Wow. It has been a little less than two months since my last blog post! Boy, has it been a crazy two months. I had to take some time off of writing for several reasons, but am glad to say I am back on the writing wagon!
Well, let’s start with the biggest reason why I took time away from writing. WE’RE PREGNANT! We are now 12 weeks pregnant (due in September), but let me just say the past three months have been such a HARD time for me. We found out we were expecting in mid January. The first couple of weeks, I was experiencing severe nausea while slowly not eating or drinking as much as I had before I found out I was pregnant.
By 6 and a 1/2 weeks pregnant, I started noticing a few strange symptoms that I just wanted to run by my OB to make sure everything was ok. No bleeding or heavy cramping of the sort, but I was very ill and noticed a few changes to my body that didn’t seem normal such as frequent temperature changes and back pain. My OB asked me to come in for blood work. The next day, I received a call saying that my HCG levels were 3-4 times higher than what they normally are at 6 and a 1/2 weeks. My OB asked me to come in that day for an early ultrasound.
Since it was urgent, I wanted to make sure Riley could be there with me. Because it was hard for both of us to abruptly leave in the middle of the day, we scheduled an appointment at the hospital for an ultrasound that evening. My OB had told me that my high levels could be a result from one of the following: I am either further along that I thought, I am having a Molar Pregnancy, or I am having more than one baby.
If you don’t know what a Molar Pregnancy is, I will explain. This type of pregnancy is when the baby grows too fast. In fact, the baby grows faster than the placenta and the womb, and this will almost always end in a miscarriage. We didn’t think I could be further along because I had a full period the month prior. However, my OB said it still is possible for some women to not officially skip their period until 2 or even 3 months pregnant, and some have their period the entire time of their pregnancy.
We finally arrives at the ultrasound appointment, and I shared with Riley the three possibilities that would result in such high pregnancy hormone levels. We were prepared for any of the three but hoping for the best outcome. We were so surprised to find out that there are in fact TWO BABIES! We are pregnant with TWINS! The babies were doing well and had strong heartbeats too. This has been such a surprise because there are NO sets of twins on either side of our families, so we are the first!
The following week, we had our first official OB/Prenatal appointment. We were able to see the babies again and learn more about the risks and symptoms associated with having twins. For example, it is much more common for a twin pregnancy to end in a C-section because if both babies’ heads do not fall downward, a normal vaginal birth is not safe. I had lots of new information and pamphlets to read (I love research!) so that was exciting for me. We went on our way, with another appointment scheduled 3 and a half weeks later at 11 weeks pregnant.
Then, I became extremely sick. I would vomit anywhere from 4-7 times a day, and I was constantly nauseas with no relief in sight. Riley and I had scheduled a vacation months back for the week of February 20th. I was sick a majority of the trip and struggled to eat through the trip. The day before we left for our trip, we were already in Galveston, Texas, when I heard news that my dad had passed away. He had been in the hospital the week prior and fell unconscious that Friday. The service was held the day after we returned from our trip.
The one thing that I am grateful for, is for some reason, I was not sick at all the day of his service. I believe that was God giving me strength and peace to get through the day. But my pregnancy took a terrible turn the following date when my sickness returned worse that it was before. I had now been sick for roughly three weeks and during that time, I had lost about 12 pounds. I waited to call me doctor for several reasons.
My OB had told me that I may experience worse symptoms that other pregnant women because I am having two babies. I was under the impression that my sickness was a normal symptom. I also didn’t feel that my symptoms were enough of an “emergency” to call my OB after hours. That week, I lost EVERY ounce of energy I had. I was not able to hold myself up in the shower. I had reached a full breaking point and contemplated going to the hospital. I stayed home, however, because I knew my next appointment with my OB was the coming Monday.
I became sicker over the weekend. By Saturday, I had not been able to keep any water or food down in two days and by Sunday, I had a low-grade fever. Monday morning, I struggled driving to work because I could not keep my eyes focused on anything specific. I called my OB the second her office opened and after telling the nurse all of my symptoms and the weight I have lost, they told me to go to the ER immediately. Thankfully, a co-worker offered to drive me there since the hospital is only about 5 minutes from my work.
I had vomited three times since I had woken up two hours earlier by the time I arrived at the ER. That increased to four times by the time I was placed in my own room. I was treated quickly with an IV Line, nausea medicine, and sugar added to the IV because my blood pressure was very low. After finished the IV, the nurse and ER doctor examined me and felt I still needed more fluids, so I was given another IV, but it was stopped about half way. After all of my blood work and labs were finished, the ER told me that I had a UTI, which needed antibiotics. I had not symptoms of a UTI, which made it difficult for him to determine how long I have had the UTI. I also had an Upper Respiratory Infection along with cold symptoms (this lasted the entire week).
The ER doctor said he would have held me for several more hours if not over night, but it was important that I did not miss my appointment with my OB. My OB’s office was in the building connected to the hospital so I was able to go straight up to the office. She was very concerned about all of my symptoms and my overall health. However, she checked on the babies and Baby A’s heart rate was 161 bmp and Baby B’s heart rate was 170 bmp. Baby B was moving all over the place! We are almost 100% certain that the twins are fraternal. They are in their own amniotic sacs and placentas. But we will find out for sure as it gets closer. My OB then told me that I am being diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum by. The ER also diagnosed me with this while I was in his care.
Hyperemesis is not like morning sickness. Morning sickness does not cause significant weight loss, and it does not affect a person’s body like Hyperemesis does. A few symptoms of Hyperemesis that I have experienced are: you may lose 5-20 pounds, you become dehydrated and may need to be hospitalized, you may vomit stomach bile or blood, may last into the second or even third trimester, and you may feel like fainting or passing out occasionally. Only 2% of pregnant women become diagnosed with Hyperemesis. I am part of that 2%.
There is no specific cure for Hyperemesis. I was finally far enough along to be prescribed Zofran. I have had some relief this past week regarding the actual vomiting, no where near the 6 or 7 times a day, but it is still daily. I am struggling to keep water down, so I have been drinking more gatorade and milk (I drink chocolate soy milk for extra protein). There is a high chance that all my Hyperemesis symptoms will return after I am finished with the antibiotic for the UTI, so I am trying to eat/drink as much as my body allows me to at the moment so I will have enough strength to fight it when it returns in a few days.
I hope other woman who are experiencing similar symptoms find the courage after reading this post to alert their doctor. Hyperemesis is a serious illness and it should never go unnoticed or untreated. Ladies, don’t feel nervous about telling your doctor about anything! They are there to not only help you but provide treatment if needed.
I felt the need to share this with you because it has greatly affected my daily life as well as my work life. I want to bring awareness to Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I have still continued to lose more weight, but I am also making progress with eating more. There is still a high chance that I will need to be hospitalized again. But, I am giving this battle to God. There is nothing else I can do to change the outcome of this illness besides fight it. After we announced our pregnancy on Facebook and to our family and friends last Monday, I was asked by several people how I was doing (health wise during this pregnancy). I hope this post gives you some insight to my first trimester. I ask for your prayers to continue for my health and for two healthy babies.
We are very excited for this new chapter in our lives and can’t wait to meet our two babies in September! I will post more updates throughout my pregnancy on my blog. Also, I will post photos of my pregnancy growth on Instagram, so I encourage you to check out my Instagram to see many more updates!