Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Uh...Surprise!

If you know me, you probably know I have something of an unhealthy obsession with the British Royal Family.  Particularly the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, or as we Americans like to casually refer to them, Prince William and Princess Kate.  If I have a celebrity crush, it's on the two of them.  So sometimes when I'm down, I like to draw comparisons between my life and theirs, to make myself feel better about myself.  It's silly, but if that's one of the more embarrassing things about me, I think I'm doing pretty well.

So here's one more thing Princess Kate and I have in common:
We're both pregnant.

Maybe it is too early to announce this in a public place, as I'm only 10 1/2 weeks along, but after some deliberation I decided to let my blog readers in on the secret (which let's be honest, most of you are family and close friends anyways...).  Last time around we waited a little longer to tell, but I'm so close to the end of the first trimester, my baby is (fortunately!) healthy, and plus, if I didn't tell you this thing Princess Kate and I have in common, I couldn't tell you about this other fun thing we have in common:

We both suffer from hyperemsis gravidarum (yeah, I can't pronounce it either). 

This is also known as acute morning sickness.  I try not to get up on my soapbox too often, but I just had a semi-scary experience because of this er...lovely... condition, and I wanted to share it with you and tell you that if you are going through this: A. you are NOT alone, and B. there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

My first pregnancy I was horribly ill for the first three months or so.  Most people are, but the difference here is I lost 15 pounds in probably 5 weeks.  Not because I was eating super healthy or exercising a ton, but because I puked almost every day.  There were probably about 2 days a week where I couldn't keep anything (including fluids) down.  My good days usually still involved a trip or two to the toilet.  I even wrote here about one lovely experience I had with my upset stomach while driving to work.  On the days when I wasn't as sick, I still had severe food aversion.  I am almost certain I subsisted solely off of popcorn and crystal lite lemonade (water made me sick...how does that even happen?)  Needless to say, it was a living nightmare. 

Here is a picture of me pre-pregnancy.
And here is one of me 3 months in (after all the heebie jeebies).  I don't know that you can really tell that I lost weight, but I do look pretty pale and haggard, right?
Most people probably would have called the doctor at some point, but since this was my first pregnancy, I thought this was probably normal.  Morning sickness is something nearly every one experiences during their first trimester (and if you haven't, count your lucky, lucky stars!!!!), and I figured that was all it was.  By the time I got into see my doctor, around the ninth week, I'd already lost those 15 pounds.  I told him that I had been sick, but how many girls do you think come in and say that to him?  Every. Single. One.  I told him that I had days with severe vomiting, and that I had lost weight, but for some reason, I was embarrassed to say exactly how much.  At this point, it was also getting better.  I never lost weight after that appointment (even though I still had sick days), mostly because my doctor gave me a few tips on how to better manage the morning sickness.  Between those helpful tips and the fact that my first trimester was almost over, the last few weeks weren't as bad. 

 So, that is my first experience with undiagnosed HG.  Horrible when it was happening, but fortunately I survived, and there were no complications with London. 

And she was totally worth it.
I never even knew such a thing as HG existed until I read about Princess Kate being hospitalized for it a few months ago.  I immediately began doing research on it, and surprise surprise, I had nearly every symptom.

Here is how to tell the difference between morning sickness and HG:
(pulled from the American Pregnancy Association's site.)

Morning sickness:                                                    Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting.         Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting.
Nausea that subsides after 12 weeks or soon after.   Nausea that does not subside.
Vomiting that does not cause severe dehydration.    Vomiting that causes severe dehydration.
Vomiting that allows you to keep some food down.  Inability to keep any food down.

A few more symptoms of HG from their website:
severe nausea and vomiting
food aversions
weight loss of 5% or more of your pre-pregnancy weight.
decrease in urination
dehydration
headaches
confusion
fainting
jaundice
extreme fatigue
low blood pressure
rapid heart rate
loss of skin elasticity
secondary anxiety/depression

Now onto why I am telling you all this:
After reading this article, I thought, huh, guess there was actually something wrong with me and I'm really lucky that nothing serious happened.  But at least I was now informed for the future.  Because the future was a little bit closer than I thought it would be...

