Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Well, today I am 26w5d pregnant, and I figured it was time for an update about how this pregnancy has really been going. Time to fess up as to why I have been such a blog slacker during such an important time.

Back in December, I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis gravidarum. This is basically "morning" sickness that is beyond control. I truly use the term "morning" VERY loosely. Every second of every day is truly more accurate. I am going to share my story, but I am going to include this link that is an amazing resource. If you think you may suffer from this in your own pregnancy, or you have a friend or a loved one who may be suffering ( or you are just curious), I urge you to check this out:
WWW.helpher.org.

I also really want to be sensitive to any readers are are still TTTC. Many of you know that my journey to pregnancy was not an easy one, and as it turns out, my pregnancy has followed suit. I am going to share some really honest thoughts here about my pregnancy, and for those of you still struggling, despite the fact that you know I struggled, too- this may be hard for you to read. I know when I was in the trenches, under NO circumstances did I want to hear anyone complaining about her pregnancy. I would never want to cause any of you any additional pain and sadness....

So, here goes...
At about 6 and a half weeks, the queasiness really set in. Now, during this time, I was still in limbo as my u/s showed "something" , but given my history, no one was ready to call this a viable pregnancy yet. The only thing that was encouraging me was the fact that I felt like crap (I have to laugh, in hindsight... If I knew what was to come... I would have thought that I felt great.) At 7w 5d, I had a bleeding scare- it was a Sunday, I called the RE, and he said to come in the next day. At 7w6d, I got out of bed, sad about what I thought was ahead ( an u/s to confirm yet another m/c) and I made my way to the shower. Somewhere between the bedroom and bathroom, I felt like a truck had hit me. No sooner did I get to the bathroom, did I start throwing up- uncontrollably. I had to wake up R to help me to get ready to go to work. I was going in for a half day before my u/s. The short version of this is that I started throwing up that day... and NEVER stopped.

I made it through 4 days of work that week, and wound up having to take Friday off and Monday of the following week. While attempting to go to work, I threw up before work, on the way to work ( yes, I drove with a plastic bag on my lap), at work ( as a teacher, this was awful as mid-sentence, I would simply have to run out of the room). While at home, it honestly got to the point that it was just easier to curl up on the bathroom floor than to go back to bed. I knew it was usually a matter of a 15-30 minute time span before I would be back again anyway. Nothing helped, crackers, sea bands, ginger, ginger-ale, preggie pops, you name it, I tried it. I wound up missing Thanksgiving, and my OB put me on Zofran, an anti nausea drug. At first, the Zofran helped in the sense that I was not throwing up as much. The constant nausea was still there, but I was throwing up less. I was still trying to tell myself "at least you are pregnant, this is awful right now, but at least you are pregnant". I even went as far as to prop my tiny little u/s picture on the back to the toilet to remind myself that this was all worth it.

After about a week and a half, the Zofran started to lose its effectiveness and I was pretty much back to constantly throwing up, missing work, and feeling ( and this is not even me being dramatic) like I was going to die.

On December 14th, I went to work, but got so violently ill, I had to leave. I went home and for the next 24 hours, I literally threw up every 15 minutes. I could not even keep sips of gingerale down. By about 1:00 the next day, after such violent illness that I was pretty sure I had pulled some muscles in my side from retching, I called R at work and told him to come home- that I needed to get to the hospital. We called my OB, she said to get to the ER immediately, and off we went.
2 bags of anti-nausea meds , 4 bags of IV fluids ,and about 4 hours later... I was still no better off. I remember looking down at myself while laying there thinking how awful I looked. My skin was sallow with no elasticity and I was skin and bones- thanks to all of this I had officially lost 15 pounds. I remember starting to cry and feeling like I was never going to stop. They had me try to drink some gingerale, and when I still could not keep that down, they admitted me. At 12 weeks, I was already going to spend a night on the L&D floor.

They hydrated the heck out of me all night and the next day when my Dr. came to see me, I was officially diagnosed with Hyperemesis. She explained to me that there were things we could try to try to get me some relief and to keep me from constantly dehydrating. So, what wound up happening is I was put on a Zofran pump, that constantly pumped me full of anti-nausea meds. It was like a fanny pack I wore that either went into my leg or belly ( I had to change the infusion site each night- thanks to infertility, at least we were already used to sticking me with needles) and I spent the next 10 days on IV therapy at home- yes, I had an authentic IV pole in my bedroom.
Beyond not being able to eat or drink, oh and the constant puking, HG has some other fun side effects. I could not even really watch TV. The flashing of the lights on the TV would instantly induce nausea. To this day, I still have have to watch TV with all of the lights on or the contrast of darkness and flashing lights will have me running to the bathroom. I could barely get on the computer for more than a few minutes ( same concept) and I could not read. I laid in bed in a dark cocoon of misery. I missed Christmas, I missed everything, I was missing out on a pregnancy that I worked my ass off to achieve.

