Okay, Here is my story......My name is Tiffany, I am 26 years old and recently gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby boy. And, for those of you reading this in between trips to toilet, IT DOES END!
My hyperemisis story began at 6 weeks pregnant. All of the sudden I could not stop vomiting. I was rehydrated at the emergency room twice in one week before the put me in the hospital. The first stay was for 4 days. Once the drugs got the vomiting under control I was sent home. Of course, I returned shortly after for another stay (a week this time) and given a PIC line. I now was on IV at home with a nurse visiting daily, about 13 weeks pregnant, being told this nightmare would end soon....
Any smell made me sick. Hearing the front door open made me sick, the phone ringing, any commercial with food, any disturbance period would send me over the edge. I laid curled up in a dark room for weeks. I am allergic to Compuzine, so they tried Reglin first, didn't work. Then Tigan suppositories, which worked for about 3 weeks until I became immune to them. Finally Phenergan. Now, as you know, when I say "worked" I mean cut the vomiting from 20x per day down to about 7 or 8 with just paralyzing nausea.
After two weeks on home IV, feeling miserable, but surviving, my PIC line broke and once again that vicious cycle started. My husband took me to the infusion center at our hospital, it was Saturday, so the place was empty with just one nurse. This nurse had also suffered from hyperemesis, so while she was super compassionate, we both needed up in tears when she couldn't find a vein. After about 6 attempts, she called my doc at home and he admitted me over the phone. This time I stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks. During this stay, they could not find a vein to get the PIC line in, 3 different "experts" tried. Finally they gave me a local anesthesia and put it in using an xray machine. The hole is now ugly scar.
During this hospital stay I made a few demands to maintain my sanity....(1) STOP WAKING ME UP AT 6AM TO WEIGH ME & AGAIN AT 8 AM WITH BREAKFAST. First of all, sleep is the only refuge a HG patient has and second, at this point, my weight isn't going to change between 6am and 9am and I guarantee you I will not be eating those scrambled eggs! Sometimes hospitals need to be reminded that what is convenient for them doesn't always work for the patient, SO LET THEM KNOW! I also asked to have my phone disconnected. Hospital advice: get up and walk around whenever you can. It helps to keep things moving around inside. I would get this awful gassy feeling and a nurse finally told me it was from no activity in my GI system. Walking around really helped. Also, DISTRACTION. I had my husband bring me some work during that 3 weeks stay and it really helped take my mind off the misery for periods during the day. Also, don't let anyone tell you this is in your head, or that you are being overdramatic. This is very REAL. At one time I had to drive the point home with a colleague who didn't get it. I told her how gross it was to throw up tissue from my esophagus. She never was anything but compassionate from that point on. If you don't let people know what is going on, you leave them to assume and usually that is nowhere near reality.
One of the hardest parts for me was the constant "Oh, I was so sick too, I threw up twice a day for the first three months." Yeah, what I would give for that to be all my pregnancy entailed! Also, the "Have you tried......". Don't you think I would eat saltines if they helped? AHHHHH! I actually have friends whose feelings were hurt by me for being so "self absorbed" during my pregnancy...all I can do is tell myself that they just don't get it....no one can til they have been there.
I had acupuncture done at week 24 and the vomiting/nausea decreased. I still felt like crap though, being so overtired and was still vomiting like 2 to3 times a day with a hernia in my esophagus, I did so until I delivered him (and the HG!) on 10.26.00. Labor was cake compared to the previous 9 months and I pushed that boy out in 15 minutes. My fears that this nightmare was going to last even after the pregnancy (yes, I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with nausea) subsided within minutes after my delivery. I FELT GREAT!!!!! I really believe it is so important to deal with your feelings of being cheated out of a normal pregnancy and possibly more children. Will also came out not moving with the cord around his neck, so I never got that moment of excitement as the baby is laid on your belly, instead we had a team from NICU run in to help him. For my sanity, I had to let these disappointments go. I made it. My baby made it. Thats what I had to focus on and it was time to move on into feeling good and living again.
Well, thanks for reading. I have a beautiful son now who rewarded me for my efforts to get him here by being a great sleeper, eater and all around low maintenance mellow baby.
I remember at one point, lying in the ER with nurses looking for veins in my feet, begging my husband to promise I would never have to do this again....I still don't know how I feel about doing it again, but I do know my son was worth every minute.
We need to get the word out there about this awful condition. Maybe for a "cure", but more so to get the empathy needed from family, friends and employers. Thousands of women's lives are taken over by this monster every year and some women terminate very wanted pregnancies because they are not given the right medical attention and information. This website and hyperemesis.org are a step in the right direction. There are enough of us to raise our voices together and make a difference. When someone asks about my pregnancy, I tell them in detail and give it a name instead of saying "I was really sick." Hopefully, when they hear of a friend of a friend who is in the hospital because she is so sick, they will have some compassion they otherwise wouldn't have had.
YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
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