Thursday, April 10, 2008

Various Musings

Wow, what a week!

This week has been incredibly busy. Many things have been going on, but the main thing was having my parents over to stay for a week of intense house-hunting. Nothing turned up, but it was a good experience and I think we have a bit more knowledge to go on now. We're going to try to keep it up on our own. With our price limits, this is not an easy process! Our poor realtor is doing a ton of work for what is going to be an absurdly small profit.

I have not been able to give this poor blog nearly all the love and attention that I want to, this week or any week. I've just been too busy!!! But I have been thinking a hundred miles an hour on topics and research that I want to post. Perhaps it's best that I don't have unlimited time! I'd probably run through all my ideas in a week or so and then have nothing to say (not likely, but possible). But for now, I have ideas and thoughts absolutely overflowing. Hopefully I'll be able to post at least twice a week or so. Some of my ideas for posts: Disease as a social phenomenon, HG and spirituality/faith, The myth of "it's all in your head," HG and Grief, etc. I still have a ton of research to post also. One of the main beasts that I need to tackle is homeopathy - I have a small volume-worth of homeopathy info for HG, and I need to start posting it.

I've also decided that I need to start using the phrase "hyperemesis gravidarum" at least once or twice per blog to make it more "out there" for internet search engines. So I'll try to do that. After all, this blog was started to give out info - which is hard to do if no one can find it!

I have been corresponding with a fellow hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) mum (the one mentioned in an earlier post), and it has been absolutely creepy - her emails to me read like pages from my own diary. It is so cool to know that one is not alone! We all go through the same stuff. She has given me permission to post from her emails, so I am going to start posting her story soon as well.

Today I thought I'd make a brief mention of the pregnancy notebook that I started a month or two ago. I needed to have a way to file all of my research, so I got a huge notebook and put three sets of dividers in it - one each for hyperemesis gravidarum, pregnancy, and childbirth. I thought this might be of interest to some obscure person out there (???), so here is how I have it organized:

I. Hyperemesis Gravidarum

1. Hyperemesis - General Information
2. Supplements - Herbs, Drugs
3. Homeopathy
4. Naturopathic Options - Chiropractic Care, etc.
5. Other - Tandem Nursing, etc.

II. Pregnancy

1. Pregnancy Notes - Notes from past pregnancies to share with care providers
2. Records from Wendi (our midwife)
3. Records from OB - this and #2 are so that I'll have records from each to show to the other during times when I'm under co-care
4. Nutrition
5. Pregnancy Herbs & Homeopathy
6. Pregnancy Complications
7. Prenatal Test Research - Mostly my compendium of articles showing why I choose to refuse all prenatal tests!
8. Shower Ideas - Next time, if I am able to have a shower, I want to do more of a Mother Blessing ceremony than a traditional shower, so I'm collecting ideas. Things like bead ceremonies, handing out candles, etc.

III. Childbirth

1. Childbirth General
2. Childbirth Prep - Class materials, exercises, etc.
3. Birth Plans, with research - One for home, one for hospital (this one not to be used, God willing)
4. Birth Complications
5. Birth Herbs and Homeopathy
6. Postpartum
7. Breastfeeding
8. Midwifery


I know I shouldn't have too many topics, but I'm making up for lost time. And this next topic, which I shall attempt to keep brief, is more for myself. I am so tired of the fear that accompanies each end-of-the-month "am I pregnant?" question. Of course, I don't think that I will ever be able to be rid of this fear. The HG mum with whom I am corresponding wrote that when she found out she was pregnant with her third baby, after having experienced one HG pregnancy, she grew despondent to the point of suicidal thoughts - so much so that she had to spend a brief period in a psychiatric ward. I know how she felt (to a lesser extent). I will never be rid of that fear. But to alleviate at least some of it, I thought that I would write out the advantages that I would have going into a third pregnancy which would make things (hopefully) a bit easier. Here goes:

(1) I am not naive. I am not expecting an easy pregnancy (how I wish!). I am expecting HG, and know that it could very possibly (even probably) be worse than last time. So it's not going to take me off-guard. I am not going to waste time with idiotic morning sickness remedies (dry crackers, etc.). I can go straight to the big guns - homeopathy, herbs, liquid diet, drugs, etc.

(2) I know what to do - Kind of like the last one. I don't have to try to research this when I am sick as a dog. I know what I have and what my options are. I've done my reading and my research and have my resources set up.

(3) We have maternity coverage - Last time it was only emergency-only maternity care, and as insurance companies are notorious for ignoring pleas for help from HG mums, we couldn't risk it unless it was a true emergency. I am set up with an OB who knows my situation and we are ready to go. I am not crazy about using prescription meds, but if necessary, I will go willingly down that path.

(4) I have my caregivers in place - I have an OB for HG-care. I also have a wonderful midwife (last time we were searching for our midwife at the beginning of HG) who knows my history and is ready and willing to help. Her partner is also skilled with homeopathy, so that's a big plus.

(5) I have a great support system - If and when we do get a positive test, I am going to mobilize all of my support network (church family, biological family, etc.) and let them know that I may need help.

Of course the main problem with a second pregnancy would be the result of the first pregnancy - Caleb!! Someone said to me, "When you have your second baby you don't have the option of laying around all day being sick." Hmmm. Well, it's hard to tell people, but with HG, you don't have the option of getting up. If I get as sick or sicker, I will have no choice but to utilize outside resources to care for Caleb. Not to mention that I wasn't able to handle food. so feeding him would be an issue.

I find it odd that I am delving so deeply into my experience with HG so long after the fact. Thinking back, it has been over for almost two years! Wow! It seems like yesterday! But I can see a couple of reasons: (1) At the time, I just couldn't "process" the experience. First, I was too sick, then too busy, then preoccupied with childbirth prep and then dealing with a baby. Women always need to "work out their feelings," and it seems that I am no different. (2) I am a different person, for good and for ill, after coming through this experience, and I need to work through this. My religious faith is what has been most deeply affected, and this needs to be dealt with. (3) This experience is not "over." The threat of recurrence will be there until I cease to have the ability to bear children, and as we do want to give Caleb a sibling, the menace is a constant overshadowing presence. Thus I can't just bundle this into "past experience" and move on, because it is (mostly likely) just as much in my future as it is in my past. Even if I never get pregnant again, though, the fear of it will always be there.

But anyway, enough blogging! This is enough for the great American Novel, and I don't have time to waste anyway - when Caleb is asleep, things need to happen!!

Lots of love to everyone!!


  1. Oh I hadn't heard that you found an OB. That's great!

  2. Hi! I received a comment asking about something on this entry, but for some reason it's not showing up now - so here it is: "You listed: "Prenatal Test Research - Mostly my compendium of articles showing why I choose to refuse all prenatal tests!" Are these articles made available for me to read? Thank you."

    Most of the articles I had for that section were from Midwifery Today, so you might be able to search for various tests on their website - they have a lot of articles up on their site.

    You can also search my birth blog (the link is on the side of this blog) for various articles on different subjects.

    When considering prenatal tests, I consider several things, two of which are the purpose and the risks. I don't do tests like prenatal genetic testing, amniocentesis/CVS etc. because to me, the results do not matter - there is no result that would make me ever consider an abortion. Point A, I believe that every individual deserves his full lifespan, no matter how short, Point B, I believe that every baby is worth while and a fully human being, regardless of his or her challenges. Also, a lot of tests have risks - like the risk of miscarriage with amniocentesis.

    Good luck with your own research! If you have a local birth network, you could post questions about specific tests on their forums or online groups to hear the input and various sides to each test.


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