After an epic road trip to L.A. with my hubby in the summer of 2014, we came back feeling refreshed, motivated and of course didn't realize our lives were about to change forever.
About a week after the trip, I felt extreme heartburn which I thought were due to eating hot cheetos which I tried to later wash down with red wine, which only made the situation worse. About having these symptoms for about 10 days or so, I thought it was time to visit the doctor's office. Long story short, we were pregnant, expecting our very first child! I was literally just 8 days pregnant and normally, woman find out around the eight week of pregnancy!
So why am I sharing this all now? Because there's just not enough information or knowledge on hyperemesis out there. I mean, I didn't even know what it was until I had it. So many family members and loved ones still believed I was faking it or overhyping "morning sickness" or I was just being weak.
I mean I had an actual R.N. tell me that basically I shouldn't even be pregnant because I couldn't handle it. Even she was disregarding my condition and symptoms and acting as if I wasn't equipped or prepared for pregnancy.
So here's my pregnancy journey and everything we went through the entire 40 weeks of pregnancy as we awaited for our firstborn to arrive. The style of this post will be similar to that of a diary or journal and I'm really gonna be detailed here so disclaimer, there might be a few TMIs!
FIRST TRIMESTER: WEEKS 1-12
My symptoms didn't just end with heartburn issues. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, days later, I begin feeling nauseous and was unable to hold anything down. My doctors were quite shocked I was feeling this way so early on in the pregnancy and labeled it "morning sickness" and said it should subside by the third month or so. They also said I might be expecting twins since the symptoms were so strong! And btw, twins don't run in my family!
I remember at that time seeing Kate Middleton on the news who just announced her pregnancy and had hyperemesis again and was very ill. I had no idea what that was but was thankful my morning sickness wasn't anything what her horrible condition sounded like!
In the first trimester, about a 5 pound weight gain is expected. Instead, I lost 6 pounds the first six weeks of pregnancy! As a first-time expectant mother, I can't even begin to explain how disheartening this was! I was so sick I could barely make it to the restroom to puke and couldn't even keep the simplest thing down, fruits. And here I was trying to eat as healthy as possible!
I soon started feeling signs of dehydration as I couldn't drink water which is so essential to the basic body's needs. Literally, the only thing I was eating was a small bowl of cereal with a bit of milk. And not the sugary-sweet cereal, the bland, corn flakes-type. There were times when I even puked that out.
It was so bad that my doctor actually said I can eat anything that I want and can keep down. She insisted that I shouldn't worry about proper diet or nutrition because obviously eating nothing at all was way worse.
Tex-Mex was growing to be my fave and I had the weirdest cravings for fried corn dogs (lol, which I never ate, so random!) and towards the very end craved sweeter things like donuts! But even when I ate, it wasn't like a normal pregnant women. I mean it'd take me an entire day to finish a regular sized burrito because I ate very small portions at a time. If I overate, I'd get nauseous and again puke it out.
Around the eight week mark, we got our first ultrasound and of course got to see baby for the very first time! Although the thought of having twins was enticing, this is where we learned there was just one fetus on the ultrasound.
I did have a little health scare when I saw a bit of blood after urinating. I was in the ER literally all night doing several tests just to be safe. I was told to pee in a cup as normal and a few minutes later said, "I'm so sorry....." and I remember my husband and I looking at each other, fearing the worst. My heart sank. Only later he finished, "you have to pee again in the cup as I was not able to catch enough urine..."
Seriously, dude? Who starts a sentence like that?! Especially to a pregnant woman! As if raging hormones aren't enough! Luckily, it all turned out okay but it was frightening to say the very least.
SECOND TRIMESTER: WEEKS 13-28
My symptoms continued into the second trimester where normal "morning sickness" is believed to subside. I begged my doctor to allow me to get "hydration therapy" which is basically an infusion of water, minerals and vitamins through an IV. She didn't think I needed it at that time, but ok'd it.
This is where I learned that I had hyperemesis. Honestly, my doctor really didn't sit down to tell me this but I did know I had a "high risk pregnancy." As I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, it was probably best if I didn't know. I also told myself I wouldn't google or Youtube anything at that moment because we all know that never turns out good.
