Being pregnant is not easy.
Before, I used to relate pregnancy with two amazing things: 1) Eating for two! 2) Being able to wake up at 2 am to make my husband go to the closest drive-thru and get me the strawberry milkshake I was craving.
Spoiler alert! None of these things happened to me.
I had a few suspicions I was pregnant, but the confirmation came one day before we signed the papers for our new home… and this was perfect, as I was able to tell Richard not to get too comfortable in his new office because it would soon be the nursery room! That weekend we moved in, and we had tons of McDonald’s. After that, morning sickness kicked in. I started to feel dizzy ALL. THE. TIME! And a week later, the craziness began. I started to feel sick, no matter what I ate. I couldn’t keep anything down and it was getting exhausting. I was throwing up more than 15 times a day, and it was so tough that I would end up with blood in my throat. After a few calls to the doctor, and many recommendations to drink Ginger Ale, eat saltines, suck on Lemonheads, etc. I was diagnosed with mild Hyperemesis Gravidarum (an extreme case of morning sickness). If you are not familiar with it, it is the same thing that Kate Middleton had (and thanks to her it became a little bit more known). Even though it is a real disease, whenever you tell people that you have HG, they reply with things like: “Oh, Everyone gets sick during the first trimester” or “Have you tried drinking 7Up?”. Yes, I tried every single thing, including many different medicines, like Diclegis, Zofran, and Reglan, but none of them worked for more than a few days. What ends up happening is that one prefers to isolate themselves, avoids talking or even mentioning HG and end up sleeping pretty much 24/7. Not being able to keep anything down also affects your mood. I did not want to get dressed or put on makeup. I did not want to go out and even less to see people eating around me. I would be on the sofa or bed all day, eating my saltines while drinking water through a straw.
I’m still shocked I had a mild case of HG, as I cannot believe what other cases would feel like! Basically, you have HG if you cannot keep anything down (not even water!) and lose a big amount of weight. I lost 22 pounds during the first weeks. But that is not all, I was also not functioning. Everything made me sick, pissed, resentful and dizzy. I did not have any energy and couldn’t concentrate. I tried several foods and little by little I was able to find things that I could eat. My meals would be either 6 Gnocchi or a cup of Polenta with just one tablespoon of light cream. I could keep that down, and that is what I had for the first 22 weeks. To keep myself hydrated and healthy, I had to get several IV infusions. The good thing is that this helped me get rid of my fear of needles, and now I can go through vaccines, IV’s or blood works like if they would be nothing. The IV center is a very nice place with a comfortable sofa and a tv. I would always try to go on Thursdays so that I could be able to watch some Law & Order. There, they had a big table with snacks, that for some evil reason was always located right in front of me! One day, I just couldn’t resist it and tried a Krispie treat. To my surprise, it did not made me sick! And in that moment it was added to my little meal plan. It became my breakfast, my treat, my favorite snack, and my dessert. I would have at least 6 a day! Every once in a while, I would try some new things but nothing ever worked.
The first trimester was over, and I was still sick. The doctors kept on trying new medications. And suddenly, by the fourth month…. I was ok! I could eat whatever I wanted. Sadly, all I really wanted was cereal with milk… but I could have it! I could have Reese’s Puffs, Lucky Charms, any cereal I wanted! I would still get sick every once in a while… but I could eat again! I was finally able to maintain my weight and even though this sounds great, don’t get too happy for me! This only lasted for 2 weeks! I was suddenly sick again, but this time Polenta and Gnocchi were not doing the trick. I had to try new foods and figure out what I could eat. But I knew this time it was different and I even felt better. It took me some time to figure out, but my new meal plan included: Lactaid skim milk, cereals with no cocoa, bread, butterkase cheese, marble cheese, rice, Krispie treats, bananas, and apples. Soon I was in my third trimester, and I started to feel less tired! I was able to work and be on the computer. I still got sick, felt hungry and sometimes even jealous of anyone eating something yummy. I had to stick to my little meal plan, even though I would have done anything for a chicken burger!
Soon afterward I entered my third trimester, and was feeling less tired! I was able to use the computer and work. I could get dressed and put on some makeup. Sometime during the last months, I had a scary visit to the ER… for what I now believe was a Gallbladder attack. I was still getting sick and felt very hungry. I had to stick to my little meal plan, but as long as I did, I felt ok. Baby Benja must have known how hungry I was because he decided to arrive two weeks early! Right after he was born, it was like magic… I suddenly felt great and could eat anything I wanted without getting sick! This only lasted for two weeks! On the day Benja was due, I ended up in the ER with a gallbladder attack! It seems that during my pregnancy I got Gallbladder stones and that was causing my sickness during the last trimester. Two weeks ago I had my gallbladder removed, and since then I have been doing great!
But what everyone said was true! All this was definitely worth it! I now have the cutest baby and he makes everything better. Even during surgery, I was not scared and all I wanted was to go home to my little baby! The reason why I’m writing my story is not for you to feel pity but to explain why I disappeared from the blog for a few months. And also to tell you more about Hyperemesis. Throughout my pregnancy, I realized that most people were not familiar with it, and I wanted to share with all of you a little bit about it.
Pictures by Malmquist Photography