Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

I decided to publish this post (and honestly just get it out of the way-on to happy stuff after this, I promise!) because I think hyperemesis is an illness that I think is often forgotten, ignored and misunderstood...many women just like me WANT to forget-they don't want to relive those days, and they know that of course, their babies are worth every moment of misery.  I was on a hyperemesis help site and read about the founder-and she said exactly that- PLEASE share your stories-it's misunderstood and little research is done because we ALL want to forget and just get on with our lives, but it's so important for others who have this illness to have our support.  I wrote this post when I was in the midst of hyperemesis weeks ago---because even then I knew that once I felt better (like I do now), I'd want to just get on with my pregnancy and forget those hard months.  I apologize again for the length, and a "downer" post.
-----
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a very misunderstood sickness and it is hard to explain (without writing a way too long post like this) and therefore can be a very lonely, scary, frustrating illness to have.  I want to say this right now though: The most important part of this entire post is the last paragraph.

I will start at the beginning.  When I was about 5 weeks pregnant with my first, Isaac, I started throwing up and feeling extremely nauseated.  Morning sickness, right?  That's what everyone told me.  I was so nauseated that I couldn't eat or drink anything.  Picture you, with the flu, the moment you are bending over the toilet to throw up-just that extreme, "it's coming up", panicked nausea-24 hours a day.  It does not come in spurts, or waves or at different time, it is ever present.  I couldn't put food in my mouth, look at food, smell food, even water-I could be gagging it up before it went down my throat.  I quickly grew weaker and weaker, and lost weight quickly.

I don't remember if I called the doctor on my own but I do remember that I had to have someone drive me there-I was too weak to do so myself.  Dehydration and malnutrition also cause an ability to concentrate, extreme muscle weakness, dizziness, and a feeling of being "out of it".  There is no way I could have driven myself.  Finally there, the doctor diagnosed me with hyperemesis and I stayed over night in the hospital-I think it was two nights actually. I was so miserable I don't even remember.  After being given IV's, Jeff came to pick me up and brought me home.  I remember this and we can laugh about it now-Jeff was hell-bent (and probably scared to death) driving me home and was going to do everything in his power to help me not get to that point of hospitalization again.  He drove into a Wendy's and said, "You are going to eat.  I am getting you a Frosty."  I said, "I can't do it."  He insisted.  I managed to choke this small little Frosty down my throat but within seconds of finishing it I threw the entire thing back up right into the bag.  It was still cold!  I remember giving him that "told you so" look.  It all felt so hopeless.  There was nothing I can do to control it or help it...my body was reacting to this pregnancy like it was being poisoned.

I was told my main goal was to avoid ketones in my urine-a danger to the baby and the first thing that happens after prolonged dehydration.  I had to go back weekly to test for these.  Back then (this is '93) I don't think there was any medication they could have given me.  (More on that later.)  So I laid in bed-literally-laid in bed for 10 weeks.  I managed to eat the tiniest amount of calories and drink enough water to sometimes pass, sometimes fail those ketone tests, but I was lucky in that I managed to never need an IV again.  Sleep was my only comfort.  I would stuff a pillow under my stomach because it would hurt so badly (from not having any food in it and from throwing up) and will myself to sleep like that every night.  I lost 15 pounds by the end of those 2 1/2 months.

Another thing that hyperemesis does is cause your sense of smell to go off the wall crazy-I know this is common in the first trimester but it seemed so out-of-this world intensified.  Picture every smell exaggerated 10 times over.  If my poor hungry husband made himself a frozen pizza it would just kill me...for me it was like someone holding a rag soaked with a concoction of 100's of chemicals over my face.  It would cause my nausea to hit the roof.  I would beg him not to cook anything, not to open the fridge, not to get near me-not to even walk through the door of the bedroom.  If the outside door opened I could smell the air-it smelled terrible to me.  I swear I could tell you what the neighbors were cooking.  When you have hyperemesis, you just want a giant bubble around you-you can't stand the smell of anyone or anything.  I think he muttered under his breath jokingly many times those 10 weeks, "I guess the honeymoon is OVER." -we had just come home from ours a couple weeks before this all started.  It was very stressful.

I am so lucky, SO lucky, that at around 14-15 weeks the intensity began to fade-I was still sick but the weight loss and extreme nausea began to fade slowly.  Some women who have this have it the entire pregnancy.  (Here is what 9 months of hyperemesis is like.) Because of that (the body can only starve so long) these women are sometimes hospitalized throughout, have a torn esophagus from throwing up so much, feeding tubes and constant IV's with a concoction of medications dripping into them.

I switched to a midwife the second pregnancy and she knew my history and she was incredibly attentive from the start.  Although I tested positive often from ketones in my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies in those first weeks, I never needed to be hospitalized OR needed IV's.  (One of the crappiest things about hyperemesis is that once you get to a certain dehydration level it is super hard to recover from it-and every symptom just gets worse and worse-it is a vicious cycle-it needs to be diagnosed early on.)  It was hell though.  It was so hard to care for my younger children and by pure will and an extremely helpful and understanding husband we made it through 10 weeks-those 10 weeks feel like 10 years when you have hyperemesis.  I think with my 2nd and 3rd and 4th babies I kept the weight loss around 10-12 pounds.  I have many memories of just laying on the floor while the little one(s) crawled around me-they probably enjoyed it because I was always right there with them, never rushing around or cleaning or cooking.  I know I sound crazy-people will ask, "If it was that bad why have more?"  Because I have a terrible memory, I have had unrealistic optimism that I won't get it "this time", and crazy crazy baby love.  I have also deeply resented this illness and felt like I would NOT let it determine my family size.

With my 5th child, I was lucky in that I really felt the sickness fell into the category of severe morning sickness, not hyperemesis-there was a marked difference and although I felt very sick I could function day to day.  I never wanted to eat, but felt better when I did.  I was able to make basic meals for my family sometimes, and function-go outside, drive, get dressed every day, put some food into my mouth.  I thought I might have built up an "immunity" of sorts to hyperemesis.

I will be honest and tell you that one of the very frustrating things about having hyperemesis is that it is misunderstood.  I did NOT have an "eating disorder"-I would have LOVED to eat more than a few hundred calories a day, trust me!  It had nothing to do with wanting to gain weight or not-purely biological, not one bit psychological.  And yes, I tried everything and anything that ever did anybody a bit of good and nothing helped a bit. When people say things like, "Try eating crackers, or popsicles, or ginger or Gatorade, SeaBands, B6..."  or "Oh yeah, I was sick too, but when I ate, or threw up I felt so much better"  you just know they do not get it.  NOTHING makes you feel better when you have hyperemesis-there is NO food that sounds good, there is NO food that does not make you feel nauseated, there is NO food that does not take incredible will power and work to just chew and swallow...or even look at!  (Which makes it so frustrating when you can't keep it down!)  You can not even THINK of food without puking or wanting to puke.  If you do manage to eat a certain food, once you eat it, you almost never want it again.  Even this could be manageable for one or two weeks but any more than that, your body just gets more and more depleted and there are so many side effects because of that.

