CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Pregnant? Something itching?
Don't ignore it.
One Heartland mom's itch turned out to be a condition that doctors are still researching.
It's something that could cost a baby his or her life.
"I just want this to stop. I just want it to go away, even though, she's worth it ten times over," mother Sammie Matthews said.
Matthews didn't have the easiest pregnancy with her daughter, Nyla.
A number of conditions popped up for her, but there was one itch that wouldn't go away.
"This is completely, completely different. It's just like fire underneath your skin," Matthew said
So she didn't ignore it.
In her second trimester she found a website on Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy.
Commonly known as ICP.
The condition causes the liver to stop functioning during pregnancy.
"The toxins, and the bile acids go into your bloodstream and your placenta," Matthews said.
The first sign is itching in your palms and soles of your feet.
Matthews doctor at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau is glad she didn't ignore it.
"I remember how extreme the itching was for her, and I remember that she was a very proactive patient and did lots of research. I was proud of her for that," OBGYN Dr. Sara Lorenz said.
Dr. Lorenz says if the condition goes untreated it harms the baby, and can cause stillbirth in some cases.
"I don't think we focused on that very much. I think it would have been more scary for us if I hadn't gotten diagnosed when I did," Matthews said.
By catching it early she lowered those chances, and was able to treat the itching with medication, icepacks, and lotion.
"Knowing that I wouldn't be poisoning my daughter was a huge relief," Matthews said.
However, Nyla still came early.
"You don't imagine your first baby with all the wires and cables attached," said Garrett Matthews, Sammie's husband.
Beyond all the complications, Matthews says Nyla was worth the itch.
"Something I just kind of made up for myself. Like – I was worth the itch. Every itch, every sleepless night, every pain, every discomfort," Sammie Matthews said.
Nyla is almost a year old now, happy, and healthy.
Doctors say the itch is far more intense than a mosquito bite, and you feel it below the skin.
June is ICP awareness month.