(Facebook / Christina DePino)
Next time you roll your eyes at someone complaining about something on Facebook, keep this story in mind. Christina DePino, a first-time mom in Michigan, wrote a Facebook post about how unbearably itchy she felt during her pregnancy. Her friends urged her to see her doctor about the itching, leading to the discovery DePino had a condition that could have killed her unborn baby.
When DePino was around 35 weeks pregnant, the intermittent itching she’d felt intensified, especially on her hands and feet.”What had started as an all-over itch started to become more pronounced on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet,” said DePino to the TODAY Show. “It got to the point that I could no longer sleep at night … my arms and legs were bleeding from all the scratching.” She wrote a Facebook post complaining about it, and thank goodness she did.
Several of DePino’s friends told her to bring up her itching with her obstetrician, and one of them even mentioned that she might have something called cholestasis. Cholestasis is a condition where the gallbladder becomes sluggish and doesn’t clean out the body’s blood the way it should, resulting in toxins building up in the bloodstream. These toxins are basically harmless to a mom, other than extreme itching, but can cause stillbirth if the toxins pass through the placenta.
DePino’s doctor ran tests and confirmed that she indeed had intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.
To save her baby, DePino’s labor was induced at 37 weeks gestation.
After DePino’s baby girl was safely delivered, DePino let herself think about what could have happened. “What if I had not complained on Facebook? What if no one had told me? All I could think was that I had to let other women know. I didn’t want any of them to wonder what had happened to their perfectly healthy baby.” She wrote a Facebook post about her experience, which has since gone viral.
The moral of this story? Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for bitching on Facebook – it could save your life!