What is ITP in Pregnancy?

ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancy

Feature image from SARAWICKAM

ITP is the abbreviation of the blood disorder Immune Thrombocytopenia. Immune Thrombocytopenia is defined as a low platelet count in an otherwise healthy individual.

If a pregnant woman develops a low platelet count during her pregnancy she will either be diagnosed with ITP or Gestational Thrombocytopenia.

If she has not previously had a low platelet count, she is more commonly diagnosed with Gestational Thrombocytopenia. If the pregnant woman has a history of low platelets it is classified as ITP in Pregnancy.

If the platelet count corrects itself after the pregnancy then she simply had Gestational Thrombocytopenia. If the low platelet count persists, she may be diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopenia.

Pregnancy is known to lower the platelet count of almost all pregnant women in some way. The normal range of platelets in nonpregnant women is 150 to 400 making the average platelet count 250.  During pregnancy the average decreases to 213,000. Continue reading

A Confession From Me; Why I Completely Freaked Out

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Feature image from ALLABOUTVISION

This morning I had a freak out.  Not a regular kind of ITP freak out, but a full blown monster freakout.

I thought my blood disorder was going really well.  I had been stable and healthy and happy for a long time. I felt like I was in a good place and that I could relax for a little while.  This is probably what made my freak out even worse!  Here’s what happened.

I woke up this morning, I went to the bathroom and I looked in the mirror. In the corner of my right eye was a blown blood vessel, bright and fresh, staining the corner of my eye with blood.

I did not rationally tell myself that people get blown blood vessels in their eye all the time, from sneezing, bending over, coughing, or for no apparent reason.  I did not behave like a person who has lived with ITP for more than 8 years.

I did not behave like a person who started a website about ITP, to help hundreds of patients a month live calmly and peacefully with their ITP.  Oh No!

Instead, I completely freaked out.  I told myself I was going to die; that overnight I’d been bleeding into my brain, I was convinced platelet count was below 10 and there was nothing that could be done to save my poor life.  I was a goner!

I stood there, staring at my bleeding eye.

My hair was in a big pile on my head, my pajamas were all crumpled and a little smelly.  In the strange dawn light I was sure it was a waste of time going to the hospital.  It seemed like a waste of energy.

I did not want to die in a hospital.  Better to die calmly in my own bed, I told myself.  So I went back into my bedroom and jumped into bed with my husband to die calmly in his arms.  (I kid you not this is actually what I was thinking!!)

As soon as I saw him, I immediately knew I’d over reacted.  My platelet count was 57 last week.  I didn’t have a headache, I didn’t feel sick, I wasn’t going to die.  I went back to the bathroom and looked at my eye again.

The dot of blood was tiny.  I mean tiny!  I felt foolish, paranoid and embarrassed.

So why am I telling you this?

Because living with ITP can be scary – even after 8 years.

Seeking Stories of ITP & Pregnancy

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Have you been pregnant while suffering from ITP, gestational thrombocytopenia or another bleeding disorder?

I’m currently working on a new book all about pregnancies, babies, women and blood disorders coming out in September this year!

I’m looking for stories, any interesting anecdotes and even people who I could email a few questions.

You may remain anonymous if you wish, sharing only what you wish to share.

If you have a story, please get in contact through itp.and.me.g@gmail.com.

How to Heal a Bruise Reviews

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Feature image from FLICKR

So many thank yous to everyone who has read, enjoyed and reviewed How to Heal A Bruise.  I am so excited to be working on a second book to compliment the information and stories shared in How to Heal A Bruise.  When I doubt what I am doing, I go back to this article and am reminded about why I do what I do.

“How to Heal a bruise” is a must read for anyone diagnosed with ITP. It should be prescribed by the doctors and as early as possible to avoid feeling terribly alone, disillusioned and helpless until you have the knowledge you can’t move forward. Thank you, Meghan you are such an inspiration”

By Amazon Customer on January 23, 2016

 “Meghan’s book is the #1 guide to life with ITP. I sincerely wish I had this book when I was diagnosed, it would have assisted me and my family in understanding more about this rare disease.”  

C on October 4, 2015

“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!”

The full REVIEW from Katie Meloy can be found here.  

“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 and is enriched in fourteen chapters…I didn’t know what to expect on How To Heal A Bruise, then simply I couldn’t stop reading.”

The complete REVIEW Laura can be read here.

 “Good read, informative but personal.”

An Amazon review from DANNY

Have you read How to Heal a Bruise?

What did you think?  Have your say below in the comments section below.  Or better yet, head over to Amazon and share your thought there!

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