Here is a chart I found that I think helps explain the difference between morning sickness and hyperemesis.
With this pregnancy I was as sick as my first.  I figured that this time would be like my 5th child...my pregnancy hormones were getting easier for my body to handle maybe.  Never would I think my body would freak out again.  But it did.  I know enough from experience to know that sickness hits me at five weeks.  Which happened to be the week before Christmas.  Thank God I had everything ready by then because I just went thought the motions. I could still manage to walk around a little, and swallow some food and go through the motions of life.  I also know that 8-12 weeks things quickly turn around for the worse.  A whole new level kicks in-but this time that happened around 6 1/2 weeks.  For two days I couldn't keep a thing down till I was throwing up bile.  I was barely managing to eat before this, but now the little I was managing to put into my mouth, I was throwing up and just could not stop.  I could hardly stand without having to lean over and stop myself from passing out.  I lost strength and walking around would cause me to breathe loudly, my heart to race like crazy, and I'd have to sit down to rest.  I could tell I had been losing weight rapidly because I could take my jeans off without unbuttoning them.

I called my doctor when I realized that if I didn't I would end up hospitalized again, and she immediately prescribed Zofran.  I groaned when she said that because I knew from my third pregnancy that whatever I took made me sicker and I had to stop it right away.  The nurse said, "Every pregnancy is different, you have to try this."  I thought, "You're telling me!" and what choice did I have?  Be hospitalized and given IV's with 5 children at home?  I hate taking medication during pregnancy-in fact I don't think I've taken a Tylenol or Advil while pregnant.  But this time I was willing to try anything.  And it worked-it worked in that it stopped the throwing up-but it didn't make any other symptoms go away.  It was still very very hard to put even a small amount of food into my mouth I was so nauseated, I was still very weak and always dehydrated, I was still unable to cook-to look at or think about food.  I was on the couch by 10 a.m. (desperately hoping for bedtime to come quickly), and when I went in for my check up I had no ketones-but had lost 10 pounds.  I don't even want to think about "what if Zofran didn't work" because it is too scary a thought.  Zofran has it's own set of side effects (splitting headaches, constipation, drowsiness) but for me they were nothing compared to the pain I felt with the constant throwing up.

We had decided that we needed to tell the 3 older kids that I was pregnant pretty early on.  We hadn't with many of the pregnancies before because of the high chance of loss and that was definitely the right decision. But this time they had to know what was going on-in fact Abbey guessed it because she knew I wasn't right-and really, how could I have hidden the throwing up anyways?  They heard it, that's for sure.  I don't know what Andrew or Patrick thought.  Andrew had said a few times towards the end of the 10 weeks, "Wow Mom you've been sick for a long time!" and then went about doing whatever he was doing.

The first week of mom being sick was a huge adjustment.  The whole family pays a price when it comes to hyperemesis.  It puts enormous stress on the family.  After a hard first week, everyone kicked in as best they could.  Jeff was awesome.  I can't even write about how incredible he was without crying so I will just say that he worked a full time job every day, and then all evening and weekend long he would come home from work, make dinner, take the kids where they needed to go, straighten and clean up (no, not like I would but everything had to be "good enough"), make sure everyone got to bed.  He grocery shopped, planned and made the meals as best he could, made sure the kids were fed.  He would check on me and never complained about how hard it was.  He drove Abbey to crew practice at 6 a.m. and stayed up late with the older kids every night.  That is not to say there were not many many pretty stressful days around here.  Toilets still overflowed, kids still needed to be taken places on weekends, life had to go on-even the bare minimum life.

Emotional health?  That's another part of the story but one of the common secondary illnesses that goes right along with hyperemesis is depression.  The inability to eat and drink and nourish yourself, to care for your family, being in pain and feeling miserable 24/7, unable to go out into the world and function, absolutely takes it tolls after weeks and weeks.  The fear of this illness not ending, watching the life you love unfold from the couch while you can't participate is emotionally draining too.  There are days when it was so hard to get out of bed-days when I thought, "I can't do this anymore-I can't struggle through every hour feeling so physically sick and miserable every minute for one more long day."  But I did-because I had to for the sake of my kids and this beautiful child growing inside of me.  And I prayed a A LOT.  I prayed that I would have the strength I needed physically, and I prayed at the same time that this baby's heart would still be beating at the next ultrasound.  Oh, how I lived for those ultrasounds, as nerve-wracking as they were for me.  That beating heart gave me the strength I needed to make it-2 weeks at a time.  It meant all of this was worth it.

Here's that ultra-important last paragraph: 
I also know I am SO lucky. I know that I could have not responded to the medication and ended up much worse, I know that many hyperemesis patients have this the entire pregnancy and are in incredible pain, away from their families in hospital beds. I know that I am lucky to be pregnant and 18 weeks along and finally I can feel so excited for this new little baby inside of me is sticking around.  I know that much worse things can happen in a pregnancy and I am so incredibly grateful to have this child.  I know that there are women who take pregnancy for granted and I am NOT one of them.  I have had so many friends deal with incredible losses, and friends that have had to struggle with coming to peace with never biologically bearing a child after years of heartbreaking tests and procedures.  I have friends who have been and are presently waiting endlessly and hopefully for an adoption referral.  And I have had enough hard life experiences with pregnancy loss to never ever take a baby (or even a pregnancy) for granted.  I also thought SO much-every day in fact-about moms all over the world who are sick-not sick because they have a wonderful new life growing inside them, but because they have had an awful diagnosis of disease.

But I felt I had to share my story, just so people could understand, and those women who have had, or do have hyperemesis, and the husbands and children who are experiencing the incredible strain of it also, can know that they are not alone.

Some links that might help:
Worth A Try
Against using Zofran.
Dealing With Hyperemesis Guilt (caring for kids when pregnant)

85 comments:

  1. I have never heard of this. I have experienced extreme morning sickness with both of my pregnancies, but not to the degree you've described. I thank you sincerely for your honesty and transparency. You've educated me tremendously tonight! Best wishes and prayers to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sarah...Thank you thank you thank you for writing this. I feel like I wrote certain parts of it actually!

    I have had three children and three Hyperemesis pregnancies. I can't describe it any better than you did, so I won't try. But I 110% agree and empathize with every word you wrote.

