MY STORY

I was 24 years old and a newlywed when my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family. Five months into our marriage and a pregnancy test later, it was confirmed. We were going to have our first baby!

With the welcomed news came every emotion possible... Fear, anxiety, excitement, worry, joy, amazement... My head was instantly full of scenarios and plans, but I could never have planned for what was coming.

After a few days of being pregnant, I made some phone calls to spread my happy news. As I sat on the couch with the phone in one hand and m&m's in the other, I made the announcement to several friends. The wows and congratulations ended and the question kept coming up... "How are you feeling?" I clearly remember thinking I felt GREAT, how could that suddenly change?! I must be one of those lucky pregnant women, I thought.

WELL, a few days later...
I barfed. Once.
The next day, twice.
The third day? 23 times!
It kept up, EVERY day after that. My husband and I kept a log of every time I would vomit, because we were shocked that a person could throw up as many times as I would! Some days I threw up over 50 times! Hyperemesis hit me hard and fast and, for me, continued the whole entire nine, very long- not so beautiful months.

During that first pregnancy, I threw up over 400 times, lost 38 pounds, had 4 Picc-lines, visited the ER regularly and had to quit my job. I went days without being able to eat or drink anything and I watched as my body transformed into something weak and terrifying. I felt alone, miserable and completely debilitated. I was unable to do ANYTHING except lay in bed, afraid and helpless. Does this sound too dramatic? It's not.

When my baby was finally born, he was two weeks late, but healthy and perfect. He weighed 6.1 pounds and it was amazing that, somehow, I was miraculously able to give him the nourishment that he needed to survive during those awful 9 months that I barely survived.

The experience was dreadful, but my husband and I wanted a bigger family and in our naiveness
decided to have ONE more child. We took the chance, hoping, that the second pregnancy would be better. Of course, it wasn't and ended up being just as much torture as the first.

It took a personal endurance I didn't know was possible.

That pregnancy finally ended this past November, 2009, when I gave birth to our second baby boy. I threw up SEVERAL hundred times, had a Picc line for over 6 months, lost 35 pounds, visited the ER 7 times and spent weeks admitted in the Hospital.

One doctor told me I would've been died in hours if I hadn't come in one particular day. I know he was right, because I literally felt like life was sucked out of me.

It's disturbing that I always had to present a huge case to "prove" to Doctors and sometimes friends, that I was actually sick...
At one point, I had the same ER doctor three times in a row and she was mad that I kept coming back, even though she'd need to give me IVs but I was too dehydrated for them to find veins, or she'd order blood tests and they'd end up admitting me for days because of mineral deficiencies. She kept saying morning sickness is "typical", "stay home where it's comfortable". Yes, morning sickness is typical, but this was NOT morning sickness. So, stay home?! Comfortable? Um, no to both.

I found that there is little compassion and little awareness out there when it comes to HG.

I've searched for answers, reasons or solutions. I tried products and remedies without results.

Although, my two little boys were definitely worth the health risks, the struggle to bring them into this world was almost unbearable. It took an enormous amount of endurance, prayers, suffering, tears and the support of amazing people to get me through it.

I am 27 years old now and terrified to ever get pregnant again. Our plan for a big family feels impossible. I am hoping to find answers, so maybe- just maybe- I could have another baby someday. If you have or are experiencing hyperemesis or know anything about it, I would love to hear your thoughts, remedies, research or about your own experience.

27 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am working on a downloadable devotional guide for women with HG. It's one of my goals for 2010. I want to have it ready for distribution on my daughter's 3rd birthday - this July. HG was devastating for me, and I only made it through the love and understanding of God. I was so alone!! Your blog is a critical resource. I will be listing all HG blogs, and am happy to include your blog. Please keep in touch, and I will keep in touch with you. I am 42 and I won't be having any more babies, but my heart aches for women who must endure this.

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  2. Wow - just like reliving it all over again. It's so comforting to know that I wasn't the only one who went through this. I had a lot of support but no one could really understand. They basically thought it was just really bad morning sickness. And then to go through it a second time. I also thought it might be a different (and better) pregnancy. No such luck - it was worse. My doctor did tell me that there are new remedies out there so maybe the third time (should you decide to try) will be the charm. Great blog! Rock on!

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  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and telling me of your blog! I'm so excited to link to it and read about your experience! HG awareness is so important, and I'm always so happy to see information getting out there. You had a much more severe experience than I, and I'm looking forward to reading your blog.

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  4. I linked your blog to mine also. I know how you feel about not having the family you had planned for. I never planned for a big family, but I never planned for an only child either, though that's going to be the case for us. But, God, in his sovereignty, is seeing me through the sadness of ending my fertility a little sooner than planned and has filled my life with the joy that is a little boy! :) Thank you for your blog!!

