Wednesday, May 1, 2013

on the best and worst diet ever...pregnancy.

SO many people have asked how I am feeling lately (it's only natural to ask a pregnant person, right?) and I don't want to lie and say "wonderful!" but I also don't want to go into details about how sick I am and make it a "poor me" story either. So I figured what better place to type it all out than on my lovely little blog.

Not only will this give details on what's been going on for those of you who may not know, but it will also be a good reminder for me..or even birth control for me in the future ;)

Ok, so when we first found out I was pregnant (just a few weeks in), I was feeling like a million bucks. I mean I was scared out of my mind, but my body felt totally normally. If the tests didn't all say "pregnant" I would have never known.

At about week 5 I started to feel a little nauseous but nothing horrible. I wasn't getting sick or anything, but I distinctly remember one night going out with girlfriends and feeling like I could get sick at any second while waiting on our food. Our food came, I ate, and felt totally fine again. I chalked it up to maybe not eating enough that day.

In my mind I knew this was probably my first pregnancy symptom, but on the other hand I warmly welcomed it because it made it seem more real, if that makes any sense. I've always thought getting sick was part of the deal and it would insure the fact that I was having a healthy, normal pregnancy. So in a weird way I not only was ok with it but also looked forward or even welcomed it. Oooooh how silly I was!

Fast forward just a few days...I was just under 6 weeks and the day it hit me, it REALLY hit me. I think the first day I got sick probably around 10 times. I was so scared at this point, I honestly thought I maybe had the flu or something because it hit me so hard, so fast. Like this definitely was not the "morning sickness" I had read/heard about! Another day came and went and another day and another day..the same thing, every single day. I wasn't running a fever, so I knew it was nothing viral, it was definitely "morning" sickness....only it was all day sickness.

I wasn't eating, I wasn't drinking, yet I was throwing up every half hour or so. It was miserable.

I finally turned to good old Google after a few days and seriously read every single article, babycenter discussion board, blog, you-name-it, there was on morning sickness and tried EVERYTHING listed; eat saltines, never let your belly get empty, don't drink with your meals, no citric foods, snack every couple hours but no big meals, etc. etc. etc. Nothing seemed to be working and I was getting worse.

Finally I went to my Dr. for my first ultrasound at 6 weeks 1 day and told the nurse how miserable I was. She tested my urine and said I had ketones in it and set me up an appt. just a couple days later to check again. She basically said to drink what I could but don't worry about the food because baby was still getting everything it needed from inside me at this point. I went down for my next appointment a few days later and got told the same thing, only that I was VERY dehydrated and had just 12 miserable hours to get my levels back up or I would be put in the hospital. I am not kidding you guys, I did NOT want to be put in the hospital at all but I also thought it might be a better option at this point than being so sick! I was miserable, to say the least. I think I threw up about 5 times just in the car that's a 25 minute drive!

I did what I could that night and drank like 4 Gatorades and some waters. The next morning my sample came back ok and she let me go through the weekend. My next appt was that following week with the specialist in Des Moines and by the time I got there, I was still so sick and was now losing weight. Finally, she suggested I take Unisom and B6 together and see if that helps. I had read about it online but was not about to take medicine without talking to my Dr. first. With her suggestion, we left the Dr.'s office and headed straight to Walgreen's. I immediately took my first "dose" and within 30 minutes, I felt better than I had in weeks. I was exhausted, but I felt better aaaand actually ate a small meal.

I went home, continued taking the Unisom and B6, but noticed I was needing more and it was wearing off REALLY fast after just a couple days. I was also still throwing up upwards of 20some times a day while on it. So it wasn't "curing" my morning sickness, but it was helping me eat, if that makes any sense.

Needless to say I was absolutely miserable. I couldn't go a half hour without getting sick, I couldn't even walk to my couch from the bed without getting sick, I was surrounded with trashcans and toilet paper, I hadn't showered in days, and I obviously could not go to work. To say it felt like the worst flu I have ever had is a HUGE understatement. I would literally lay in bed and cry for hours each day praying that the day would fly by and I could be back to sleep (sleep was the ONLY time I felt any relief). I was literally wishing away time and praying to God that this didn't last my entire pregnancy.

Meanwhile, Ryan was a saint. He was grocery shopping, cleaning the house, cleaning up after me, and even holding my hair or switching garbage bags while I was getting sick. I seriously owe him the world and have no idea how I would have gotten through all of this without him. There were SO many times I know it took it's toll on him and he would sit in the living room watching me get sick and feel so say it didn't affect him would be a lie.