We found out we were pregnant in February, and almost immediately I began prepping for the oncoming vomit-marathon.  ...But then mercifully (as I now have a 1 year old to care for all day every day), it didn't seem to come.  Sure, I felt nauseous, didn't feel like being anywhere near the kitchen, but I wasn't spending more time in the bathroom than any other room.  I did have a couple days where I couldn't keep anything down, but it was usually only for one day, once a week.  This was seriously the biggest miracle of my life.  Only it was a fairy tale too good to last.  For some reason even my awesome eating habits, herbal teas, and attempts to keep busy to distract myself from how sick I felt couldn't conquer this beast.  Up to week nine, I had only lost 3 pounds.  Which is perfectly acceptable in the first trimester.  Then this last weekend happened.  The worst Easter of my life.  (No exaggeration, promise.) 

We went up to visit Dan's family for the holiday this weekend.  I was so excited; Easter is one of my favorite holidays, and London is finally big enough to actually enjoy it.  But it was not meant to be.  From the moment I woke up on Saturday, anything I ate came right back up.  I spent the entire weekend either in bed, or in the bathroom.  On Sunday, I tried my hardest to get up, take part in the egg hunt, eat a little breakfast, but by 10 am, it was clear that I wasn't going to make it to the shower, let alone to church.  I was still sick when we left that night, and when we finally did make it home, I stepped on the scale to discover that I had lost 5 pounds in only 2 days.  This was scary to me.  Even though I had lost way more in my last pregnancy, it had never been that much that fast.  I went to bed, hoping that it would pass, I would feel better in the morning, and all would go back to normal. 

The next morning I woke up, ate breakfast, and tried to get ready to go on a walk (keeping busy usually  helps keep me from getting sick).  Less than 20 minutes after eating, my breakfast came back to visit me.  Within 30 minutes, I was back in the bathroom.  At this point, I went back to bed and just broke down crying.  I had been praying so hard this entire pregnancy that my illness wouldn't keep me from caring for London.  I'd had Dan give me a blessing.  I'd been doing everything my doctor advised me.  Why couldn't I keep anything down??  After I calmed down a bit, the thought appeared in my mind, "Call your doctor, NOW."  So, I finally broke down and asked for help. 

When I told my doctor how much I had lost over the weekend, he asked for me to come in immediately so that he could do an ultra sound and check on the baby, and then possibly hook me up to an IV.  Long story short, I went in and had the ultra sound (the baby is A-OK!!).  After a quick consult with Dr. Matsuda (who I cannot recommend ENOUGH, by the way, such a great guy!), he prescribed me some anti-nausea medicine, and sent me down to the hospital to be hooked up to an IV for the day, to replenish all the fluid I had lost.  I was at the hospital essentially for the rest of the day (I could have been there longer, but Dr. M kindly asked them to not keep me overnight because he remembered I have a little one at home and didn't want to separate us for too long.  Told you he was awesome, didn't I??)  Other than being a dried out raisin, my glucose levels were also getting low--probably because I hadn't eaten a meal in over 48 hours.  I feel like if I had waited any longer to go in, we would have started to get into danger zone for me and the wee babe.  But you know what, that one day in the hospital worked magic!!  I felt like a human being again instead of a walking corpse.  And the prescription is literally saving my life.  I haven't been sick yet. 

