8 days have passed since I gave birth to our healthy little girl. And not a day has gone by when I’ve not pinched myself in disbelief that this has really happened. It is surreal, and dreamlike. I’m a parent. I’m a Mom. We are a family. Everything everyone says is true. Our world has changed. Perspectives are different. Prerogatives have been realigned. Gratitude has been reinforced. Love has swelled beyond my wildest expectations. Appreciation of friends and family has breached boundaries. Although I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
I also wanted to talk about my postpartum experience thus far. I am the lucky girl to have come down with PUPPP rash, which is Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. It started as an itchy patch a week or so before I gave birth. It then erupted as a itchy striated rash in a circular pattern on my entire belly. All of the nurses at the hospital, and my midwives thought it was an allergic reaction to the dressing they used in the operating room during my c-section, or the mesh hospital underwear. They gave me hydrocortisone cream, and denied me benedryl, because it could dry up breast milk. On my 3rd day there, a different bumpy type of rash started popping up on my knees and calves…the nurses weren’t concerned whatsoever. Today is day 8 postpartum, and the tiny-bumped rash has spread to every part of body except for my back and chest. I went to my primary care physician because all my midwife suggested was an oatmeal bath, and the itching is so bad that it wakes me up at night and I’m scratching so hard that I want to rip my skin off. My Dr. Immediately knew what is was…PUPPP….she prescribed me prednisone cream which has helped a lot already. How in the world were all of my healthcare providers who deal with birth, and pregnant women every day have no idea what I was experiencing. Yes, it’s a rash that has no immediate cure, except for giving birth…but it’s an extremely stressful rash that has an itch so bad that some women are even induced early for fear of skin infections developing from all of the scratching! No one is sure of the cause, it’s just one of those weird pregnancy things that can start in the 3rd trimester and last until around 15 days postpartum. Some say its a reaction to fetal cells, in other words an allergy to your own baby! Some say its linked to the sperm DNA… So, I’m sharing this in hope that it will raise a tiny bit of awareness to any woman out there who has a mysterious rash that no one can assign a name to. Although the diagnosis doesn’t change my symptoms, it’s good to at least know what it is….and it’s a relief that I don’t have anything that can harm my baby or my family.