With my first pregnancy I remember having the worst morning sickness. My doctor prescribed me Zofran for the nausea and just told me to wait it out until my first trimester was over. Those first 12 weeks passed with no end of nausea in sight. Zofran became my best friend for the next six months until I finally had some relief the last few months of my pregnancy.
My second pregnancy wasn’t much better and brought nausea and vomiting throughout the entire nine months. It was the first time that my doctor officially diagnosed me with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG.)
According to the American Pregnancy Association, HG is “a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are treated with dietary changes, rest and antacids.” It only affects a small amount of women who have morning sickness and usually is at it’s worst from 9-12 weeks of pregnancy.
I was throwing up multiple times a day and couldn’t keep anything down. I’d have to check in with my doctor regularly so that she could make sure I was hydrated and didn’t pose risk or harm to myself or the baby. It was completely miserable and unsettling, but was manageable enough with the Zofran that I avoided a hospital stay.
I started vomiting at four weeks during this pregnancy. In fact, I knew I was pregnant before even taking a test because I’d wake up every morning and run to the bathroom. I immediately called my doctor and had her prescribe me Zofran to help ease the nausea. Unfortunately the Zofran wasn’t helping this time around. I couldn’t keep anything down, had horrible vertigo, and the worst headache. After two previous pregnancies with bad morning sickness, I thought I could deal with anything. This pregnancy was proving to be very different.
After not eating for over 24 hours, I called my doctor and told her I need something else. She immediately told me that I had the option to either go to the hospital for an IV or I could have a home nurse come over and show me how to administer my own IV with a constant dose of medication 24 hours a day.
Obviously with two kids at home, I didn’t want to go to the hospital, so the at home IV was my only option. That, paired with other remedies helped me get through the worst morning sickness I have ever experienced.
See below for 10 ways I’m getting through living with hyperemesis graviarum.
In order to avoid the hospital, my doctor ordered that I be put on an IV of my nausea medication. I managed to avoid it for my other pregnancies, but with becoming dehydrated and unable to keep anything down, while still having to look after both of my girls, this was my only option for keeping me and my baby healthy.
This IV administered Zofran 24/7. I had to change my spot every 12 hours. It does take some getting used to, as you are sticking yourself with a needle twice a day, but it immediately made me feel better than I was, which was huge plus. With the IV, I could get out of bed and spend time with my girls.
Having two small children while being incredibly sick is not a fun combination. While all I wanted to do was lay in bed all day long, my kids wanted to get up and play. I couldn’t go outside much (the smell of NYC summer streets were a huge trigger for me) I tried to come up with as many activities for them to do indoors. Many days it was me closing the door in their room while I laid on the floor and rested and they played with all of their toys. Other days I actually had the energy to get out a fun craft to keep them entertained. If you have children while dealing with HG, just take it one day at a time. Don’t feel guilty for having the television on. Remember, it’s only temporary.
Zofran has been my saving grace for all of my pregnancies. Unfortunately with this pregnancy, the highest dosage wasn’t helping me, so I had to go on the IV. Once I passed the first trimester, I slowly weaned myself off of the IV and am now back to my Zofran pills. I take the full dosage every 8 hours so that I can feel well. It doesn’t fully take away the vomiting, but it still allows me to keep foods down and get out of the house.
I’ve probably eaten gallons of chicken noodle soup over the past four months. Its the only hot food that I was able to keep down. Between crackers, bread, and chicken noodle soup, I was able to get some food into my diet. On my worst days I couldn’t keep anything down, but when I was hungry, I’d try to eat. Bland foods got incredibly boring after a while, but I was hungry and didn’t want to test the limits on my stomach.
I used to try to get as much work done as possible when the girls were down for their naps during the day. I started taking naps with them before I even knew I was pregnant (it was one of my tell tale signs that I was.) Now whenever nap time hits, I am in my bed and sleeping as much as I can. Laying down and getting rest it what feels the best for my body and I know that I need it.
Even though I couldn’t eat much, ice pops have been my best friend. I don’t know if it’s me craving them or the fact that they don’t upset my stomach. But they have been a perfect treat throughout the day.
HELP FROM MY HUSBAND
Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done without my husband. He comes home from a long day at work and immediately lets me go into my room to lay down and rest. He takes care of the girls when I need him and would even come home from work early if I just wasn’t able to make it through the day watching the girls. If you have HG and have kids, ask for help. Don’t feel bad or embarrassed by it. Help is the best thing you can do for yourself.
TRAVELED TO FAMILY
We have extended family that is always willing to help out. The girls and I decided to take some trips to the grandparents house so that I could have extra hands around all the time. It was so nice knowing the girls were in good hands and I could fully focus time on myself.
RELAXED IN BED
Unfortunately there were many days where it was nearly impossible for me to get out of bed. As soon as I stood vertically I immediately ran to the bathroom. Thank goodness for little girls who don’t mind just laying around. We’d turn on the television and watch endless hours of movies to help pass the time. Rest was the best thing I could do and I am so grateful for kids that allowed me to do it.
Although most of the time this didn’t work for me, I was still willing to try anything. Ginger, pressure point bands, and vitamin B6 were all things that I took and tried to fight the nausea. With the way that I felt, I wanted to do anything to make the nausea go away.