An Explanation for My Absence (i.e. Hyperemesis Gravidarum)

I have not posted on this blog (or really had anything to do with One Part Sunshine) in months.  Instead, I have been confined to my bed overwhelmed by nausea, vomiting and extreme fatigue.  We found out we were pregnant with our second child shortly before Christmas.  And a week later, I was a mess.  I became one of more than 60,000 women each year to be afflicted by a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).  HG is a condition that occurs during pregnancy characterized by extreme nausea and vomiting which leads to dehydration and weight loss.

boy hugging pregnant mom

I was pretty sick with my first child as well.  And despite my doctor’s efforts, I refused his offer of medication to deal with the nausea and vomiting.  I was determined to have a natural pregnancy so I suffered for 10 weeks but finally made it through.  This time was way worse.  Not only were my symptoms more severe but I had my 5-year-old son to care for.  My midwife offered Zofran and I eagerly took it.  And it did absolutely nothing for me.  But I was too afraid not to take it so I continued.

I started getting sick at around 5 weeks into my pregnancy, and it was a relentless monster.  Two weeks later I was sent to the hospital for IV fluids because I was so severely dehydrated.  I returned several more times.  My midwife recommended that I enlist the help of a home healthcare company that would come to my house every day to administer IV fluids and Zofran.  While I kept it in the back of my mind, I never took that step.

I couldn’t keep any food down and my appetite was non-existent.  Ten weeks later I am down 14 pounds.  My diet consisted of apple sauce, grilled cheese sandwiches, mini frozen pizzas, green grapes and Cheerios.  I tried all of the “natural” remedies – ginger tea, ginger candies, Sea Bands, ReliefBands, eating small meals throughout the day, crackers, and more.  But when you are that sick, these mild remedies just don’t do the trick.

The worst part was my mental state.  I was crying all the time (which just made me throw up more) and felt overall hopeless and depressed.  I felt guilty about neglecting my son and sticking him in front of the TV or iPad.  I couldn’t stop looking at the mess in my house.  I felt isolated and lonely because I was stuck in the house with no human contact a lot of the time.  I felt cheated because I never got a chance to be excited about my pregnancy.  I was convinced that something was wrong with the baby.  I insisted on an ultrasound at 7 weeks because I felt sure that I had an ectopic or molar pregnancy.  Fortunately, the baby was fine.  Worst of all, and I am ashamed now to admit it, I just wanted the pregnancy to be over.

I am lucky that I have such a caring and devoted husband.  I am even more fortunate that he is a fantastic clinical psychologist.  He helped me through my depression and negative thoughts.  He cooked for me and cleaned (as best as he could) and took care of our son.  And my son was fantastic throughout all of this.  He brought me snacks and laid in bed with me and acted as a messenger between me (upstairs in bed) and my husband (downstairs).  He never once complained even though I know he was bored out of his mind and probably a little scared.  I am going to spend the rest of my pregnancy making it up to both of them.

So now I am 15 weeks pregnant.  I am still slightly nauseous and still have no appetite.  And the fatigue is still overwhelming.  I ventured out of the house for the first time yesterday to go see The Lorax movie with my family.  But I am slowly getting better, and I am trying to remain positive.  I know this has to end sooner or later.  I just can’t wait to eat ice cream again!

If you suffer from any form of nausea or morning sickness, check out our shopping guide with a list of options that might help.

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