Catherine - posted on 10/25/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )
I was so happy to hear that The Doctors was showing a portion of HG on the show. I watched it and cried, deeply relating to the featured Mother who bravely chronicled her pregnancy to share with others. I wanted to offer my story if it could be any help for anyone who has suffered or is suffering from HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARIUM. It is so wonderful to read all the posts above because we can all relate!!! When I was hospitalized, it meant SO much to be understood and loved by other women who had been through it. It was such a gift too to have met Nurses who had been on the same path. I admire them all greatly for turning their testimonies and experiences to help other women. Talk about purposefully using their tragedies into gifts.
I had a mild case with my first born but had a much severe case of HG with my second baby girl. It affected and rearranged every area of our lives as a family because it is a debilitating disease; Physically, Emotionally, Mentally, Psychologically, Financially, and Spiritually. Hyperemesis Gravidarium is a serious pregnancy illness that shouldn’t be taken lightly because it flips the blessing of pregnancy and takes so much from its victims. It has also taken lives of women and babies who did not get a proper diagnosis. I can still remember the morbid moments I spent on the bathroom floor, the carpet, the bed, helplessly trying with all my might to defeat the nausea and vomitting… feeling like, as bold as it sounds – like I was going to die :(. I initially thought I could conquer it by will power but I was so wrong. I remember those dark moments when depression even loomed as I was trying to figure out why I couldn’t get over the discomfort and pain. I always thought I was strong enough physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally to bring myself over the hump so I could finally experience the glow of pregnancy. Initially, because I also had a hard time with my first pregnancy and conquered it, the second one would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, my life… our family’s life took a different turn… it was a deeper valley!
Today, I can proudly but humbly say that I am a survivor of this unique plight and now, everytime I look into my sweet baby girl’s eyes, I’m reminded how blessed I am to have been able to fight this dark battle when she was in my womb. I believe God protected me from further harm and encapsulated my baby girl. Time has passed since then, but it felt like the tunnel of darkness that IS ‘Hyperemesis Gravidarium’ was never going to end. The first six and a half months were the darkest with unfortunate events; There were those consecutive days without eating or drinking because I couldn’t hold anything down… not even water which was so unreal. I was bedridden until a little bit over the Third Trimester, hospitalized four times, barely survived a swallowing monster type of Nausea and unrelenting Vomitting with a Zofran Pump and EVERY available Antiemetic drug, came home with a PICC Line because I could only stay hydrated with an IV, lost a total of 23 pounds, and was under the care of a Home Care Nurse. My OB believed in me enough not to recommend Tube Feeding. That was my turning point. And then, there was that sad unimaginable awful talks and criticism due to lack of compassion from people I least expected them from… yes, even family members who insisted saltine crackers, all things ginger, and mints could wipe away the “morning sickness” in an instant and I can snap out of it. I had to firmly decide to ignore all the negative talks, judgement in their eyes and voices were just noise because they simply did not understand or have the education and awareness of what this illness is. My greatest sadness of all was I couldn’t take care of my beatiful 3 year old daughter. I am blessed to have a husband who was extremely supportive through it all. Thankful as well for my parents and sister who gave her all the love she needed in my absence and participation in her daily life. I also had a compassionate OB doctor, but not everyone is as lucky. I am also thankful for the powerful spiritual support system God had sent our family as I moved forward with the pregnancy plowing through other pregnancy discomforts such as Gestational Diabetes, Legs and Back problems, Debilitating Heartburn, Carpal Tunnel, sleepless nights, and Toxemia.
Our family is now enjoying the special gift that our baby girl is. I take back my initial claim as the only survivor of HG in my family… IT IS MY HUSBAND, DAUGHTER, AND I ALL TOGETHER WHO ARE SURVIVORS OF HG and we are greatly rewarded with a precious now 2 month old baby girl to cherish and love for the rest of our days! I wear a pink bracelet that says “Mommy Strong” from the HER Foundation that my husband and daughter gave me as a gift to daily remind us of how blessed we are! It is my prayer that HG gets the attention it deserves for more awareness and research, greater education, compassion and care for women who suffer from it.
The uniqueness of my situation continues as when I gave birth to her, it was revealed to us that she has Down Syndrome. She is such a vibrant, beautiful, fragile, precious little baby that brings so much joy into our lives. Thankfully, her heart is in perfect shape according to the Pediatric Cardiologist we were directed to see. This was my husband and I’s initial huge concern after having dealt with HG a couple of months before. We are now seeking the expertise of different Therapists as part of an Early Intervention Program for Babies with Special Needs to help her develop and reach her full potential as she grows. I believe we are all created for a special purpose. And it would be so tragic if we refrain from sharing the trials and triumphs of our stories. I would like to open up my life and heart if it could be an encouragement and support for anyone who might find inspiration and hope from the plight God has given my family and I. Or I am simply here to listen and offer comfort. I remember those moments while I was laying flat on my back on the hospital bed wondering if anyone else understood what I was going through… I want to make sure anybody in that very place knows that… I do… understand… and the storm will pass.