Retrospective on My First Trimester

Well, folks, I’m happy to report that despite the hyperemesis gravidarum, I have made it to the second trimester!  I feel like I’ve run a marathon or something.  I want to just sit down, sip my water, snuggle in my foil blanket for a bit, and admire my medal.  Unfortunately, I’m only part way through, so still a ways to go.

I’d like to take a quick look back on my first trimester.  In a lot of ways, it wasn’t as bad as my pregnancy with the Grasshopper.  In some ways it was worse.  I didn’t throw up nearly as much, but I was unbelievably nauseated.  I suspect without my doctor’s seriously aggressive treatment, this pregnancy would have been much worse than last time.

Here’s a quick look at what worked and what didn’t.  I get a little cranky about some things so you may need to pardon a bit of colorful language.

What Worked/What Didn’t

  • Ginger – ummm…. do I even need to grace this with a reply?  No.  Ginger didn’t work.  It usually doesn’t.
  • Unisom/B6 (homemade bendectin) – Not particularly.
  • Prima Bella Wristband – This thing is such horseshit.  It didn’t work for crap.  It just made my hands twitch in freakish ways.  I’m pissed that I shelled out the money for it.  Maybe it’s great for morning sickness, but for HG, it’s just a load of malarkey.
  • Small snack before getting up – This is a necessary part of my daily routine.  If I don’t do this, the day is bad.  Bad kinds of bad.  So, yes, this definitely works for me now.  When I was deep in doodoo that one week, it would not have worked, though.
  • ODT Zofran – Nope.  I couldn’t handle the drug roller coaster.
  • Zofran through the pump – Hell, yes!  When I finally got hydrated, that is.
  • IV fluids – A necessary evil.  They were great when my veins weren’t blowing out.

Ultimately, what’s keeping me going now are very high dose of Zofran through the pump, and a careful balance of meds in my cocktails.  As long as I eat constantly I do okay.  If I take a break to stop eating, things start getting dicey again.  Here’s a quick look at my current cocktail.  I keep this updated as it changes on my Protocol page.

  • 24 hour zofran subcutaneous pump @ 0.820 ml/hour
  • 8 AM – 25 mg meclazine
  • 12 AM – 25 mg meclazine
  • 4 PM – 25 mg meclazine
  • 8: 30 PM – 25 mg meclazine, 20 mg Nexium, 25 mg benadryl

Impact on My Family

This trimester has had a huge impact on my family.  Aside from my mother having to come out for an entire month, my husband and the Grasshopper have had a lot to deal with as well.

Prior to me becoming pregnant, the Grasshopper was very much focused on Mommy as the primary caregiver.  Once I got taken out of commission, that changed drastically.  It’s been really cool to see her strengthening her bond with her Papa.  I think that’s one positive that has come out of all of this:  They have really deepened and strengthened their relationship.

That’s not to say it’s been easy for her.  She’s shown her frustration with the situation by acting out in a variety of ways, which is hard for everyone.  She has essentially stopped nursing, which I think is for the best.  She’ll still sometimes ask, but she doesn’t even latch.  She just kisses my boobs and tells me she’s done.  She actually hasn’t even done that in a few days, so we may have reached the end at last.

It’s been tough for my husband because rather than a gradual change like we expected, everything got dumped into his lap at once.  He’s hung in there, though, which is pretty awesome.  He has to do everything right now, and I mean everything.  Cooking, cleaning, getting the Grasshopper ready for school, bathing her, etc, etc, etc.  He’s been really supportive, and even though I can tell the strain of it all gets to him sometimes, he sticks it out.  I think we’re both very much looking forward to this being over.

Impact on Me

Obviously, this has had an incredible impact on me, most of which you all have had a front row seat to witness.

One of the biggest things this has impacted are my thoughts on the future of our family.  This pregnancy has made it really clear that two children are enough.  There is no way that I can make it through another pregnancy.

