Bellies, Babies and Bruises

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

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

John

Passenger plane above the clouds.

Feature image from HERE

A little bit about John…

Californian based international business consultant working in the Asia-Pacific region.

How were you diagnosed…

I was in Japan with my family on a business related trip in the Spring of 2015. Prior to our departure, I had bitten my check while sleeping and noticed that it continued to bleed. After checking into our flight to Tokyo, I noticed a large bruise forming on my left hand from where I had just been bumped by another traveler’s suitcase.

During the 9-hour plus flight, I began to feel tired and noticed I had what appeared to be a rash forming on my hands and lower arms. Upon arrival in Tokyo and after checking in to the hotel, I felt exhausted with a large headache (I travel extensively to Asia from the US, so this was unusual for me).

The next morning, after I woke up, I noticed I had what appeared to be blood blisters on my tongue as well as blood spots on the pillow case of the hotel pillow. As this was the weekend in Japan, my wife who is Japanese, suggested that we discuss this with a pharmacy (Note:  In Japan hospitals are only open for emergencies and not regular visits on the weekend).

This was done on a Saturday. The pharmacist stated that it didn’t look like an allergic reaction and I should see a regular physician. As the weekend progressed I continued to get more tired and the “rash” continued to spread on my arms and legs. My wife did some research on the internet and found information on ITP that seemed to cover my symptoms. Continue reading

Real Stories about ITP & Pregnancy

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Feature image from AGIRLSRIGHTTODREAM

Stories of Blood Disorder Pregnancies are scattered all over the web.  If you have the time and the resources to search for them all, there is some amazing information, but the real stories are often hidden behind hard to decipher medical journals and websites.  Here are a few that I found really helpful while I was looking for help online with my ITP Pregnancy.

HUGGIES FORUM – Pregnancy and ITP.  Here is a link to a forum where a number of women discuss their pregnancies with ITP.  They are all very positive stories about being monitored a lot, but not much else going wrong.

PLATELETS ON THE WEB – Christy shares her story of ITP for more than 20 years.  During that time, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.  The whole story is here.

BABY CENTER – The story of a scheduled C-Section for a breech ITP baby.

An ARTICLE ON NAIT, or Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia.  Here is a news article about the Jacob’s family who gave birth to two babies with Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia.   Continue reading

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

DSC_0584

 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

Regina

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Welcome to Regina's Story

We like to ask all sorts of questions here, from the diagnosis story, to how patients with ITP sleep.  How they deal with stress and how they feel when their platelets are falling, appetite, mood and how their life has changed since ITP – Funniest or worst injury and how they manage ‘being sick’…  Every ITP story is different.  Enjoy.

A little bit about me

I live in Pennsylvania and have always enjoyed an active lifestyle. I also enjoy reading, playing piano, singing, horseback riding, and animals of any kind. ☺ I was born in January 2002.

How I was diagnosed and my journey so far…

When I was about 6 or 7 years old I started getting big bruises all over my body for absolutely no reason at all. My mom then took me to the doctor and he did some bloodwork. We got the results back late that night and my count was at 8,000.

The doctor thought I might have leukemia and told us to go up to Hershey right away. When we got there they did a lot of testing and early the next morning they informed us that I had ITP. They gave me IVIG which made my platelet counts go up to about 100,000 but they went back down a few days later and the treatment made me very sick /nauseous /headache /exhausted. This was during my first year of school.

After that they pretty much watched and waited. I had weekly blood tests taken, and went up to Hershey Medical every few weeks or so. After about 4 months of this, my platelet counts started slowly rising… but they never went back up to a normal count (150,000-400,000). They rose up to a stable area though of 60,000 to 70,000 and stayed there for about 7 years. During this time that my platelet counts were stable I lived a totally normal life and was able to be active again. Continue reading