    I can't believe you made it to baby #6. It will take a lot of courage for me to attempt #4. I get anxiety just thinking of going through it again.

    I really think the hardest thing about it is that NO ONE other than those who have experienced it, can understand it!!!

    I'm so glad you are out of the woods and back with the living now.

    I just love your blog and I feel like we have so much in common, and now reading this I'm convinced you're my twin! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing about hypermesis! No one can truly understand how aweful it is unless they experience it. With my first I was in bed for 3 full months unable to do anything. I lost 20 lbs and had to be hospitalized just to eat something. I think I went a full week without eating a thing (or keeping it down). My husband was so wonderful as he nursed me day after day... I was lucky that I didn't have other children to care for at the time. With my second I started taking diclectin before I even felt sick and sure enough at 6 weeks it came. This time I was only incapacitated for about 6 weeks and lost only 10 lbs but was it ever a struggle to care for my barely 1 yr old.
    I hope that more people will develop a greater understanding of this illness and stop making judgements about how 'wimpy' we are about 'morning sickness'. I don't know if I can do it again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautifully Written, I've had very severe hyperemesis, weeks of hospitalization, picc lines, NG tubes the whole thing, Zofran helps but the side effects are barely worth it sometimes!
    I just wanted to let you know you have a Hyperemesis Sister here! I just assumed that because you had so many children you had easy pregnancies . . . I would love a large family but always thought no way! You are an Inspiration to me!
    Thank you for writing your story so beautifully.
    Lots of love
    Ashli
    p.s. Congratulations on your soon to be baby!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for your willingness to share tender feelings and facts. Hope you and your family have many blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing this. I learned a lot from reading it. I am also 18 weeks along- due mid August like you and will enjoy following along with your pregnancy. I do get difficult morning sickness and depression but reading about what you and other women go through with HG was quite eye opening. Thank you for being willing to share and best of luck with this new baby! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was hoping you would share this, with your wisdom-- I knew you had been sick before.

    I am due on August 22 with child number 2.

    I have suffered hyperemesis much like you and thankfully it is now subsiding but still present.

    You are right about the depression. Being unable to care for yourself, your husband, or, as I have discovered this pregnancy, your child(ren) is so draining and discouraging. The mental toll is just as much as the physical but I do not have the tears to cry!

    I, like you, can only pray and be grateful for a blessing coming.

    Currently awake in the middle of the night as I have tried to wean off my medication but feeling sick! Thank you Sarah!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for writing about this. While I never got this sick, I knew women who didn't get relief even w meds and were sick their entire pregnancy. It truly was pitiful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sarah, you are always so open and honest. And, I know your story will touch many. As I was reading I was thinking about a very dear "blogger" friend...thinking "I have to tell her to read this"...it was Ashli...she read it and commented before I had a chance to tell her. I know your story will be an inspiration to her and many!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sarah, I can't believe you have been dealing with this for so many pregnancies!!!

    I work in a hospital and see women with this who NEVER go on to have any more children as it is to incapacitating.

    I was only sick for my 4th and didn't like it a bit----still nothing like what you had...

    So glad you're feeling better!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Sarah, I am praying for a healthy and happy rest of your pregnancy!! I had extreme morning sickness with babies 1-4 but it ended around weeks 12-15. Thankfully baby 5 was just "normal" morning sickness, especially since I was (and am) working full-time. I can't even imagine having what you described. You're such a trooper. Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I could have decapitated the few people who dared to tell me to just go for a walk, do something, mind over matter when I had this with my first pregnancy. Most people truly do not understand.

    I'm so very sorry for the suffering, though I get it...so worth it.

    Thank you for sharing, b/c time does dull the memory of how difficult it can be. This is a great reminder for those of us who had it so long ago and for those who thankfully never have.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I had hyperemesis with both of my pregnancies. It was undiagnosed with the first and I just suffered. It was diagnosed with my second and they actually put me on a Zofran pump that kept Zofran in my body until I stopped puking. I was very, very, very sick. You poor thing. It's worth it when it's over!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have a friend who went through this with all of her pregnancies, and miscarriages. She's a lot like you, very private. She managed to have 6 delicious children. I'd never heard of this level of pregnancy nausea, and it sounds like a disease. Good Luck with the rest of the pregnancy!

    ReplyDelete
  15. With my oldest, who will be 18 this year, I was this way. I had no idea that it was a condition. I was told it was morning sickness. I had it the whole time I was pregnant and I too, could not keep anything down. I was 145 when I got pregnanta nd I was 138 the day I went into labor. I had lost weight, luckily my baby had sucked each last bit of nutrients from my body and she had managed to do quite well.
    She was born at 32 weeks weighing 4 lbs and 7 ozs. She is healthy today.
    I had no idea that this condidition even existed. I remember my godmother (May she rest in peace) being so horrified that I spend all day hugging the toilet. She tried every last remedy she could but nothing worked. I learned to deal with it. I would barely go out to eat because of the smells but for special occasions I would drag myself. Once there I would order anything, knowing that it was coming back up. I can't tell you the amount of times, I would have to pull over in the car and just let it out. I too remember the many days and nights of having only bile left and how much that hurt. I seriously thought I was going to lose her because of it all.
    My prayers were answered. My daughter is happy and healthy, well, as happy and healthy a teen can be...lol.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sarah:
    You are such a good writer and explain this so well. I, too, had this - for nine months with each! I lost about 30 pounds with all pregnancies, and did it five times. No one can understand, but you certainly helped explain it. God bless you! You have been in my prayers because I knew what you were probably going through because you had mentioned it before. Hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sarah, your story brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry that you've had to go through this sickness. I have a friend who had this with both of her children. She had to be on medication with both pregnancies. Her mother also had it with her pregnancies. I don't know how you do it. I had some constant nausea for several weeks with my 4 pregnancies (3 resulting in births, my first miscarried at 9 weeks), but it totally disappeared after around week 14. I was fortunate. I don't know how you do it!

    Your husband is a rare breed. He sounds like a gem and I know you must feel so blessed to have him.

    Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby! So happy for you and your family:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am so sorry for the struggles you've been through to get your beautiful family.

    I have had fairly uneventful pregnancies, so to hear a story from the other side of the fence is very helpful. Your story will help me be more caring to those who struggle more than I do.

    Thanks for sharing...and many prayers for a happy pregnancy from here on out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I also had HG. With my first, I was hospitalized for 2 days, then was on an IV at home (bedrest) for 1 month. I also had a side of mild depression with that. And, a port where I got anti-nausea medication put in my body 24 hours a day.

    I was hoping it wouldn't happen with my next pregnancy, but it did. I got on the meds much earlier, so it only lasted about 6 weeks.

