Saturday, 24 November 2012
Over the last few months I have had a tonne of sweet e-mails checking in to see how we have been doing. One of the most common questions that I have been asked in those e-mails is what hyperemesis feels like and how we have dealt with it as a family. Before I start I need to point out that hyperemesis will affect people differently. This is just how it has affected me.
I'll rewind back to the start..
After dealing with hyperemesis in my pregnancy with Cruz, being diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at the end of that pregnancy and then being induced with him and requiring an episiotomy, forceps and a vacuum to help our little guy enter the world, I was not sure that I would mentally be able to go through another pregnancy and birth. After Cruz's birth I took a while to recover. I had lost a lot of blood at birth, my iron levels had dropped dramatically and I struggled through one too many scripts of antibiotics to try and deal with numerous infections being caused by the mastitis that I had from day 6 post birth. We spent Cruz's 2nd week of life in a hotel away from home while my husband had to attend work meetings. When we arrived back home and attended our appointment with our midwife we were told that Cruz had lost too much weight, dropping from 4.125kg at birth to just under 3.5kg two weeks later and were sent straight to the hospital to come up with a plan to fatten our little boy up. As Cruz grew out of baby things, I gave them away, sure that I would not need them again.
2 years and 2 months after Cruz's birth we decided that it was important that Cruz had a sibling. Whilst I was certainly worried about doing it all again, I felt like I could go through it again for Cruz - our greatest gift in life.
The day we found out we were pregnant was like no other. I had a feeling while at work that we might have started the expansion of our family. On my way home from work I quickly ran into the chemist to get a home pregnancy test. Once we got home my plan was to find out as quickly as possible so that I could surprise Tim when he got home, usually about 20 minutes after me. That was my plan. Cruz and Lacee (our new puppy) had a different plan.
Cruz decided that that very moment would be the perfect opportunity to have a mental breakdown. I continued with the pregnancy test, trying to console a toddler with one hand and do the test with the other. My mum phoned to see how my day had been, all while Cruz, Lacee and I were crammed into the tiny room that is our ensuite toilet (Cruz screaming in the background and the dog trying to knock over the cup that contained my soon to be positive pregnancy test). I'm sure my mum thought that we had all gone crazy, but I tried my best to keep what what was going on a secret. I was still on the phone, Cruz was still screaming and the dog was still trying to get at the urine sample when I noticed that positive line. All I could do was laugh at the circumstances we were in when I found out we were expecting our little bundle. Tim got home very soon after that line appeared and we spent the afternoon preparing ourselves for what might lie ahead.
At 4 weeks pregnant the sickness started. We saw our doctor at 5 weeks pregnant and were prescribed the same steroids I had taken during Cruz's pregnancy. Call us crazy, but we made the decision when we got home that day not to take the steroids. I had taken them for months with Cruz and as a side effect had put on 35kg during the pregnancy. At 6 weeks pregnant, and a lot of vomiting later, I was back at the doctors. It was at this appointment that I realised we were going to face hyperemesis for a 2nd time. After doing routine tests, I was down 5 kg and dehydrated. The doctor prescribed me Maxalon, which I had never had before. To cut a very long story short.... 4 hours away from home and two tablets later, I had a reaction to the Maxalon. My muscles started ceasing, I lost connection to my hands and feet and breathing problems started. We rushed home to get to our local hospital where they inserted an IV line with an anti-drug. It was a long, horrible night and up there with one the scariest moments in my life. Horrible.
Weeks 6 through to week 14 were probably the worst. I was admitted to hospital 9 times, lost more weight and spent every hour of my day (other than my 3 days at work) in bed. I couldn't shower myself, couldn't look after Cruz on my own and wasn't able to walk more than 5 steps without being sick. To go to work, drive and obviously be on my feet for the day, I would dose up on Zofran. It took the edge off the sickness and would mean I could manage driving to work and getting through the day. I would still be sick 10+ times at work, but it meant I could be there. Nights after being at work would be the worst. At times I was too exhausted to talk and would need Tim to help me make it to bed. Dinner during these weeks was always attempted in bed. If I was left at home on my own during this time Tim would need to make sure there was food and water next to the bed. If there wasn't, I couldn't make my way to the kitchen and would get to the end of the day and not have eaten anything. During weeks 6 to 14 I would be sick between 15 to 20 times a day (when I wasn't dosed up). It is taxing on your body and at times I was sure I had nothing left to get me through the day physically or mentally, but here I am. At 17 weeks pregnant I am starting to function again. I am still being sick 5+ a day, but am keeping some food and water down in between bouts of sickness. The house still looks like someone has trashed it, the washing is now to the ceiling and Tim is still cooking every dinner and packing every lunchbox, but I can see the light.
Being pregnant with this little one is an absolute privilege. I am carrying Cruz's future sibling and I can't wait until he gets to meet his little friend. Cruz is very proud of the fact that he will be able to show the baby around and he takes its picture everywhere with him.
In the meantime we are getting through each day one day at a time. Some are worse than others. I would like to thank everyone for their patience in what has been a very long few months for us. I have a heap of photos of activities we did with Cruz last Christmas to share with you, so will get onto writing them soon.
Happy weekend everyone x