PUPPS rash – My Induction Birth Story

Being induced to give birth was the last thing I pictured happening when trying to create a Birth Plan. Like most women, I myself wanted to go into labor naturally and hold off on an epidural for as long as I could take the pain. Having an epidural was always something in my birth plan though as I don’t have a very high pain tolerance.

At 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant, I got a call from my OB asking if I can change my appointment the following day to later in the afternoon. He had a c-section to book, I obviously had no problem with that, but since I had him on the phone I decided to quickly ask him about this horrendous rash I had all over my belly, and was wondering what I could do to alleviate some of the itching for the night. This thing was keeping me up most of every night for about a week. I had seen him just over a week prior to this, I had some itching but nothing this bad. It’s crazy how quickly it escalated.

He told me he was the OB on call for the day of my appointment, and instead told me to come into labor in delivery that morning as opposed to waiting for the appointment. I had the idea in my head after spending many hours on google and YouTube that I may have the PUPPS rash, and sure enough upon arrival to the labor and delivery unit at the hospital it was confirmed.

The “PUPPS rash” which is short for Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy is a chronic hive like rash that affects about 1 in 200 pregnancies. It is most common during first pregnancies, pregnancies with large babies, and pregnancies with boys. The only way to get rid of it is to deliver your baby.

To describe this rash in the nicest way possible, it was complete shit. It starts towards the very end of your pregnancy, so along with all those terrible aches, pains, sleepless nights, frequent bathroom trips, adding on a quickly spreading rash that’s itch just won’t stop is beyond terrible.

My OB gave me the option to be induced, and while that was a very terrifying thought for me, I took up the offer very quickly. We went home, had dinner with family, grabbed our hospital bags, and went back to the hospital for 8 pm. We were admitted into a labor and delivery room right away.

After getting comfy, meeting my nurse, meeting the OB on call for the evening, and gaining some knowledge on what exactly would be happening next, the induction started. I had a cervidil induction, which I must add was a very uncomfortable obnoxious process. Cervidil is essentially a medication that is used to soften your cervix to start labor. Once it’s in it’s not uncomfortable, but getting it there was not fun.

After 12 hours of boredom laying around in the hospital room snacking, getting cervix checks, and seeing no progress, my nurse had told me the first induction attempt failed. This was very nerve wracking for me, the chances of induction ending up in C-sections are apparently common and that was the last thing I wanted. They gave me a few hours during the morning to relax before trying again.

Around 12 noon I received the next cervidil induction. We took walks around the hospital, watched TV, ate a bunch of food, all while being filled with the most anxiety I think I’ve every felt in my life. After settling into bed later in the evening after what seemed to be days, I started having contractions. At first they were very light and spaced apart, then they started to get a bit heavier and very consistent. So consistent it almost seemed like I was having a contraction for an hour straight. My very sweet nurse was a bit concerned for Maddox’s well being at the time because the monitor was showing that his heart rate was a bit elevated and that I was consistently contracting.

At that point I was in quite a bit of pain, the OB was busy so she took the cervidil out herself to ease the stress on the baby and my body. I had still not started to dilate yet, so it was almost as if this second induction had failed as well. Things were not looking very bright for me and the whispers of a possible c-section we’re going around.

Matt and I decided to try and get some rest so we could revisit the situation in the morning with the next OB on call. Just a few hours into my sleep around 2 am I woke up to strong contractions. I had a few quite close together, and very shortly after that my water broke. The sense of relief I felt was pretty unbelievable, there was that light at the end of the tunnel that I wanted to see.

Since my water broke, I was already in the hospital, and I was obviously in pain, I was able to get an epidural right away. At this point I wanted nothing more then to feel no pain and get rest. I was exhausted after 30+ hours of attempted inductions and crippling anxiety.

Right after my epidural I was so exhausted and pain free I was able to sleep… for the next 12 hours. I woke up a few times in between to throw up, eat ice, drink water or Gatorade, and get cervix checks but that was about it. The rest was much needed, and thankfully I got it because my delivery that followed wasn’t exactly easy.

By about 1 PM on Thursday March 9th 2017, I was dilated 10 cm and was able to start pushing. The moment we’ve all been waiting for was here. Baby Maddox was going to be born any moment, or so I thought he would be. He was what they called “sunny side up” so to add on to my stress and frustration, here I was trying to push my baby out while my nurse was trying to flip him around. My female parts were not to forgiving of that after the delivery.

It took me 3.5 hours of pushing, a small episiotomy, and at 4:30 PM our beautiful 9.8 lb baby Maddox was born. What a glorious moment that was. I was so relieved, I was also in complete shock. Usually after pushing a baby out for 2 hours they talk about c-sections but I refused as baby was doing well. I was not at all interested in that as I really don’t think I’m mentally stable enough to be cut open on a table while I’m awake unless medically necessary.

In all this day was the first best day of my life. I’m currently 35 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Waiting on the arrival of our second baby boy. Wyatt Fox Figliuzzi.

I would love to hear about your PUPPS stories, or your Induction stories too !

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

xo,

Britt

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