    I'm glad you posted about this. It's such a lonely illness - impossible to go out and socialize, and takes away the happiness you should be feeling for being pregnant. I'm so glad you're feeling better, my heart really goes out to you.

    I would love to have a 3rd child, even with the knowledge that HG could rear it's ugly head again. I hope the rest of your pregnancy is smooth sailing.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing this Sarah. I, too, had HG with all three of my pregnancies--each lasting longer than the last. It is extremely difficult physically and emotionally. Glad you are moving past it and congrats on the baby!

    ReplyDelete
  21. It is nice to know that there is someone else out there who has experienced this! It seems as if everyone I talk to who is pregnant says they feel great...and I wonder why I had such rotten luck!

    Zofran was a blessing. Unfortunately I just assumed I had awful morning sickness and didn't go on it until my third of four pregnancies. Hopefully someone reading your post will learn about some different options they can try.

    I couldn't even look or think about a bathroom without getting sick. Any smell was AWFUL. The funny thing was that the smell from the heat in the car made me sick so my husband (and I) had to freeze with no heat until I got to my fifth month! I had the stomach flu a few months ago and it brought back the bad memories. That was the one day that I didn't feel the desire to have another baby :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for sharing. You brought back a lot of pregnancy memories for me. I have always wanted a large family, but God blessed me with two girls. I am happy with my little family, but still get wistful at the thought of a large one. I remember being shocked at just how UNFUN being pregnant was! I had these images of a big belly and being full of joy, and it was so NOT that! I never lost weight, because, although constantly nauseous for the entire nine months (for the first, a bit less so for the second), I generally had dry heaves and was able to keep the food down. And the smells! Yes, food lost all it's joy. I so looked forward to the day when I could eat and enjoy the experience. I also was quite depressed during the pregnancies too. It just took all my effort to get through the days, and trying to be upbeat as well, just seemed too impossible. I remember feeling that I should be happy as I was getting a so wanted baby out of it, and that did make me soldier on, but I got so tired of being stripped of all the little joys of life (smells, food, ENERGY!) that it really did throw me into a depressed state of mind. However, once I was no longer pregnant! Well, I was in bliss! With a sweet-smelling baby no less! All worth it, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Holy cow, Sarah. It's like you were describing the valley of the shadow of death. I'm so glad that you hung in there and let Jeff do so much. So glad to know about HG now.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am so glad you are feeling better. Sarah I love reading your blog and you inspire me often. Your commitment to raising children with strong sense of family, morals and integrity is so refreshing in today's society. I experienced this illness with both of my pregnancies and loss 60lbs. and 50lbs. respectively. Fortunately I had two healthy babies, both average weight. I certainly feel for anyone who goes through this, but as you said it is so worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for sharing this. There are so many things that happen during pregnancy that people just don't talk about. I know it's trivial, but I my eyes got bigger after I had my son; I needed to get bigger contact lenses. Weird. Anyway, it is good to know what other women are experiencing, and I am so grateful to have the knowledge and wisdom you've shared should I or someone I know suffer from this condition one day. Many blessings to you and your family--especially that little one!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ugh! There are soo many foods I can't eat now because of exactly the same thing. Certain smells aswell remind me of that awful nauseous feeling :( however, once I hit 14 weeks each time ( i have 4 children) I suddenly felt a million times better and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of my pregnancies! Which is why I had 4 and would consider having another!! My sister didn't suffer a bit and she just doesn't get 'it'.

    Glad you are feeling better, I can totally relate to everything you are saying and ,yes, it is so worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm glad you shared this with us. I have never heard of this and you never know when you could help someone with a little bit of knowledge. I'm glad you're feeling better.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I empathize more than you know. I have two and we are trying for our third (which my family thinks I am nuts). Hyperemesis is absolutely awful. First time around I lost 12 lbs, 2nd time 26. It's amazing that those tiny beings are so strong and can handle it. I am so thankful. I hate the being sick & miserable & feeling half dead but the end result is more joyous than anything else. I am glad to hear you are feeling somewhat relief and thank you for writing thisw. Others need to hear about it. I hate hearing the "eat crackers" or it will pass stuff. I could have written this myself word for word. You are amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sarah,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I think you are incredibly brave. For getting through it, for wanting more babies, for sharing.

    At 9 weeks in this pregnancy, my first, I had a stroke. It has been nowhere near what you go through with hyperemesis. It was small, I restored 100% and it has not happened again. But it was terrifying. And so maddening - I hadn't been to my first OB appointment, but I here I was hospitalized. And treated like I was a lying idiot until they found the damage on my brain the next day. And not one person would tell me if my baby was okay.

    But I am so grateful that they did take good care of me, were diligent, etc. And most of all, grateful for my healthy, kicking baby. There is still no answer, but I believe it won't happen again. Probably because I have to believe that, but I needed to put it behind me.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You just spoke words I have tried to find for the last 13 years. I had hyperemesis with all three of my pregnancies and two premie babies because of it. Not a fun road! I am also a breast cancer survivor and have spent what feels like years being sick. Thank you for the realization of life being a blessing, both yours and that of your baby! I think I am pretty darn lucky (blessed) too!
    Best wishes to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  31. You are so strong Sarah. I hopped over to that other girl's blog and I give all of you who've been through this condition a lot of credit. Thank God you are feeling better...many, many prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I too had HG with all four of my pregnancies, and it does feel like poison. I was almost glad when I had to have Zofran through my IV line because I would cry when I would puke such an expensive little pill.
    I can look back now and laugh at how my little ones would play in the bathroom and throw toys into the toilet as I puked, or pretend to puke them selves. Or how as I neared the end of my pregnancies and the baby grew bigger, I would pee my pants every time I puked, then shower, and repeat, off and on all day. I would try to force myself to eat thinking how that food would be coming back up, and hope my puke would not splash back into my face once it hit the toilet water (sorry too much information I know). I think my teeth and throat will never be the same.
    That said,I am very grateful I was able to have four amazing children. It was worth every second of it.
    Now if I ever come down with the stomach flu, the first thing everyone asks me is "are you pregnant?"

    ReplyDelete
  33. I had never heard of this until my daughter became pregnant with our first grandchild. She had to stop work it was so bad and lasted for so long. It is a horrible illness and I'm so glad you have brought attention to it. My little grandson is now 5 months old and beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow, Sarah, that is a lot to go through.

    I got just a taste of what you experienced. My version definitely fit well into the "morning sickness" parameters, which did cause a great deal of misery and was constant for about 5 weeks, but not to any extent what you went through. I can imagine the emotional toll, and the toll on family. I experienced the depression too, and the overworked hubby and children too, but for different reasons. I had to be on the couch most of the time during 3 of my first trimesters with bleeding and cramping, so uncertain of which way things were going to turn. It sounds like you experienced all of this, and then a lot more. You were dealing with the HG AND the uncertainty. It must have felt like being in a pit.

