Tag Archives: hyperemesis gravidarum

Lost lunch…

Seriously? I’m nearly 35 weeks pregnant and I lost my lunch today. It just came out of nowhere. I thought this was over with already!

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Next day feelings and findings…

Well first of all I was able to talk to my midwife.

I don’t want to completely throw my OB’s opinion out the window at this point, but some of the things he said yesterday were just so erroneous that it is hard to take the other things as seriously. It doesn’t completely discredit what he had to say, but it does call his credibility into question.

The sterile thing is just a big load of crap, obviously. This is for a lot of reasons. First of all L&D wards are not by any means sterile. You have people coming in and out (like dads, family and friends), eating snacks, going to the bathroom, etc. Nurses and OBs do wash their hands, but not like they do when prepping for a surgery. Also, Stephen’s point about super-bugs was very valid. The antibacterial soap they use to wash their hands is what causes the super-bugs because it doesn’t kill everything and what stays alive is stronger and resistent to the soap, etc. And what else is in hospitals? Sick people and diseases. Furthermore, if doctors were really concerned about home environments being sterile enough they wouldn’t let you bring your baby home 24 hours after the birth (sometimes less), or maybe not ever. We would all raise our kids in hospitals, wouldn’t that be fun?

Then the fact that he just went into the general homebirth is unsafe thing until we actually prodded him makes me think that he was just going to say anything he could to make me think I was making a dangerous decision. Plus the research at this point does not support the statistics he tried to throw at me. If that was the case the UK’s ACOG equivalent wouldn’t be trying to increase the number of homebirths. Countries where homebirths are something like 30% of the population wouldn’t be doing better than us as far as infant/maternal mortality is concerned.

As far as pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and stressed out heart rate concerns… those things don’t just show up suddenly in labor. Yes, hyperthyroidism does put me at a higher risk for them (if left uncontrolled), but we would know through monitoring whether that was an issue before the birth. Also part of the reason my midwife has me continuing my care with my OB is to have these things monitored if something serious does come up. And she assured me that if anything with either my heart rate or the baby’s heart rate was abnormal that would be immediate cause for transfer. She’s not going to ignore the signs of something going wrong. Plus, something I think I haven’t mentioned on here is that she’s also worked it out with one of the other licensed midwives in town to have her attend my homebirth as well. So I will have two trained women at my birth monitoring me and making the situation as safe as possible.

Baby breathing difficulties… my midwife was able to find one study last night that dealt with this issue. It was a really small study though. Out of 248 births, two babies had breathing difficulties. One was exposed to high levels radio-active iodine (one of the drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism, but you’re not supposed to take it in pregnancy) and had a goiter so big it caused the collapse of the baby’s esophagus. The other baby’s mom was treated with PTU and had some difficulty breathing upon birth, but there isn’t much information given about this case including the dosage of PTU that the mother was on. We could have a late ultrasound to see if the baby is doing things that are helping it to practice breathing too like swallowing amniotic fluid (something I’ve witnessed on our previous ultrasounds). Also the fact that she gets the hiccups all the time is another good sign that she’s getting prepared to breathe.

So after she found this study my midwife called me again and told me about it. Then she said that she was going to call my OB and talk to him about his reasoning for declaring my pregnancy high risk. She also wants to know what information/studies he is basing his opinions on.

I’ve also gotten several responses to a post I put on a message board about this and everyone from midwives to those with the same condition as me have said that thyroid issues do not risk you out of homebirth as long as your TSH levels are closely monitored throughout the pregnancy (which mine have been). Also hyperthyroidism is more of an issue if it is something you’ve had for many years rather than something that developed as a result of pregnancy. My midwife said if the former had been the case she would have told me that I needed to have my baby in a hospital.

It was very nice of my doctor to make the offer that he did as far as attending my birth. That has not gone unnoticed in my mind because that was actually a concern of mine. To go from a 1 in 10 chance to 95% is pretty good.

Also he did say that he wouldn’t run from caring for me even if I did decide to ultimately go ahead and homebirth. My midwife has had many patients with OBs that have refused to see them anymore for making this decision.

Stephen said he’d still support me in my decision, but he also thinks that based on what the doctor said the best of both worlds for me would be to go to the hospital and have our midwife as our doula.

At this point I’d say things are more up in the air. I’m just really anxious to see if my OB is going to be willing to talk to my midwife and what will come of that conversation. I’ll probably know more tomorrow. I just didn’t want to leave things hanging like I did yesterday. I covet your prayers and even little tidbits of information/research you come across (thanks Ruth!). I definitely have a lot to think about.