This sounds absolutely crazy but just to put you in my mind for a second...I was on the Ipad so much in bed for the first few weeks of this that I seriously grew an aversion to even the Ipad. I would look at it and it would make me feel sick. I think my mind had somehow correlated the Ipad with being sick and I didn't touch it for weeks.  So bizarre.

Finally realizing that this was totally not normal, I ended up going back to the hospital and since I was so sick and had lost so much weight, I was put on a prescription medicine and told I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum--basically, extreme morning sickness. I had read a lot about it online but was also very hesitant about being on ANY medication, especially one that is known to cross the placenta but my Dr. assured me I was causing much more stress to the baby being so sick than the medication would. I gave in and started taking the medicine immediately. (Zofran)

Instantly, I started to feel relief. It worked in much the same way as the Unisom did, only it lasted a little longer and wasn't a sleeping pill, so it wasn't knocking me out like the Unisom was. So basically I was still getting sick often (though not as much) but it increased my appetite, allowing me to hopefully start taking in more nutrients than what was coming up. I was taking the Zofran every six hours around the clock...yes, even in the middle of the night and despite still getting sick and losing weight, I did start to feel better.

A lot of days were still horrible and no matter how much Zofran I took, puking 30 times a day (on a bad day) was still happening, but other days were good and I was keeping it at around 10. During these few weeks (7-12) I kind of became more accustomed to it and could deal with it better. I still wasn't able to drive myself anywhere because I didn't trust myself going down a highway and getting sick and even had to lie to friends if they needed a ride saying I was sick (kinda true, right?) but I was definitely dealing with it.

Ryan and I would take lots of baggies anywhere I went..dr appts, etc, make sure I had my Zofran with me, and I would only buy or eat foods that I knew would be a) smooth coming up and b) didn't taste so bad coming up. Cocoa puffs were always a good option as they tasted the same coming up, while apples or prunes have been the worst coming up to date. Dis.gus.ting.

After a few weeks of praying, praying, praying, not eating, losing weight, and lots of help from Ryan, I can finally say I am MUCH better. This last week is best I've felt, which gives me hope that next week will be even better! I'm obviously way into my second trimester by now which also brought back energy--so I'll take that too! I still get sick a few times a day and some are worse than others, but it is so minor now that I hardly even think about it at this point. It just happens and I go about my business. I'm not sure I'd go on vacation or anything wild like that, but I can drive a car, go to a movie, and get out of bed on a daily basis--heck, I even just signed a contract to teach summer school through the college this summer, so clearly I'm feeling MUCH better. All which have totally turned this thing around. It also gives me hope for future children we may have; we BOTH were certain this would be our only if this kept up.

I also have found out what works for me and what doesn't, which helps the process...
  • I will always get sick while showering. I haven't showered one time without getting sick. Literally.
  • Any time I feel hot or overheated I will get sick--this might explain the shower thing though I'm not sure.
  • The thought/smell/sight of pasta does it every time. Just typing that makes me queasy!
  • Getting too hungry causes it so I eat every 4 or so hours around the clock--yes, even in the middle of the night Ryan wakes me up and I eat.
  • If I am exhausted the day before and get to bed late, my next day is miserable.
  • Saltines don't work. As much as I appreciate everyone's advice to eat saltines, HG is far beyond "try to eat saltines before you get out of bed"
  • "Preggie Pops" are just hard candy and a waste of money--I ordered them offline because I was so desperate...what a joke. As you probably guessed, they don't work.
  • Eating a yogurt or carbs before bed DOES seriously helps me sleep and wake up feeling better!
  • I still take a Unisom every single night before bed, and will take a Zofran when I wake up, but I am no longer taking Zofran every 6 hours around the clock. There have even been a couple days where I have not taken any at all. I'm trying to make that an EVERY DAY thing.

So there is where I stand with this morning sickness diet; I wouldn't wish it on my worst nightmare! But on the otherhand, some women would be sick for 9 years to have a child of their own, and I know that I am blessed beyond words. I have a healthy little peanut growing inside me, and a wonderful husband to hold my hair when I'm hanging out of his car getting sick on the way to a company dinner :) Not everyone gets to experience that.


Natalie and Lee said...

WOW! BLESS.YOUR.HEART. I can not imagine! I am so happy you feel better! I will pray in continues! :)

Alex[andra] said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. I'm always interested to know what to expect when it comes to pregnancy. I'm glad you're starting to feel better and I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly!

Des said...

I've been toying with the notion of getting pregnant and i'm so glad i found this article, i'm tired of all the happy moments being written about and it was nice to read something real! ;)
I hope the remainder of your pregnancy go much smoother!! :) Thank you for sharing your story!

Kelsey Homolka said...

I really hope you get to feeling better! It sounds like this has been really tough for you! If/When you're feeling up to it, I'd love to meet up someday!