Saturday, June 21, 2014

Early Pregnancy, the Celebration and the Pain

For many women those early weeks after they learn they are pregnant are filled with excitement and wonder (especially for first time moms). For many others there are some not so fun moments of nausea that hit periodically around that six week mark and hang around until they reach the 2nd trimester. However, for a (un)lucky few, the days and sometimes nights are filled with unbearable nausea - as if their body decided that any and all food and drink is seen as an immediate threat to the baby and must be gotten rid of immediately.

With my first daughter I was completely unaware of what morning sickness was and what to expect. After days of toilet hugging, I called my OB with such confusion. It was nearly a month before she wanted to see me in her office, but yet I was obviously experiencing something that wasn't right... I mean it couldn't be normal - could it? I hadn't kept ANYTHING down in days...

Still having yet to meet me face-to-face, she recommended I go to the ER for fluids and prescribed me Zofran. I was exhausted, depleted, completely overwhelmed. I did as she said and felt (some) relief. Compassion was not exactly her strong suit, but she was quite knowledgeable and shoot- she'd seen far more pregnant women than I had.

I trusted that this was all I could do and just counted the days until I felt whole again...

I truly thought this time around would be different. I have been eating healthier and had high hopes that this would make a difference in how my body handled pregnancy. Unfortunately my stubbornness can get in the way of my own health.

Week 5 the non-stop nausea came, but no vomiting, I remember telling my husband on MULTIPLE occasions - oh if this is all it is, I will be so lucky!!! Then week 6 hit me like a brick wall. I kept a large glass mixing bowl on the bathroom sink (I HATE throwing up into toilets). My daughter watched Daniel Tiger for 5 days straight and I prayed that if we could just make it until my husband got home everything would be ok... He came home early every day.

By Friday I was too weak to keep up the facade. I had lost 6 lbs since Sunday, hadn't kept any liquids down, and was constipated beyond belief. I FINALLY accepted the generous offer of a help from a kind friend and went to the doc. Their compassion amazed me. My primary doc was out of town, and the walk-in-clinic associated with his office had a 45 min wait... There was no way I could wait 45 mins a waiting room without getting sick. I explained to the VERY kind administrative assistant that I would have to come back. Once at home, and after spending more quality time with my favorite glass mixing bowl, I received a call. The VERY kind administrative assistant had spoken with the nurses, they had arranged for me to see another OB doc as soon as I could make it back to the office. THANK THE GOOD LORD!

The nurses were so kind to me, and so understanding. They got me hooked up to fluids right away and made sure that I felt as comfortable as possible - Even the doc visited me multiple times as I sat there getting IV fluids.

This pregnancy is almost identical to my first (I had no idea that odds were so high for this), but having been through this - and survived - once before, my outlook is slightly more positive. I have fears that I didn't have the first time around - mainly regarding how I am going to care for my (almost) 2 yr old daughter, and I am much more worried about the possible side effects of the drugs they have prescribed me (I didn't know to question things early into my first pregnancy). But I am also worried what will happen to myself, my family and my unborn child if I didn't take them.

While I have never been formally diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, nor anything to explain what I have, but I can tell you this - it is a severe version of NVP (nausea and vomiting of pregnancy - the more appropriate term for morning sickness).

I'm already on the hunt for ways to make these next few months more manageable (the severe symptoms subsided around 5 months with my first pregnancy).

If you are are experiencing this kind of pregnancy, or know someone who is - please don't advise them to eat a cracker and sip some sprite. Instead - send them to this website: http://www.helpher.org/ It has a library of information and wonderful forums where other moms share what has worked for them. Sometimes just feeling like we are not alone in our struggles can give us the boost we need to start overcoming them.