    Thank God, you're feeling better now and life looks so much brighter now. I hope you can rebuild and get all the nutrition you and your baby need!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I had this. It was very severe for me as well. I could not keep anything down & lost 12 lbs in just the first few weeks. I was sick ALL day and into the night.

    Zofran worked wonders for me. I have no idea how I could have managed without it.

    When we found we were pregnant for the 2nd time we were living in a new state and I had yet to secure a primary care provider let along an OBGYN. I literally entered his office in tears because I was afraid he might not prescribe it for me without having any history of care with me. Thankfully he was quite sensitive to this condition and sent me home with some samples until I could get the script filled.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh my!!! You have documented my story with both of my children down to every letter. I know exactly what you speak of and feel for you dear. There is nothing in the world that I have experienced worse than this sickness. I can related to 10 plus weeks in the bed, not even being able to hold down water, crawling to the bathroom, losing almost 30 pounds along with major muscle mass loss. I was placed in the hospital several times and inches away from a food line being placed in my neck for nutrition. Zofran was offered. I told my doc I didn't want it at first and he looked me in the eye and said "Anna, women use to die from what you have before modern medicine...I'm your doc and you have to trust me". I took the invitation and Zofran was a life savor...maybe even literally. As you mentioned, even after Zofran, the sickness remained, but it wasn't as bad and like you managable once in the 4th to 5th month. Oh and the depression. I know it was just the sickness, but I can remember praying for God to just take the pregnancy from me. I would lay in bed and stare at my ceiling fan for days and question if I even wanted to be alive. I can't imagine that such thoughts would ever enter my head because I've never ever suffered any type of mental depression before. HG is a very real pregnancy sickness and I truly believe you are correct when stating that not many people understand it and shrug it off as some people just can't handle morning sickness. Well, I understand dear and I'm so sorry you have had to endure it. I will keep you in my prayers and I we we greet a beautiful baby in the near future. Hang in there!
    Blessings and love in Christ,
    Anna

    ReplyDelete
  37. I wanted to emphasis your last paragraph. I'm so thankful God didn't listen to my depressed, selfish, desperate cry and allowed me to become a mommy anyway. There is nothing in the world I would trade for it.
    Blessings,
    Anna

    ReplyDelete
  38. Sarah,

    I'm a nurse who places PICC lines in patients when needed. I always feel so bad for pregnant Mom's with Hyperemesis. Especially those with other small children. Once admitted to the hospital depression usually follows. I'm so glad you're feeling better. I pray the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly! I think it's a girl this time. But if not, there's nothing cuter than a baby boy! Oh heck, there all cute!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow, Sarah, I am so sorry for you and for all the women who have shared similar experiences. You have created a network of strength for me and many others to draw from. I learn much from you and from fellow followers. You all give me hope and encouragement by sharing the good, bad, ugly, and wonderful parts of life, and I am reminded to be grateful, always grateful for the goodness of God in my life and the many things He has blessed me with. Take care of yourself, and tell that family of yours that this mom of many thinks they are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you for sharing that story. I will pray that you are feeling better and better.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I am crying just reading this. Even with the Zofran I was puking. Thank God a friend told me to ask for Zofran or I would have been hospitalized too. No one believed that I was that sick including both sets of parents. Then when they saw it first hand told me it was in my head. Reading your blog brings me back to this memories. Thank you so much for posting this blog. I need to share it with my family. Having gone through 2 pregnancies now with this, Labor and Delivery was a cake walk. I am praying for you and your family and understanding from others.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you for Sharing! My daughter is in her 14th week of pregnancy and she has really been struggling. She is on the zofran and it seems to be helping. I plan to pass this on to her. Thank you again!

    ReplyDelete
  44. That just sound horrible. Hope you feel better soon and that you have a healthily baby.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I never knew there was a medical term for what I went through during my pregnancies until I read your post and realized your symptoms were nearly identical to mine. I almost had tears reading it because it brought it all back and I remember it all so well. I have three kids and we decided to stop after that. I also was on Zofran. I agree that it's hard physically and emotionally as well. Some days I wished I could just die! I remember being too weak to give myself a shower!
    Thank you for sharing your story! My prayers are with you as you carry and nurture this beautiful new life within you!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow ~ I have never heard of this either...hats off to you for getting through it and handling five children, keeping up a blog and your house! Wow...pat yourself on the back because you deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thank you SO much for writing this. I had hyperemesis for both of my pregnancies and it is exactly as you described. But most of all, it's very lonely and depressing, because there is so little known about it. The only way I could describe it to people was it's like having a stomach bug for (in my case) 5 months straight, no break or reprive even after throwing up. I would love to have a third child but I'm so afraid of going through it again. You are an inspiration!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I know you did not write this for praise but I must commend you. What a selfless, amazing thing for you to bring these babies into a loving home through such trial. I am amazed by your strength.

    And you did a crazy good job of 'moving through the motions.' In reading your blog from day to day I had NO idea that anything was 'off' with you.

    There is a lot of positive amongst the stress when the mom is not functioning at her best. It is such a growing experience for the whole family to have to step up to the responsibility of teamwork.

    Congratulations on this new baby. I can't wait to find out if it's a girl or boy!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Wow. Thank you Sarah for sharing. It helps me feel better just knowing that there are others who are in the same boat because I have not met a lot of women who are sick like I have been, throwing up 'til week 22 then ever so slowly subsiding from there. #2 was a tad better but #3, though the actual throwing up has stopped is harder because of my exhaustion levels. And nothing does work and it makes me so upset and angry when people keep trying to prescribe "remedies" for me when it doesn't matter and none work. I am glad you are on the up. And hope that you have a beautiful baby! I truly wouldn't do it again if I had a better memory and no bundle of joy to make it all worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I loved your post, thank you! I too have had hyperemesis with all five of my pregnancies and if it were not for Zofran, which I discovered during the first pregnancy, I don't know if I would have had five kids. Zofran worked similarly for me as in I didn't throw up all day long, but I was still horribly nauseous. My husband was amazing, such a huge help and ran the household just like yours while I was sick. His name is also Jeff so maybe there is something in a name! Thank you for sharing your story. Someone told my husband when I was sick with one of our children that I was just lazy and she would never let her husband do all of the work. Like you said, she just didn't understand. I think more people need to understand this really is a serious problem.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Your description sounded so familiar to my pregnancy experiences that I felt a little sick reading it. I'm sorry to hear you have been going through the HG ordeal again. I had 6 HG pregnancies that resulted in 4 children (the first two ended in miscarriage). Unlike you, the HG did not end for me until the day the babies were born - I remember vomiting the morning my fourth/last baby was born, with my older three banging on the bathroom door. Zofran did not touch it, Reglan (they give it to chemo patients) did not, either. I vomited until I threw up blood, I separated two ribs from the force of the constant vomiting, I have scarring from the IVs, and even my voice is lower from the damage to my throat. I ended all my pregnancies anywhere from 12 to 25 pounds lighter than I'd started and emotionally depleted.

