Putting My Best Face Forward
You’re always told that pregnant women have a ‘glow’ to them. Their hair is fuller, their nails are longer and their skin is better than it’s ever been before. They never tell you about the women who don’t have these miraculous things happen.
I was faced with some very different changes.
The bottom half of my face around my chin erupted with what I thought was pregnancy acne. I spoke to many of my girlfriends who had been pregnant and only a handful of them had experienced the same symptoms, many of them telling me not to worry, that the breakouts would stop around the 20 week mark. For me, they didn’t.
I anxiously awaited 20 weeks to see if my ‘twin skin,’ as I referred to it, would disappear.
The 20 week mark passed, so did the 24, 25, 26… and my skin seemed to be getting worse. I thought maybe I had eczema or an allergic reaction to something. My OB had said it was just hormonal due to it being mainly on my chin and to just wait it out. By the 27 week mark I decided maybe it was time to go to the doctor to find out what gives. The doctor at the walk in clinic told me to take Claritin to relieve the itching. Oh yes, not only was it red, bumpy and inflamed at this point, it was also itchy and almost burning. The Claritin helped, but I hated the idea of ingesting something like that while pregnant. I went to my GP who said, “It’s called pregnancy rash. I’ve seen it before, but never this bad.” Great. At least I had a diagnosis.
To each their own when it comes to deciding what you’re comfortable with taking while pregnant. My doctor prescribed me a very low dosage of hydrocortisone cream. I had heard mixed reactions to this: some say it’s bad for the babies, other say they’ve put it on their child’s bum to heal a diaper rash. I went on to motherisk.org to find out, and felt relieved to read that hydrocortisone hadn’t been linked to any issues with mom or baby.
Within 24 hours the cream had stopped my itching and shrunk my rash. The redness was still there but it was a definite improvement. My daily cleansing routine became: warm water, vaseline (straight petroleum jelly) to aleviate some of the dryness and my prescription cream.
I will never say that I didn’t enjoy being pregnant, especially after all that my husband and I went through to get there. Rash or not, it was a wonderful experience through the ups and downs, but I don’t think I can honestly say that I was one of those fortunate women who enjoyed the ‘glow’ of pregnancy.