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  5. My friend Mary told me about your blog! Thank you for posting. I am currently pregnant and have been suffering through HG without a lot of understanding. I am glad to know that there are others out there that have gone through the same thing!

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  6. I found your blog on The Whining Puker. I'm blogging also. Right now we're just in the prep stages.
    http://knockedupknockedover.wordpress.com/
    I'd love to link back to your blog. You've got fantastic information here, especially about the PICC! That you included a video is really awesome.

    --Molly

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  7. WOW! I believe every single word, as I too suffered from HG, I gave birth on 99, my baby is now 11 yrs old. I also endured all that you posted and more. Full term I only gained 1 lb, because I was losing weight each month. And yes, I was connected to IV for 6-7 mnths straight, changing my site every 3 dys. I was able to experience starvation, that's when you can't even walk because you dont have the energy or strength to do it. I was a spit machine every 5 sec and yes I vomited (looked like a glass of oj every am)and then all day, never counted it, but it must have been 25-40x a day, and it was only IV liquid, bcause that is all I had in my system. I threw up so much, I pop something in my brain? that I lost 1/2 of my facial movement for about 20 sec. and sometimes I would rupture some muscle on my back from bending to the sink so much. Was in the ER twice, and that is only because both of my brothers are in the medical field and both had a chance to connect me to my famous IV machine I had at home. When I bathed I hated it, the scent of soaps and shampoo got me sick, the phone ring got me sick, the birds chirping got me sick. I could actually smell anything and everything, from the septic tank to peoples flesh, I could still smell it. I slept most of my pregnancy. Work had to give me Long term leave of absence. Finally I was able to eat very bland foods at about my 8th and 9th month. It included soups, boiled chicken, tons of mandarins and tea. The only solid food I had was immediately after my delivery (ranch chicken sandwich from Dennys.)Please believe me that I threw many times every single day BUT the day I gave birth I did not! My delivery was the best thing, I loved every second of it, I drove myself, thinking they were gonna throw me outta there and sent me home. To tell you that I had to wait for the Dr. to just cut me so I dont rip and there came my 1st bundle of joy. Got a video to prove it, no drugs, no epi? Then 2 years later on 2001 I had my second child, yes and HG too but not as serious maybe 1/2 of all the suffering. Also had to wait 4 the Dc, he didn't even have a chance to put on his coat. Also loved every min of it. Remember I am comparing it to the 9mnths I had to carry my pregnancy. And yes I had all the pain of a normal delivery. Delivery just felt too good 4me. I would have rather delivered 10x that day than feel so sick for 9 mnths. Worth it? definitely. I'm happy to share my experience with you to encourage you. Both of my babies were born healthy, full term and normal weight. Would have done it again, but my hubby felt terrible 4me. Now you have the friendliness of a computer and blogs, and share stories etc. But back on 99 blogs and webpages and social nets were not popular nor in existence. Be happy! I did it! she did it! and so can YOU! Have ?'s contact me, I'll be happy to help. lizv_217@yahoo.com I'm Liz V from sunny Fl. The best comfort you could ever find is in God Almighty.

    If you have children that you carried while suffering from extreme HG I have a few ?'s that may help me clarify some doubts. As there are NO studies regarding affects on babys that received nourishment via their mother's IV, because obviously mothers couldn't retain the food. Please email me. lizv_217@yahoo.com

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  8. You are an AMAZING, woman and I am in awe of your strength and perseverance! I'm so glad you started a blog about HG, I'm sure you will help a lot of other women that have suffered or will suffer as you have.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your story. It's so important to get the word out about hg. I suffered so much, but am so happy to have a healthy little one to cuddle in my arms. Rachel, from http://hgsurvivor.wordpress.com/

