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Michaele's HuGStory

Hi HG mommies (and daddies too)- this story is a result of my little birthday present nine months in the making. It’s long- but when you find a place to tell your story where people will understand and not judge you can’ t abbreviate!

I found out I was pregnant with my second child two weeks after my 29th birthday. My then two year old had had the flu and I caught it- only it lasted longer than usual so I finally realized that I was going to be a mother of two. After a month my “morning sickness” was still all the time sickness. I made a doctor’s appointment and they said the usual- it’ll get better, go eat crackers. After the next week of throwing up everything I ate I called and got a script for Phenergan and couldn’t keep down the pill or the water I took it with. I was admitted to the hospital for an IV with Phenergan for two days that weekend. The next day after I was sent home the vomiting started again. They called in Compazine tablets- same thing again with the pill and water. Back to the hospital for dehydration again- IV with Phenergan that weekend. I couldn’t keep anything down again so we tried motion sickness patches this time since it wouldn’t go in my stomach. That worked for one day but my vision was so blurry I couldn’t read or walk around the house without running into doorways and furniture.

Back to being sick. I saw a story on TV about a fish kill and got sick- my husband ate potato chips and the smell got to me- changing dirty toddler diapers was impossible! I lived in my recliner while the world went on without me. The weekend after coming home from the hospital again I was dehydrated so bad I couldn’t go to the bathroom anymore. My husband was out of town on a business trip so my sister-in-law drove me to the hospital and my mother-in-law kept my son. The poor nurse felt so bad for me that she went out and bought me peanut butter and crackers after she got off work one day. I was grateful for the thought and ate one, but held my breath until she left my room and up it came. I had an ultrasound at 8 weeks to make sure I wasn’t carrying twins (false alarm). Seeing that little tiny baby swimming with only arm and leg buds amazed me. I wanted to just sit there and watch it for the next 5 months to make sure it was healthy. I didn’t “see” my son until 18 weeks the first time. It made me feel a little more at ease that the baby would be ok in spite of all my retching. Speaking of retching I never stopped and went to the doc again. He is a retired Air Force Pilot and told me that he would help me learn not to give in to the power of suggestion that spurred my morning sickness like he trained his student pilots not to be sick at the smell of jet fuel. All in my head it was. (He was no longer my doc when I left that day!) He also wanted to put in a pic line so I could have the Phenergan at home. I was nervous about the pic line and went to another doc for a second opinion (and the opinion that it wasn’t all in my head). He admitted me on the spot when he saw how low my blood pressure was, my green skin and my ketone filled urine (The nurse had to help me out of the bathroom after giving my specimen because the smell of the hand soap set me into throwing up). I shuffled down the hall to Labor and Delivery with my kidney bowl tightly in hand. I got nutritional IV’s for two days and had to be carried to the bathroom when it was time to go. The third day my NG tube was put down. I swallowed water while four nurses shoved the tube down a little farther- then threw up the tube and water. After a few tries of this we got the tube into my stomach and I got a much-anticipated Phenergan injection. That dreaded tube hurt worse than my first labor with no drugs (well maybe a close second)! I had to lie on my right side to let the tube go into my small intestine so the feeding formula would bypass my stomach (on the side they just gave me the injection in of course). They started my feedings the next day with a slow infusion rate, then increased it. I had a huge sore throat and had to get used to the feeling of the formula flowing down the tube in my nose and throat. I started to have a little more energy and could take my pole and pump to the bathroom now (big victory!). The nurses would weigh me every morning and clap as I gained a half-pound I spent Mother’s Day in the hospital feeling really guilty that my son was being raised by my mother-in-law. My husband told me that Noah had grown out of his shoes and was going back and forth bare foot to grandma’s house because she wanted me to be able to pick them out for him. I went home a few days later and she convinced a shoe store to let her bring four pairs home for me to chose from and return the rest. My son was finally back in shoes.

I had a terrible time getting back on my feedings when we got home. We would start with a real slow infusion rate and it would back up into my stomach and up it came. I called the doc’s office hysterical that I would starve to death if someone wouldn’t help me get back on that thing (I felt hysterical and depressed a lot then). The nurse was nice and listened to my crazy ramblings and sent out a home nurse to give me a Phenergan shot and help me get started again. My son was scared to death of me and my “straw nose” and ran screaming from me whenever he could. After about a long guilty week he decided that watching me throw up was entertaining enough to stay in the room with me. He got his own “kidney” bowl from my hospital collection of plastic containers and started to imitate me. I sat in the recliner like a zombie and tried not to gag on my tube for days. I had to sleep with my head raised at least 30 degrees so the tube wouldn’t work its way back up. I was dirty and finally my husband helped me take a bath and wash my hair while I tipped my head back and gagged. The smell of the shampoo and soap were too much. I finally could take a shower on my own by wheeling my IV pole and pump into the bathroom and hanging the tubing over the top of the shower door. My hair fell out a little and one day I found my left big toe nail in my sock. I finally got brave at 16 weeks and tried food after I could watch Burger King commercials on TV and not get sick. I went outside for the first time all summer with my IV pole and the sensor on the pump kept saying flow interruption so I wrapped a towel around it and sat. At 18 weeks I returned to the world of the eating with oral Phenergan. I had lost 20 lbs. When my tube was removed I was almost disappointed that it was so unceremonious. I lived off that thing for two months and they just pulled it out of my nose. My husband said “No more fountain face”. At 20 weeks I got an ultrasound and saw my beautiful baby again looking so big compared to the last time. We found out she was a girl and I was in awe that God would give me a boy and a girl. I couldn’t wait to braid her hair and give her my China dolls and wedding dress.

My pregnancy progressed well after that and I gave birth to Grace 4 days before my due date (only God’s Grace got me through this pregnancy). I was amazed that after all my sickness she came screaming into the world at 9 lbs. 1 oz. (bigger than brother at 8-14!). I was so thankful that I couldn’t even stand it. I still just sit and stare at her and she’s 7 weeks now. I thought it was important that I share my story like everyone else here so that the mommies going through this now can read and have hope and the moms with babies in their arms now can look back and remember with pride. God bless every one of us and know that you are prayed for every night. Hang on to the end of your rope if you’re sick now and someday you’ll be climbing up it again feeling strong. Best wishes and happy parenting!

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