The Uncomfortable Truth

Thank you for all your congratulations and well-wishes on our pregnancy. That sounds totally obnoxious, doesn’t it? It’s my pregnancy, really. As much as I wish I could share the physical realities of this pregnancy with KC, I can’t. So, I guess thanks for the well-wishes on our baby-to-be (since that will definitely be both of ours).

As excited as we both are to welcome another tiny, adorable human into our lives, this pregnancy has been anything but easy. I was really sick during my first trimester with Prim, so I was expecting something similar this go-round as well. Unfortunately, what I got was even worse.

24 hour nausea set in as soon as I hit week 5 (which, in case you don’t already know, is a mere week after you get a positive pregnancy test). Two days later I was throwing up multiple times a day, barely able to function. Within two weeks I had lost 6% of my total body weight and was regularly going 24-48 hours without being able to keep any food or water down. I was lightheaded and dizzy, and every time I would throw up I would get so weak and shaky that I worried I was going to pass out.

I had visited the doctor and gotten two types of medication for nausea, but neither did anything to help curb the sickness. After a particularly bad couple of days, I went back to the doctor. Since you see a midwife for pregnancy here, you have to go to your general practitioner for anything the requires a prescription or real medical attention. The doctor ran a few tests and then informed me that I needed to go to the hospital. Actually what he said was, “Oh. That’s not good” (looking at some of my test results) and then made a very terse call in Dutch to an OB, which was followed by, “You have to go to the hospital now.”

I was severely dehydrated and my body had gone into ketosis (basically where your body starts pulling nutrients from your muscle and fat stores to feed the baby) because I was unable to keep any food down.

An ultrasound at the hospital showed that the baby was healthy and growing right on track, which was a relief. I was officially diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and spent the next 5+ hours getting 5 liters of fluids through an IV drip.img_9315

I hoped that getting rehydrated would help calm my system and I would be able to keep some food down once I got home. Unfortunately, as soon as I returned home the constant vomiting continued. I was prescribed intense anti-nausea medication which is generally used for chemo patients. I hated the idea of being on medication while pregnant, but had to face the fact that without the medication I would be starving and dehydrated, which is dangerous for the baby.

I have been dealing with this now for 7 1/2 weeks straight. For the past 52 days I have thrown up at least once almost every day. Prior to being on the medication, there were days where I lost count of how many times I threw up. There were days when I laid in bed and thought of everything that I would rather deal with than this (there was a point where I felt like driving a nail through one of my wrists would have been less awful).

I have felt hopeless, miserable, and alone dealing with this illness. HG is incredibly isolating since it tends to strike hardest in the first trimester, when many people are not yet advertising their pregnancies. Luckily my symptoms have started to dissipate a little. I had three days in a row where I didn’t have to take medication, which felt like the hugest victory. For now, I am taking it day by day and hoping that the sickness will continue to taper off and eventually end. I am looking forward to when I can officially be off medication altogether.

The funniest side-effect to all of this is that Prim has started pretending to throw up now. She’ll bend over her baby carriage and cough like she’s puking. It’s simultaneously hilarious and totally depressing. img_9499

^^ “Just like mama.”^^

So in case you were thinking that I didn’t look “that pregnant” in the picture in yesterday’s post even though this is my second child — this is why. (And trust me, I would much rather have a big ol’ pregnant belly early on and have trouble buttoning my jeans than deal with this nonsense.)

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