I haven’t thought too much about how sick I was during pregnancy, until it became clear to me that if we want another kid,I may have to go through it again.
The chance of me getting hyperemesis is 15%. That’s too high for my liking, but it is what it is. My wonderful friend Alix recommended I speak to an expert her mom knows who studies nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
She told me what I knew: that I can’t really prevent hyperemesis. Some people say that supplements/boosting your vitamin B levels and taking milk thistle can help prepare your body for a better pregnancy without hyperemesis, but there isn’t any real proof that this happens.
The fact is, I will either face it again, or I won’t.
I don’t think people realized how isolating it was to have hyperemesis. While friends of mine were basically dealing with the joyous news of being pregnant and making it to work and seeing friends (maybe getting nauseous here and there of course or feeling tired!), I was in a hospital bed. Or my bed. Stuck to an IV pole. I had about 5 EKG’s because the dehydration had elevated my heart rate. They had to do other heart tests to be certain all was okay (it was). I had an MRI of my brain because my vision blurred while dehydrated. I didn’t drive a car for months.
The only thing that makes the possibility of dealing with hyperemesis a little easier the second time around is that I know what to expect, we know how to prepare our lives for it, and I know what treatments work and do not work for me. We won’t be going in blindly.
Some people probably think I am crazy to even think about wanting to possibly go through that again, but it was so worth it. My daughter was worth every hospital bracelet I earned. She was worth every minute of suffering. The gift I received at the end of pregnancy was 1 million times worth it. The silver lining for me is I had a wonderful, wonderful third trimester. The second trimester was not bad at all. Once 19 or 20 weeks came, it was much better…and even though I lived off of a limited diet of foods, I felt good. Maybe to some people that is bad, but after being so ill, living on fruit and cheese was a walk in the park! I slept great…I never woke up fifty times to pee. Even if I had reflux, it was nothing compared to the hell I went through, the hell we both went through hoping it would pass. Once it passed, I was able to walk daily, and was on a treadmill the day I went into labor. Hopefully if I do have to go through it again, maybe I will have an easy rest of the pregnancy like I did the first time go-round.
I just hope that when the time comes for us to try again that we will be blessed with a sibling for our daughter. I truly wished my sisters had been closer to my age so I didn’t have to always “tag” along with them, yet I am so grateful that despite the age difference between us all, they still talk to me, some more than others, but we all love each other. I am lucky. I know quite a few people who have siblings who are far apart in age, and they rarely speak.
I just wish I didn’t have to think about hyperemesis. It makes me angry that people think women are just complaining and not tough enough to handle pregnancy. Try not eating for weeks! It is called malnutrition. The body is practically starving to death. Who would wish that on anyone? Speaking to one expert today really made me feel less alone. I am so grateful every day that I did not end up with Post-partum depression as many women who suffer HG suffer both partum depression, and PPD. Having hyperemesis really made me rethink a lot of things. It was an experience unlike any I have ever had before.
The only real physical preparation I can do is to keep myself as healthy as possible and at a good weight. I laughed when I read that people with high fat diets are more prone to getting hyperemesis. I have been eating a low-fat diet for ages. And honestly, I was in good health, but weeks of not eating and few fluids will tear down anyone’s body. I can make myself as strong as possible before hand, but if it happens again, I’d have to build my body back up again like I did before.
The most important thing for me will be to have emotional support if I have to go through this again. I hope my friends can be there for me. I know I appreciated every visit, every message and email I got. I remember every single person who contacted me, and can name them to you if you ask.
One day when my daughter is older, I sure hope she does not have to go through this. I will have much support to offer her, but I hope she escapes the genetic link.