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Dietary restrictions…

So even though I got the sour milk situation rectified, it seems my body is still having problems digesting dairy products at this point. Actually, it would be better to say that my stomach is having problems digesting food in general.

Upon my midwife’s recommendation I began taking papaya enzyme chewable tablets to aid in digestion. They have helped to a certain extent, I’ve noticed that my heartburn isn’t as bad since I started taking them.

But it seems I’m still having some digestion issues even with that little boost.

Yesterday I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast at 8 am. At 1 pm it was still churning in my stomach and occasionally partially digested bits were shooting up my esophagus. It wasn’t acidic, so I have a hard time calling it acid reflux. It was like that concept except I would call it “food reflux”.

Well at 2 pm I finally decided I could stomach some lunch and treated myself to Rosemary’s. That meal also took forever to digest. At 7 pm yesterday I was still having “food reflux” with the ice cream I’d had with lunch.

We had Chinese at our favorite hole-in-the-wall place with my friend Megan. Our order consisted of orange chicken and beef broccoli. This caused heartburn/acid reflux.

This morning I woke up with heartburn/acid reflux.

So I think I’m going to try some dietary restrictions and see if that helps at all. I’m going to stay away from dairy and acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes for the next few days.

Restricting my diet has always been a difficult thing for me, except in the case of meat, which I successfully did for a number of years. Oh and nuts have been pretty easy too I guess.

A few years ago my mom was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease which is basically an allergy to wheat gluten. It can be passed on genetically. I was having serious digestive issues at the time (which I believe turned out to be a result of the birth control I was taking) and thought I may have had Celiac’s as well. I was squimish about going in and getting the blood test done to see if I had it, so I just assumed I did and started trying to eliminate wheat and wheat gluten from my diet.

It did not go well. I cheated ALL THE TIME. I just couldn’t handle a life without wheat. There are so many things that have wheat gluten in them and it seemed impossible to do. Furthermore, the alternative products that were gluten-free were just not the same and in some cases really disgusting with the exception of a few kids’ breakfast cereals I found at the health food store.

I finally went in for a blood test and was relieved to find out that I didn’t have Celiac’s. I promptly celebrated by gorging myself on some of my favorite wheat products.

So life without dairy especially seems pretty overwhelming (I can probably be OK without citrus and tomatoes). Dairy has generally been my go-to food when it comes to treating heartburn without medicine and getting in some extra protein. Milk, yogurt, cheese and of course ice cream are some of my favorite things. I don’t want to feel yucky though either. It’s worth a try at least.

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Breakfast: I can’t win…

If I eat a bowl of cereal with milk I puke because apparently my body has decided it doesn’t like that much dairy in the morning.

If I eat a breakfast burrito (eggs, potatoes, ham/sausage, a little cheese in a tortilla) I get monster heartburn.

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32 weeks

I almost made it two whole weeks without throwing up. Last time was at the 30 week mark when I barfed dinner. Well then this morning I barfed breakfast and almost lost my lunch. So I took an extra dose of medicine this afternoon and knocked out for awhile even though there was major construction going on in the same room. I almost didn’t even do a picture, but I’m feeling a little better this evening and figured I might as well keep up with the belly shots.

Only 8 more weeks till my due date. I think I can do this.

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Some days pregnancy feels like an eating disorder

So yesterday could not have been a more perfect day. I had absolutely no nausea whatsoever the whole day. I did get a little reflux when we got home, but it was totally manageable and I went to bed an hour later anyway.

On days like this I feel like I go a little crazy in the food department. For breakfast I had an egg, a sausage link (not the little tiny breakfast kind, but the big kind you usually eat with pasta or something, five pancakes and two or three glasses of milk. Then a few hours later I had a nectarine. Then I had a leftover sausage link hot-dog style in a bun with mustard and some sweet potato chips. For dinner I had four slices of cheese pizza, a big plate of salad, a juice box and two cupcakes.

Well then today I wake up with heartburn before I’ve even consumed anything. I barely managed a bowl of cereal at 10:30 this morning. Then while I was out running errands I decided to go to Rubios for “lunch” (at 2 pm) and after one steak taco I’d had enough. I don’t even want to think about dinner at this point.