    The thing that was so discouraging was that nobody but my midwife and husband really believed that it was as serious as it was. Nobody at church, nobody in my family, nobody in our circle of friends. Apparently it was 'all in my head' and I was craving attention after five years of infertility and two miscarriages. I learned very fast to tell noone each time we learned that I was pregnant, and resigned myself to disappearing for months at a time (that and a lot of freezer cooking). I am eternally grateful for the four children I have been blessed with, but my memories of pregnancy feel more like nightmares (the deliveries were all great, though!).

    I appreciate you sharing your experience and spreading the word - HG is a real disease.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'm experiencing morning sickness right now. It is not the same as this, and that makes me even more grateful, but sad for you. My nausea makes me so tired and I just have the "nothing sounds good" feeling but have not been throwing up. I only have one child, and almost 5 year old, and he has been really good with letting me nap on the couch while he plays with Lego, etc. The reason I am commenting though, is because I posted a link to this on my facebook wall and wanted to thank you for writing it. See, my best friend is pregnant right now too and since she lives in the Middle East, I use facebook to communicate with her a lot. She has not told any family or friends about her pregnancy, probably for the same reasons as you (miscarriage). This time she has been so so sick. She told me the other day that she was throwing up every 20 minutes. Her doctor prescribed her something, but she said it barely takes the edge off. I feel bad for her because her husband has been traveling to other countries for days throughout her first trimester. I hope she reads this and gets a second opinion.

    I agree with how someone else said your husband is a rare breed and a gem. I am so happy that he is able to help you and willing. Although I don't have HG, my husband does not help me in the ways I wish he would. He works a lot, so I don't expect him to make dinner but he says things to me that sometimes hurt me like "why do you need a nap? You're just going to be sick for at least another month anyway." Blech.

    Anyway, congrats again! Thanks for always having such great blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  53. P.S. I lost 15 pounds with my first pregnancy. Everyone told me how great I was looking. It sucked.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thank you- I cried when I read this. I'm battling with whether to try and have another and I feel stronger for having read this

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you so much for sharing this. I had bad morning sickness with two of my pregnancies, but never to the extreme you describe. With my third pregnancy I was put on bed rest at 21.5 weeks for preterm labor, and I didn't get up again until he was born at almost 38 weeks. So I could definitely relate when you talked about the heartbreak of watching your life from the couch and not being able to participate. No one understands how hard it is unless they've been through it, and I even had nurses come into my room (while on hospital bedrest) and tell me they wished we could trade places because they were tired! I would have given anything just to sit up! And yes, what would we do without our husbands?!
    Anyway, thanks for being so honest and real. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling a bit better and I hope it just continues to improve from here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. I have a sister in law who has suffered from hypermesis with her two pregnancies to a degree that she feels they will not have more children, at least at this point. It's scary stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Oh Sarah, I can't believe you went through all this with only help from your family (which is great, because your family is awesome, but I wish I could have been there to bring non-smelling food over or something :) I'm so glad you are doing better.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sarah... I have been following your blog for a couple of years now (I only read a couple of blogs regularly) and I admire you and your darling family so much.

    It was such a happy surprise to find out you were expecting your 6th child. Congratulations! I also have 6.

    I am so sorry to hear that you have suffered so much... I just wanted to somehow get in my car and drive on over to clean your bathrooms, make dinner for your family, do laundry and take Patrick to the park to play... I hope you have some good help. You have many out here who would run on over to help. May our Heavenly Father watch over you, the baby and your family during this time....

    I am never closer to God than when I am expecting a baby.... it is such a sacred time.. and requires so much sacrifice. But, there is something beautiful and tender about sacrifice and our absolute dependence upon God to pull us through. And in the end, we receive the sweetest reward, a beautiful baby to care for and love.

    I do hope in your times of need that God will send friends your way to help you.

    Prayers and best wishes to you and your family...

    ReplyDelete
  59. I love this post! I have 4 childrren and suffered hyperemisis during my pregneancies. I couldn't believe the people who told me it was all in my head or said they just willed themselves not to throw up when they were pregnant. As if that was an option! Thank goodness for a sweet woman from church who had been through this before and took over my life for me. She arranged meals, household help and kept me sane! Congratulations on your growing family. I will keep them and you in my prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Just wanted to add my thanks about this misunderstood disease. I have been through it four times. It lessened around 20 weeks, but I continued to have nausea the until I delivered. For me, one of the worst things was the guilt I felt over not being able to care for my home and family, as though, if I were stronger, I would be able to do it and feel better. I am so glad there are others who understand what it is like. Although I would LOVE to have another baby, I just can't bring myself to face the idea of nine months of sickness.

    ReplyDelete
  61. This post brought tears to my eyes because I could have written every word of it...having survived it 4 times, I'm amazed at how seamlessly your blog has kept going amid all the turmoil.

    I remember occasionally chugging a few mouthfuls of water just to have something to throw up other than bile.

