My Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ Sᴛʀᴇᴛᴄʜ Mᴀʀᴋs Were Actually A Sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍ Of Something Else

Summer Bostock 29, from Brisbane, Queensland was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ with the ᴘᴀɪɴꜰᴜʟ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ ᴘᴏʟʏᴍᴏʀᴘʜɪᴄ ᴇʀᴜᴘᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏꜰ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ (ⓅⒺⓅ) which, while ʜᴀʀᴍʟᴇss to mum and baby while ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ with her son Izaiah. She woke up at 30 weeks during a normal ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ with new lines on her expanding sᴛᴏᴍᴀᴄʜ, ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅshe ᴀɢᴏɴɪsɪɴɢ ᴘᴀɪɴ. Sʜᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ pictures show the ʜᴏʀʀɪꜰɪᴄ ᴇxᴛᴇɴᴛ of Summer Bostock’s ‘ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢʏ,’ which occurred virtually overnight a month-and-a-half before her first child, Izaiah, was due. Starting on her ʙᴇʟʟʏ, the ᴘᴀɪɴꜰᴜʟ, red ʙʟᴏᴛᴄʜᴇs sᴘʀᴇᴀᴅ up her ʙᴀᴄᴋand down her ʟᴇɢs, soon covering her ᴇɴᴛɪʀᴇ ʙᴏᴅʏ – only to ᴠᴀɴɪsʜ within hours of Izaiah’s birth.

Summer and IT worker husband Daniel, also 29, were excited when she fell ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ with Izaiah. Then, one morning at 30 weeks, following a normal ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ, she noticed new lines on her expanding sᴛᴏᴍᴀᴄʜ. Initially unconcerned, she said: ” I woke up to heaps of sᴛʀᴇᴛᴄʜ ᴍᴀʀᴋs. I just thought it was normal, but pretty unfair. Then, suddenly, there were more lines. They started to raise and a ʀᴀsʜ appeared.” The ᴍᴀʀᴋs began ɪᴛᴄʜɪɴɢ and ᴅᴇsᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴇ Summer headed to her ⒼⓅ, who provided a soothing cream and mild sᴛᴇʀᴏɪᴅ. When that failed to work, she took a bath in ᴘᴏʀʀɪᴅɢᴇ ᴏᴀᴛs – knowing that oatmeal has ᴀɴᴛɪ-ɪɴꜰʟᴀᴍᴍᴀᴛᴏʀʏ ᴘʀᴏᴘᴇʀᴛɪᴇs and has long been used to ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛ skin ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴs, ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴇᴄᴢᴇᴍᴀ. Sᴀᴅʟʏ, Summer’s porridge bath proved fruitless. She said:” That didn’t do anything either.”

So, four weeks later, she returned to her ⒼⓅ, who gave her more ᴏɪɴᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, which again failed to stop the ɪᴛᴄʜɪɴɢ.  Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs confirmed the ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs, but said there was little they could do, advising that the ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ would clear up on its own. Summer recalled :” The ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ said, ‘You’re basically ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢɪᴄ to your baby’. Since having Izaiah, I’ve seen other examples of ⓅⒺⓅ, but none as ʙᴀᴅ as mine. It had really flared up. It was so, so ɪᴛᴄʜʏ. I was in ᴀɢᴏɴʏ. By this point, I ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ even have showers, because the touch of the water against my skin was too much. I would ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛ, the ɪᴛᴄʜɪɴɢ was so intense, and at night I ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ sleep, I’d just cling to Daniel’s hands.”

ⓅⒺⓅ, also known as PUPPP (Pʀᴜʀɪᴛɪᴄ Uʀᴛɪᴄᴀʀɪᴀʟ Pᴀᴘᴜʟᴇs and Pʟᴀǫᴜᴇs ᴏғ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ), has an unknown origin. Higher maternal weight growth during ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ increased birth weight, and ⓢⓔⓧʜᴏʀᴍᴏɴᴇs have all been linked in studies, although this has yet to be established. It is thought to be related to the stretching of the skin on the ᴀʙᴅᴏᴍᴇɴ. Somehow the ʀᴀsʜ develops as a sort of ‘ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢʏ’ to the sᴛʀᴇᴛᴄʜ ᴍᴀʀᴋs and spreads elsewhere on the body. It is most common in a first ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ, when the ᴀʙᴅᴏᴍᴇɴ is tightest and develops late in ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ.

By 37 weeks’ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ, the ᴘᴀɪɴ was so ɪɴᴛᴇɴsᴇ she was admitted to Redlands Hᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ in Cleveland, Brisbane. She said:” The ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ sᴛᴀғғ crowded around me, as they hadn’t seen a ᴄᴀsᴇ so ʙᴀᴅ before. They looked after me, but were also ғᴀsᴄɪɴᴀᴛᴇᴅ.” Four days later, on January 20, 2012, Izaiah, now five, was induced. He arrived by Cᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ, because his ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ʀᴀᴛᴇ started dropping during labour, although this wasn’t linked to the ʀᴀsʜ. Summer said:” As soon as he arrived, weighing 7lb 60z, the ʀᴀsʜ started to clear. By the next day, it had virtually gone. So, yes, I was actually ᴀʟʟᴇʀɢɪᴄ to my boy. Since having Izaiah, I’ve seen other examples of ⓅⒺⓅ, but none as ʙᴀᴅ as mine. It’s only when I see the pictures I remember the ᴘᴀɪɴ he ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ me.”

Despite her ɴᴇɢᴀᴛɪᴠᴇexperience, Summer fell ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ again, twice with two more sons. Although it is believed that ⓅⒺⓅ is more common in expectant mums carrying boys, as there may be a link to ᴛᴇsᴛᴏsᴛᴇʀᴏɴᴇ, she was fine with her second and third boys, Elijah, three, and Josiah, one. Now, she cannot believe her eldest ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ her such ᴀɢᴏɴʏ. She said:” It’s only when I see the pictures I remember the ᴘᴀɪɴ he ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ me. Then it all comes flooding back, never again.”

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