So, allow me to describe my emotions during this time. I felt robbed, I felt cheated, I felt guilty that I was harming my baby-I was downright depressed. For days on end, I would lay in bed, stare at the celling and think the unthinkable- that I wished I had never gotten pregnant. Yes, I will admit it- a woman who it took 3 1/2 years to conceive , countless procedures, and pure and genuine heartbreak- I wished that I had never gotten pregnant. I felt so guilty as I had not eaten, taken a pre-natal vitamin, done anything that I knew my baby needed me to do- I felt like a big fat failure. I simply cannot describe to you what it feels like to have such debilitating illness- to not be able to get out of bed- to constantly live in a state of nausea and vomiting, to have n0 contact with the outside world- during the holidays- after all I have been through- these were the absolute darkest days of my life. And I would spend my days beating myself up for feeling that way when I finally had the little miracle that I had prayed so hard for.

So... I went back to work in January after break- me and my big pump. I struggled through each day and fell into bed at about 6:00 each night. I still could barely eat- but I was doing it. Somewhere around 19 weeks, the weaned me off the pump and started me on oral anti-nausea meds again, and we hoped for the best.

So, now I have almost completed my 26th week, and while I have to say that I am in a MUCH better place than I was in December and January, this is all still very hard. I still get sick, I still have a very limited diet- I have about 5 things that I can eat and about 2 things I can drink that I can usually keep down. I have started to gain a little of my weight back and I finally look pregnant- but I still get sick. I still have days where I feel like I have been run over by a train, I can't ever make plans because I truly never know how I am going to feel when I get out of bed each day. I do have more good days- but make no mistake- a good day means that I did not puke- the constant nausea is always present. I am limited in my wardrobe, anything around my neck- instant sickness. Anything tight at the top of my ribcage ( this makes wearing a bra a challenge)- instant nausea. Anything tight on my belly- instant nausea. I now have terrible acid reflux- so when I do vomit, it is like vomiting fire. Unfortunately, this is going to be my fate until the day I deliver. And some days- I still get really pissed. I hear of women who loved being pregnant, who look great, who glow, who got that 2nd trimester burst of energy, who got to go on babymoons - and I feel angry and robbed. Getting pregnant was so damn ridiculously hard- I can't help but feel I should have been given a free pass on this. I know that some of this probably makes me seem so awful- but I am just being honest. I really do urge you to check out the above site as it will truly give you some insight into what it is like living with this condition.

But, despite all this... the little embryo that could... has grown into my beautiful little boy. And despite how hard this all has been... just typing those words... "my little boy", is enough to bring tears to my eyes. He is doing okay. He is measuring on track and all appears to be well- despite the fact that I feel like I have been the worst mother so far. But, he reassures me with his little pokes and his little kicks. So, as I crawl into bed each night, exhausted from just getting through the day, I love to lay there and feel him squirm around. He reminds me that all of this will have been worth it, and come June... my life will finally be complete.



17 comments:

wait, what? said...

I'm sorry to hear that pregnancy has been so difficult for you. Wishing you the best these next few months. I'm sure your son will make everything worthwhile.

Sar(Mrs.Teddy) said...

I am so sorry that you are going thru that. I remember being very sick (I did not have HEG but Gallbladder problems-I threw up everyday until & thru delivery). However it sounds like you are suffering even more. I know you lnpw this but I promise its all worth it, every second of it. You are a wonderful mother. just the fact that you are concerned about what you cannot do proves that. I hope that you get soem relief and are able to enjoy a few weeeks of your pregnancy, I had 4 really wonderful weeks from about 28-32 weeks.

webmaster said...

Sorry to read about all your suffering. I couldn't find your e-mail address on your blog, but if you'd like a free copy of Ashli McCall's 500-page book on hyperemesis (Beyond Morning Sickness), please write me at webmaster.beyondmorningsickness@gmail.com and I'd be glad to rush you one.

Lacey D. said...

Once again, I feel as if I can relate completely. Almost everything that you have said, is something that I have gone through. The feelings, the sickness, the emotions! I have a meeting with my Dr. on Monday to see about getting my good friend, the Zofran pump. I am extremely close to going on disability for this as getting through each day is truly a miracle in itself. I really hope that you somehow get through this last trimester feeling as best you can. Sometimes, I am truly terrified that the sickness won;t go away after delivery... Big Hugs to you my dear!!

Mrs E said...