    The one good thing that came from my 3rd pregnancy, I was able to lay on the couch and teach my 2nd child his entire alphabet...and he was only 20 months old at the time. He's just such a little genius. I credit most of that to the months and months of couch time we spent together. :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thank you for sharing about this very personal experience. I did not realize that there was something yet another step beyond severe morning sickness. It is helpful to be aware of what someone else might be experiencing. According to the comments here, this is more common than I would have expected. Thanks for being willing to share your dark moments so that more people can become aware of this condition and respond more appropriately to expectant Mothers who are suffering.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum in all 5 of my pregnancies. With my first 3 girls, it lasted for 5 months. With my last two, it lasted until I delivered. I felt myself dying on certain days and no one understood. They would offer advice like 'you just have to get dressed and get going' It's worse if you just lay there' Many helpful tips like that-HA! It's a very lonely time. Though my husband and chidlren are saints. Howo do you describe being a 'High Maintenance, Non-Contributing Member of a household for 9 months?' and I'm the mother! All I can say is, I'm stronger because of it, I have 5 amazing children, My husband is more than devoted to us. I wish others understood the difference between morning sickness and hyperemesis Gravidarum. I ended up in the hospital multiple times on IV's, having a PICC line inserted, having a weight loss of 40 lbs, gone into pre-term labor because I couldn't stop throwing up etc. etc.
    In other words, it was good to read your words, becaue they are mine. It feels good to share an experience with someone who truly understands. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Oh Sarah. A good friend of mine had this for her 2 pregnancies. I had no idea you'd been dealing with this each time! I'm so sorry. Praying for good days and strength for you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thank you for sharing this. I am currently 8 weeks pregnant with my fourth child and am very nauseous. I have been able to force myself to eat small meals but have started throwing up this week. I am praying that it subsides and doesn't get much worse.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I'm an HG girl. I don't know how you did it so many times. Weekly all day IV treatments. 18% total weight loss. People "jealous" that I'm skinny (only when I'm pregnant, lol). It's brutal. The effect on marriages and families and relationships is pretty killer. I remember at about 20 weeks, with my first, 1 started feeling a bit better. I asked where my socks were, and my husband smiled sheepishly--they were all in a basket. I asked how long they had been like that? 18 weeks. 18 weeks of not even realizing that laundry was being done and food being prepared. I met my sister's fiance when I was pregnant. He thought I hated him. I just hated everything. I remember after I had baby number 2, my sister started to cry (a few weeks later). She said, "Oh. You are back. I didn't know if we had lost you forever." it's scary stuff. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Sarah,
    I am SO, so terribly sorry that you have suffered this way with your pregnancies. I have emetophobia, which is the phobia of vomiting. It is a severe phobia or me, as in I'd rather have you saw off my arm than throw up. So I had always been terrified of getting pregnant because I knew I was going to be nauseous and just might throw up. Thankfully I found out about zofran prior to my pregnancies. I don't think I would have made it through without it. I had what I would call "pretty bad" morning sickness (or all dy sickness) for different lengths of time with each pregnancy. But for me it was horrific because I get super panicky and depressed just from mild nausea. I never did throw up, thanks to the zofran. Very nauseated but I am so very, very, very thankful to say that everything stayed down. I have always felt so awful about women who get hyperemesis - I don't think anyone can understand what it is like to feel like you have a stomach virus for WEEKS. And then to often have to care for other children and a household at the same time. It really does take every ounce of strength you can drag out. I've always been thankful too that this happens at the beginning of pregnancy so you can try to forget about once it does finally end.

    Thank you for your post. I am sure that it gave much needed strength to many women suffering today.

    Glad you are feeling better!!!!!

    ~Tamie

    ReplyDelete
  68. My mom referred me to your blog when she read this post, and I am SO thankful!! I had my first baby 4 months ago and reading the symptoms I definitely think I had HG. I could not eat, could not drink, could not think, concentrate, move, smell ANYTHING, and I had to crawl to the bathroom and most often couldn't even crawl back to bed and lay on the floor until my husband got back from school to help me. Which would of course send me into heaves. He had to sleep in the family room for 4 months because just walking near the bedroom door would send me off. We had just moved to a new city - with no doctor, no car and taxis made me ABSOLUTELY sick. I also felt like they would try to put me in the hospital - and I didn't think I could take that emotionally. So I never got diagnosed for what it was, and I myself was left wondering.
    THANK YOU for this post. No one in my circle of people understood or had gone through anything like this before and thought that I was weak or over-reacting - and I did not understand what it was or why myself. Knowing that you and others have had the same difficult experience and have managed makes me feel so much better. It's validating and comforting and empowering to know what it is and hear your stories (yours and those in the comment sections).

    ReplyDelete
  69. I have struggled with intense HG for now 3 pregnancies. I am so thankful you wrote this, I have written before about it on my blog, but you did a much more informative job. With my first and second pregnancies I devoured the internet looking for someone going through this and found so little other than women aborting because of the horror of the illness. This pregnancy I am finally getting a small amount of relief at 18 weeks, and there is so much more on HG out there I love that women depressed, scared, and lonely can get their hands on a life changing post like this. God bless you, you did this 5 times?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You deserve a gigantic trophy. OR 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Yes! Yes! Yes! That is exactly what it is like! It is so hard to explain it without someone saying "just take... Or have you tried...". All three of my pregnancies were like this and my husband was a saint for helping out and taking over everything! It is debilitating and horrible! It has left me with acid reflux issues, and a probelm digesting dairy; I had to go dairy free.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi Sarah,
    I just stumbled across your blog and have enjoyed reading several of your posts. Warmest congratulations on your pregnancy. As a fellow mother who has experienced great loss, I celebrate your future bundle of joy with my whole heart. Thank you for this post about your illness as well. I had a girlfriend who had this too, so awful. I just wanted to say hello and thank you for your courage, inspiration and writing. I wish you all the best!
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  72. I think I was meant to find your blog today. I too, have hyperemesis with my pregnancies, picc line, hospital visits etc. I could not have described it better. Most people don't understand. I am so relieved to know I'm not the only one out there. We have 2 boys, and we desperately want another one...but I keep coming back to, "I don't think I can do it again".

    You are an inspiration. Thank you for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Oh my goodness, I had hyperemesis also through every pregnancy. It was the hardest thing to go through. I remember well...constant nausea, as you said, the sense of smell going haywire, and not being able to keep anything - even water - down. It is hard to understand unless you've experienced it. I pray that you are having an easier time and feeling good!! My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hugs!!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I found my way to your page through a fiend posting about your short shorts article, and then saw the Hyperemesis on the sidebar and clicked. BTDT, 6 pregnancies(ages now 6-28), surely it would get better next time... but it never did.I throw up through the whole pregnancy. I only needed IVs a few times through all of that, but the last pregnancy, in my early 40's was the worst- it would end up that at my 2 weeks postpartum check up I was down 30 lbs from my starting weight.
    But I was blessed to have an amazing midwife- we planned our 2nd homebirth with her, who INSISTED that I try accupuncture, when I was about 16 weeks.
    I was skeptical but went anyway. For 6 weeks I went once a week, the 1st week I went twice, and that made such an amazing difference. I would leave the session *hungry*, usually heading to the grocery store for a cooked chicken! I don't know how it works, I don't why it works, but accupuncture saved me during that last pregnancy, and it was even partially covered by our health insurance. Please pass the word so others can try it. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Thanks for posting this. I had many similar symptoms that you describe during my pregnancies, but never to the degree you experience. I honestly can't imagine because even in my experiences I felt I was living minute-to-minute literally unable to think past the moment I was in. I also remember lying on the floor daily while my other children went on with life around me...I would stand up just long enough to stir whatever I had cooking, and then was right back down on the floor right there in front of the stove. So glad you are beyond the illness now...God bless you, your family and that new precious life within!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Sarah- Thank you for writing this! Couldn't have said it better myself. I also had HG & was hospitalized. HG was a very challenging experience but I always viewed it as the best things in life are worth "fighting" for. Your life does unravel week by week, your health hour by hour BUT I wouldn't change a thing. The experience makes me love my son even more!

