Monday, February 1, 2016

Fighting Hyperemesis for the Sixth Time

When I found out I was pregnant this time I must admit that I wasn't afraid because I thought I had found the answer to my extreme morning sickness issues: a low carb diet. I was so hopeful and excited! I had been doing it faithfully for about a month before I got pregnant and continued into my pregnancy. At 5 weeks I still had not thrown up or felt extreme nausea (just minor nausea if I hadn't eaten) and I was feeling pretty confident...but still afraid of that 6 week mark. That is usually when it hits pretty hardcore for me.

Lo and behold, I was 5 weeks and 6 days and sobbing in bed because it hit me like a tidal wave. I just laid there filled with disappointment and fear and sadness. All the old feelings came back from the previous five pregnancies.

Now don't get me wrong. My first three were by FAR worse. Throwing up so much I would throw up blood from my stomach lining. That hasn't happened the last three pregnancies. The part I am not sure of is: are my pregnancies improving because some women who struggle with hyperemesis get better with each pregnancy or because I am understanding hyperemesis more and more with each pregnancy? Not sure.

Here is my post from my last pregnancy on tips for morning sickness. I stand by each of those tips this time as well! I only take about 1/2-1 zofran pill a day. So that is super good. I broke the tiny pill up into quarters this time and I am so glad I did! I know there are many lawsuits out on zofran and I want to take the bare minimum.

So, guess what though?! This time, my sixth time fighting hyperemesis, I have only thrown up like 3 times and I am pretty sure that is because the stomach bug was going around our house at that time! Crazy. So what changed? Not much really. But I did one thing MORE that I think made a difference.

I rested a lot more. I STAYED IN BED EVERY MORNING UNTIL 9:30 OR 10:00. Sounds like such a simple thing but I truly believe it made all the difference. Here's the sad part. I fear that some of my hyperemesis friends don't have the luxury I have in being able to do this. My husband is able to go in later to work and just stay later at work. I have a 7 and 8 year old that are a BIG help. And I have inlaws close (about 3 doors up the street) that can help too! If you struggle with hyperemesis I HIGHLY recommend figuring something out where you can do this.

We did hire a couple young ladies from our church to come a couple mornings so that Scott could get to work. That may be an option for some of you. Do you know of a family with young ladies that could lend you a helping hand in the morning? I highly recommend having a plan BEFORE you get pregnant. Simplify your morning routine. Have your older kids understand how much life will change when you get pregnant. And stay in bed.

I would just lay there and Scott would bring me my peanut butter toast and I would suck on my apple sauce packets. Every night I fill three of these with no sugar added applesauce. I eat them through out the night when my nausea wakes me up and it's perfect because I don't have to move much to eat it... you just kind of suck it down. In the morning there is usually some left and I finish that while my husband gets me my toast. And then I lay there for 2-3 hours. I don't drink ANYTHING until after noon. Fluids make my nausea worse.

After I get out of bed I move to my recliner and "run the house" from there. With homeschooling with ACE curriculum I just assign my big kids 4 pages in each pace and then have them bring them to me when they are done to correct them. It's also good just sitting there because I am fully available for questions and teaching.

The worst of my nausea seems to be behind me already! I started feeling much better and noticing that I wasn't taking any zofran around 14 weeks. That is early for me and very exciting. Some days are better than others but I am seeing glimpses of normal. People just don't appreciate normal :)

Hyperemesis is debilitating and depressing but as my husband and I have yielded our family planning to God  I am learning to embrace it as a part of my life for a while. Some people get terribly sick and that's all they get. I get sick and get a wonderful new life added to our home. I have learned to appreciate the ability to move around and clean a house more than others who haven't experienced this form of suffering. I am thankful.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I find great joy in encouraging mamas with hyperemesis.