HG & Pregnancy Complications Links & Links that EVERY Pregnant Mom Can Enjoy!
HG Survivor.org, a small, but wonderful site!
Sidelines - Bedrest & Pregnancy Complications Support
Childbirth.org - Fabulous Site (good info on preterm labor)
Some Info About Hyperalimentation (IV Nutrition, TPN)
H.E.L.L.P. Syndrome Information
Hyperemesis Gravidarum Info
Blooming Awful (a fabulous HG site)
Various Treatments for Nausea
I have put together these resources because I have been where you are. Pregnancy should be a wonderful time in a family's life, but, as with everything, sometimes things go horribly wrong.
I began "feeling sick" just 6 days after conception. Being my first pregnancy, I didn't know what to expect. I first saw my midwife 7 weeks into my pregnancy. The nausea and vomiting were horrible, but little did I know, the worst was yet to come. At 10 weeks, I had bleeding. Bright red and very scary bleeding. I went to the midwife knowing that I had miscarried. To our amazement, she heard a heartbeat! So, I went over for an emergency ultrasound and lo and behold...there was still a baby in there! And, even more shocking...there were still TWO babies in there! So, we did lose one, but we still had TWINS! (We know now that the third baby was probably very sick. Our boys have a very rare genetic condition and that baby probably had the same thing.)
So, the pregnancy continued. I was so sick all the time. And, HG is a very frustrating condition. I "read up" on the condition online and the information I found made things worse for me! Much of the information out there says that HG may be caused by a crisis pregnancy (unplanned baby) and this was definitely NOT my situation, and I found that very disturbing. HG IS NOT in your head! It is a very real, VERY SERIOUS medical condition and the truth is, no one knows WHY it happens to some women.
I was hospitalized many times during my pregnancy. (I really didn't keep count, but it was at least 9 or 10 inpatient stays) My vomiting was so severe that I had to have a PICC Line placed in my upper arm to receive hyperalimentation (IV nutrition with all of your required carbs, fats and proteins that you need while you are unable to eat). I felt better when I had the hyperal & when I was in the hospital because with the IV going, I was not dehydrated. Dehydration in pregnancy can induce nausea & vomiting as well as bring on pre-term labor. The PICC Line became infected at one point and I had severe blood poisoning from this. They were able to replace the PICC Line and I had it until I went into the hospital and delivery was inevitable.
When I wasn't in the hospital, I was at home, in bed. After 10 weeks, it was bedrest for me. Contrary to popular belief, bedrest is not very restful. In fact, I would rather have a root canal done with a dull rusty knife and no anesthesia than be on bedrest again. Yes, really. When you are on bedrest, I suggest doing some isometric exercises (tightening & then releasing your muscles). I did not do this & I was so horribly deconditioned at the end of my pregnancy that I could hardly move. It took me almost a full year to recooperate from bedrest.
Your doctor may offer you medications for your HG. Try them. Try every last one of them. Don't go put yourself through anymore than you are already dealing with. Women have DIED from HG. (The author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte died of HG in her fourth month of pregnancy in 1895) The docs are not going to give you anything that is dangerous for the baby, and although there may be slight risks with some medications, keeping you & the baby alive & as well as possible is the goal. Some things that I tried: compazine (had a looney toons reaction with that one, but it didn't help the vomiting), Zofran (a medication used to help cancer patients with side effects from chemotherapy, didn't work a bit, I usually threw up the VERY EXPENSIVE pill), zantac, phenergan, tigan, meclizine, Reglan and pepsid, all with no luck. I used the sea bands (acupressure point stimulation, didn't help), I took vitamin B6 (didn't help), ginger, accupuncture and chiropractic and what seemed like endless other things, with no relief. Some people do get good relief with any number of different treatments. Some don't.
In all, by the time I delivered my twins (May 16, 2000, at 4:29 p.m. and 4:31 p.m.), I had been through the ringer. I delivered by C-Section. I had developed a condition called H.E.L.L.P. Syndrome. Vomiting and headache are two symptoms of H.E.L.L.P. Syndrome, but we didn't recognize that these symptoms were due to something other than HG, as they are also symptoms associated with HG. I finally stopped vomiting three days after delivering my sons. During my 34 week pregnancy, I had lost 40 pounds due to Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and that was with serious and intensive medical intervention.
My immediate reaction, after going through the ordeal that I went through, is that I wanted no more children. Even now, almost three years since I delivered, it is a painful experience. I love my children with my life, but the experience that was my pregnancy was horrible. I wish more than anything that I could associate fond memories with my pregnancy, but, other than my baby shower (at which I was so weak I needed help opening gifts), there are no good memories. My dream is that no woman (or her partner) will ever have to suffer from this again. I am still torn on whether I want to chance another pregnancy. I am still afraid of HG and what it can do to me, what it has already done. The only thing that I can tell myself to justify the pain is that Anything that is worth anything isn't easy to accomplish. My wish to you is that you never experience this horrible condition. If you are already experiencing HG, my wish is that, for the remainder of your pregnancy, you are able to come to a peace within yourself and that you can somehow rise above the pain. God Bless.
UPDATE: We are expecting Baby # 3 (Another Boy!). July 4, 2004 is our due date. I, again have severe HG and am feeling those same awful feelings again. I am, as of this writing, halfway done with the pregnancy and on most days feel that we can't see baby Sam soon enough.
Tips for Surviving HG