9 years old…
I rescheduled my 12 week appointment. I’d lost 3 lbs in the 2 weeks since I’d been there. My blood pressure, due to the NCS/POTS has always been very low, but it was really low at this visit.
On a plus side, I heard the baby’s heartbeat. Only one – everyone that we’d told at this point assumed that I must be carrying twins, and that was causing my sickness.
Doctor gave me a perspiration for Phenergan, but said it was not something to take unless I was home and not needing to go anywhere for a while. My doctor told me to not worry about eating, my appetite would come in due time. But I needed to get fluids in me; at least 60 oz. I was told, if things didn’t improve by the end of the week, I’d be put on IV fluids. That scared me.
So I went home, took the Phenergan. No joke, I was asleep on the couch in 20 minutes, and slept for 4 hours. I woke up to get sick.
So the end of the week came, and things didn’t improve. In fact, they were getting worse. I couldn’t keep down any fluids, and the though of eating anything made me sick, so I didn’t even bother.
I guess if you’ve never experienced morning sickness that’s lasted more than a week or 2, you might not get it. And if you’re a guy, you have NO IDEA at all what it feels like.
Let me break it down for you. Have you ever had a stomach flu? or food poisoning? It took a lot out of you, right? You felt like you spent all day in the bathroom, right? And the last thing you wanted was to eat or drink something, in fear of it coming back up. But the relief you felt knowing that it’s only going to last a few days… Yea, imagine all that, except you don’t know when it’s going to stop. That’s HG.
I made the call on Friday, and at 1:30 I found myself in the Intervention Radiology department, having a PICC Line put in. They numbed my arm well enough, but the procedure itself was fairly long, and awkward. The Nurse was being observed, as he was being introduced to a brand new “kit” that had its own procedures. They were carrying on a conversation while he put 45cm catheter in my arm and chest.
My arm was so sore, I wanted to put a heating pad on it, but that was a no-no. And taking a normal shower? Not going to happen with that thing on my arm. I’d have to wrap my arm with plastic wrap every time I wanted to take a shower.
The next morning I received my delivery of 7 days of 4000 ml of Fluids, and met my nurse Bridget. She was great, and it was nice to know that she’d seen many patients with similar symptoms, and were fine after a few weeks. She was upset because the nutrients that were ordered for me were not delivered… in fact, there was a nation-wide back order. I supposed that since I was getting the fluids, that was the most important part.
But I felt so guilty: I couldn’t take my prenatal vitamins, I couldn’t eat. Was my baby really ok?
The first 2 months of my pregnancy were spent sleeping, spitting up, and spending time with my family. In that order.
I was so exhausted.
At my 8 week visit, they gave me my Zofran, and told me to try adding B6 vitamins. The problem… The only B6 tabs I could find were 100mg, and I was only suppose to take 25mg. Grrrrr! Found some online later, but I wanted them right away, not wait 3-5 days for shipping. I also got some sea-bands to help.
I didn’t really see any improvement.
Anyone who has had babies knows that you will most likely get sick for a few weeks, at most. But in my first 3 pregnancies, it was pretty routine… First thing in the morning, then maybe in the afternoon. But there really wasn’t a lot of nausea involved. It would kinda just happen.
So why was EVERYTHING making me sick? Brushing my teeth, drinking, eating, walking, driving the car, laying perfectly still in bed? Seriously? Getting up at 2 and 4AM to get sick? Really?
I knew something was wrong.
It didn’t help much that we had plans to be at Cedar Point around the 8 week mark. I’d only just begun to tell my co-workers, and I was going for a work event. Obviously, I wasn’t going on rides. However I did take my 7 year old daughter to the kids areas. I got sick just watching her – several times in fact. I’m sure that staff at Cedar Point is familiar with people getting sick, but I’d assume they were not the spectators…
That day was the first day when the so-called “morning sickness” really became more than a nuisance.
It was at the 8 week point when my appetite completely disappeared. And drinking anything – yea right.
The only thing I was able to keep down were the shakes I got everyday at New-Trition, and it took me a long time to finish the 16oz shakes. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them. Usually I was more of a berry shake kinda person, but the only shakes that tasted good, and stayed down, is a shake called Monster Cookie.
Called the doctor.. going back at 10 weeks instead of 12…
Due to my POTS, my doctor told me that it was OK for me to have caffeine. The average pregnant woman is allowed 12oz of a caffeinated beverage each day. Because of my low BP and not being able to take my meds, I was allowed to double that.
