Well, I started devouring "Beyond Morning Sickness" yesterday, and got through about the first hundred and thirty pages or so. I will post a review on this site as soon as I get through it and have a day or two to think through it. It is one of the most awesome books I have read! It is absolutely incredible.
However, I think I'm already going to have to give it a break for a day or so, just because this book is so heart-wrenching to read. Some of the personal stories that included are absolutely horrifying. For one thing, many women experience the same thing in the medical world that one experiences in the the personal world - getting the big brush-off from unsympathetic doctors who tell them, "You're not sick, you're just pregnant. Go home and stop whining." Or "Stop wasting my time so I can deal with people who are really sick." Or "Go outside, get some fresh air, eat saltines, and stop bothering me." Grrrrr. And one of the tragic realities of HG is that many of the severe cases end in abortion, even with the most wanted of wanted babies. As an adamant pro-lifer who is already grieved and sickened by the abortion industry (if you want proof positive of the existence of evil, there it is), reading these accounts just makes me weep - with compassion for the women in these stories (I know how they felt) and anger with the abortionists who eagerly snatch them up and prey upon their feelings of hopelessness to do whatever it takes to get an abortion out of them.
I have found that I have a marked inability to deal with the physical realities of abortion. I did some training at a pregnancy center three years ago where we watched a video that told about the inside of abortion clinics, including footage of a live, early-term abortion, and I have been horribly haunted by it ever since. So, since I am actively working in the pro-life movement (although in an auxiliary capacity) and am not ignoring abortion, I have felt OK about trying to keep from knowing too many of the horrible details (although I do know the basics, or rather, more than the basics - it's hard to avoid when you're working with pro-lifers!). This book deals with the stories of many HG women who aborted in a moment of desperation and regretted it for the rest of their lives, and their stories are heart-breaking.
That said, if you are suffering with HG, have had HG, or are related to someone who has HG, I will say this now - You need this book. Order it NOW! It is so incredibly helpful. The author has so, so, so much information on treatments, preparation, and other considerations, and it is an invaluable resource for dealing with HG. I am planning on reading and re-reading it, and taking it to both my midwife, my physician and my OB.
This book has also been inspiring in that it also gives me motivation to do the things that I need to be doing now - and some of them I'm already doing. You see, waiting to prepare for HG until you see the two pink lines is like waiting until a hurricane starts to run to the store for supplies. One needs to have contingency plans in place, medical support and back-up in place, research done, and basically be ready for the storm before even trying to conceive, let alone conceiving and then trying to do homework.
With that in mind, here is my basic plan at the moment:
(1) Try to be in really good shape physically through top-notch whole foods diet, and exercise.
(2) Do as much research into HG as possible, obtaining a thorough knowledge of allopathic and naturopathic remedies.
(3) Meet and set-up with all needed physicians: midwife (done), OB (done), chiropractor (done), and naturopath (still need to do).
(4) Set up support system through family and deaconesses.
Working hard on this project has been really good for me. The more knowledge I obtain, the more "in control" I feel. My pregnancy notebook has been a great exercise in organizing myself and feeling like I can actively participate in my own health care - both in regards to HG and in terms of general pregnancy. I still giggle at how utterly ignorant of pregnancy and childbirth I was when I got pregnant with Caleb. For example, I thought that the placenta and the amniotic sac were the same thing - and was so puzzled when Wendi would say, "I think the placenta's over here." (Me: "How can the placenta, aka the amniotic sac, be anywhere??? Isn't it everywhere?") But now that I can discuss a lot of pregnancy components and complications with some knowledge (although I have a looooonnnnngggg way to go), I feel much, much better. That's one big reason why the childbirth class we took (which shall remain unnamed) really didn't work out for me - it encouraged us not to know about pregnancy and birth complications for fear that we would "think them into existence." Not for me - knowledge is power.
Well, time is running out before our little guy gets up!! I'll post more on the book soon!!
P.S. When I started this blog, I thought that I would have enough material to post for a week or two, and then have to quit. Not so! I am absolutely bubbling over with material for blog entries and am having to hold back for the sake of my home and family. :) I never would have guessed that I'd have so much to say.