I have discussed permanent birth control solutions with my doctor.  I will be signing paperwork authorizing them to tie my tubes if I require a cesarean section.  Thing is, while I suck at pregnancy, I’m pretty good at childbirth, so the likelihood of a c-section is pretty darn slim.

I also dig the idea of my husband getting a vasectomy, but he’s not completely comfortable with that idea, which is understandable.  We’ll see. It’s something we’ll both need to decide together.

Another way this has impacted me is in taking me out of work.  I’ve been on disability leave for almost six weeks, I think.  I’m slated to start back to work April 4th, which has me pretty nervous.  It’s going to be tough getting used to being a part of the workforce again.  I’ve been trying to get my strength back by taking little outings each day.  Hopefully that will turn out to have been helpful.

I’ll still have to carry around my pump, which will be a little embarrassing.  I’m sure I’ll have people ask about it.  I’m glad to explain about it because it give me a chance to help share about hyperemesis gravidarum, but I’m feeling a little self-conscious.  When I was pregnant with the Grasshopper, my boss saw my pump and said, “Oh, man, I don’t even want to know where that is hooked up!”  That was so much more awkward than if he had just kept his mouth shut or even asked.  The thought of him imagining it hooked up to embarrassing places, was much worse than if I could have just said that it connects to a little port on the outside of my leg.  I’d much rather explain than have people use their imaginations!

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, I’m just glad that I made it this far.  There were so many days that I lay in bed and thought about the Planned Parenthood up the road.  I’m so thankful for the support I received here.

I’d like to take a moment and give a shout out to some of the people here who have helped me through this toughest part of the pregnancy.  Juliana of Island of Grief, Mountain of Joy.  Kat who is sort of a real-life person that I don’t quite know and is blogging about her adoption journey on Love Makes a Family.  Of course, Ashli from the book Beyond Morning Sickness.  My snopes friends, especially Auntie Witch, Zorro, Starla, Purple Iguana (who let me know years ago that it’s okay to hate being pregnant), Nonny, and the other snopesters and snopestresses whose RL names I have trouble connecting to the screen names.  (Where’s the fish thwacker when you need it?)  My fellow HG sisters who comment and let me know that they understand, and my HG sisters from helpher.org.  You are an incredible community of people.  The Bliss family who have emailed me throughout despite me not responding hardly at all!  I get so much strength just knowing you are thinking of me!  The Grasshopper’s teacher and my friend who has given her the extra love and attention to help fill the gaps from the attention she’s not been able to get at home.  My sister-in-law for calling me out of the blue and IMing me just to check in.

Most of all, I need to thank my family: My husband and the Grasshopper, and of course, my mom for coming up and waiting on me hand and foot. Watch your mailbox Mom.  Just sayin’.

And now I feel like I should be getting an Oscar or something.  I think they’re playing the music to get me off the stage.  I just wanted to let you all know that I really appreciate everything.  My cup truly is overflowing.

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14 thoughts on “Retrospective on My First Trimester

  1. You deserve an Oscar!

    I am so glad you’re a third of the way done!

    Oh, and if anyone asks where the pump goes, tell them it’s rectal, wanna see? It’ll stop the nosies right in their tracks!

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  2. I’m so glad you’ve made it this far! Seriously, you’re one of the strongest, most determined people I know, both IRL and online. 🙂
    *hugs*

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  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You do deserve that medal! The toughest neck of the woods is behind you.

    I can relate to the feelings you expressed regarding having another child. I still don’t completely know what I would have done if I had gotten pregnant again. Being pro-life, I think I just choose to not think about it. Travis got a vasectomy. It was what worked for us. Still, some family members were shocked to hear that we were completely done with bio kids. “He’s too young to have such a proceedure!!” 27? Really? I didn’t know vasectomies were like R rated movies, but okay. I’m really proud of you, and you should be too. You’re doing a great job, and proving to yourself that you really can do this.

