On Saturday I had my long-awaited meeting with two other valley HG mums - Sarah and Jenna.
Sarah I met fortuitously three months ago at our midwife's annual reunion picnic. She has three kiddos, and had HG with two of them - moderate with the second (like mine), and life-threatening with the third (oddly enough, she only had typical morning sickness with the first, which is extremely unusual for an HG mum). Meeting her was truly a God-thing, as we just all 'happened' to fall into conversation while our kiddos played on the swing set, and Joe (as part of an illustration) happened to mention HG - at which point we learned that she knows all about HG from top to bottom!
Jenna is actually an HG celebrity - after going through her nearly fatal bout of HG, she wrote a book which is now high on the market of HG literature - "Body Mutiny: Surviving Nine Months of Extreme Morning Sickness." She also operates the informational website http://www.extrememorningsickness.com/.
(I started Jenna's book on the way home at red lights and finished it that night - I HIGHLY recommend it. It is not a "research" book but an "experience" book - a great resource for anyone trying to come to grips with hyperemesis. She said that one HG mum ordered twenty copies to hand out to all of her friends/family in an attempt to be taken seriously - and that it worked!)
Although we're all 'Phoenicians' to one extent or another, we all had to drive quite a ways to meet. We met at a Cheesecake Factory in Phoenix and spent two hours chatting up a storm. Going over stories, comparing experiences - it was absolutely wonderful.
Sarah and Jenna are, of course, in a completely different realm than I. The difference between moderate and severe hyperemesis is quite a divide. So even though we had a lot of shared common experiences, the two of them could talk at a different level than I could. (Each time I'd catch myself being envious of their knowledge, I would think, "Wait just a second, you idiot. You don't even WANT to know what they know, LOL!!!!") Sarah and Jenna both spent a vast amount of their pregnancies in the hospital. They both had PICC lines (tubes running up one's arm to one's heart delivering total parenteral nutrition and drugs). Both of them contemplated both abortion and suicide (which goes to show you what HG can do, when you have a devout Catholic and a conservative Protestant, both 100% pro-life, contemplating that). Thankfully they and their babies are alive and well today, and both of them are devoutly thankful that they did not do anything drastic.
To truly report on our meeting, I'd have to type all day. Suffice it to say that it was a wonderful experience of comparing notes and sharing experiences. My poor husband has had to live with me following him about for the past three days (after an initial debriefing) saying, "Oh, oh, oh! And another thing that Jenna said...." and "Guess what Sarah also said?......." Those poor men. They have to live with our emotional mindstorms, and they do it well!
One interesting thing to note is that all of us are sensitive to hormones - we all got sick taking birth control. Considering how hormonally-linked HG is, that was very interesting.
Another difference between myself and Jenna/Sarah is that they are Done with a capital D in terms of childbearing, whereas I probably am not. Jenna had a complete hysterectomy, due to numerous factors including the HG, and Sarah is looking to permanently end her reproductive capacity in some way or another. As neither of them would probably live through another bout of hyperemesis, that's a good thing! So although I was the least among us, I am the only one who is looking at hyperemesis as a thing of the future as well as a thing of the past - so I was taking notes! Hopefully I won't ever be where they have been with this condition. However, it's nice to know that they are there with all their knowledge in case I need it! Last time we were just wandering around blindly looking up "morning sickness" and trying to eat dry crackers - this time we're ready to play hardball from day #1.
Well, Bug is up and ready to go, so I'd better go too! More soon!
P.S. A quick love note to Kirsten, who left an anonymous comment on my blog - Kirsten, good luck in Germany!! Unfortunately most of the 'natural' research on my blog falls under the category of "first line of defense." Please let me know if any of it does work for you eventually (as I will). If you're interested in homeopathy (and if there are homeopaths in Germany), you could possibly try that. Check out http://www.bloomingawful.org.uk/ for one woman's account of how she dealt with HG using homeopathy. Blessings!!