Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Weak as a rag doll, pale as the moon...

I have never been good at planning, at least not good at planning the major life changing moments in my life, such as becoming a Mama at 19 years old. Even after desperately wanting a baby for years while I was in art school,we were again surprised with the pregnancy of our second child, a very happy much wanted surprise.
I can tell you one thing for sure. I did not plan on spending the entire month of July, housebound, and very sick. I have been suffering from severe nausea and vomiting called Hyperemesis Gravidarum and am pregnant with our 3rd child.....surprise again!
With both of my previous pregnancies I had pretty intense morning sickness, I would throw up at least once a day starting around my 6th week and lasting until the end of the forth month. But it was manageable, I was able to function perfectly well in between the trips to the bathroom.
This time has been very different.
It took a few weeks longer for the nausea and vomiting to hit this time, but when it did, it hit me HARD. After waking up of the 4th morning of not keeping food or water down, I was so dehydrated that I was hallucinating. My vision was really crazy and I couldn't focus on Sollies face when he was standing right in front of me. I was really worried so I called Ben to come home from work. I ended up going to the ER for fluids.
This was all at the beginning of the Month and I am still not well. I am able to eat a bit here and there but am weak as a rag doll and pale as the moon. Normal things like helping my toddler get dressed and brushing my hair have become exhausting tasks. Preparing food is very difficult. As a mama it is impossible to avoid these things. Ben is a great help when he gets home from work,he takes Sollie out for walks and prepares dinner for him. I feel so bad for Sollie. I want to be able to take him to the park and play with him out in the yard, I want to be healthy.
Our daughter has been visiting her Grandparents in Wisconsin since before I started getting sick. We miss her a lot, but I am glad she is having lots of fun out there, as it would not be fun at all for her to be stuck at home with a sick mama.
Sollie and I were supposed to fly out to Wisconsin to meet her last week, but I was way to sick to travel so I had to cancel the trip. It was so sad. I haven't seen my brothers in a few years and I really wanted Sollie to be able to play with his cousin for the first time. It has really been a let down. We also had to miss the much loved Oregon Country Fair this year and had to cancel a trip that Ben and I were planning for just the two of us. I feel like I am watching the summer pass me by. Hearing happy people outside enjoying life has been hard for me too. I honestly really enjoyed the past few rainy days we have had because I felt like for once I wasn't missing out on anything.
I have been feeling really isolated. It is hard to wake up feeling excited about the day when each day is a struggle. It is easy to be depressed when you don't have the energy to do the things you love to do. I haven't even been able to knit.
Hyperemesis is really a rare condition occurring in only 2% of pregnancies. It goes way beyond the normal nausea and morning sickness. The only way I think I could compare it to would be food poisoning. I feel like I have had food poisoning for the past 20 days. I have done some research to find support from other people who have suffered with this condition. But my research has been pretty discouraging. Some women are so ill they chose to terminate much wanted pregnancies in order to recover from their illness. This makes my heart so incredibly sad for those women. They have been so desperate for relief that they feel they had no other choice. Pregnancy shouldn't be like that. Doctors often tell them there is nothing they can do to help, or prescribe drugs that are given to cancer patients to fight nausea that rarely take the edge off and the effects of these drugs on the baby is unknown. Scary! Some women are sick the entire 9 months that they carry their babies. Some are bed ridden and need a constant IV drip of medicine just to get through the day. One mama tore a hole in her esophagus from vomiting 70 times a day.
It has been very difficult for me but many women have suffered much worse with H.G., and even died.
I am hoping that I well get well soon. My morning sickness was gone by 16 weeks for my last two pregnancies but I am still in the first trimester and I have quite a ways to go before then.
I am hoping people will educate themselves on Hyperemesis.(please note the link in beginning of post). It could happen to your partner or a friend or daughter, and support from friends and family is so very crucial. Please don't tell them to eat crackers and drink ginger ale, believe me we have tried, it goes way beyond that.
If you or anyone you know has been through H.G. I would love to hear your stories and suggestions. I am hoping to get my strength back to return to this space more often in the near future.
I hope your summer is a healthy one!


Mims said...

i am so sorry to hear how sick you are. i hope it passes as soon as possible. while i don't have suggestions for the nausea, maybe accupuncture could help with the depression. good luck.

house full of jays said...

Heidi, I am so sorry to hear how badly you've been feeling. How discouraging for you in the midst of joyful news. My heart goes out to you so much right now. I know how rough it was for me to be laid up and unable to help as much with my older kids but I had nothing like your struggles so I can only imagine. I don't know if advice is what you need right now as you're probably swimming in well-meaning advice...but have you tried essential oils such as peppermint? They've helped me during my pregnancy - the peppermint especially.
Sending loving thoughts, prayers and hugs your way. xo Rachel

Samantha Tara said...

You poor girl. My heart ~ and healing energies ~ go out to you. Before your post I didn't know one could be so intensely sick with pregnancy, I had never heard of that before. Obviously, I know nothing medically but the thought that came to me was of Chinese medicine. Around for thousands of years, it's wisdom far surpasses our western medical system. Just a thought.
Love and healing sent your way..

Mama Ash Grove said...

Oh, Heidi. First of all congratulations on your new little one-to-be! Oh my!
But also, I am so sorry to hear how sick you've been! Obviously I have no advice or anything of worth other than to send you strength and peace from Vermont- and I'm thinking of you and wishing you well!

Anonymous said...

Love you, Heidi--you'll be in our prayers! Uncle Jeff & Aunt B (I love calling her that!)

Melissa said...

I don't have any advice. I just wanted to say congratulations with the new little one and I hope that this sickness passes quickly so that you can enjoy it.

leaves and blossoms said...

Hello Heidi, Your sickness sounds so rubbish! One of my best friends had hyperemnesis gravidarum also. She was so ill. In the end she went into hospital for some IV rehydration most days, and came home the rest of the time. It was her first pregnancy, so obviously she could just go to hospital for a few hours without any worries. I also think she had a lot of relief from cyclizine which I think they gave her intramuscularly to start with, but then she could hold down orally. It is a wonderful drug that prevents nausea and vomiting post op, and motion sickness etc. It is an antihistamine, but its side effects of the antiemetic seem to outway its original use! Another one to try would be metaclopramide which speeds up the gut transit time, so food and drink is moved through the stomach so you can absorb it, instead of throw it up.
Perhaps you could have a district nurse visit for IV hydration? I don't know, sometimes I am really grateful for modern medicine, I hope this helps.
Best wishes x

embracingitall said...

Oh Heidi, I hope you are able to feel better soon. With each of my pregnacies I have gotten sicker for longer (not as servre as you) and it makes for caring for your other children very hard. If only I lived closer, I'd be of help in some way. I second the accupuncture. It works wonders. Jacinta

Mama Gone Green said...

I am thinking about you and am here to help! At least you will get an amazing baby out of all of this suffering... eventually!