Even in the summer, I have the coldest office at work. So pre-pregnancy I was have 3 or 4 cups of hot tea every day.
|My Favorite Mug|
Around the 7 week mark, my beloved tea started to taste… off. I knew there was no way it could be bad, tea lasts forever, right? And I’d been drinking the same tea the week before. So why does it taste off? Adding lemon, honey or more sugar didn’t help.
So not only am I nauseated, but now my favorite beverage tastes yucky. Great.
And then I got sick after I (finally) finished a cup. I think I’m done drinking tea for a while.
I usually have a sweet tooth, but sweets taste too sweet. I’m usually a Pepsi person, but this baby prefers Coke. My husband thinks that maybe this baby will FINALLY get me to try a piece of beef (which I’ve not eaten since I was 15). At this rate, who knows.
They say that you will crave what your baby needs. All I want is… well, nothing.
6 Weeks Pregnant.
My kids are back in school now. The minute the get on the bus, I’m on the couch trying to get some rest before I go to work in an hour. But mostly I spend it getting sick.
Up until this week, I’d just been really tired. But now, I’m getting sick. First thing in the morning. Then again a couple of hours later. And then again, and again. Even woke up a few times in the middle of the night, just to get sick. I don’t know which is worse: loosing your lunch, or spitting up bile.
Yea, maybe when you have the flu.
Usually, I love Canada Dry Ginger Ale. It’s always been a favorite, sick or not. But after that first time you get sick after drinking it… it’s enough to make you not want to even look at it.
It’s summer still, the weather is still pretty warm, but I tried making soup. Ahhh, no.
This is normal though, I should be sick for a week or 2, then it will be gone and I can enjoy the rest of my pregnancy.
Thinking back to my first 3, I was sick with Samantha during the 10th/11th week. It was exam week. I was graduating on Saturday, and we were saying our final goodbyes to Steve’s Grandma Lucy on Sunday. It was a bad time to be sick, but I wasn’t that sick.
With Emmalee, I honestly didn’t know I was pregnant with her until I was 12 weeks, there was no morning sickness.
With Steven, I did have about 2 weeks of being sick around the 8 week mark, but it was really just in the morning.
So this should pass soon… but why does it feel so different this time?
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!
Over the last 7 1/2 years, I’ve donated over 50 INCHES to be made into wigs for cancer patients through Pantene Beautiful Lengths!
I’m thankful to be able to give something, even as simple as my hair, to those who are going through a difficult time. If my tiny gesture, small sacrifice, can bring a smile to someone’s face, than it was all worth it.
17in, Oct. 2007 (at La Luna),
18in, Spring 2009 (Thank you Cara)
17in, summer 2011 (Thank you Jenn)…
My youngest child (for now), my little man, my premie baby. He’s all grown up now, he’s lost his 2 front teeth. Less than 10 hours apart.
I woke up to my kids screaming; I thought something was wrong. Pregnant women don’t usually move as quickly as I did. So they came running to me. And there it was, my little guy, holding his first baby tooth.
When his sisters lost their teeth, they were loose for over a month. The adult teeth were actually growing in behind the baby teeth (it was actually kinds weird, I’d never seen that before.) And they lost their first (and second) tooth just around their 6th birthdays
But for him, a few days of wigglers, and it was out. He said he touched it with his tongue and it just fell out. A whole month earlier than his sisters did.
At dinner that night, I asked him how his other tooth felt. It was barely hanging on. So I told him to get me a tissue. I didn’t even have to pull. It just fell out.
So now, my baby boy, my sickly little premie, my first child to need stitches and surgery, is without his front teeth.
That’s when it really started for me. Something about 8 and 9-year-old kids, especially girls, that this age is when they try to test the power of control over others.
I’d experienced it for myself, and now I’m starting to see it affecting my daughter.
I’d been made fun of for the clothes that I wore, how long my hair was, my slight Boston accent, stupid petty things. And yet, it really affected me. No matter how hard I’d try to ignore it, I couldn’t avoid it. It continued through junior high and high school; I couldn’t avoid it.
And now it’s my daughter’s turn. She was telling us about a situation, and she told us she tried to talk to the girl, but it sounded like she was trying to dish it back, and failing at it. She was being made fun of because of how she wears her hair, and because she did Bible Quizzing.
I sat and talked with her, trying not to cry. I told her that just because that girl might like the headbands with lots of sparkles and big bows, doesn’t mean she has to. They don’t stay in her hair very well. And if it’s “too long” (as I was often teased for), maybe she’s jealous because her mom cuts her hair short. My daughter has hair that most women swoon over, asking to borrow her for a little while to take to their colorist so they can get color just like hers.
