Saturday, August 30, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere!

It's been a watery couple of days.

First of all.... I was leaving the Phoenix Birth Circle on Thursday, and when I walked outside, the sky was AMAZING!! There was so much lightning that it looked like the flash of cameras in a sports stadium during the Olympics. I couldn't even count the flashes - definitely greater than 5-10 per second. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

It stayed dry till I was almost to the freeway, and then the rain hit with a fury that I have seldom seen. I immediately had to pull over onto the shoulder, and I stayed there for about ten minutes, until I could see well enough to get off the freeway - and after that I took side streets home! What an adventure!! Monsoons are beautiful, but they're no fun to drive in.

Then the next day (yesterday), I was peacefully having my devotion when I suddenly became aware of the sound of gently tinkling water. "Hmm," I think, "Why would there be the sound of running water in my bedroom?" I get up to investigate, and find that we have water literally pouring through the ceiling in our guest bathroom and flooding the hallway. By the time emergency maintenance gets there, it's risen to above-toe level. Thankfully our maintenance crews are wonderful (unlike the last owners of this complex, for whom we are STILL waiting to come and clean up the last emergency flooding from 2 years ago), and they had the leak fixed and the water suctioned up within 45 minutes. Now we are walking on a floating carpet (they stuck a blower underneath it to dry the pad, and it lifts the carpet throughout the whole house!), and our cat is totally freaked out.

So it's been an eventful couple of days! We're looking forward to the holiday weekend and a bit of free time.

Love to all!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Note for "Alicia"

Hi, Alicia! I can't (or can't figure out how to) answer your note ("reply" doesn't work), but if you email me your blog or a way to contact you, I'd love to answer!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quitters, Anonymous

I quit. Officially!

I tried DH's diet for an entire week. The first three days were easy; the next two were hard; the last two were impossible. After church I told DH, "This is it. I'm quitting." Then I went home and ate a corn muffin and felt much better.

Apparently I have little to no self-control!

I don't want to bash this diet of DH's. It is based on an enormous amount of research and has an amazing track record of reversing chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

Living with it, though, especially when one is motivated only by the enthusiasm of one's hubbie, is quite another thing. It is very strict. This diet temporarily bans all fruit (torture for me) and pretty much permanently bans sugar, grains, most dairy, legumes, some fruits, and all baked goods, as well as some other stuff I can't remember... oh yes, and a ton of other yummy vegetables such as corn, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash, among others. It was horribly depressing!!! Not to mention that the final phase of the diet was basically vegetarian raw-foodism. Not that I mind raw food, and I'm trying to incorporate more of it into my diet, but a 90% raw food diet.... hmmm.

Of course, I'm not going off the deep end. I still want to stay on a whole-foods diet, both for my health and also for any future pregnancies (to avoid hyperemesis, if at all possible). I do want to focus on minimizing grains and upping my intake of vegetables, raw and cooked. But the strict bans on so many foods were driving me up a WALL.

I'm thinking of trying more of "The Maker's Diet" approach. It's also a great diet which is much less restrictive (on fruit and vegetables, for one).

No wonder those Atkin's diets drove people mad. They must have had much more self-control than I, for I only lasted just short of a week. Some people do it for months or years!

But DH has lost weight even in this week and is looking better, so I know that this diet is great. It's not the diet's fault if I'm a wimpy little wuss with no self-control!

Onto other things....

I am once again having my "not pregnant again!" relief-party of the month. It is absolutely ridiculous what I put myself through each month. The last week of my cycle I spend in an absolute suspense of fear, waiting for that lengthened luteal phase which will tell me.... "this is it." And I do this ridiculous see-sawing back and forth with the whole thing. I'll convince myself that I probably am pregnant, and will immediately start panicking and thinking, "Why did you do this to yourself? Why can't you follow your NFP rules? You idiot!" and start running around looking for the exit door. Then I'll convince myself that I'm not pregnant and will immediately think, "Gosh, I'm disappointed. I wanted to be pregnant. I could have dealt with it. I miss being pregnant! I want another baby! Waaahhh!!" I go back and forth like that in a frenzied manner for an entire week until it all proves to have been worry for nothing.

