I have rough pregnancies.
I've been wanting to write this post for a while, wanting to explain where I've been and how come I've practically disappeared for the last month and a half, but the very thing I want to write about is the thing that's been keeping me from having the motivation to sit at a computer and type it out.
In a nutshell, I've been sick. Constantly, never-endingly sick.
Do you remember when I wrote this post during my last pregnancy? I wrote about how I had severe morning sickness when I was pregnant with Ellie. I had been expecting it before I got pregnant, because my mom had had severe morning sickness (for all nine months) with all four of her pregnancies. So, I was expecting the same thing - severe morning sickness for all nine months. And I got it.
This pregnancy - as I talked to friend after friend about their pregnancies and none of them came close to my experiences - I realized that what I have (and what my mom had) might be beyond morning sickness. My stepmom had talked to me before about the Hyperemesis Gravidarum that she suffered during her pregnancies, and I began to wonder if that might be what I had.
Taken from Hyperemesis.org, "Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids. If severe and/or inadequately treated, it is typically associated with:
- loss of greater than 5% of pre-pregnancy body weight (usually over 10%)
- dehydration and production of ketones
- nutritional deficiencies
- metabolic imbalances
- difficulty with daily activities."
They have a very helpful chart that explains the differences between regular morning sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
|Image from www.helpher.org|
Do you see the Hyperemesis column? I had every single one of those symptoms when I was pregnant with Ellie, and I have almost all of them now. Last time I got on medicine (the generic of Zofran) on week 12/13. This time I went to my doctor immediately and was on it by week 5. And, important point, I'm on triple the dosage I was taking last time. I take 8 mg of Zofran 3 times a day, so I'm getting 24 mg a day. I'd like to go through the Hyperemesis Gravidarum list point by point, comparing the two pregnancies:
- "You lose 5-20 pounds or more." When I was pregnant with Ellie I was losing a pound a week before I got on Zofran. From weeks 6-10 I lost 4 pounds, and I didn't get on Zofran until about 2-3 weeks later, so in total I probably lost about 6 pounds. This pregnancy I have remained exactly my pre-pregnancy weight (thanks to the Zofran).
- "Nausea and vomiting cause you to eat very little and get dehydrated from vomiting if not treated." Yes to both pregnancies. In my first pregnancy, I had severe nausea 24/7 for two months (until I was put on the medicine) and was throwing up 3-4 times a day. I ate very little and drank very little, and most of it was lost through my vomiting anyway. Thus, the weight loss. This pregnancy, the Zofran has really helped curb my vomiting. I'm still nauseous all day (and night) long, but this time it's more of a moderate nausea and I'm only throwing up about every other day. I'm still eating very little, but I'm keeping almost all of it down this time.
- "You vomit often and may vomit bile or blood if not treated. Nausea is usually moderate to severe and constant." I just kind of explained this in the last bullet, but yes yes yes. Both pregnancies. Again, in my first pregnancy I had severe, unrelenting nausea all day and night and week and month and month long and threw up 3-4 times a day until I was put on medicine. This time, I'm on triple the dosage of Zofran and I started a lot earlier. I'm still moderately nauseous all day and night long, but I'm throwing up a lot less. I have vomited bile with both pregnancies.
- "You will probably require fluid hydration through a vein and/or medications to stop the vomiting." Yes to both pregnancies. Zofran is the only thing that has tamed my vomiting either time. I would not have stopped throwing up last time if I didn't have it, and I would be vomiting a lot more this time without it.
- "You usually feel somewhat better by mid-pregnancy, but you may continue to be nauseous and/or vomit until late pregnancy." Yes to my first pregnancy. It's too early to tell with this one, but in my last pregnancy I had to remain on medication for the entire nine months. When I ran out of my medication at different points (before I could get a refill), I was back to vomiting again - and this was late in my second trimester.
- "You will be unable to work for weeks or months, and may need help caring for yourself." Yes to both pregnancies. I am so lucky that I didn't have a job at the start of my last pregnancy, because I would not have been able to go to it. I would have had to call in sick day after day, until I finally quit because I was just unable to work. I was not able to do anything last time until I got on the medicine. I literally (and I am correctly using that word) laid on the couch all day long (every day) and concentrated on not throwing up. I tried reading and watching TV, but I couldn't even do that a lot of the time because the words and the moving images made me nauseous. This time, I'm on Zofran already and it's helping a bunch, but my ability to fulfill my usual responsibilities is still severely curtailed. Take dishwashing, for example. Normally not that difficult of a task. Right now? Nearly impossible. The thought of standing there at the sink - with the smell of the kitchen, and the smell of the sponge and the bottle brush, and the smell of the soap, and the smell of the dishes, and the energy to scrub the dishes and twist my body to put them in the dishwasher - it's hard for me to comprehend doing. The energy, and the movement, and the smells. I almost feel sick thinking about it. I also feel like a bad mom because Ellie wants me to get up and play with her when I'm watching her, and most of the time I just have to lie down on the couch or the floor because if I try to sit up I'll throw up. And so she'll cry because I'm not getting up, and I feel terrible. The "you may need help caring for yourself?" Yes. Both pregnancies. I'm almost embarrassed to admit how pitiful I become when this sickness takes over - but sometimes this time (and nearly all the time last time) I just can't do even simple things for myself. I can't get a bowl of cereal, I can't get up to get my barf bucket, I can' t go grab myself a water bottle. So Jason does it. I don't know what I would have done without Jason for both these pregnancies. He is so amazing, and my hero, and there just aren't enough good words in the English language to describe him. Seriously, he's so patient, and understanding, and - I just don't have the words. Amazing. He's amazing. I also don't know what I would do without the family and friends who have been so helpful in watching Ellie this pregnancy.
Anyway, I needed to write this post. I needed you to know what's going on. And why I haven't been blogging, or updating. I haven't had the energy, or the motivation. It might start to get better soon - I'm almost 12 weeks now, and last time 8 mg of Zofran a day was able to really help me about this time in my pregnancy. Since I'm on 24 mg a day, I'm hoping to see some big improvements in the next couple weeks.