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.