I went to get the IV several times a week and let's just say, this was a really a low-point for me. As an expectant mother you want the best for your baby yet your unable to keep necessary nutrients down and it's just really was a difficult time.
I would get pricked and poked numerous times until the RNs actually found a vein. This is how dehydrated I was, normally I'm told I have "good veins." It was so frustrating that I would come in and it would take a substantial amount of time and sometimes several RNs to actually get the IV in. Both my arms were pricked and poked and even had bruises of IV markings on them. A few times they had to use a vein reader because my veins were so flat they couldn't locate them!
I would get the hydration therapy and it would feel great but as soon as I got in the car, (the drive home was about 15 minutes) and there were times when I puked at least once on the ride home - so frustrating!
I remember putting plastic bags everywhere - in the car, near the bed, anywhere I could think of just so I can have a puke bag. There were even a few times where I would nearly crawl my way to the bathroom and ended up using those plastic bags because I couldn't quite make it in time. It wasn't just about puking either. It was just a an overall sick and nauseated feeling that wouldn't allow me to do everyday things like household chores, run errands and even watch t.v. Even motion sickness in the car really amplified the symptoms and made them so much worse.
Amongst my hyperemesis symptoms of not being able to keep anything down, I also was extremely constipated! This may've been because I wasn't eating enough but what's worse is that I also got hemorrhoids (TMI!). It was so bad, I had to visit the doctor's office! Let's just say once you have a baby and endure all of it, nothing is quite embarrassing after that!
I was also very congested and it felt like I couldn't breathe at all for the rest of the pregnancy. I literally would breathe with my mouth open. I did have vision issues and everything seemed blurry and just off. Even though my vision is 20/20 it still wasn't normal.
I remember going to Target to pickup some maternity essentials with my husband. I don't know why they put the maternity section all the way in the back of the store but let's just say as I walked all the way back there, my hyperemesis symptoms came on strong. I sat on the floor in the maternity section so I wouldn't pass out. Sadly, I don't think I picked up much because I was just too nauseous. I remember walking towards my husband and calling his name feeling weak in the knees. The walk from the store to the car I literally kept fearing I was gonna pass out.
I was never on "bed rest" or told otherwise. My doctor said as long as I feel "okay" it's safe to do anything and everything. I just kept it on the down low and enjoyed being in the comfort of my own home, in a nice and peaceful environment. I think one of the reasons the Target situation happened was because of the loud music in the entire store. I was extremely sensitive to noise I guess.
A few weeks later, a similar situation happened where I had to keep sitting and resting while trying to pick out a crib and my parents were so frustrated like, "what is wrong with you?" They were freaking out because they've never heard of hyperemesis and never had to deal with a situation like this and also weren't used to seeing me like this, either.
I was lucky I never got swelling or high blood pressure which is a good thing, who wants preeclampsia? In fact, my blood pressure remained consistently low throughout my entire pregnancy. This did cause a bit of dizziness but I was seriously in this zen-like trance throughout my entire pregnancy and just slept the entire time! My parents called me all the time because there were seriously afraid I would be sleeping through labor pains, LMAO. Sleep is so important since you won't get any once baby arrives!
The one thing that I think made me actually survive this time was when my gynecologist told me that the baby is getting the nutrients he needs through the past three month's of stored food/fat in my body! This I did't know, so in my case, this was a huge relief! However, she did say I needed to take the proper vitamins to support my bones and body throughout the pregnancy. I actually couldn't eat the prenatal gummies for the first few months (but started them much later) because it was impossible keeping them down. My hubby actually would cut them up into little pieces and hide them in my food hoping I wouldn't notice. But nope! Those gummies and I just didn't work. I did take folic acid which is absolutely essential to the baby's health.
About the 22nd week of pregnancy, is when I was told I could no longer continue hydration therapy. My body was so acclimated to it I was afraid I would go back to square one. What worked for me was taking little sips of water instead of gulping it down at once. I even kept a water bottle at my bedside and took sips throughout the night to remain hydrated. Luckily, always sipping on water, seemed to do the trick and the extremity of my hyperemesis symptoms were nearly gone! I still had those "sick days" but it wasn't an everyday battle anymore.
