP.”
What’s PUPPP, you say? It’s pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. This supposedly occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. It happens to one in every 150 pregnant women and only happens during the first pregnancy. Lucky me, right?
My OB prescribed a topical cream that I can apply twice a day after showers. I will not post the name of the cream here because I don’t want anyone self-medicating without consulting their own doctors. I bought the cream and it gave me some relief.
Unfortunately, PUPPP does not get cured with creams or other medication. It can only be relieved. The only way for it to disappear completely is to give birth. In fact, despite using the cream, my rashes have gotten worse. They have now spread to my arms and legs.
Sleep is no longer possible. I will only fall asleep if I’m absolutely exhausted from scratching. And if while sleeping I happen to wake up because of my teeny bladder, there is no more going back to sleep.
Why am I posting this? One reason is because I’m so cranky due to lack of sleep that I need to vent or I will bite my husband’s head off. Another reason is to let others know that this is a thing and if you are experiencing this right now, I absolutely feel your pain.
All I can do right now is tell myself (and possibly other expectant moms) that there’s only a few more weeks left before this is over. I will get to meet my little bundle of joy and this will all be worth it…. unless her first word is “dada…”