Fiona’s itchy Christmas Eve

Fiona Hardy

Fiona HardyMy name is Fiona Hardy, I’m currently a secondary school librarian in Cumbria, but at the time of my itchy pregnancy I was a student in Liverpool. William was born in Liverpool at 31 weeks and spent a week at the NICU there before we were both transferred up to Cumbria after I developed severe sepsis a week postpartum.

I was diagnosed with ICP on Christmas Eve 2010.

I’d gone to the hospital in Cumbria presenting with severe itching. They were great and quick to diagnose based on my already high (over 100) bile acid results.

We always go to my grandparents on Boxing Day with the family and I can remember that year just being so drained and trying to go upstairs and sleep but couldn’t due to the itch and being so frustrated I couldn’t be downstairs joining in the festivities and playing with my younger cousins.

My care was transferred back to Liverpool. I was admitted to Liverpool women’s hospital in February 2011 and my blood results continued to rise. I had all the classic ICP symptoms (and a few extras like jaundice!)

They scheduled me to be induced at 32 weeks soon after I was admitted, but William came on his own that evening at 31 weeks.

The itch just seems relentless at the time but I know myself that Jenny and the team at ICP Support are so helpful and understanding. In the NICU there was also a wall of ‘graduates’ and I read all of their stories which gave me hope. And in the end it worked out. William and I are doing great and we have far more fun at Christmas than that hard time in 2010. I want to give some ounce of hope to all those women that are struggling with this. I wear my ICP Support pin on my lanyard at work, anyone that dares ask gets a bit of the story.

If you’ve been affected by ICP, we have a closed (i.e. private) Facebook group in which you can find support and information about the condition.