For the glucose screening, you have to drink this nasty sugary drink which tastes like orange soda but worse. If I'm remembering correctly, you have to wait about one hour before they draw the blood. Immediately after drinking this, my hyperemesis symptoms decided to kick in. The phlebotomist and my husband were literally fanning me so I wouldn't pass out. I remember feeling so sick and I was trying to hard not to puke. Otherwise, I would have to come another day and drink it and wait again! As the clock got closer and closer, I was so sure I would puke it out. The poor lady even ran to get me the wastebasket and this was just minutes before my blood draw. I did end up puking it out but luckily, she said although it wasn't the full hour, she'd allow me to continue to get screened that day because I was just short a few minutes of what normally they'd make people wait.
THIRD TRIMESTER: WEEKS 29-40
After an insanely hard two trimesters, I was in the final phase of pregnancy. The third trimester was when I was finally able to enjoy my pregnancy a bit. I was able to eat more and was even a bit more active and walked daily. I watched videos and read up on what to expect week-by-week. I also made sure not to overdo my research because I didn't want anxiety, either.
I even had a glam moment for a family wedding which was huge for me because I didn't wear makeup throughout my entire pregnancy! I finally got to get back to my creative side and even custom designed a wrap-style ethnic outfit (which matched the theme) and was perfect for my growing belly.
All I can say about the last stretch of pregnancy, is eat and sleep well. Let the little things go and don't sweat the small stuff. Try to do little things you love and enjoy to help the time go by because counting down the last few weeks, seems to really go slow!
My husband and I did a hospital tour which I really recommend for first time parents as this helps ease the nerves so you know exactly what to expect and where to go when you are in labor.
Some of the other symptoms which I had was rib cage pain in the last few weeks. This might've been because I just would throw off my bra (at home, of course!) because I couldn't stand it in the end - it just felt so suffocating! I also was pretty clumsy and off-balance so always took my hubby just about everywhere with me.
I didn't get stretch marks until three weeks before delivery. Stretch marks are genetic but I was also moisturizing with bio-oil and coconut oil throughout my entire pregnancy! I actually stopped using bio-oil towards the end because I was just so dang tired, so who knows, had I continued perhaps I wouldn't have gotten them?! But I also expected them since my mom had them, too. Not a biggie and totally over it.
I remember gaining only 9 pounds and had just 4 weeks until delivery date - 6 of which were the original that I lost in the 1st trimester. But then, all of a sudden, boom, my weight nearly doubled to 17 pounds! I was ecstatic because I wanted a healthy baby that was at least six pounds and it was a relief that I finally had gained something! But it was also very hard carrying all that baby weight on my very small frame - I'm 5'2". Women gain an average of 20-25 pounds per pregnancy and yes, I know some gain a lot more but if you're eating healthy and not eating for two - that's the recommended amount. It also differs depending on if you're overweight when you become pregnant, of course, too. So I was happy that I was pretty close to the 20 pound mark.
About the 28th week of pregnancy and until delivery is when you're supposed to do daily kick counts. This helps you know what's normal for the baby and so you can understand his movement. Boy, was mine a kicker! However, there was one situation where we actually went into the labor ward when I couldn't feel my baby kick for a few hours and this was just weeks before the due date. He decided to start kicking while we were there so we were sent home, of course!
I also had major nesting syndrome in the final weeks where I would pack my diaper bag ( I mean I was ready to go!) I would gear up for his arrival. I was beyond prepared. Let me know if you'd like me to post a what's in my diaper bag and what we actually didn't end up using while we were there!
Dealing with hyperemesis and pregnancy was an extremely challenging time for me. My body, my hormones, my food intake - everything had changed. I had to learn to listen to my natural instincts and listen to what my body needed instead of what I wanted. I think that's the most important aspect when dealing with hyperemesis. It's important not to allow yourself to be disheartened or depressed in a situation like this. Once you trust yourself and your instincts with a new mindset, the situation is much easier to deal with.
Stay tuned for my labor and delivery story and more related posts to come! So excited to share this part of my life with you all. Please retweet this story to spread awareness about hyperemesis so this could help someone in need.
I would love to read your questions, comments and stories, so do share them with me in the comments, below!
Disclaimer: This website contains general entertainment and/or informational posts. This post is solely based on my personal health experience and doesn't reflect the opinions of Glam Express. I am not a health professional and this post should not be used to treat, diagnose or cure any health condition.