Sociably Surviving Hyperemesis

I turned 30 on August 7.

I found out I was pregnant on August 14.  Even on my birthday, I knew.

I knew something wasn’t quite right.  Why was I so tired?  Why was I so weak?  Why was I feeling sea-sick while standing still?  The answer became clear after I took that lovely at home test.

To be honest, as much as I wanted one more baby, I wasn’t ready.  My husband was transitioning into a new job, we were entering into a new season in our life.  Heck, our 3 children were now all in school.  It took a few days for it to sink in:  Here I am, 30 years old, having what will probably be my last baby.

Exciting and frightening all at the same time.

Of course, I had to call my doctor right away.  I was diagnosed with POTS earlier in the year, and after having 3 babies while dealing with NCS, I was scared to think what these added conditions might do to the pregnancy.

At 8 weeks pregnant, I went to the doctor, and came back with a prescription for Zofran, which had worked wonderfully with my first pregnancies.  I mean, for them, I was sick for a couple of weeks, max.

So why wasn’t it doing anything?  Why was I still so nauseous?  I mean, I wasn’t getting really sick yet, just here and there, but I was so nauseous I couldn’t eat anything, and drinking anything made it worse…

It became quite clear, early in this pregnancy, that this was not going to be “normal”.

What is hyperemesis gravidarum?

Depending on what resources you look at, some will list it as “Morning Sickness lasting through the entire pregnancy.”  Others will list it as “Severe.”  But what make HG what it truly is, is when a woman is dehydrated and losing weight in the pregnancy, putting herself and her baby at risk.  Only 0.5%-2% of pregnancies will receive this diagnosis.  And yes, the condition can be life threatening.  Which is why moms need to know that “really bad morning sickness” is a big deal, and not to be taken lightly: if you go a day without being able to keep any food or drinks down, call your OB! And if someone tells you to “toughen up,” remember, it’s all about the baby!

So, why am I writing this? 

Because, hyperemesis gravidarum  is not widely know, and hardly understood.  Many women who suffer from it often don’t get the support they need, from the people around them, and sometimes even their physicians.

Why did I wait so long to start writing?

Well, actually, I didn’t.  I just waited to publish.  HG can be very dangerous, for mother and baby; my husband and I waited until we had a few ultrasounds in to make sure the baby was OK before we went public with my pregnancy.  (We got a lot of flack from some people, mainly our prayer warrior friends, for not telling them sooner.  Sorry – you can blame Steve!)  But at 20 weeks, we saw our precious baby and knew it was OK to share our news.

What will you be reading?

Well, I’ll probably start with some older writings, giving a background and my experiences the first 20 weeks, then catch up to where things are now.

Being of the Christian faith, prayer has been a large part of my journey.  I’m told daily “We’re praying for you,” and often I feel bad when I say my condition hasn’t improved.  In my moments of weakness, I cried out “Why am I going through this?  Is this just another attack, is something great coming that the enemy doesn’t want me to do?  Or is there a lesson that I need to learn?  And God’s response to me has been “Yes, something great is coming.  And yes, there is a lesson; but it’s not for you to learn.”  I don’t know what that means.  Perhaps someone will come in to my life that I will guide through this.  Maybe my daughters will also develop this condition.

Or maybe there is some mom out there right now, scared and confused, feeling alone and disregarded because of their “morning sickness” that just won’t go away.  Fellow mom – you ARE NOT alone!

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