Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hypermesis Gravadarium, and multiple misscarriage.

I am Pregnant! 

It's my seventh pregnancy. It's crazy to look at those words, I can't believe it's been 7 now.  

I have had a really emotional and sick time thus far this pregnancy. And I really wanted to write about it this time. Thank you for reading it through if you do. I'm not looking for sympathy or pity, maybe some understanding and grace though would be much appreciated! 

So the first time I got pregnant December 2006 (you know that first time you find out, it's a bliss you never feel again the same as the very first time) I was 21, we were living at mom and dads because we were off to Montana in march of 2007. I remember for the 8 weeks I was pregnant I was on the internet looking at EVERYTHING about pregnancy, and just waiting for my belly to pop. (newbie I know :). I started bleeding while we were out at a children's program in Louis Bull, I was so scared, we went straight to the hospital and you know they tell you to go home and wait. We lost that baby at 8 weeks. That miscarriage made me very scared for the next one which was Seth. 

I got pregnant only a MONTH after loosing the first baby, we had no idea! - our doc said it would take 6 months or more, so we had no clue. I got pregnant, and was immediately SO SICK. I had no idea it was HG (Hypermesis Gravadarium) I lost 12% of my body weight in the first three months. Everyone said it was really normal, so I was like yeah I can do this. and I actually felt really bad that I was still sick after 12 weeks. I was also not really bonding with Seth in my belly, I was always checking for blood everyday. We went on outreach to Africa for 5 months, thinking I wouldn't be sick anymore, thats what everyone insisted would happen. So we went thinking there would be no problem. I continued to be extremely sick traveling from kenya, to uganda, back to kenya and down to Zambia, and Malawi. Most of this was  days and days on stuffy Buses. I was still made to feel I was making a big deal of nothing, and I think vinjelu didn't even get it at the time. I cried a lot by my self feeling like there must be something wrong with me. I threw up everywhere and it was so embarrassing. because we were traveling, I was never comfortable where I was. I could tell you lots of stories from this but it would make this post really really long. I ended up in hospital with extreme dehydration. By this time I had lost %20 of my body weight, I was so scared. but I was still being told that it's morning sickness and very normal. But it didn't feel normal. And i did not know how to cope with it. We came back from Africa when I was I think 7 months along. Seth was born healthy, by the last two weeks of my pregnancy I saw a new doctor and I was diagnosed with Hypermesis Gravadarium. I was in hospital several times at the end of my pregnancy with Seth on IV. By the time I had Seth I still didn't really know much about Hypermesis Gravadarium. 

I got pregnant with Taliah when Seth was 8 months old. Everyone told me I probably wouldn't get sick like that again, and I was really excited for my second baby. Although I still checked for blood all the time, I started to feel close to Taliah earlier on in pregnancy. But I was MORE sick with taliah, and because of this I got into a depression. It was very hard for me to be excited, and it scared me. I brought a pillow into the bathroom and toys for Seth, I would lay there near the toilet and let seth play, we would be in there all day sometimes. Later when I just felt it was too much, my sister in Law watched seth through the week. This is actually why we found out Taliah was a girl, I was so depressed we wanted to find out and have that to look forward to in the moment. It was such a precious moment to find taliah was our little girl!!!! We went out and bought dresses right away. I was in Hospital on IV about every 6 weeks or so. We figured out by now at least it had to do with stress, or activity. I was also having panic attacks were I couldn't breath around the time I kept getting premature labour. I was put on IV and Morphine to stop contractions with taliah at 32 weeks, and put on bed rest. I continued to have panic attacks at night. Taliahs birth was amazing, and she was healthy as can be. We learned a little more about Hypermesis Gravadarium in this pregnancy, and saw there were actually groups to support and write and advocate for women suffering with it. With Taliah I lost %17 of my body weight. The things about loose so much of your body weight is you are actually starving in terms of nutrients, and it can cause problems with your baby, and long term effects on the moms body. Which I am only starting to understand. 

