Oh the joy of pregnancy. I love meeting women who are so comfortable with their pregnant bodies, and have embraced carrying a child to the fullest. It’s beautiful…really! Nothing like it. But let me tell you…everybody’s journey is not identical, and I’m here to testify that at one point I resented my pregnant body. NOT MY BABY…don’t get it confused. I love her, she’s amazing, but my body’s reaction to the influx of hormones was pure TORTURE (for lack of a better term).
After the positive pregnancy test I was able to go back to sleep ( I mentioned the insomnia in my previous post). But two or three weeks later the nausea started. Hearing people tell me that what I was experiencing was purely morning sickness, made me hot and irritable. It wasn’t just morning, it was noon and night, and any other time that existed in the world. I was sick all day, every day. My ob/gyn initially prescribed Diclegis, which worked for just controlling that seasick feeling…but I was still throwing up. Not to mention the price at the pharmacy was a pretty penny.
I went back to my doctor multiple times because I was losing MAJOR weight. I began at a good 117, and slowly worked my way down to almost 100 pounds. At this point I had blood in my urine and couldn’t even hold water down. I was just disgusted with myself. My boyfriend tried to force feed me, but at this point he didn’t really understand that my body was raging and nothing he did would help…then came the bad news. I could be rescued..with a fucking PICC Line.
A PICC line is less commonly called a percutaneous indwelling central catheter, is a form of intravenous access that can be used for a prolonged period of time (e.g., for long chemotherapy regimens, extended antibiotic therapy, or total parenteral nutrition) or for administration of substances that should not be done peripherally (e.g., antihypotensive agents a.k.a. pressors). It is a catheter that enters the body through the skin (percutaneously) at a peripheral site, extends to the superior vena cava (a central venous trunk), and stays in place (dwells within the veins) for days or weeks. (via Wikipedia)
Yup…in my arm. Intravenously delivering nausea medicine and fluids 24 hours. This was inserted at 10 weeks pregnant and stayed in until I was 20 weeks pregnant. Only to be removed due to an infection. (Which could have been deadly because the line went straight to my heart). After that method was removed I went on to trying another, this entailed stabbing myself in the stomach. I just couldn’t muscle up the strength to do it. So I let the meds go completely. Eventually the overwhelming nausea subsided and I was able to return to my regular daily routine.
So how do you deal with hyperemesis? There is no easy way. At a certain point my doctor told me to eat anything, just whatever I could to get nutrition. Not everything works for everybody, and what may work today may not work tomorrow. But here are my 5 tips for dealing with severe hyperemesis:
1. Do not allow yourself to get hungry. My main goal was to eat small meals throughout the day to keep my stomach relaxed. Of course I could not manage large meals but what I could keep down I would eat every two to three hours.
2. Stick to the basics when it comes to the food. I would have white rice as a meal, toast, grapefruit (surprisingly), plain baked chips, crackers, and things like that. Visit this website for a list of meal recommendations.
3. Try to stay as hydrated as possible. In the beginning water wouldn’t stay down, so I tried things like ginger tea or Gatorade. Another option is lemon water, or fruit and citrus infused water.
4. REST! I can’t say this enough. You might feel bad about laying in a ball for hours but I couldn’t get enough rest during this tough time frame.
5. Get help from available family members or friends. I definitely had to get help from my parents (especially with my older child). My energy level was depleted to zero, and I had no life left to do chores, cook, sometimes even showering was a daunting task. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when your body is weak.
If you have experienced hyperemesis and have additional comments you’d like to leave, please share them below in the comments. Again I am NOT a doctor just a gal who has overcome a rough experience and here to share it with you. 🙂