    ReplyDelete
  77. My friend just sent me this - thank you for putting into words so perfectly my own heart on the issue of Hg. I had it with my first (he is now 18 months), and husband and I are agonizing about a second. I lost 30lbs in 12 weeks, was hospitalized for a week, and after several meds weren't working, finally was prescribed steroids for 2 1/2 months (normally they try to keep it at 3 weeks). I am nervous for the physical agony, but more so I don't want to not be there for my son. Your post gave me hope and a stubborn determination. God bless you for sharing, you are right - babies are a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Thank you for this post. I did one on my blog concerning my own experiences: http://takethepoorwithyou.blogspot.com/2013/01/hyperemesis-gravidarum.html and linked back here.

    You are an inspiration to us all!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Sarah, my lovely friend who also has had hyperemisis in her pregnancies directed me to your page. I truly admire you for your positive attitude when it comes to having more children after experiencing hyperemisis. I ams so sorry you had to go through this suffering in each pregnancy and am so sorry for the suffering of the other women who have also had hyperemisis. We are so blessed to have our precious children and I would go through anything for them. I have often thought about having more children and tried t come to terms with the fact that I probably should not got pregnant again. It is difficult to explain how you feel when you suffer with hyperemisis. For me I had severe nausia and sometimes none stop sickness ending up in hospital on a drip for a few days. As well as the nausia And sickness I had constant severe migrains and body weakness which felt like terrible flu. I think the migrains and the weakness were the hardest to bare. I felt so guilty for feeling that I just wanted to die to be able to escape this terrible illness. I couldn't get out of bed, brush my teeth etc, make food and look after the children and home. I felt helpless, afraid and not understood. I too have the longing in side to have more children, but truly do not know if I could ever go through hyperemisis again. I have had depression on and off for years and I'm sure hyperemisis has played it's part in that. I truly don't know how you managed to carry on having more children, but I know you must be so grateful that you went through what you did for them. I don't know what to do? When I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child I was so afraid and cried all of the time. I do know that my faith and belief in Heavenly Father gave me the hope I needed and the peace. I also believe we go through trials for a reason and that having hyperemisis and othe trials has helped me to become a more understanding and compassionate person and I am so grateful for that. I really don't know if I should ever be pregnant again. I know Heavenly Father is watching over each of us, especially when we are struggling so much, but I really wonder if I ever have hyperemisis again will it break me, will I cope, I wonder if I just won't be able to bare it as I don't know how I got through feeling so terribly ill in my last pregnancy. - I didn't want to die, but felt I just wanted to escape the suffering and felt like dying would take the suffering away. I'm sorry if this comes across as negative. I know that I have learnt so much from all of my experiences and I am truly grateful for that. I just don't know how you managed to keep on going and having more children. Any advice would be so very much appreciated. I truly admire all of the women who have gone through hyperemisis and wish that they didn't have to suffer. We are all so blessed to be mothers and have our precious children who love us so much.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Wow! I had no idea that others suffer with this through all 9 months. I was blessed in the sense that mine didn't start until the beginning of my third trimester, but that was definitely the roughest 3 months of my life. I was so dis-heartened to go from being a moderately healthy wife and working woman to being someone who couldn't even get out of the house by myself. I thank the Lord for all those who came to bring food or help clean my house, because I simply couldn't do those things. I was hospitalized twice after we had exhausted all measures at home to prevent it. Some people understand it was a rough experience when I tell them that I weighed less when I left the hospital after the birth of my daughter than I did before I got pregnant--but most of them don't comprehend how difficult that really was. I can't imagine going through that while having other children to take care of. I was blessed with one child, and will forever be grateful for her. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope and pray that the word will spread about the nature of this disease.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thank you soooo much for writing this! I'm a few days from my third trimester with my second little one, and - just like with the first - I've been sooo sick. I think I was even sicker with this one! Thankfully, I had an actual diagnosis this time (because of the hospital visits for rehydration) but I didn't last time and I was working a full time job and my boss didn't understand at all...just thinking about it still makes me want to cry. I don't have that much throwing up but I have a ton of dry heaving in my first trimester along with severe nausea and then have the nausea (sometimes mild but often moderate to severe) for the whole or part of every day until I go into labor. I can relate soooo much to what you describe and you're absolutely right about the terrible loneliness and depression that ensue. Zofran didn't work for me, actually, but I am able to take this compounded medicine (I think it's like B6 and unisom?) that takes the edge of the nausea and helps me eat more. Pregnancy is just sooo miserable for me, though, and I can't fathom being pregnant and not being lonely and sick. I have friends and family who all try to understand...but you can't understand it unless you've experienced it, you know? I've just been so lonely so much of this pregnancy and it is definitely harder when caring for a child (no breaks or off days!) but my husband and I both still want as many children as God will give us (I also struggle with infertility, so we are grateful when I'm able to conceive!) but the whole process is just so hard - infertility, followed by hyperemesis for 8-9 months (depending on how early it starts), and possibly post partum depression after (although I'm hoping to be spared that this time!). But seeing women like you and hearing your stories and know you've made it through with so many children...it gives me such hope! Thanks for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  82. I usually don't comment on blogs, but felt so compelled to just say a huge THANK YOU for sharing your story so beautifully. I'm currently pregnant (just starting the 2nd trimester) and it has been ROUGH. Fortunately, my condition is no where near as severe as yours was, but it can be described as "severe morning/all day sickness." So, I can definitely relate (to a degree) to the feeling of loneliness and uselessness, not being able to function normally or take care of my household, like I once was. If nothing else, this experience has given me a whole new respect for those who suffer hyperemesis. I've done extensive research on it and it still baffles me that this condition is still not widely known, and still misunderstood by so many. Many of my own family and friends can barely understand my condition (since most of them never had many symptoms). So, I don't even want to imagine how lonely I'd feel if I had hyperemesis. I'm also completely inspired by your courage to continue growing your family. Because of my own severe sickness, I have major anxiety about having a 2nd child now, even though my husband and I had always planned to have at least 2 children. Your post gives me hope that maybe I can do it again... one day.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I LOVE YOU! THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have gone through the same senario, nearly identically to you. I am crying just knowing that I am not along (PS I'm at work!). Oh I would skip around the room if I didnt feel so crappy. I am 16 weeks along and in better shape than earlier on. Again, THANK YOU. Good luck to you in the rest of your pregnancy!

    ReplyDelete