My daughter is not athletic… she’s tried sports, but they’re just not her thing. She’s not a bad runner though, but she doesn’t want to be a runner. She likes music and reading. I’m not going to force her into team sports unless she wants to try it. But she loves Bible Quizzing. She’s proud of the work that she’s done. But in a public school, she doesn’t get an opportunity to share her experiences and talents. Other kids who aren’t active in a church don’t see this as a real activity. She should be proud of her hard work, and even if the kids at school don’t recognize her accomplishments, I know many parents who are.
As she was getting ready for school today, I told her that if someone is trying to say something to bring you down, just walk away. If they continue bothering you, and it’s hard to ignore them, just pray for them; because even if they don’t seem likable at that moment, Jesus still loves them.
As a mom, who was in her shoes, I just want to protect her. But most importantly, I need to let her grow and handle things on her own.
Have you had to deal with mean girls? How did you deal with it?
My little guy was the first of my kids to need a procedure done.
He had his adenoids out a few days ago, though we’ve been planning for this for a couple of months (delayed due to weather and pregnancy issues.)
Aside from his awful snoring, and possible sleep apnea, his speech and hearing was greatly affected by the 85% blockage his adenoids had caused. We’d been slowly preparing him for this day, calling it a procedure, and not a surgery. I don’t know why, that just sounded better to us. When we did use the word “surgery,” it was our daughters who freaked out, not him.
The night before we let him stay up to hydrate and snack. I think he outlasted daddy, who fell asleep on the couch at 10, Steven went to bed shortly after. The next morning, we let him stay in bed until we had to go, we didn’t want to have to worry about him asking for breakfast. But he didn’t, thankfully.
He brought his favorite puppy with him, and when we were checking in, they even gave puppy a wrist band. He hated having to put on the hospital pajamas, and when they said he couldn’t wear his underwear, just incase he had an accident, he asked if he had to wear a baby diaper (so cute).
The nurses all adored him. Anytime someone new came in the room, they’d ask “Can you tell me you’re whole name?” and all giggled when he did… something about the way he said “The Third” I think. The anesthesiologist came in to talk with us, again, he was quite impressed with how thorough the answers to his questions Steven gave him.
The anesthesiologist gave me some advice regarding the baby… he could see I was having contractions. When I told him I was only 31 weeks he explained why the steroid shots are good, and that if I can make it past at least 32 weeks, baby will be perfectly fine. He filled it with a lot of technical stuff, which I tried to look like I was listening to, but I was here for Steven today.
Steven started to freak out a bit after all the nurses left, and then he heard “Dr. Duck.” Dr. Merrill was absolutely fabulous, and made Steven feel so much better. And me, for that matter. I hated saying goodbye to my guy, but I knew he was in good hands.
And quick hands too. The procedure was done in less than 20 minutes. I was so anxious to see him. I guess when it was over and they stopped the anesthesia, he woke up and freaked out. So they gave him more “giggle gas” to calm him down.
When they brought me to him, he looked so sad. The nurses were trying to feed him a mashed up popsicle, but he didn’t want it. He just wanted to go home. And he was mad that there was no TV – the nurses told him in pre-op that he could watch TV.
He got sick as he was being wheeled out to the car, which I was afraid of. But also kinda glad it didn’t happen in the car.
He just relaxed and watched cartoons for a few hours, we both napped for a bit (stressful day for a pregnant mom). When he woke up, with the exception of a raspy voice, he was almost normal. I took the advice of friends and programmed his Tylenol/Motrin doses for every 3 hours, on the dot, and that seemed to keep any pain away. He wasn’t 100%, but was playing with his toys, and looking at books and moving around just fine.
Two days later, not so much. I really wanted to take my daughters to their JBQ tournament (Thank you Dillingham Family!), but due to my condition and Steven, hubby wouldn’t let me take the almost 4 hour drive. Which, as much as I hated it, ended up being a good thing. Poor guy did not have a good morning, and refused to get out of bed for several hours. I kept up with his meds, but it took a while to get him up and going.
Now, therapy foods: Room temperature definitely worked best for him. I had purchased PediaSure, pudding and Jell-o, as well as Go-Gurts and Ice-Pops. He really only wanted the pudding, Jell-o and PediaSure. Oh, and my Shakes from New-Trition (though I made him his own at home without ice). He really wanted a grilled cheese sandwich, but I was told not to let him eat until day 4 or 5. He didn’t like that so much.
We went in to this procedure knowing that his adenoids were huge, and that was affecting the number, and severity, of his ear infections, which in turn affected hearing and speech. Within the first day, we noticed improvements. The first time I heard him say “Samantha” and not “Saman-ta” I almost cried.
Thanks again to Dr. Merrill for taking such amazing care of my son.