Hyperemesis Gravidarum Sucks

My posts have been few and far between.  Not just because I’m pregnant but because I hyperemesis gravidarum.  Don’t know what that is?  I didn’t either until it smacked me in the face.

Anyone remember when Kate Middleton was hospitalized during her pregnancy?  She had hyperemesis also.

So what exactly is it?  It’s not morning sickness.  Hyperemesis makes good ol’ morning sickness look like a walk in the park.  The problem with hyperemesis gravidarum is that not a lot of women are afflicted with it during their pregnancy.  That makes it relatively hard to understand and hard to figure out.  No one actually knows what causes it.  The same woman could have a totally normal pregnancy with her first child but have HG (hyperemesis gravidarum.  Sorry, I have to shorten it.  My carpal tunnel is killing me) with her second and third child.  A woman could have HG with her first pregnancy and not have it with her subsequent children.  The really unlucky woman would have HG with all her pregnancies.

I’m really hoping my HG experience will be one and done.  Seriously.

So how do you know if you have hyperemesis?  Most sources agree that some signs of HG are if you lose between 5-10% of your pre-pregnancy weight and vomit frequently throughout the day with few to little days of relief.

Here’s what happened with me :

  • Starting from around week 6, I started vomiting about 10-20 times a day.
  • I could not stand the smell of ANY food.
  • I could not drink any fluids.  Water felt slimy and heavy when I drank it.
  • I would promptly vomit anything I drank or ate.
  • If I was lucky, I would be able to hold down whatever I ate/drank for a few hours…and then it would come back up.
  • I lost 15% of my pre-pregnancy weight.
  • My blood serum sodium and electrolyte were below normal.
  • I was positive orthostatic (meaning my blood pressure changed dramatically when I went from a sitting to standing position).
  • I began to experience muscle weakness and spasms.
  • I began to experience fuzziness and blackened edges around my field of vision.
  • I became increasingly dizzy.
  • I fell down a few times.
  • I blacked out once.

My symptoms did not improve once I hit the 2nd trimester.  If anything, it became worse.  I went to a nearby Urgent Care center at least 2 – 3 times a week for IV boluses (I was severely dehydrated) and IV Zofran to help get my nausea under control.  This was ineffective.

My OBGYN then ordered a home health nurse to come to my home every day to give me 1 liter of IV fluids as well as a dose of IV Zofran.  This lasted for about…5 days.  During the 5th visit, the nurse noticed that I was wobbly when I tried to stand up but sat back down because I reported being too dizzy.  She immediately took my blood pressure and heart rate while sitting.  I managed to stand long enough for her to get a set of vitals on me.  Once we determined I was orthostatic, she called my OBGYN and I was admitted to the hospital for 6 days.

Since my discharge, I have a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) in my arm.  This was because I was on TPN (total parental nutrition.  It’s basically “food” that you get “fed” into your large veins) due to my inability to hold food down.  I was on that as well as other electrolyte replacements IV, IV multivitamins and IV medications for a month.  I’m still on IV medications to control my nausea.  I’m currently in my 3rd trimester.

A really good website about HG is Help HER

Next time, I’ll be sharing what having Hyperemesis is like and what it did to my family.

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