Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Major Milestone

As the month of August comes to an end, it has occurred to me that I have almost completed my first month of pregnancy that has remotely resembled normal human life! Morning sickness hit around Week 6 of my pregnancy and lasted well into the second trimester when I was finally diagnosed with mild hyperemesis gravidarum (www.hyperemisis.org). The short definition is that this is a condition with morning sickness-like symptoms that can last anywhere from 20 to 40 weeks during pregnancy…and it feels more like never-ending morning sickness combined with the flu and the worst hangover of your life. Unfortunately, the solutions for morning sickness (e.g., eating bland foods, etc.) do little or nothing to relieve the misery. I tried several combinations of medications (oral and IV-pump) and even visited the chemo ward a few times to receive hydration fluids by IV. I finally found a medicine that ‘worked’ the best for my body, and I’ve been able to stave off being physically sick for about a month now. However, the nausea remains. Some days I still have a lot of anxiety, irrational though it may be, that the nausea will never go away even after I give birth. All that said, I only had a mild case of this condition! Some women lose extreme amounts of weight, take 2-3 times as many medications as I do, or even spend extended stays in the hospital to receive nutrition through feeding tubes. The extraordinary thing about this condition, though, is that it generally seems to affect only the mothers. We may be miserable, but our babies are fine. It’s been a surreal realization today for me to count back weeks, not hours or minutes, since I was praying for death on my bathroom floor.

I know for a fact that I would not have survived the last six months without my wonderful husband, who has been nothing short of a miracle. Aside from completely taking over the mundane day-to-day tasks, he also made midnight trips to the drug store for benadryl when I had a bad reaction to the IV medicine (it made my legs twitch!) and he even let me stick him with needles when I was too scared to do it to myself for the first time. One thing I’ve said from the very beginning is that the human race would cease to exist if we told other women what you actually endure in pregnancy. I am absolutely positive that I would do this all over again in a heartbeat for the baby I’m currently carrying. My confidence is much lower when I consider whether I will ever do it again. People smile and tell me to wait and see … perhaps they’re right, but I have a condition that less than 2% of pregnant women ever experience (and I’m almost guaranteed to get it again in any subsequent pregnancies). Ah, the miracle of life …

3 comments:

  1. Yay... love your blog! But Yuck... I'm still so sorry about your hypermesis. I'm glad the medicine is working and you're feeling better!

    Since you're in New Braunfels, we should meet up sometime soon for baby shopping (even if it's just window shopping) in San Marcos!

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  2. Hi Jen-welcome to the incredibly addicting world of blogging and congratulations on your baby girl!!!! My mom was so thrilled for you when she found out. Sorry to hear about the hypermesis, I cannot imagine how hard that was for you.

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