I wonder if after I’m done being pregnant and don’t feel nauseaus all the time if I’ll wind up eating myself into oblivion because I’ve missed being able to enjoy food so much.

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I’ll just have all of you know that I am sick of being pregnant. Literally sick of being pregnant.

The header of this blog should be changed to a picture of me covered in puke or something. Because the reality of it is not a cute little bird with a cute nest.

I have never been a big puker. I always just was able to hold it in. Now I can’t even control that.

The really lovely thing about yesterday was that I got to watch myself puke in the side mirror of the car.

I’m tired of bladder incontinence (and yes I do my Kegels, it’s not helping). Using suppositories (stuff just shouldn’t go in there!). My stomach alternating between churning nausea, pangs of starvation and burning heartburn. Of being tired all the time.

Why did I even want this? Can’t I just go to sleep and wake up and have a baby in my arms three months from now?

When do things get better?

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13 weeks 5 days

So I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. My thyroid levels this time around definitively showed that have hyperthyroidism. So my doctor is going to put me on a drug called PTU to start treating it. He thinks that the hyperthyroidism is what is causing my nausea and vomiting. He says the PTU should help me to start feeling better.

The drug can sometimes cause hypothyroidism in the baby at birth, but he says it typically is only a temporary occurance as a result of the hyperthyroid drug that I will be taking. The baby will have the thyroid levels tested at birth.

So I’m going to be on the lowest possible dose for PTU and I’ll have my labs done again in 7 days to check and see where my levels are.

I really hope that this is finally the answer and I’m finally going to start feeling better.

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11 weeks 4 days

So Stephen and I discovered last night that baths are much warmer and more practical than showers. I can sit in the warm water and stay warm the whole time — no violent shivering. I can also rest my arm on the side of the tub instead of having to hold it up like a kid with the answer to the question in class. It’s also easier to get my hair washed and rinsed without getting my arm wet. Overall the experience was just much better than trying to shower. One thing I did ponder in the tub: how do you shave your legs once you have the belly? That’s going to be hard.

Speaking of belly, my weight is still fluctuating and not stabilizing. I don’t care if everyone knows my weight at this point, I’m not embarassed after all this. Pre-pregnancy I was 146. The day I found out I was pregnant I weighed 148. Last week I got down to 137. This weekend I went back up to 141. Yesterday I was 138. It’s something definitely to discuss with my doctor. At the most it’s only 6% of my pre-pregnancy body weight (I think I’m doing my math right), but still. When everyone you know keeps commenting on how thin you look it just feels a little weird, especially when you’re pregnant.

Another thing I want to discuss with the doctor is the link between hyperemesis and liver function. One of the ways I know I was pregnant and had a miscarriage last year is that my liver enzyme levels were really high at the time for no “apparent” reason. This happens naturally when you are pregnant, but my regular doctor started testing for all these autoimmune diseases because we didn’t know that I was pregnant. After I had what I thought was just a really crummy and painful cycle, the levels went back down to normal. I know my liver is working overtime right now processing baby’s stuff, my stuff and my out of control pregnancy hormones. I wonder if there is a link to this and me feeling crappy. I also wonder if anything can be done about it.

Yesterday our pastor’s wife graciously brought a bunch of food to Stephen’s work for us to enjoy over the next few days. We got some corn chowder (which I had been craving thanks to an episode of Take Home Chef yesterday), veggie soup, a whole cooked chicken, bananas, strawberries and some huge rolls. I was able to eat the corn chowder for dinner and it stayed down. So yesterday I got in that, a smoothie and a glass of juice. I did throw up once, but no food came back up.

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11 weeks 3 days

I don’t really have an update. I’m still feeling pretty crappy. I managed 1 smoothie yesterday and a glass of juice.

I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday so I’ll make sure he knows I still feel crappy. I also have an ultrasound that day and tests to screen for Down’s syndrome. Which means more poking and blood giving.

Today my home health nurse is coming out to change the dressing on my PICC line. Hopefully she isn’t grossed out by my stringy hair.

Taking a shower is difficult and not relaxing at all now that I have this PICC line in. I have to hold my right arm up the whole time so it doesn’t get wet and Stephen has to help shampoo my hair which means the door to the shower is open the whole time and I’m freezing. I miss taking long hot showers to at least just wash away some of the stress.

Next week Stephen has to go to this conference out of town so my mom is staying with me because I’m obviously incapable of taking care of myself. I really hate being so dependent on other people. I like to do things my way and in my own time.

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