So with Chawezi we were very surprised with his pregnancy test! Infact I didn't believe the two pink lines. We were living in Zambia at the time, and I thought I had malaria again (would have been the 5th time in a year) But it was a BABY!  I was so shocked, I am not sure why... I think we were using condoms (TMI). Anyway, I was again extremely sick. And unable to eat much. Along with a bar size fridge we were not able to keep much selection for me to try and eat. I was in hospital ALOT in Zambia, I was given medication which made me sleep until noon everyday, this helped because I did rest a lot during this pregnancy. Sometimes I would over do it, and end up not being able to stop vomiting. Now I experienced a frightening thing with chawezi. Vinjelu was very very busy running the discipleship school at the time, and I was mostly left alone to be sick while others helped with the house and kids. I felt alone, and depressed again. It was HOT, SWEATY, and STICKY. I had diarrhea for 3 weeks, and didn't think anything much of it, I wasn't vomitting much in that time, and I was just used to having the runs, my stomach would hurt some here and there. What I didn't know was I was completely depleted of nutrients, and eletrolights... etc. I actually started loosing my mind, I was hallucinating, I couldn't sit still, I just felt.... I don't know, like I was loosing my mind. I was so scared and was just begging vinj to help me-- he had NO IDEA what was going on at all, but it freaked him out enough to take me in right away. You see, when you have HG, you need someone advocating for you, because most of the time you don't have the strength for it. I got to the doctors and I couldn't sit still and I just told him he had to help me give me something, the doctor was very worried and discovered I was extremely dehydrated, and when you get so badly dehydrated you do actually loose your mind until you are rehydrated. I got on IV right away, as soon as I was on, the power went out on the street, and the generators in the hospital were not coming on. I was still agitated, and hallucinating. And I was scared. Vinjelu had to go I thinks somewhere to get me Gatorade. So I was alone, we transferred to a more expensive hospital with a private bathroom, I was in the hospital that time for over a week, (don't remember exactly). That was very scary, and something I will avoid at all costs ever again.  
I got home to Canada 6 weeks before I had chawezi, I went into premature labour once with him, I was on IV for two days and did not pee once. I was given morphine again to stop contractions, this was also the first time one of the nurses suspected chawezi was breech. She told me I would probably end up in C-section. I was so scared, and I refused that totally. I had no idea what the implications were anyway. Every doctors appointment I lost 2 pounds or more. I never gained weight ever in a pregnancy. Thank God I have weight to loose, but in pregnancy it is not good to loose that much percentage of your body weight. Chawezi was breech, and I did have a C-section. Which is like, a totally other post. 

Now Vinjelu and I knew we wanted 4 kids for sure, and we also knew because of the nature of my pregnancies we wanted it OVER AND DONE WITH. I know that sounds horrible. But yeah, it is what it is. there are a lot of women who abort their babies who suffer from HG, because it is that horrendous. It's debilitating, it's embarrassing when people think you are just a wimp. Its very lonely, and I feel so deeply for these women. It is a lonely long road. BUT it comes with amazing gift at the end. Since going through this three times, vinjelu has got some strategies down now, and is VERY insistant on me resting and taking care. I am thankful for him. Also my parents have taken on a great compassion and care for me as well, as they have seen me in this state quite often. 

We got pregnant in June 2012, and we were so excited we announced right at 4 weeks. I tested early because I had been sick and just figured I was pregnant. I was. But we lost the baby at 8 weeks in August. This was a shocker, but not totally abnormal, miscarriages are pretty common. It was hard, but in someways I denied my self time to really grieve that baby. We were very busy that summer. to our surprise I got pregnant AGAIN end of August 2012. literally 2 weeks after I lost the last baby. (it must have been that one time... TMI) Anyway, I was sick again, and tested I think a bit later I found out at 6 weeks I was pregnant. And we were not going to announce it until almost 12 weeks this time, because it was very hard to grieve and have a PUBLIC (Facebook) miscarriage. So we waited just before 12 weeks-- there  was no blood or sign of anything wrong, I was SICK as ever, so we announced it, and were REALLY excited about this one. Now at 8 weeks 1 day pregnant, I got a NASTY flu that was going around but it came out in me with VERY severe vomitting and diarrhea (like very 15 mites for days). It was horrendous, and I felt like I was hit by a car I was heaving so much. I was really worried about the baby because it was bad, for 3 days.  Now when we went into our 12 week ultra sound our baby was dead, and 8 weeks 3 days in size. I look back and do believe it must have been those three days that was TOO MUCH for the baby and my body to support the pregnancy. Now they actually examined the baby and placenta and found nothing wrong. I believe it was those 3 very extreme sick days that killed the baby. The DC and letting go of that baby and our dreams for it, was very difficult this time. I didn't want to see anyone, I felt even the baby needed a funeral. It was just really really hard. I did not expect to loose two in a row. Now that was November 22 2012, I had the D and C done. 