Thank you for being so open and honest with your readers -- I am so sorry your road to beginning your family has had such struggles.

You are not the "worst mother" as you are not doing this intentionally.

Hang in there.... you are a great mother for doing everything you can to stay healthy despite ALL of your road blocks

jessica56 said...

I am soo sorry that your pregnancy has been so incredibly difficult. I applaud your story and your honesty- there are no judgements here- you are doing an amazing thing. You have already shown what an amazing woman and MOM you are to your little boy.

Thinking of you and hoping you feel well!

pass said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rebekah said...

Don't feel that you need to apologize for the way you feel. I had nauseau and threw up until the day H was born, and I was miserable. It was no where close to how bad you've had it, so I can't even imagine. I hope you are able to enjoy more and more days before your little boy gets here. You're an amazing mommy already!!

albjag said...

I am glad you are starting to feel better. I feel so bad that you have to endure this after all you've been through. Don't feel guilty- this is beyond your control- and nobody wants to feel miserable 24/7. Your little boy sounds like he's right on track. Can't wait to 'meet' him. I hope you keep getting better and are able to enjoy yourself soon. ((hugs))

thecalmafterthestorm said...

I agree with Rebekah, there is no need to apologize! Reading your post makes me feel so much better as I can relate to much of it. I feel bad writing in my blog just how bad I feel since it took so long for us to get here. I also have had the "I wish I was never pregnant thoughts" while laying in a hospital bed getting pumped full of meds just to throw up again as soon as I stand.
I am glad you are starting to feel better! I hope it continues to improve. Oh, and I think you look great for being so sick.

Marcu said...

You poor thing! I knew it was bad, but I just didn't know how bad it has been. I have been pretty sick this pregnancy, but NO WHERE near as sick as you. I am amazed you have kept it together as well as you have. It is an emotional journey even when you feel good! I hope you get some more relief and that the rest of your pregnancy is a little less stressful.

Hopeful34 said...

Kelly my heart breaks for you. My sister went through the same thing and was hospitalized for 3wks and it was very close for both of them. I too am very sick at times but luckily zofran has worked for me for the most part. Yes the nausea is still there but i can eat and keep it down as long as i'm taking zofran. Everyone keeps telling me it means a healthy pregnancy and lowers your chances of miscarriage. It's hard to hear when you haven't eaten in weeks and throw up at the sight of most foods. I thought i was bad before reading this...I too complained and cried and thought why did i do all i did to feel like this?? I felt very guilty as well. I am going to try to not complain about it now as it could be worse (you poor thing) DON'T feel guilty..even the strongest of the strong couldn't make it through what you are going through without being miserable. I so hope you wake up tomorrow and feel great. Lots of love to you girl! Hang in there. From what i hear it'll all be worth it in the end lol...

Lilcarciofo said...

I've had a very similar experience. Although it wasn't HG, I'm pregnant with triplets after years of trying and started Morning sickness (all day long) around 5wks and then got swine flu and was hospitalized. Between the swine flu taking a toll on my body and the weakness from throwing up and not eating, I could barely stand up. I had to take tamiflu and antibiotic and on an empty stomach because I couldn't eat! That only gave me more nausea. I also got severely dehydrated, couldn't eat or drink,couldn't watch tv, or use the computer. When my husband would eat, I had to lock myself in another room far away because I could smell everything so strongly. My dr took me out of work immediately as I'm a teacher also. I was literally MIA for quite some time. I wanted to die and couldn't believe this was happening. I have been on zofran since Jan. and at first lost a lot of weight. Only now, have I started to gain and people can't believe that I'm 19 wks pg with triplets because I look so small. I'm happy that you had the courage to post everything you were feeling, because I felt all the EXACT same feelings and guilt. I was too ashamed to admit it to anyone because I thought everyone would lecture me. I cried whenever I was alone. IF was such a long journey but this has been horrific. Thank you and I hope you get some small moments of enjoyment! That's what I do, I live up the few fleeting moments when I DO feel good!

seekingsibling said...

Just catching up on your blog and needed to offer a big hug. Yay for the embie that could. SO not fair that it was so hard to get PG and then you got so so so sick :(

Becky said...

Thank you for this post. I'm dealing with a milder case of HG than it sounds like you had, but it's been tough. I'm scared I'm only at the beginning being only 9 weeks.

Beyond Morning Sickness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beyond Morning Sickness said...

I'm so sorry you're suffering from HG! If you write to me by going to the contact page at www.beyondmorningsickness.com, or e-mailing webmaster.beyondmorningsickness@gmail.com, I'll send you three free books about HG. I can also find local volunteers to advocate for you and offer emotional support, and refer you to an HG specialist in your area.