Struggling Emotionally with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

depression woman girl hyperemesis gravidarum

Hyperemesis gravidarum is such a difficult road.  I knew it would be hard, but I really underestimated things.

I really feel like I am winning the physical battle against HG.  I’m able to eat specific foods: Tostitos corn chips, my mom’s potato casserole (potatoes, cheese, and sour cream), baked potatoes, artichokes with ranch dressing, McDonald’s cheeseburgers no onions extra pickles, cheesy-bread from Topper’s Pizza with lots of ranch dressing, the occasional salad with ranch dressing, and most recently egg noodles with a little butter and a lot of Parmesan.  That is really, really good.

I’m having a harder time getting fluids in.  Up until recently, if it wasn’t frozen and sour it wasn’t going to work.  Frozen cranberry juice is how I start my morning, then I suck on ice cubes the rest of the day.  I’m getting, on average, around 30 oz of fluids a day.  I’m only barely staying ahead of that central line, which I want to avoid if at all possible.

I’m not throwing up that much.  Maybe once every 4-5 days.  I’m nauseated a lot, but less than I expected to be.  I just feel weak all the time.  Getting up and doing anything is very difficult.

The emotional battle, though, I feel like I am losing.  Sometimes I think of myself in the past tense.  I used to love to travel.  I used to be an active and involved mom.  I used to love, love, love eating food.  I feel like I am forgetting the person I used to be and I wonder if I will remember how to be that person when this is all over.  It’s harder and harder to get out of bed.  It’s harder and harder to take a shower.  Friday, I just lay in bed filthy.  Mom is doing her best to encourage me and get me moving, but I know she’s frustrated.  Is there such a thing as pre-partum depression?

Let me be very clear.  HG causes depresssion, not the other way around.  No amount of fresh air, getting up and moving around, showering, or thinking positive will make this disease go away.

I don’t feel like a pregnant lady.  I think we HGers have more in common with cancer patients than pregnant women.  Granted, our illness isn’t terminal assuming we have proper medical support.  But with all the stuff we have to deal with: IVs, PICC lines, running out of veins, arms destroyed by needle sticks, central lines, TPN, NJ feeding, and just the intensity and length of the sickness.  It’s not fair.

Saturday, I talked to the fellow that does our yard.  He knows I’m sick, and he asked how I was doing.  I admitted that I was feeling pretty defeated, and he said something that really touched me.  He said, “Don’t let the Redeemer’s fire burn you up.”  Does this mean I will be stronger and braver when all this is done?  I don’t feel that way right now.

I’ve been trying to hold images in my head of things that remind me of this:  the phoenix and the sacred lotus that rises out of the mud to blossom and now the fire in a forge.

But more and more I feel like I’m just sinking.

I have another doctor’s appointment on Wednesday.  I think she will ask me if I want to go on steroids.  I wonder if those will get me through the next couple of weeks and into the part of pregnancy where I don’t feel like utter crap.

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13 thoughts on “Struggling Emotionally with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

  1. of course you underestimated it, because that’s what our mommy minds do once the babies are born!
    It is hellish and it is isolating. There is just no way around that I guess. No matter how much planning goes into it. Your planning is going a long way to keep it better managed and keeping your health up. But how can we ever know how bad it will be mentally?
    I am a practical person, so I’m sorry if I annoy you with suggestions, but its only my way of trying to help and offer support.
    I read when I could (when it didn’t make me sick) when I was stuck in bed. Do you think that will kind of help? or audio books as someone suggested to me. Also I was hooked up with a buddy who use to call me from sidelines, and that use to help to just listen to her talk about her life and HG and her life after etc.
    You can check that out, or let me know and i’ll set that up for you if you’d like.
    Just ways to try to keep your spirits up

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  2. I related with you so so much when you said that you’ve begun thinking of yourself in the past tense. I did this too. I couldn’t help but think “I used to love reading…” “I used to love eating” “I used to love cooking”. It made me scared that I wouldn’t know how to go back to that person I was before, but I did, and you will too. You’re still you, you’re just sick. Just like the phoenix, you’ll rise out of these ashes and fly. Hang in there. And you’re so normal in feeling more like an ill person than a pregnant woman. The morning I went in for my c-section, I honestly hadn’t made the connection that I would be a mom after the surgery. It was such a sweet surprise to me when they handed me a baby after it was over! Everything you’re going through is so normal, and so many of us relate to this. Stay strong.

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  3. …He said, “Don’t let the Redeemer’s fire burn you up.” Does this mean I will be stronger and braver when all this is done? …

    Yes. It does. And all those things you think of in past tense…you’ll do them again with far more passion.

    I’m so glad your mom is with you. I’m excited the foods you are keeping down. Every tiny little bit helps.

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  4. I have to tell you something sort of funny though, my sidelines person told me she went to disney in the midst of HG. I puked when she told me that, seriously! I guess she wanted to pass the time with fun distraction and was going stir crazy. I can think of many better ways to pass time…like pulling each hair out of my head individually.