I found out this time again I was pregnant. because I had been sick for two weeks, we checked and sure enough I was pregnant. I was told there was a 50% chance I would loose this baby too. becuas of "Re-occurant miscarriage'.  We almost acted like I wasn't -- just kinda slipped it under the carpet and didn't want to tell anyone. But taliah was going around a week before we found out telling us I had a baby in my belly and it was a girl. We were trying to tell her no it wasn't like that, and maybe one day we would have another baby. But she insisted I had a baby in my belly (and told a few people). I have been very sick this time, totally depleted of energy, and have already been accused of not being my self, and mad at so and so.... I felt like I just didn't want to be in public anymore, it was so much work to put on a happy face and make it through. I ended up telling a few people because I was canceling on a lot of things I normally go to. But in general it was not common knowledge until this week after we had a great result on our 12 week ultra sound. Now I am almost 13 weeks. Some of you may know vinjelu has been away since April 9th in Zambia. I have not been able to even come out of bed, and so I had no choice but to take my dad up on his offer to come stay with them. I couldn't take care of my kids, literally. Debilitating. Anyway, mom and dad have been great with help, feeding the kids, and getting them to bed, some nights I have done it... but mostly they have. I found my self crying a whole lot, and I felt desperate, I have been extremely sick, and I felt there was something wrong like I was permanently dehydrated, or something. I went to the pre natal clinic, and asked to talk to a nurse on duty, and I just started crying and I couldn't get ahold of my self. She thought I was bleeding and so on, (she knows my history) anyway, I just told her I felt like I could barely make it through the day, I was getting 2 hours of sleep at a time, cuz I would get up sick and not get back to sleep for hours, I needed them to help me with something. They prescribed for me ZOFRAN. which is also known as "liquid gold"..... and it is folks, that is $7 a pill.... and I need 4 pills a day consistently to make me functional, on top of 5 diclectin a day which are $1.50 a pill. In short we do not have the money to cover this cost. So we are looking into benefits packages and paying into something like that to be able to buy these pills. Some leaders from the Pentecostal district office sent us $300 for us to buy some for the mean time. Which was such a blessing. I just went in today and got some. I felt they made a difference, where as diclectin it feels like it doesn't even put a dent in my nausea. It probably does, I just don't see much of a difference. 

Anyway, I have been in hospital on IV already this pregnancy, and figure it will happen again. 

Here are some of the ways to compare how I feel. It's like having a stomach flu ALL THE TIME, with no relent, ever. And then you feel responsible to TRY and keep something down for the sake of your baby. it's dizzy almost all the time, I see black spots in front of me at least twice a day for a time. I feel weak like I have no strength to even walk to get my self water to drink a pill down. You feel desperate for relief. And for a NORMAL DAY. 

I know it's extremely hard for friends and family to have me like this, I totally get that. This is probably our last pregnancy, because it's such a long hard 9 months for all of us. 

I am putting the kids in day care, at a great centre (boys and girls club) in Wetaskiwin. (I would prefer family but there is no option there). They will be there four days a week, the days vinjelu can't be here in the morning for them. This will be better and take pressure off of me to be taking them outside, and getting healthy snacks and just feeding them in general. I knows it's just a season so I am hopefully going to be ok with it. I am going to try this pregnancy to REST REST REST, I don't want to go into a terrible episode that doesn't stop and jeopardize the babies little life. 

I read that women who suffer with HG can actually have Post dramatic stress disorder. I have wondered about that sometimes-  the moment I start to throw up I have a sort of PANIC attack, pregnant or not, it brings me back to the unrelenting moments where you feel like you are going to die. and I wonder if that has anything to do with it? I don't know just read about it recently. 

Anyway, thats some of my history and current. Because of the baby loses, I am also a little sensitive about that as well... and being extra cautious. 

Apparently princess Kate has HG, and now it's getting a whole lot of awareness, I feel for her, but I am also glad some awareness is happening. 

If you read all the way to the end good on ya. HA! If you are suffering from HG, get help, asap. there are ways to learn to cope through it. 

3 comments:

arlene said...

Oh Kath. I pray for you and this baby; for Vinj and your family. You're brave and strong to share. I hope your church family and congregation are full of love and compassion, as you and Vinj are with those in your lives who go through difficult times.
I pray you get the rest you and baby need. Your mom and dad are so awesome. I pray for strength for them thorough this too.
Lots of love,
arlene

Malory said...

You poor girl!!! I didn't have HG, but I was constantly sick from 7-14 wks....and I totally understand how you can feel so alone, whimpy and depressed. Especially when there are some girls who don't even feel sick!!! I will definitely pray for you! Good for you for getting help and getting pregnant again. Pregnancy is tough!! I hope things start getting better earlier on this pregnancy for you!

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