Posted by: Court | June 30, 2010

15 weeks, 6 days – still sick

I have been receiving multiple phone calls every week from my insurance company for oh…close to three weeks, I’d say. They kept leaving voicemails saying they wanted to talk about my benefits. Well, the lovely company sends me multiple e-mails every week with a “new explanation of benefits,” so I like to consider myself pretty well-versed.

But yesterday on my drive home I decided to pass the time by finally calling them back. I have a 50 minute commute, you know.

As it turns out, this wasn’t necessarily information about my benefits. Well, it sort of was. But really they wanted to enroll me in the Healthy Pregnancy Program. I wish they would have said that on their many voicemails.

Anyway, after answering some questions about how my pregnancy was going, they said a nurse wanted to speak with me and asked if that was OK. I still had 20+ minutes left on the drive, so I said sure (and would have said sure even if I had already made it home, just to be clear). The nurse said she wanted to speak with me since I’m still experiencing nausea and vomiting at nearly 16 weeks. We talked for a while and she said a nurse would check up on me in about a month. But she also gave me this Web site: helpher.org. She said they would have nutrition help and suggestions of food that might be palatable, so I figured I’d check it out.

Well, I never got around to checking out the food info because I realized it was a site for hyperemesis gravidarum. AKA pretty severe morning sickness. I always thought that diagnosis was only given to women who were so severely sick that they ended up having to be hospitalized. But when I read more about it on the site, I realized this could be me. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. It was 10 pounds at first, then I gained 5 of that back. But I’ve been sick since then so who knows what my weight is at now.

The nausea still causes me to eat very little. Last night I threw up again. This morning I thought I was going to at work, but managed to breathe very slowly through it.

I remember a friend telling me that she was sick until 18-19 weeks, but not to worry, that was very uncommon. I believed her. Now here I am, 16 weeks pregnant (tomorrow) and I’m still throwing up and unable to eat regular meals. I have no idea if the end is in sight. That’s what’s so difficult.

Today I was talking to my pregnant co-worker about it and how Tim and I have discussed only having one child. She said I’d forget about the sickness just like she forgot about the pain of childbirth. I said I wondered if it was different…24 hours of discomfort (plus post-partum recovery) versus three months and counting of being sick all day. She said I’ll look back and think it wasn’t a big deal…three months out of my lifetime.

I read on this on the Web site and I just stopped and stared: “[Hyperemesis gravidarum] can be traumatic emotionally and some women choose to forego future pregnancy plans.”

Well, that’s me, as of right now. This has been emotionally traumatic. Depressing. Anxiety causing. All of which makes it even more depressing, and hard to fathom willingly putting myself through this again.

The site also has a list of why HG can be depressing, and I’ve bolded the ones that resound the most:

* Lack of understanding & support from others
* Inability to take vitamins, or eat healthy
* Taking medications perceived as risky
* Missing out on the “fun” of being pregnant
* Loss of a “normal” pregnancy
* Lost work days or quitting work
* Putting life “on hold” for many months
* Longing to eat and drink normally
* Money expended on care and support
* Lack of energy and severe fatigue
* Irritability and lack of enjoyment in life
* Memory loss or inability to think clearly
* Burden of care and time on others
* Lack of socialization (i.e. isolation)
* Inability to prepare for birth/arrival of baby
* Inability to care for family and home
* Wanting to terminate the pregnancy to end the misery
* Other’s perception that HG is only in your mind
* Loss of hope that nausea will cease before birth
* Fear of painful treatments or being force fed
* Reluctance of doctors to treat due to cost or liability
* Weight loss or inadequate gain for gestational age of baby – Not sure where I rank here, but I have a fear of it.
* Fluctuating emotions due to hormones and illness
* Sense of inadequacy and failure at being unable to cope or function
* Fear of harming baby or more difficult birth
* Fear of morbidity or death
* Difficulty bonding with baby
* Lack of energy and socialization for kids
* Lack of excitement about baby’s arrival
* Dreading the prolonged recovery time

At least by seeing this, I know I’m not alone or crazy.

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