    Thinking of you. I know how hard it is. I really do. You are an inspiration, and the lotus is a perfect analogy for you. Did you use to be a warrior too? because your still that. Just a warrior who doesn’t enjoy food right now. But you will go back to enjoying it. You are still all those things you use to be and now more. The HG will change you, no way out of it. But soon will emerge your new self.
    you will rise from this, and you will be back to loving all the things you use to love but really you will be a better new self anyway, loving a new baby too.

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  5. This post was so well written and describes so well almost everything I am going through right now. (Almost 14 weeks now). I can relate to the thinking of yourself in past tense. I saw a pre-pregnancy picture of myself the other day and hardly recognized that happy, put together, smiling person. I feel like a zombie, and look like a concentration camp victim. I keep telling my husband, “I don’t think I will EVER go back to feeling normal. EVER.”
    I hope my comment doesn’t bring you down, I just want you to know how much I can relate and that you aren’t suffering completely alone. I want you to know that I think about you quite often and wonder how you are doing, and have even prayed for you specifically.
    I am so looking forward to the day we both have our babies in our arms and HG is nothing but a memory. This definitely is a harder road than I remembered it being, that’s for sure.

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  6. I think the hardest part is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Its so hard to get past the here and now. I too thought of myself in past tense during my pregnancy and cried so much I barely recognised myself.

    We can all relate and it sounds like your family is supportive so its great you have that support base, to at least give you a life line. So while you maybe drifting out to sea, you wont go far as you have a line tethering you to shore.

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  7. It is hard and I’m praing for you. During all 3 of my pregnancies I would have times of thinking that I was lazy because all I could do was lay around on the couch. I would think of all the things I used to do and enjoyed doing, but didn’t even WANT to do them now. I couldn’t play with my children… honestly, I didn’t want to play with them. For one thing, they stunk!
    Having HG is hard! Even on a ‘good day’ when I was able to do small things, I never felt perfect until after baby was born.

    Please remember it’s not just you. You are going through something that is making war with your body. You will be “you” again after your baby is born.

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  8. Oh you have literally taken the words from my mouth…

    “Let me be very clear. HG causes depresssion, not the other way around. No amount of fresh air, getting up and moving around, showering, or thinking positive will make this disease go away.”

    This just says it all. I just got out of hospital today, my 6th admission for IV rehydration and I’m 21 +1 today. It’s also my beautiful daughter’s 2nd birthday and I feel like I’ve missed it… This condition is so destroying…

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  9. Hang in there! It is normal to feel depressed and defeated, and I have similar thoughts as you. I began to wonder if this sick, exhausted, lifeless former version of myself was the new me, my new baseline. I worried that I would never again have the energy to read my daughter a book or be able to eat without throwing up. But rest assured, as soon as the symptoms start to wane, the old you will come back without thought or effort. The one thing that made me feel a little better and to make some sense out of my suffering, was to think how being so sick for so long would make me a better mother, wife and daughter. How throughout life, should my loved ones have to face any variety of illnesses, if I had to care for my parents, husband or children, I would truly understand how it feels to be so nauseaus you can’t eat an ice chip, to be bed ridden on IV’s and unable to bathe myself, unable to get myself a snack, unable to comfort my dayghter when I hear her crying downstairs; to have to stick yourself with a needle everyday, to carry around a medicine pump on a fanny pack. I am grateful for the empathy and sympathy and first hand knowledge of living with these burdens.
    I am also more aware of the struggles of people who must endure these things for the long run, for chronic and life threatening diseases such as cancer and diabetes etc.
    I am so glad to hear you are doing better physically.
    I too struggled more with liquids than solids.
    I could eat only sour juice ice cubes. I am 17 weeks now and was able to come off of my zofran pump last week. I still feel pretty nauseaus alot, but I haven’t thrown up. I went back to zofran pills and want to try weaning myself from that soon. we’ll see.
    Hang in there. And thanks for writing about your thoughts and experiences.

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  10. Only for a While, remember? 😉

    If you need a PICC, try to advocate for a peripheral anyway. If your arms heal IVT can go back to them. Mine arms were toast, needed to heal, and then PICC was reinserted. One tech raised the insertion to just under my under arm; he would not be defeated! LOL!

    Right on, ‘roids!

    Hang in there. I’m encouraged that you are taking in food and fluids on your own. I know it’s not massive amounts, but it’s something. You are working your butt off. (High five!) WAY TO GO, MAMA!

    Yesterday is GONE! Focus on getting through the next sixty seconds. 1, 2, 3…three nauseating seconds are gone forever! Keep going! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

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  11. You are in my daily prayers! I know that it is so, so hard. You are doing an amazing job. Remember that growing a baby is a full-time job, and growing an HG baby is ten-twenty-thirty-plus full time jobs. Focus on yourself and your sweet little one; the rest of the world can wait. Kudos to your amazing mom!!!

    “Don’t let the Redeemer’s fire burn you up.” – That is an amazing quote, and I’m going to remember it! Yes, God uses horrible circumstances to do amazing things in our lives and our hearts. But it’s so hard to see when we’re in the fire!

    *Hugs*!!!

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