Still barefoot and pregnant, not quite in the kitchen

My cousin and I are both pregnant.

For the life of me and my pregnant brain, I can't remember if she is due yesterday or tomorrow. I know it's not today. It was an even number 24 or 26. Either way, she has not yet had her baby. I am due on the 30th and if she's not careful I just might catch up to her! Although, it might be kind of neat to have them on the same day. She is having a boy, ours is a girl.

At least we hope it's a girl. Recently people have decided it is funny to tell us that we aren't having a girl, it's probably a boy. Gee, thanks. As if I don't have enough to worry about you'd like to throw that in there. Someone said last night, "Your baby is going to be born with a wiener." Uh, thanks fourth grader. It was not a fourth grader who said this. My mom (after hearing about my 3rd trimester rash issue) looked up symptoms, treatments, etc. online and found that 70% of women who have it are reacting to a hormone in their baby BOY. My mother now likes to think I'm having a boy. What about the other 30%? Is it not possible I am one of those? If it is a boy, he's going to be wearing a lot of pink.

Speaking of 3rd trimester rash: Rash is such an ugly word. People look at you like EWWWWWWWW did you just say rash? And they automatically think the worst which is who knows what. I am one of those people as well. In fact, The Farmer had poison ivy about 3 times last summer and I would hardly let him touch me because I was afraid he'd pass it on to me! But yes, I have a rash (and it's completely uncontagious) that is incredibly itchy and won't go away until my daughter makes her appearance in the world. I keep telling her it's time to come out, but she's either really stubborn or already acting like a teenager and not listening to her mother. Also, it disturbs me that as disturbing as I think the rash is--the dermatologist and midwives kind of shrug like it's no big deal. Maybe I have a mild case, maybe they've seen way worse, maybe they don't want to freak me out. Whatever the case, I just wish I could get a reaction out of them.

For all other mothers with PUPPP: Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plagues of Pregnancy (the 3rd trimester rash), here is what I have found useful (and not so useful) as far as treatment/remedies goes. NOTE: I'm in no way, shape or form a doctor. These suggestions are merely based on my own experience.

Triamcinolone 0.025% (prescribed by dermatologist): Does not help with the itching, but may help with the appearance of the rash. I am still testing this product.

Benadryl: This was ok'd after my dermatologist appointment. Needless to say it did not do a bit of good. Instead of being coherent, I was now a scratching zombie. I almost fell twice getting up to use the restroom because I was so out of it. Out of it, but itching nonetheless.

Aloe vera gel: I put this in the fridge to keep it cool. The coolness feels awesome on my skin and seems to help a bit with the itch. I only use it 1-2 times a day because I don't want it to lose it's effectiveness.

Gold Bond Medicated Powder: This worked for the itching for awhile for about an hour at a time. It started to lose it's effectiveness and so I decided to stop using it completely. Warning: if you use this at night, it will get powder on your sheets. We have black sheets so it was even more apparent.

Hydrocortisone: This seemed to help at the beginning, but again loses it's effectiveness. This may be due to the fact that I went through a tube in less than a week. I was desperate for a cure for the itch. Helped more when the rash was in it's infancy.

Rubbing alcohol: When I first noticed the rash I thought it was a heat rash so I thought drying it out would help. The rubbing alcohol really didn't do much for me except dry out my skin which is what was happening anyway.

Cold compress/ice pack: I wet a hand towel and put it in the freezer for awhile and then moved it to the fridge. This is by far the most soothing of the remedies. I wake up in the middle of the night and put it on my skin and have instant relief. It only quells the itching for about half an hour, but it is worth it. Also, if the weather is heating up, the rash may feel like it's getting worse. This coolness feels great when it's hot out. You can also use those gel ice packs or put ice in a baggy. I found frozen corn to be quite helpful as well.

Other helpful hints: Each person's experience is different so I suggest trying a few of these before making your own informed decision. I would suggest not using so much of whatever product at first so your rash doesn't become immune to it. Cold showers work best, for some reason the hot shower made me more itchy. Regular soap will dry out your skin even more so I stayed away from it. I also slept with socks on my hands. However, my brain is apparently pretty active while sleeping because I would take off the socks and scratch. Scratching may feel better, but it does not help. Do your best not to scratch. Also, do not freak out if you have this rash, according to my dermatologist and midwives, it is completely normal. It is found most often on the stomach (usually starts here), legs, chest and arms. It usually does not appear on your face, palms of your hands or feet. If you are experiencing this rash, I hope these suggestions have been somewhat helpful. Please remember that I am not a doctor and this is simply based on my own experience with PUPPP.

The most effective method I found was in fact the most natural which is nice to know that we really don't need all that stuff they try to sell us. All I really need is an aloe plant and an ice pack.