Hyperemesis gravidarum. That’s a long fancy term which means “lots and lots of throwing up caused by being pregnant.” This isn’t your regular morning sickness. If regular morning sickness is a guy who occasionally enjoys watching Lord of the Rings then hyperemesis gravidarum is the guy who owns all the extended DVDs and every Tolkien book, has a room full of LoTR merchandise, can quote the entire series, and spends his free time dressed up as a hobbit. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Hobbits are great!)
When I got pregnant I expected to have a bit of morning sickness. Oh, I had big plans. I was going to handle my morning sickness like a boss, throw up, eat a couple of saltines, shake it off and get on with my day, no sweat. I was going to be an expert mama-to-be.
Well, it didn’t work out that way. I found out I was pregnant in the beginning of February, had about a week of feelin’ fine, and then one evening after eating supper I threw up. And I remember thinking something along the lines of, “Morning sickness, how quaint! I’m like, a legit pregnant lady with symptoms and everything now! Where do I get my free t-shirt?”
Well, I continued feeling nauseous and threw up again and still felt nauseous after that and wasn’t able to eat. I threw up a lot the next day and the next and then my pants started getting loose and I had to tell my supervisor about my pregnancy long before I was prepared to so she’d understand why I was frequently calling for relief so I could run to the bathroom. My sense of smell has become extremely sensitive which is one of the side effects of pregnancy that I didn’t know existed until it happened to me and it hasn’t helped matters at all (but more on that another day.)
This went on for a few weeks. The lowest point for me in all of this was one day at the end of February. I had planned to be off that morning because I was feeling so rough. It was a good thing I did because from the moment I got out of bed I was vomiting even though I had nothing in my stomach. It finally got to the point where I was getting concerned for the safety of the baby so I called my doctor’s office to ask how much vomiting is too much. After answering a few questions I was put on hold and the next thing I knew my doctor came on the line telling me that if I vomited one more time I’d have to go straight to the emergency room. I spent the rest of that morning sitting on my couch staring at the TV without actually watching it, swallowing tiny sips of water and trying to will myself not to throw up.
The next day I was seen and got a few answers. I was definitely throwing up more than your typical pregnant lady. My blood pressure was way too low. I was dehydrated and had lost five pounds since my appointment the previous week. So they prescribed me Diclectin which is like Gravol for pregnant ladies but 100% safe for the baby. It’s so great. I have to take it several times a day and it makes me very sleepy but it’s taken the sickness down to a more manageable level so it’s worth it. If I wasn’t taking this drug I’d probably be on sick leave from work. I don’t know how women with this condition functioned before this drug was created.
So that was my introduction to life as a pregnant lady. As long as I keep taking the pills my stomach and I seem to have reached a delicate truce until it forgets our agreement and I have to run to the bathroom like I did today at work and again about twenty minutes ago. It’s been one of those days.
The main thing I’ve learned from pregnancy so far is that nothing feels the way I expected it to so it’s probably best that I drop my expectations and take things as they come. It’s funny how easy going you can learn to be when you aren’t given a choice in the matter. Now it’s time for bed, a prenatal vitamin, and a double dose of Diclectin. Om nom nom.