Sunday, January 12, 2014

Life goes on...

It has been quite some time since I felt the need to write. So much has happened in the past six months. It took me about four months for the nausea from HG to subside where I wasn't plagued by it every couple of days. I still have some issues at night every once in a while and still take a reglan occasionally. 

When baby girl was born, I had an infection so as a precaution the hospital wanted to put her on iv antibiotics. I knew this but what happened was something that upsets me to this day. After she was born, they wrapped her up and gave her to my husband to hold. After about five minutes, they took her, put her in the bassinet and said "ok, we're taking her to the nursery now." I was shocked and dumbfounded. Incredulously, I asked them "for what?!" I was told it was for her bath. I immediately told my husband to go with her. I did not want her out of our eyesight. He asked if I was sure and I told him that yes, I was sure and I would be fine. He went. What happened afterward is a terrible nightmare for me. They told him she needed an iv. For some reason, he told them to go ahead and give it. I had been very clear in my wishes for her to eat as soon as possible yet he did not heed that. I was not included in the decision nor was I even informed.

After I was wheeled back to my room, I kept asking for my baby. They kept blowing me off with oh, she's coming soon, she's coming. Then it became they were trying to get an iv in her. Then they told me they had failed so they were going to bring her to me and try again. Finally, FOUR HOURS after she was born my husband left my room and went up to the nursery to find out why they were stalling. 

In the meantime, a NICU doctor came into my room. I lit into her. I had started crying unconsolably.  I let out all my frustration. Babies are supposed to nurse within their first hour of life, two at the most, to make for the best possible start to the breastfeeding relationship between mom and child. Yet here it was four hours after her birth and my baby was still MIA. If the nurses weren't able to get the iv line in for an hour, why in the world had they kept her for so long? Why not let her eat which - novel concept - would hydrate her then try again? I was extremely mad at the nursery staff and the poor NICU doc got to hear it all. 

After she listened to me rant she told me since the iv wasn't working they would have to place an umbilical catheter and because of this, my baby would need to go to the NICU. I consented since I had zero desire to prevent her from getting antibiotics as a precaution because of my infection and fever. However, I begged that they bring me my baby so she could eat. Not too long later my husband brought her in. What I did not know, but found out later, was that he forced the nursery to give her to him. He even threatened to take her AMA before they finally consented to relinquish her. All we wanted was for them to stop torturing her with pokes and prods so she could bond with her family and be able to eat!

As a result, it took quite some time for us to adjust to nursing. All the stress made my body stop producing colostrum after the first day. In order for her to come out of the NICU after she was cleared from having any kind of infection, her blood glucose needed to be at 60. She wasn't eating, she would just flail around and cry when I would try to nurse her. I know it was because nothing was coming out (due to both a medication I had been taking which is known to dry up production and high stress levels). I wasn't able to get anything out with a pump. So we ended up giving her formula. Not something I wanted to do, but I didn't want her stuck in there on an iv line any longer than she already was. Thankfully, the next morning my milk finally came in and she would nurse again. 

Almost seven months later, she's my breastfeeding champ. She has completed our family and helped me heal from what was a horrific and long journey. October was hard. It was the one year anniversary of my introduction to the nightmare that is HG. It was the one year anniversary of my dad's passing. November marked 12 years since the loss of my grandma. December found me sitting contemplating how sick I was a year ago and rejoicing that I'm alive and fairly healthy this year. December 24th was the 10th anniversary of my granny's passing. These things have hit me hard this year. 

On a positive note, I'm six pounds away from my goal weight - what I weighed before I got pregnant with my oldest. Little man has been going potty on the "big boy potty" for about a week now. He has lots of progress to make still but the thought that I may only have one in diapers soon is so exciting! My sweet baby girl is super healthy and huge (23lb 7.5oz at her six month checkup December 26th). My older daughter (Goose) has been doing very well with the palatal expander she had put in in December. 

My life is forever changed by what I experienced while pregnant this last time. I don't think I will ever get nauseated again and not be traumatized by it. Whenever I get a stomachache it freaks me out in fear that the nausea won't leave and I will be stuck like that forever. I had a stomach virus at the beginning of November and the flashbacks were unnerving. I truly pray that my experience and my ramblings about it will help someone else in some way. Even if it's just that they know they're not alone. That someone else has been there. That someone else can understand their struggle. I know how much having a support system helped me. It still helps. I pray somehow, some way, I will find peace from HG and be able to live my life without fear of a disease that took all control from my life. 

Little man in his Colts sweatshirt. 
Baby girl being her usual happy self
Goose hanging her ornament from Grandma on the tree
Me with my girls

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It never ends!

I thought her birth day would be the end. I thought my nightmare would be over. I didn't realize how common it is for HG to last weeks or even months postpartum. 