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  4. P.S. I’m happy to be the sort of real life person who has encouraged you through this. You’ve been a huge inspiration for me too.

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  5. You are awesome! I am SO glad that you are in a good place and that things are well. You are so right about the impacts of HG on family. In fact, that’s one of the things that makes me most reluctant to take the plunge again – the fact that my family, my home, my marriage, and my kids take SUCH a beating when I am too sick to clean, play, discipline, or be a caregiver (that plus the unimaginable suffering thing). 🙂 It’s so complex! But anyway, you are amazing and I am so impressed with how you have come through. GOOD JOB!!!!

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  6. I’ve been following you every step of the way – I am so pleased to hear that you are doing so well. I am also suffering from HG and my experience is like a mirror image of yours – I’m around the same stage on my second child and feeling well enough to consider going back to work next week. I’m from outside the US and you responded to my first post on the HelpHER website when I was preparing myself for the journey ahead. I really appreciated your response – it calmed my anxiety. Of course, it didn’t prevent the hell of the last 8/9 weeks but for some reason it made me feel better knowing that someone else was going through it – and you were able to articulate how I was feeling without me having to find any words. I don’t for one minute think my journey is over but I wanted to wish you all the best for the next 2 trimesters – I’ll be praying for fluffy ones – for both of us 😉

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  7. Glad you are coming out the other side. None of that stuff worked for me either. Zofran tablets helped and nibbling snacks all day helped but at the end of the day I was still sick.

    At least your work recognised this as a disability and allowed you time off. I had to take my maternity leave early and was devestated.

    It is a shame there has been such a toll on your family. But as you said one really good positive is that your husbands and daughters relationship has strengthened. Plus she has probably had her chance to adjust to not being the centre of your world so hopefully this will mean an easier transition for you when the baby arrives.

    Hang in there, I hope you feel better soon.

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  8. Congratulations! And thank you for spreading awareness of HG and the treatment options. You have certainly made the hard road to motherhood much easier for many suffering women.

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  9. Congratulations on hitting the 2T!!!!

    And just wanted to say that the ginger, wristband and zofran didn’t work for me either when I tried them in my 2nd pregnancy.

    Can’t wait to keep hearing how well you are doing!

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  10. Thank you so much for thinking of me in your post. I wish that I could actually do something tangible for you, and has been fustrating to only offer words and thoughts and prayers! But as we all know, those are needed too during this hard time.
    You have no idea how it warms my heart that you are doing better, day by day. You are winning the HG war and that has got to feel so good. Kind of like running a marathon. ( I use to run them-and I would always get very sick after running one. A true sense of accomplishment and you have pushed yourself and your body to limits- so its a good analogy. The positive spin you put on the relationship your daughter has developed with her father is great. I think one of the huge battles with HG is the guilt involved! even now, I am trying to wean my son, so I can begin a cleanse and I feel so guilty for doing so. It is something we never can seem to shed. But you seem to be doing well, and acting as a beautiful example to other women.
    Keeping staying hydrated. You are getting so close the finish line!
    Last word of advise: yes you know you won’t have any more children, but not sure if you are in a good state to make a “permanent” decision. Forest trees thing. But if you are sure you are sure and you know better than anyone else, so not mitigating that. I made an appointment to talk about that with my OB after my Son’s birth and he talked me out of it. Said I was too young, etc. Well I wouldn’t be going through all this if I went through with it. But not sure that would be a good thing either- you know. Ultimately I am happy I didn’t do it. Even though I am dealing with the loss now and everything else, but I personally like the hope that I can have more children if I want to. But again, I felt very done after two and those feeling only came up after this last experience, so for whatever all that is worth. (I don’t think there is any real solid advice in there at all-lol)

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  11. Great post-

    I too found that the second time around the nausea was off the charts. Not much throwing up- but the nausea was horrible.

    It’s so great to read your thoughts- to have someone put in words some many things I’ve felt but haven’t been able to articulate.

    I’m so glad you are doing better.

    Like

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