Up to this point in J’s and my life, anything that sounded like “pup” was a good thing. Sure, I had some run-ins with some mean dogs when I was younger, but J’s family has always had loving pups in their household. However, our friendly relationship with pup-related things took a dramatic turn for the worse last Sunday.
We had just gone for a walk with our own beloved pup Lucy, when J noticed that her feet had red spots on them. We thought maybe she had stepped into some brambles or poison ivy. The spots continued to spread and became progressively more itchy over the two days that followed, and J was driven to distraction by the itchiness. She started to have trouble sleeping, which is difficult enough when one is 35 weeks pregnant anyway. She called her physician and set up an appointment.
In the meanwhile, we (mostly J) did some research online and found a pregnancy-related condition that sounded like it fit her symptoms: PUPPP. According to Baby Center’s website, “Up to 1 percent of pregnant women develop a condition characterized by itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies. This is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy.” The more we read about the symptoms, the more convinced we were that this was probably what J had, which was nasty news indeed because the only cure for PUPPP is birth; as long as the baby is in the womb, the spots won’t go away. The condition does not affect Baby in any way, thank goodness.
Our visit to the doctor confirmed our suspicion. Interestingly, many nurses had not heard of it and/or didn’t know what to think about J’s condition. Fortunately, the nurse practitioner and (later) the doctor we saw had seen it before; unfortunately, they confirmed our suspicions. We left with some topical hydrocortisone cream and recommendations for things to try but without a cure.
Since then (Thursday), J has been having a rough time. She took Benadryl; it did nothing. She used the cream; it didn’t have any lasting effect. She used lotions of various kinds, all of which felt good a while but weren’t too helpful. The one recommendation we got from the doctor that has ameliorated the situation a little is Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap*, which I located at our local Sprouts. The soap has a powerful smell. J says it smells like beef jerky or a campfire; I think it’s more like a log cabin. In any case, scrubbing hard with the soap in a lukewarm shower does provide a modicum of lasting relief, praise God. J now takes two to three showers a day and sometimes throws in an oatmeal bath for good measure. It’s a pain, but it’s worth the effort.
We’re now at 36 weeks, which means Baby could be here anytime after next Sunday and be considered full term! We are definitely rooting for an earlier birth (as long as Baby is healthy). As I might have expected, J has been handling this situation with amazing good cheer and determination. However, we definitely could use your prayers and well-wishes during this time. Aside from dreaming about our baby’s grand entrance coming up soon, our sole comfort is that we now have something to hold over Baby’s head for her entire life. Poor girl.
Thanks for the love and support.
*If you are reading this post because you or someone you know has PUPPP, we definitely recommend tracking Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap down. It helps.