Here is a picture of the little bugger and his/her heartbeat.
So, fortunately this story had a happy ending.  Although I do have to remember to take a couple pills every day, and have a few (small!) dietary restrictions for the next week or so, I am feeling so, so, soooo much better.  All's well that ends well.  But I just felt the need to reach out and share this story.  I am always afraid to cause people worry or concern.  I tend to downplay how sick I am, even to my doctor.  Please, don't do this.  We are so blessed to live in a time of modern medicine where they can easily remedy this condition (which by the way, the author Charlotte Bronte most likely died from HG in the 19th century, be grateful for what we've got).  For your sake, and especially for your baby's sake, don't let it go too far.  Morning sickness stinks, and it is part of the price we pay for our kids, but there is a line.  If you can't even take care of little things, if your health is being harmed because you are so sick, DON'T WAIT TO CALL THE DOCTOR.  And just know that it's not crazy and it's not your fault that you are so sick.  Some of us chosen ones just have crazy hormones.  And you can count yourself in good company, because you are with me, and Princess Kate.

P.S. Hopefully now that this pregnancy isn't kicking my butt, I'll be able to post with more regularity.

12 comments:

Chris and Paige Evans said...

I was wondering where you've been!

CONGRATULATIONS!! Sorry you've been so sick, that's very scary, but I'm glad you're feeling better with the right meds!

Maybe I missed it, but when are you due??

Renee (and Eric) said...

Well, congratulations!!!! This is very exciting news. Especially on the tails of such a cute birthday celebration for adorable London. I have to say we had not heard it through the grapevine...which is impressive. You will love a duo close together--even when they're fighting over your lap. I'm glad you were able to get some help and that you're feeling better. Take care!!!

Stephanie said...

oh my goodness congrats!! our babes are gonna be besties!

SupaFlowaPowa said...

congratulationsssss!!! that's so awesome!!! Morning sickness BLOWSSSS so I hope you are over it soon!

robertandsharon said...

I'm feeling it with you...I must have had that HG thing, too. I would get so sick with each pregnancy and sicker with each one. I was in my doctor's office a lot! I had meds, shots, and every thing available at that time. It was really miserable but I kept having my babies and I am so glad I did...they are all to precious to not have any one of them. I am excited for you, Dan and London for the new addition. I hope you feel better and better and can enjoy life as you await this precious little one. Love you...

Lucia- insert creative nickname said...

Congrats!! How exciting! Oh, and i'm glad you found medicine that helps, I hope it keeps on keepin' on! I was horridly sick with each pregnancy too, I could always count on losing 20-25 lbs from being sick for the first 5-7 months, but I figured that it must be normal and the baby was fine. Plus when you feel terrible, you go into crisis mode so you can't think proactively very well... or at all, if you're me. Hindsight tells me I ABSOLUTELY should have requested something more than the standard unisom and B6 they tell everyone (which I couldn't keep down anyways).
So good job being proactive!!! Oh, and don't go crazy, and do too much :o)

Autumn said...

Congratulations!!

I remember when you started posting pictures of yourself when you were pregnant the first time around and I thought your face looked thinner. Totally makes sense now.

I can't imagine what a trial it would be to have severe morning sickness like this. Thank goodness for promptings so you feel better and your baby is good!

Dana Eyerly said...

Dave's sisters all had HG with their babies. They would be in and out of the hospital their whole pregnancy. Robin was 95 lbs when she delivered her first and she's not a little person (height is 5'10). So I know that you aren't exaggerating and I know how much it sucks (although I don't know firsthand, thankfully). I hope you start feeling better ASAP! Drugs are wonderful things :-) Oh...and congratulations!

7carrs said...

Glad you are feeling better- totally feel your pain, though I must be one of the few people who are that sick and actually put on weight- perhaps it was the baskin robbins down the street? Love you and am glad the wee one is okay.

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh!!!! This is awesome news I am so excited for you! And so glad you're doing better! Congrats my dearest Sharon!!

brighton said...

Congratulations!! Such exciting news - you are going to be a family of 4 - how crazy! I'm glad your feeling better and hope it stays that way.

Jamie Sefcik || Hello Little Scout said...

LAUREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Super exclamation points! SO EXCITED!! Yay!!!