I found out I was pregnant in January 99. I was six weeks pregnant and hadn't felt sick at all. One night driving home from work I felt a bit shaky, a bit weird. I thought I must need something to eat, so I stopped at a Petrol station and bought some jelly babies. I felt fine while I was eating, but when I stopped, I started to feel shaky again. This feeling happened a few times, but was quite short lived over the following two weeks.
At 8 weeks, I started with the nausea, coming in waves every few minutes. Spent most of the time in bed or in the bathroom leaning against the bath. People kept telling me that it was morning sickness and it was good to feel so sick as it meant a strong pregnancy. At 9 weeks, I was vomiting every 10 minutes. My local GP was unwilling to prescribe any drugs, she was very wary about taking any drugs for sickness whilst pregnant, fearing it would harm the baby. One Sunday evening I couldn't take it anymore, My husband called the emergency doctor. When he arrived, he asked if it was possible to pass any urine (I hadn't eaten for days and all fluids came straight back up) I managed to squeeze a few drops out surprisingly and he was alarmed at the high levels of ketones (basically I was very hungry) he immediately phoned the nearby hospital and I was admitted for re-hydration treatment of saline and glucose through IV drips. I was admitted to a labour ward, fortunately there were 2 other women constantly throwing up in beds near by so I didn't feel such a pathetic freak. I was there for one week, they gave me stemitol injections daily in the backside. It helped to reduce the vomiting, but not the nausea. I couldn't eat a thing. It was a NHS hospital, so standard meals for everyone. Whilst feeling my abdomen on admission to the hospital, the doctor felt either a second baby or another lump. On ultrasound scan, it appeared I had a fibroid the size of a grapefruit. It didn't cause me any problems during the pregnancy, just an uncomfortable lump in my side as I got bigger. There is a high profile for pregnant women to take folic acid in the early stages of pregnancy. I took this faithfully until the 9th week, when I couldn't keep anything down, this caused me to worry about spinal birth defects. Another stress of pregnancy.
I was at home for my 10th week and back in again in the labour ward in my 11th week. This time there were no other women in with hyperemisis I was the only one. All the other women were in for sections and inductions. They were at the end of their pregnancies, I was so envious. Thirty more weeks to go seemed like an eternity to me. I was basically left alone all day, as they were so busy with the other ladies. I was visited once my IV needed changed or injection time. This week in hospital wasn't as effective as the first one, the stemitol injections were having no effect. I was getting very depressed. The days seemed so long, I was wishing time away. I think having the other girls there the first time helped to keep me upbeat as we were able to talk about our experiences and totally appreciate what each other was going through. One Wednesday night, I burst into tears and buzzed the midwife to help me out of this rut. I couldn't stop being sick, she buzzed the duty doctor who came in a rush and put some drug through my IV drip. Within 20 minutes, I felt this heavy weight lift off my body. The nausea stopped, my head began to feel clear. I felt content. He had put some Zofran in my IV drip. I had 8 hours of blissful sleep. The next morning, the midwife woke me to say they would give me another dose of Zofran and if I still felt well could go home. I was so happy. On being discharged, I asked the midwife if I could have some Zofran tablets to take home with me until I see me local GP. She said they were uncomfortable with this, as with any drug they don't know what effects it can have on the unborn baby. I was devastated. Never had it been mentioned to me that this drug which was making me feel great could be making my baby sick. I was so confused and conflicted.
My husband did some research on the internet on Zofran, and found it to be used a lot in the treatment of Hyperemisis. As with any drugs there is a risk of harm to the baby but I was happy that it had been used widely in America in the treatment of Hyperemisis. Luckily for me in the UK there is the NHS. Whilst pregnant all medications are free and up to the age 1 of your child. Zofran tablets are very expensive. About £25 a tablet, which is why it is not widely prescribed and other cheaper drugs are used in the first instance to manage Hyperemisis.
My initial dose at 11/12 weeks was 2 x 8mg a day. I found this took away the nausea, but made me quite light headed and shaky. At 15 weeks this was put down to 1 X 8mg but the benefits didn't last 24 hours so at 16 weeks this was changed to 2 x 4 mg which were spot on in controlling the HG. No light headed ness and I was able to take an interest in food again. At 20 weeks I managed to cut down to 1 x 4mg. At 25 weeks I was able to go the odd day without Zofran. The response to it was pretty quick, so I just took when needed after that. I had totally stopped taking it by 30 weeks. At 35 weeks I started to be sick every morning when I woke up and then I was fine for the rest of the day. MY OB thought this was now more mechanical than horal and was the baby kicking my stomach when I got out of bed. Up until the 20 week stage, my diet was pretty poor. All foods and drinks tasted vile, nothing tasted normal - not even chocolate!! To try and compensate for my poor diet I took pre natal vitamins (Boots - Mum to be pack) which I think helped to keep me and the baby to be healthy during the later stages of pregnancy.
At 40 weeks, my blood pressure which had been perfect the whole pregnancy started to climb, so I was admitted to the same labour ward I had been in with Hyperemisis to be induced. My 'established' labour lasted 3.5 hours, a doddle compared to the previous enduring 32 weeks. I had a healthy baby boy who weighed in at 9lb 1oz. All my worries about low birth weight were demolished, too many prenatal vitamins I think.
My weight after Jack was born was lighter than when I had become pregnant. I had felt depressed about eating during my pregnancy. I loved food and used to go out a lot to restaurants. Whilst pregnant, food tasted weird, I basically eat because it was breakfast time, lunch time, tea time. I had no enthusiasm for food, it became a functional task. The backlash of this behaviour was that after Jack was born I felt 'entitled' to eat anything I liked. I swore I would never diet and deprive myself of food ever again. Which subsequently resulted in me getting very fat in Jacks first year. I'm trying to eat sensibly and get back in shape. Jack is now 18 months old.
I would love to have another child, but not sure how the body and mind would cope a second time round. I now know much more about HG and would be happy to take Zofran again during the pregnancy. I'm not sure if I am brave enough to inflict misery on myself, my husband and my son. Please keep me updated on any new treatments or therapies which are being used, I like to be kept up to date just in case I should be mad enough to go through this again.