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  10. If I were as sick as you, I probably would say, 2 kids is amazing! However, I also know the tug on the heart-strings. I had to wait 6 years after my last HG pregnancy to get brave enough to try it again. I'm afraid it's never going to get easy or maybe even better for you, but having older kids who can help take care or you & your household will make that part more manageable. I did every possible thing I could think of in the 6 years between pregnancy. I spent a lot of money on Drs & testing, checking for any problems, deficiencies, etc. I corrected all the deficiencies, starting taking lots of good vitamins, minerals, etc. I took really good care of my health- exercising at least 3-4 days a week & building up to being able to exercise (swim, bike, run) for 2 hours at a time. I stopped eating sugar in any added form, eats lots of fruits & veggies- tons of raw foods, stopped eating processed foods. I even went to a therapist to try to work out any psychological/emotional reasons for my sickness. Last year, after all this, I thought I was ready to try it again, but I wimped out. This year, I had the physical, mental & emotional strength to try it again.
    I am currently pregnant. I had major anxiety for 5 years thinking about getting pregnant, but felt there was one more.
    I started zofran right after I got a positive pregnacy test. (Dr & I had already arranged this) Things seemed to be going a lot better for the first several weeks, but every week has gotten harder. Tomorrow, they are placing my PICC line. Things have definitely been better than they were with my last one, but not good enough to keep my from getting dehydrated. I don't know if things are better because it's just the luck of the draw or if all that work I put in actually made a difference. I'm guessing luck of the draw, honestly. I will say, being healthy certainly isn't hurting my body or my pregnancy.
    I really don't know what I would think if I stayed so sick the entire pregnancy.(I was sick through 26 weeks last time) I will say, it is definitely easier & helpful that my kids are all older. It's a little weird having teenagers & having a baby, but they are so excited & very helpful. Time in between has definitely been a blessing for me.
    You are still young, so maybe after a few more years pass, you will have a better idea of whether or not you & your family want to go through another pregnancy. There is always a chance it will get a little better, but I wouldn't bet on it.
    I look at my little six year old & I still feel like it was worth the night-mare to get him here & part of our family. I feel the same way about my other kids & I know I will feel the same about this new one.
    Thanks for the great blog!

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  11. I have 3 children and I battled with HG with all three of them, however my last pregnancy was the worst. With the first 2 it only lasted until about 5 months and then I was able to eat again but with the last one it lasted until about 8 months, my kidneys starting shutting down and I wound up have to have surgery to remove kidney stones at about 7 months. The hardest part was people not truely believing that I was as sick as I was. I would often get, just eat crackers before you get out of bed, or you need to try to eat all the time, thankfully my midwife understood and helped me in anyway that she could. During my last pregnancy they put me on Medrol and it did help a tiny bit when I could keep it down. Three kids is all I am going to have I honestly don't think my body could handle another one, but during all of my preganancies I would read every blog that I would come across, they helped me realize that there were others out there just like me.

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  12. I too suffered with HG for two pregnancies. I also found that no single person on this planet seemed to understand what I was going through. The doctors and midwives just nodded and smiled saying, "morning sickness is really hard." My friends felt sympathetic but didn't understand. HG was just unknown. I was hospitalized with each but didn't have a PICC. I just had to go to the ER to get vitamin IV bags. I could take in bread. That's about it. At 7 months with my second daughter someone convinced me to try Unisom. It's a sleeping aid found over the counter. It doesn't take the nausea away but it stops the vomiting. I threw up once or twice a day while on it. The prescription medications didn't touch my symptoms. So I was thrilled this worked for me. I somehow came to the decision to try one more time for a boy. We got our boy! I took Unisom from the day we found out we were expecting and it definitely was different this last time. It was probably a combination of the opposite gender and the Unisom. I threw up plenty and had nausea the whole time but it wasn't debilitating. No trips to the ER! I could eat small simple meals and could get out into the world. Every person is different so I don't know how others would respond to Unisom but it seemed to be my miracle. I want to make sure that other HG sufferers at least know about it. Thank you for posting this blog. I hope that the world wises up to HG because it's a terrible thing to have to survive.

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  26. Hi there thank you for sharing your blog. Wow and I thought I was bad. Here is my story. Im currently pregnant with my 4th child. Sadly my 3rd boy passed away in January to SIDS. I have suffered HG extremely bad with my 2nd pregnancy and this one. Im only 9 weeks but boy im ill. I vomit 10 times a day. I went on a drip last week. And il go again tomorrow. All I vomit is liquid I feel at times im going to vomit my stomach out. Iv hurt my ribs again as like my 2nd pregnancy. Probably cracked again with all the pressure. I have piles to. My last pregnancy they picked up I have hyperthyroidism and now its up again. I take Propylthiouracil to bring it down. Just a thought for all those suffering this to check your thyroid levels. I have no energy and when I vomit my heart goes crazy when Iv calmed down I feel my heart skips beats. Do any of you get that. I have never been in hospital so im truly grateful for that. But I know how it feels to be so dehydrated that even your brain is empty. I know sounds weird. How did you guys cope. Its harder this time emotionally as I lost my baby boy and through all the vomiting and worrying if he would be ok. And he was all my boys where born healthy and strong. Thank you God. Praying this one will be to and me. I have never taken Zofran my gynae doesn't even know what it is. He told me to get Emex solution? Anyone tried that.

    People say youll get through it. They dont realise how hard it is. Wishing you all the best.

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  27. I'm so sorry you had such a hard time of it. It is incredible how different women's experiences are when giving birth, and it makes me sad to think you had such a horrible time! Thank you for sharing your experience nonetheless.

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