Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Being miserable for the best reason

At 5 weeks I started having morning sickness except it was all day and I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. When I called my doctor because I was so sick she prescribed me diclegis. Diclegis is essentially Vitamin B6 and unisome. It helped for the first week, giving me the ability to go to work. I was still miserable and throwing up a lot but, I was able to get through work most days. She told me that if I was showing signs of dehydration then I needed to go to the ER to get fluids. So at 6 weeks I was at urgent care to get fluids because I wanted to avoid the exceptionally long wait in the ER. But when they found out I was having triplets they said that I would have to go to the ER because they were not able to treat me in Urgent Care. At least once a week I would end up in the ER to get fluids.

Then when I went to see the perinatalogist, she said since I was having triplets I would be seeing her the remainder of my pregnancy because I am high risk. She prescribed me zofran since the diclegis wasn’t working. Zofran helped a little more but I would still find myself in the ER needing fluids. Dr. F, my perinatologist, said if I couldn’t keep fluids down for 3 hours I needed to go in because I could get dehydrated very quickly since I️ was having triplets. Luckily Dr. F sent me to Mary Birch triage and told them they had to take me even though I wasn’t 20 weeks yet because I was having triplets. That was a life saver because the wait time and the care was much better. The Zofran wasn’t really helping and I had lost 6 pounds so, she gave me a new treatment plan and three different medications that I took around the clock. She wanted to admit me to the hospital, but I really didn’t want to. I told her let’s see if this new medication regiment worked and if not then I  promised her I would tell her immediately and go the the hospital. This new regiment made it so I could keep some food down and not have to go to triage as often and more importantly, not be hospitalized.

At 14 weeks I was still miserable. I had continued to work when I could because some days were better than others. I felt so guilty because I had to cancel on my families all the time. I was an ABA behavioral therapist, so I worked one-on-one with children with autism in their homes. This made it even harder because I l couldn’t get sick at their house so, I would be sick in my car before the session started and hope I would make it through the session and vomit in my car afterwards.

I️ tried every remedy I could find; mint, potato chips, ginger tea, ginger snaps, ginger lollipops, lemonade, eating small frequent meals just to name a few. After nine weeks of doing this and no relief I didn’t know if I could continue working. I️ was waiting for it to go away around 12 weeks like everyone said it would, but it didn’t. I mentioned this to my doctor and she immediately told me I was done working and put me on disability.

My poor husband had to take over all the cleaning and cooking. I would puke just from walking down the hall to the kitchen or from the smell of food. He would force me to eat and make whatever sounded good to me. Some days he would get home from work and I had fallen asleep on the bathroom floor. He literally would have to pick me up off the floor because I was so weak from vomiting all day. My goal everyday was to take a shower and change into new pajamas. Most days I wouldn’t even make it out of our room. On my good days I would be able to watch TV and keep some food down. My sweet puppy didn’t mind me being home all the time because she would cuddle with me all day and keep me company. During this time I mostly survived off of saltines and Gatorade/pedialyte.

At 20 weeks I had more good days than bad days, which was a relief. As long as I took my medicine around the clock, snacked through out the day, and didn’t move around too much I was okay. Things seemed to be going back to normal and I️ was going to try and go back to work, but then I️ was admitted to the hospital before that could happen.

When I was admitted to the hospital at 24 weeks, I explained that I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum and that I needed my medications at the exact times. It took a few times when the nurses would be late giving me my medicine and then I would end up vomiting because I didn’t get my medicine at the exact time. The nurses eventually figured out to send someone else to give me my meds if they were busy. I️ don’t think they had to care for patients with Hyperemesis very often. The worst part was when they would be monitoring the babies and I would try everything so I wouldn’t vomit because it takes a long time to get all three babies on the monitors for 20 continuous minutes. Then if I vomited, the monitors would loose the babies and we would have to start over.

On Sundays, the nurses weighed me and every week I was hopeful that I gained weight. Which is the exact opposite of what most women are hoping for. Also, the nutritionist at the hospital was concerned because I would hardly eat any of my meals. She had snacks sent to my room between every meal. Every week she would try and get me to eat more and put me on high calorie snacks when I️ still wasn’t gaining weight. The nurses would literally write down and keep track of how much I would eat. I would get so annoyed because it made me feel like I wasn’t being a good mom because I couldn’t eat. i talked to my doctor about not getting enough nutrients for the babies and she was not concerned how much I ate as long as I was eating more nutritious food. From then on I️ had Joe finish my food so they would think I️ was eating enough.

Because I was so sick and miserable I would think “why in the world did I want to get pregnant?” Then I would feel bad for even thinking that because I loved all my babies. Hyperemesis is not only awful because it drains your body, but because it mentally drains you. It’s you AND your baby who are not getting enough nutrients. Well in my case babies. My doctor would remind me that the babies are getting everything they need because my body will give them the nutrients they need first. It was my body that would be lacking nutrients. I would still feel incredibly guilty even though she told me this.

The silver lining of having Hyperemesis Gravidarum is I didn’t have any weight to loose after the babies were born. I had gained 30 pounds by the end of my pregnancy and a week after the babies were born I weighed myself and I was already back at my pre-pregnancy weight. It’s crazy to think that I had 30 pounds of extra baby stuff (fluid, placentas, babies, blood). I would trade this in a heart beat for being able to eat and not be miserable my entire pregnancy.

If you know someone with Hyperemesis Gravidarum here are some things that you can do to help and some things not to do:

– Don’t offer to bring them food. Trust me if they want something they will ask for it. (Ask Dad what he wants to eat because he is the only one who cares.)

-Offer to come over and help do dishes, laundry or pick up groceries.

– If you have some free time just sit and watch a movie/Netflix with them. Just having some company is a nice change. Don’t think she is just being dramatic or lazy. If she could do things she would.

– Don’t suggest a morning sickness remedy that might work. Trust me she has tried it already.

-If she vomits don’t say anything. Just get a damp cloth that she can wipe her face with after she is done.

– Ask her partner what he needs help with. He is the one who has to pick up all the extra chores that she normally does.

– Don’t tell her it will get better. Most likely it will not go away until after she has thebaby.

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