What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

"Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids."

Quoted from the HER Foundation Website

Monday, August 2, 2010

Second Time Around - My Introduction To Residual Nausea

(I am 34 weeks pregnant here, Ty is almost 20 months)

I had never heard of residual nausea until after my second son, Mac, was born. Ignorance truly IS bliss. There is not a whole lot of information on the subject and no research that I can find. In fact, I had a hard time even pinning a name to why I was still nauseated and throwing up after my baby was born.

Mac's pregnancy was like Ty's, only worse. Not only did I have a very young child to care for, the medication didn't work as well as I would have liked, and we had just moved a few weeks earlier and didn't know anyone who could help me. It was terrible. Most of the first trimester is one big blur. I honestly don't know how I managed to survive AND care for my little one at the same time.

Since I was still breastfeeding Ty I wanted to hold off on medication for as long as possible. Looking back, this was probably a mistake. I became dehydrated and dried up anyway. And I found out later that I could breastfeed and take Zofran at the same time. Whoops. Sadly, when I finally decided to start medication at 8 weeks, it only took the edge off the nausea and the vomiting completely. I still threw up 3-4 times per day for quite awhile.

There were so many things I couldn't eat, drink, smell or even look at without getting sick. I survived on tator tots, pasties, and lemon flavored sparkling water for a long time. I no longer eat or drink those foods. For now, at any rate.
I remember telling myself that when I felt better (my thought at the time was 16 weeks) I was going to make a HUGE pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions since I was SO hungry for meat! Well, week 16 came and went - no pot roast. I cried. I didn't get my pot roast until I was in my third trimester.

One huge difference in my two pregnancies was the location. Ty was born in a hospital with a midwife in a completely different city. I wanted to do things differently with Mac. I wanted to give birth in a free standing birth center. The only problem with that was my midwife couldn't give me a prescription for the medication I needed. So I saw a midwife for the HG and a midwife for the baby. It was a little weird but it worked in the end.

Four days after my due date and 10 hours of labor I gave birth to my beautiful, handsome, very heavy baby boy. He weighed 9 pounds even and was 22 inches long. How he came to be that big I'll never know. It was probably as close to a perfect birth as you can get. It was so peaceful and so quiet since we were the only ones there.

I brought my baby home when he was just 4 hours old. I felt much better and hungry, of course. I was so grateful that he was out of me! The next month was crazy and hectic as both boys became sick with RSV (Mac ended up in the hospital for about a week) and we decided to buy a house and move. Through all the chaos and confusion I noticed that I would have periods where I would get really nauseated. I just thought I was getting sick. March came and I was still nauseated. April came - same thing. May came and it finally left. I threw up 5-6 times during those three months so I can't say that it was terrible. Unpleasant and very confusing but not as bad as it was when I was pregnant. Probably about the same as normal morning sickness.

I have to say that it was worth all the nausea and vomiting. I wouldn't trade Mac for anything. I lost 9% of my body weight my first pregnancy and kept it off after Ty was born; I lost 11% with Mac. I am worried about future pregnancies since it appears to get worse with each pregnancy. With Ty I was able to quit my medication voluntarily around week 26. With Mac they cut me off at week 28. I didn't need it every day by that point but I still felt like I needed it some days. I was so afraid when the clinic said that I couldn't have anymore.

So, am I willing to have more children? Yes but don't ask me how many. I have always wanted a large family but I'm not sure how many more pregnancies my body can take. For now I'm taking it one pregnancy at a time...hoping and praying that the HG will get better, not worse.

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