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.