What Not to Say to Women with a High Risk Pregnancy

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Feature image from BARNESJEWISH

“Just relax OR If it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be OR The baby will decide when it’s ready to come.”

Telling someone to relax, not only does not help them relax, but it also trivialises their stress and worry. Instead of simply dismissing the stress of a high-risk pregnancy by distracting your friend or telling her to get over it. Instead, ask her if she would like to talk about it, tell her you understand how stressful it must be, and that she is justified to worry.

Tell her that you hear her concerns and think they are valid… Then try and help her relax by actually doing something relaxing with her, not just telling her to relax and then leaving.

“Oh, Yes, I know, pregnancy is such a worry.  I remember when we were having our last baby and we couldn’t get in to see the natural therapy hypnobirthing class for three months!  It was so stressful!”

Um, not the same thing… Continue reading

Bellies, Babies and Bruises

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For Women Living With ITP,

ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancy A Book About ITP and Pregnancy

In 2009, Meg Brewster was given a copy of her family tree. Looking back through the generations, she wondered if the family tree would stop with her or would she be able to have a baby while living with ITP and APS?

Meg had heard the risks of bleeding, bruising and infertility involved in ITP and Pregnancy. But were they real? Had she only heard the horror stories. She wondered what it would actually be like to have a baby with ITP, and if it was going to be as complicated as everyone had led her to believe.

Seven years in the making, this is the story of an ITP pregnancy; Including research and interviews with other women about their ITP pregnancies.

BELLIES BABIES AND BRUISES was inspired by Meg’s personal journey with ITP and APS while pregnant. ITP is an autoimmune disorder that causes bleeding and clotting problems in its patients. APS is a clotting disorder that is commonly associated with ITP and low platelet counts.

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About the Author, Meg Brewster

meghan brewster, author, how to heal a bruise, itp blood disorderMeg was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia when she was 22 years old. She struggled to read dense medical journals and scholarly articles to learn more about her ITP. What was missing from the ITP conversation was information from other patients about what immune thrombocytopenia was really like to live with. 

In 2012, Meg set up ITPANDME. It’s now one of the largest ITP blogs in the world. Meg loves writing about ITP, hearing other women’s stories and helping women with ITP connect.

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Praise for How to Heal a Bruise

The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly! FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy

Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Megan Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder…I couldn’t stop reading.  FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura

‘My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what we are looking for.’ Andy USA

‘Thank you for your thoughts…they’ve helped me with finding perspective in our reality.’ Jenny Australia

‘Love the way you write…you made me chuckle.’ Bron Australia

‘Thank you for writing this, it will surely help the newbies.’ Padma, India

Features

  • Stories of pregnancy from women with ITP.
  • Meg’s personal journey with ITP and Pregnancy
  • Information about natural and caesarean births.
  • Information for breastfeeding mothers with ITP.

Bellies Babies and Bruises: An ITP Book for Women and Babies

A Transverse Baby

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Feature image from SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATION

I know this is a little off the topic of ITP and Bleeding Disorders, but it was something I wanted to write about.  There isn’t much personal information onIine about transverse babies, and a few people keep asking me what it feels like to have a transverse baby, so I will do my best to describe it.

I’m currently at 36 weeks and our baby has been transverse for at least two months.

As this is my first experience with the third trimester, I have nothing to compare to, so for most of the day, everything just feels normal to me.  But I will try and break it down so it makes a little sense for people who are unfamiliar with the feeling of a transverse baby. Continue reading

ITP Pregnancy, The Birth

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 Feature image from ITP&ME

In the first few days after my son was born, I couldn’t shake this feeling that I had let him down in some way.  I kept thinking there must have been something I could have done better, some sign I could have noticed earlier, another hour bouncing on the fit ball, or another 20 minutes inverted off the couch, that might have made his entry into the world a little calmer, happier and healthier.  

In the first weeks, I slept terribly.  I was happy, don’t get me wrong.  I was having the most wonderful time during the day and into the night with him.  But just in those moments right before I drifted off to sleep, I would replay the birth in my mind, looking at all the little moments I should have done something differently.

Don’t worry.  My feelings about of the birth have changed a lot since then.  

The more information I have and the more I come to understand the events, the prouder I am about how everything happened.  As I learn about footling breech births, remember more and more, and as I speak to other women about their birth stories, I’m starting to consider the whole thing an incredible fucking success.  

I am glad I waited a little while before writing this.  Had I written this article earlier, it may have sounded like a completely different story.  So here it is… The story of our ITP Baby.  

(In saying that, I don’t believe it is possible to ever really tell your birthing story.  There is no way to sum it all up or convey everything that happened.  When I talk about the birth of our son with others, I find my words falling so short of the mark; such a blunt instrument to play such a complex sound.)

The birth of my son was a triumph over the medical profession’s interpretation of a high-risk pregnancy.  It is considered legendary among midwives and doctors.  It was beautiful.  But it was nothing like the sacred feminine worship, I was lead to believe birth was (could be).   Continue reading

The First Trimester of an ITP Pregnancy

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Feature image from BABYCARLOTA

We are having an ITP baby!  I am currently 15 weeks.

The first trimester was pretty full on and things are only now starting to feel normal again.  It has been an insanely busy, stressful and at the same time slow 3 months.  We have already seen the baby three times on the ultrasounds.

I am still nervous just writing it down.  Everytime we go into the doctors, there is a little hesitation, doctors always cautioned us about the risks, to not get too carried away.  They smile, but they are always clear that this will be a long pregnancy and to not burn up all our energy in the first few weeks.  We will need a long game with this one.

Here’s a run down on what our first trimester with an ITP pregnancy looked like.

APS pregnancy, Hughes Syndrome Pregnancy, ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancyDoctors – We went to the doctor as soon as we found out we might be pregnant, which was 3 weeks.  It was as early as possible.  Our doctor was surprised the home pregnancy test even came back positive. 

Home pregnancy tests are getting more and more accurate, but they are not all the same.  On the back of the test, you can read how accurate they are.  Some of the tests are able to give you a positive three weeks earlier than others.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you they are all the same.   Continue reading

Platelets, The Whole Story

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Feature image from JCWILSON Archive

Platelets.  We have heard that word a thousand times.  We know what they are and we know what they do. Right?  Platelets are just those tiny little things that float around in your blood that magically ‘plug up’ leaks when you need them.  Wrong.  Here’s the whole story, about how platelets are made, what they actually do and how they go about doing it.

What is a Normal platelet count?

A ‘Normal’ platelet count has a very wide range.  Anywhere between 150 and 450 billion platelets per litre of blood is considered normal.  Men and women often differ slightly in ‘normal’ ranges, but not consistently enough for it to be documented.  Any higher than 450 billion platelets and you are in trouble.  Any lower than 150 billion platelets and you have a very different set of problems.

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Where do platelets come from?

Platelets are created by a larger cell in the body called a Megakarycytes.  Pictured.  No, I have never said that word out aloud.  Megakaryocytes are created from steam cells in the bone marrow.

 ITP, low platelet count, low platelets, platelets low, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp, blood disorder, Chronic itp, platelets,As a MEGAKARYOCYTES matures it begins to fragment into platelets that are released into the blood.  This fragmentation of the megakaryocytes is very important because it is triggered by the hormone THROMBOPOIETIN. Continue reading