The Second Trimester of an ITP Pregnancy

high risk pregnancy, fetal development, systemic lupus erythematosus, pregnancy complications, complicated pregnancy, high risk pregnancy complications, miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage

Feature image from KELLIMURRAY

Everyone says that the second trimester of pregnancy is the best.  For me, this appears to be true.  Every single woman I talk to has a different story and opinion on being pregnant, but they all seem to talk fondly about the second trimester.  Perhaps it is the only universal experience that all pregnant women go through, a good second trimester.  

At the moment, I feel like I have always been pregnant; like I have lived this way for a lifetime.  I don’t think about the fact that I can’t drink alcohol, it never crosses my mind.  I have forgotten what it feels like to sleep through the night without waking to go to the toilet.  I can’t remember what my life used to be like or how my body looked before.  The hype of begin pregnant has calmed down and now it feels like normal life.

I have set my pregnancy books aside and stopped over analysing every bump and pain.  I am starting to feel like the baby is really stuck in there now.  The delicacy of the situation has ended and the solid thumping of a strong little human, kicking more space in my guts gives a healthy permanence to his existence (Yes, we found out we’re having a boy!).  

high risk pregnancy, fetal development, systemic lupus erythematosus, pregnancy complications, complicated pregnancy, high risk pregnancy complications, miscarriage, recurrent miscarriageThe best way to explain it is that I feel normal – It’s a new kind of normal but normal all the same.  The free fall of the third trimester has not yet begun.  My life now involves kicking and movements inside, a lot less sleep and I have noticed when people say hello, their eyes fall down to my belly and linger there, taking it in.  But that’s it.

Doctors – Going to the Doctors feels weird because everything is going so well.  I feel like I am wasting their time, but they keep wanting to see me, just in case, to check everything is still going well.  I am having blood tests every two weeks.  I am going every three weeks to see the OB team.  I’m getting ultrasounds every four weeks to check foetal growth and wellbeing.  It’s great to see him all the time.  Every time, he looks bigger and happier and more ours.

Medication – CLEXANE, Aspirin and 10 mg PREDNISONE.  Plus pregnancy vitamins, VITAMIN C and fresh juice.  

Platelets – My platelets are up!  My platelets are staying over 140 – Which is freaking insane! (Especially after the platelet scare in my FIRST TRIMESTER) It’s the highest platelet count I’ve ever had.  Pregnancy may have cured my ITP.  My Haematologist has given me a free pass for a little while.  He said I don’t need to come back and see him for a few months.  I still get platelet counts every two weeks, but unless there is a big fall he doesn’t need to see me! Yay.  I am seeing my OB team so often, he says I am still in safe hands.  

Bruises – All my bruising has sorted out, which is a relief.  I only have small coin sized bruises on my stomach and upper thigh from clexane injections.

BleedingNothing to report.  My platelets are quite high at the moment and there has been no other bleeding from my gums or nose. 

Nausea – By week 15, my nausea and morning sickness had settled down.  I still feel unwell if I’m really hungry or dehydrated, but that is to be expected.  I am also still getting sick when travelling in the car.  Randomly at 25 weeks I felt terrible in the morning, but it passed after a few hours.  

Headaches – No more since the end of the first trimester.  I have made sure I drink a shit tonne of water and that seems to have stopped the headaches.    

Anxiety – I don’t feel any anxiety about the baby, but there are other worries.  We are moving house to be closer to the hospital, which is an added stress.  I want to be in my own home getting the house ready, but that is not a possibility at the moment.  I am making a huge effort at the moment with my stress, and have managed to keep it all under control.  

Feelings / Worries – How am I feeling?  I feel wonderful.  And I wasn’t expecting to feel so wonderful.  If I’m honest, I believe everything is going to turn out perfectly.

Sleeping – Sleeping is definitely more disturbed.  I am finding it harder to get comfortable and harder to fall asleep.  I am still waking in the night to go to the bathroom.  It is more difficult to fall back asleep.  I am waking myself up when I roll over from the weight of my tummy shifting.  I recently brought a pregnancy sleeping pillow, which is a little wedge, that helps.  It helps relieves a lot of the weight from my stomach when I am lying on my side.

The Belly – Still no a lot there.  It took a long time for the belly to come.  At 23 weeks I had a little belly my friends noticed, but I could certainly hide with a t-shirt.  At that time (23/24 weeks) my stomach hurt all the time.  I was always holding my stomach in with my hands because it felt like it might tear apart.  (Apparently this is my stomach muscles splitting apart to make space for the baby.  Not everyone feels this pain.)  At 26 weeks, I have a nice little bulge.  I have only just started to wear maternity clothes which include singlets and a pair of shorts.

Exhaustion – The exhaustion I felt in the First Trimester has gone.  I am back to exercising four times a week (with modifications) doing yoga, ballet and a little walking on the days in between.

It’s such a relief that the stress had lifted.  I feel so lucky.  I’m starting to really enjoy this pregnancy and I didn’t think that that was possible.  Only 3 months to go…

by Meg

Meghan Brewster is a writer and blogger. She is an ITP patient and launched ITP&Me in 2011. She is a coffee lover and a try hard dancer. @meghan_brewster

4 thoughts on “The Second Trimester of an ITP Pregnancy

    Oana says:

    Hi Meg, I am 27 and I just found out I’m pregnant, I have had mild ITP for 5 years now (I have no symptoms, but on my last test ( had 56 count) . I live in Romania, and I have been trying desperately to find information about pregnancy in ITP patients online, as my hematologist here has offered little help or support, and my gynecologist scared me with the risk of cranial bleeding of the baby. I wanted to ask you , if you know, what precautions should I take, and if women with ITP are allowed natural births ? I am really scared …

    • Meg says:

      Hi Oana, Congratulations on the pregnancy! Yes, I totally understand why you would be feeling scared – but there is a lot of information out there if you know where to look. As far as I have heard, a natural birth is very likely for women with ITP (as there can be more bleeding risk with surgery and caesarian than if everything goes naturally.) Check out – Also this article was really helpful to me before we even started trying to have kids –
      Good luck, let us know how it all goes.

    Caroline says:

    Hi Meg, great to hear everything is going so well for you. I’m now 18 weeks and I know what you mean by the new normal. This is indeed a more enjoyable time of the pregnancy! I seem to be doing fine, seeing the hemo in a weeks time again, and scan just after new year, looking forward to seeing the little munchkin again. Counts staying around 35 on 10mg of pred so hoping my counts might look more like yours on the next visit! Thanks for your update, makes me feel less anxious for the future too.

    Oana says:

    Hi Meg, thank you for answering so fast , i have read the articles, i just can’t find information on whether or not it’s normal for my platelets to drop from a 93 to a 56 in a 6 month interval, i have never been on any kind of treatment , and i don’t know if it’s because of the pregnancy , and should i expect them to go even lower, or if this is the normal evolution of itp , if i should prepare myself that my moderate itp will go into severe. My doctor just told me , we will wait and see, i think she did’t deal with a lot of itp patients.

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