I have been blessed by a sweet baby girl for the past 22 days. She's been my will to survive for months now and finally being able to hold her in my arms has saved my sanity. She was born June 15th at 2:27 pm after 30 hours of labor and a failed induction. I never dilated past six cm. my body wasn't ready for her to come out...yet she had to because my amniotic fluid levels were too low for their liking. I went in around 2am on June 14th just to have her checked because she wasn't moving as much as she normally did at night. Little bugger had been keeping me awake at odd hours for weeks on end and that night she was barely moving. We got to the hospital and I was taken to maternity triage where they hooked me up to monitors and told me she sounded great. A little while later a doctor came in with an ultrasound machine just to look things over. When she measured my fluid levels (they were at a 5, for anyone who knows anything about AFI), she told me "you're at the very low end of ok. I don't think we'll be sending you home."

I was completely unprepared. We had nothing with us. I did grab my charge cable for my phone and all my medicines but that was it. We had our two year old with us since this was supposed to be a quick check thing then back home. My husband couldn't get hold of anyone for a while but finally started driving to our friends' house in hopes that by the time he got there they would have gotten his message that I was having the baby. We knew it would be hours before anything exciting would happen. 

They hooked me up to pitocin around 4am. Around noon I got a foley bulb placed. It took a few hours for it to work. I believe it was around 4pm when it finally came out. It could have been a little later than that...I don't have a great sense of what time it was when they did stuff. About ten pm they decided I was dilated enough and her head was far enough down we wouldn't have to worry about cord prolapse. So they broke my water. Again, it may have been a little later than that...time is a wacky thing when you're in labor. After they broke my water they put internal monitors in which I was thankful for since my skin was having a bad reaction to the external ones. They had had to wash off all the gel they use for the fetal heart rate monitor and use fragrance free lotion instead because it was causing such bad itching. At this point my contractions, which had been quite bearable, became super intense. I asked for something to help with the pain. They gave me stadol, which didn't really help with the pain at all. And to top it off it made me feel like I was high. Yuck! I asked for an epidural about 11 or 11:30 because I just couldn't take any more pain. The nurse put in the order, had me sign for it and said it wouldn't be long since I was first in line. She then disappeared. By midnight I was screaming from the pain and crying that I couldn't do it anymore. Pretty sure I bruised my husband's hand! He was helping me the best he knew how but I needed relief yesterday! Around 12:30 I remember my cries became "where are they?! They said they were coming!!" By one am I was a total wreck and couldn't quit crying and screaming through the contractions. Finally my nurse came back. They had had an emergency csection and that's where both she and the anesthesiologist had been. After a few intense contractions I was able to relax enough for them to place the epidural. Relief!! It was short lived because baby's heart rate started having decelerations. They made me turn on my side, which meant the medicine drained to that side of my body. So only half of me was getting relief. At some point the anesthesiologist came back to give me a bolus. When she did that I was able to get some relief and sleep for a little bit. I woke up with tons of pain in my back. My only option was to roll to the other side because whenever I was on my back baby's heart rate would drop. This continued until around noon when, after twelve hours I had only progressed to six cm, and had been stalled there for at least four hours. Both I and the doctors decided my body wasn't going to get there on its own. I had also developed an infection. I was put on antibiotics and given Tylenol to get my fever down. Baby needed out. So we went into csection prep mode. This was my third section so it wasn't like I was unprepared. I knew how things would progress. They turned off the pitocin and while I had some minor contractions still, they weren't nearly as intense and they had no real pattern to them. After waiting for the OR to be ready, I was finally wheeled in. The surgery took longer than my last one...there was a lot of scar tissue that had to be taken care of and when they cut into my uterus, it tore some on the right side. When it was all done, I was told having any more children is a really bad idea. Good thing I am done anyway! Miss Melody arrived at 2:27pm. She weighed 7lb 14oz. She came out screaming and full of life. After they wiped her down they wrapped her up and let my husband hold her for about five minutes. Then they took her to the nursery. I made my husband go with her. It seemed like it took the doctors ages to sew me back up. 

What happened after that I'm not ready to talk about. It still makes me too angry. 

Anyhow! That is the story of how my sweet girl got here. What I didn't expect was to feel so sick still. I had to stay on my anti nausea meds just to function. This was supposed to be a thing of the past! Yet there I was, ready to throw up and so scared of it at the same time because I knew how bad it would be with my fresh incision. I prayed I could keep it together. Thankfully, God granted that prayer with a yes!! I was able to keep from being sick. But I still had the nausea. 

Over the last few weeks, it has been sporadic. It usually happens more at night. Though there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to when it strikes. Right now I'm fighting off horrible waves of it and I have no idea why. I took a reglan for the first time in days. I pray I keep from getting sick as my incision is still pretty tender! 

