Like many first-time moms, Christina DePino experienced her share of uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms she wasn’t expecting (mine was projectile nose bleeds. HELLO! What was yours??). And like most moms, DePino bore the symptoms with grace—until, at 35 weeks pregnant, she had a symptom she JUST couldn’t take ANY more. So what’s a modern mom to do? Turn to Facebook and VENT!
28-year-old DePino logged onto Facebook one night complaining about extreme itchiness—not on her belly where her skin was stretching, and you’d expect it, but on her hands and feet. It started as she entered her third trimester and got worse as the weeks went on. She told Inside Edition “It would get worse at night when I was trying to sleep. A lot of times I would be woken up in the middle of the night from a dead sleep and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was itching so bad.”
After DePino vented about her symptoms in a Facebook post, she got a lot of advice, which is to be expected. Most of it she didn’t take too seriously, until she saw a comment from her sister-in-law, who is a nurse. “She said I should just google ‘cholestasis of pregnancy,'” says DePino, “and my symptoms matched EXACTLY.”
A quick call to her doctor resulted in immediate testing, and it was confirmed that DePino did indeed
have choleostasis of pregnancy, a serious condition that has to do with bile build up in the liver and can result in a stillbirth. After determining that her baby girl was healthy, doctors decided the safest course of action would be to induce DePino early, at 37 weeks.
Photo: Christina DePino/Facebook
Lexa Rae DePino was born healthy on March 28th, 2017—thanks to her mom venting on Facebook and one knowledgeable commenter! DePino says she is SO thankful that they are both healthy. “As soon as I held my baby girl in my arms, all I could think was, ‘What if? What if I had not complained on Facebook? What if no one had told me?’ My heart was filled with gratitude to those who had spoken up.”
I had NO idea about cholestasis of pregnancy, which affects 1 in 100 U.S. women, before hearing DePino’s story! I hope more will learn about it through this article and that more babies will be saved!