I found out apparently breastfeeding can make the postpartum HG worse. It has something to do with hormone levels. This knowledge really messed with my head! I am determined not to let this disease defeat me. I will prevail and feed my child what's best for her. 

Well this has gotten quite lengthy. I think I have gotten out some of my frustrations. I hope and pray this disease finally finds a cure. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Being pregnant and having HG are starting to wear on me. I can't lie down comfortably anymore because of how big my belly is. When I finally get to sleep (takes forever these days), an alarm goes off. 12 am. 3 am. 6 am. 9 am. 12 pm. 3 pm. 6 pm. 9 pm. I'm constantly taking medicine. If I don't I get sick. Very sick. It's a gamble every morning whether breakfast will stay down or not. Today was a good day. The three days before that weren't. I might throw up a little or a lot. I never know from day to day which it will be.

I feel so bad for my two year old. He has to endure Mommy's mood swings (thank you hormones) and my extreme lack of energy. Where I'd normally try to play games with him and have learning time he ends up watching TV or playing with his toys. I will be so glad to give him back his energetic mama who does things with him. I'm sure he'll be happy about it too!

For a small victory...he went potty this morning! I am so proud of him. I'm hoping to ease him into potty training slowly. He was so proud of himself. I know it's nothing spectacular but it's a step in the right direction to getting him out of diapers!

Friday, April 26, 2013


It's been over six months since I lost my dad to cancer. I wish I could say it doesn't hurt as much, but it does. Some days it hurts more than it did in that week after he passed. Planning the funeral of the best man I've ever known was hard but living without him is so much worse. I have days when all I want to do is hear him lecture me. I used to get so mad when he'd tell me things I didn't really want to hear and now I'd give anything to hear his voice, stern and sure giving me advice. To see him snuggle up with his grandkids enjoying their company.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So near yet so far away

Eight weeks. That's my countdown. Technically 8.5 but neither of my other kids waited that long so I'm praying this one doesn't either. Eight weeks seems so short looking back at the long road I've traveled but it also seems like an eternity.

I have told my husband countless times I can't do this anymore yet here I am stuck. I have never wanted to do something less in my life. I know the outcome is worth it in the end but for now I feel stuck. A prisoner in my own body. Helpless to stop it from making me feel awful. At best I can pray my medicine will give me a good day, one day at a time. The regimen I'm on takes its toll on me. I have to worry about tardive dyskinesia. I can no longer use the phenergan suppositories and must rely on the tablets. If I miss a dose of Pepcid the heartburn is overwhelming. I barely sleep. I have little patience with my two year old. I have a spot at the bottom of my rib cage that hurts almost constantly now. I had the same spot hurt with my son and took muscle relaxers for it. But I'm on so many drugs already I don't dare add another for fear I am hurting my unborn child. When she moves it makes me sick to my stomach sometimes. Once again the sight of raw meat makes me feel ill. I walk for not even five minutes and I'm winded. I constantly have to lean over the shopping cart and concentrate on breathing slowly to get my heart rate down while I'm out.

I try not to dwell on all these things. I don't want to be labeled negative Nancy. I know there are women who have it much worse off than I do. Fortunately for me, my doctors were able to find a drug combo that helps me function. Some women are not so lucky. Some are bedridden, hooked up to IVs or PICC lines. Feeding tubes down their noses or TPN through their PICC just to keep them alive. This disease is so ugly and so unknown. I pray they can find a cure so women could stop suffering just for wanting to have a child. It seems so unfair, being punished for bringing life into this world.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Still in this awful battle.

Last night I laid down in bed and I could just tell it wasn't going to be a good night. I got up thinking maybe I just needed to go to the bathroom and I would feel better. Nope! I ended up throwing up for half an hour. My husband helped me get washed up afterward and I went and laid on the couch. Couple hours later found me in the bathroom again with it coming out the other end. Finally I was able to get some sleep after that. Thankfully my doctor had given me some medicine for pain issues I'd been having from my frequent bathroom trips.

I had my glucose challenge test yesterday morning. Sugary sweet drinks and HG don't mix! I was able to keep it down but just barely. I didn't want to have to redo the test. I pray the results are good since I'm not sure I can handle drinking that stuff again.

Talked to the doctor about doing a vbac and he was 100% for it. He was actually glad I'm going to try it! It was reassuring to have support from my regular OB office since I have to go to a different one and also a different hospital. I've decided it's better anyway since the other hospital has a NICU and my regular one doesn't. Since we've had some concerns over baby's health I just feel safer that way.

OK just thought I would give a quick update. Back to (hopefully) sleep for a while!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Completely down.

Tonight I'm really down. I've been sick since about 10:30 last night and it's almost 5 am. I feel just awful. Every time I feel like I'm getting better and maybe beating this thing it whacks me over the head to remind me that nope, it's still here! I don't know what to do but something has to give soon; I'm losing my grip.