I don't think I'll ever be able to get over this fear. It's now been almost three years since my journey with hyperemesis started. If three years isn't enough to get over the fear and be willing to try again, how long must I wait? Till ten years post-menopause??

I really do think that we are probably dealing with some secondary infertility issues at this point. To put it bluntly, we couldn't have timed things better if we'd been actively trying for a baby - but no baby. So either something has happened with my body, or God is just being good to us in giving us more time. That in itself is rather frightening.... What exactly is it that we need time to prepare for? *nervous laugh*

I wish that I could avoid this monthly cycle of fear, but until we learn to obey our NFP rules, it is inevitable. And one day.... Yes, one day, we'll probably wait for a cycle that doesn't start. That will be when things get interesting around here.

As I've said, we've been trying to wait for conception until after we move into our house. Or rather, "our house," as that edifice is strictly fictitious at this point. After having lost our tenth bid, we have been extremely sluggish in moving into the search-mode again. *Sigh* But we'd better do something soon if we don't want to be in this apartment forever.

Well, real life awaits! I think an hour of blogging is enough for anyone.

Cheers! Love you all!

Book Review: "Body Mutiny" by Jenna Schmitt

"Body Mutiny"
Jenna Schmitt
2006, 150 pages

I first met Jenna Schmitt four months ago, when she and another HG-mum (Sarah, whose story is on this blog) and I became acquainted. Jenna and Sarah met online; Sarah and I met through our midwife, and the three of us then hooked up as a threesome and eventually met in person. We are all Phoenicians (more or less) and live within an hour of each other. I now regularly correspond with them both and have learned a ton from them - and I value their friendship!

Jenna is an amazing woman. She endured what was probably one of the most intense cases of hyperemesis in history - and lived to tell about it, which is nothing short of a miracle. She tells her story in her book's introduction, and it is truly an amazing story.

"Body Mutiny" is not an informational book like Ashli McCall's "Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum." It is an experiential book - a book of verse (one section per week of pregnancy) written about the individual experience with hyperemesis and that is deeply introspective and very intense.

I got a real kick out of this:

"When I turn my head, things shift like vertigo -
and my belly
down off an unseen edge;
drool releases,
followed by a full-body heave
which elevates me well off of the throne.
Into the depths of a white wastebasket
I retch boundlessly and enthusiastically without yield -
In fact, I retch joyfully with every muscle, strained from shoulder to toe,
all in obeisance to the great and holy
demands of early life.
My head swirls and
I feel as if I am an honored vessel
of divine consecration
glowing like the Madonna
in my lavatory splendor
I resolve to be humble and accepting,
happy to bear discomfort and
eager to bend the obstinate ego
to a higher love:
'Not my will but thine'
I glisten really at the very thought of it.
These glorious moments of sacred contortion
soon fill my days with the same results:
Prolonged retching within the bowels of self
soon voids up any arrogance that remains."
(Schmitt 2006:35-36)
Oh, that made me laugh!! I did the very same thing. I guess we all have (I hope - I don't want to be arrogant on my own). One is so proud to feel those first faint twinges of nausea - one even wants to feel more in order to feel more pregnant, more self-sacrificial, more like a mother. "Oh, yeah!! Bring it on!!!" And then one's world comes crashing down as one realizes that this is not going to be controllable; this is not going to stop; and no, it is not manageable and cute. That is when your world falls apart.
Although I know somewhat what Jenna has been through, I am by no means in her league. Jenna's case was ten, twenty, fifty times worse than mine. She spent a huge portion of her pregnancy in the hospital with a PICC line. She has been on every antiemetic drug in the book. She dealt with life-threatening staph and e-coli infections from infected PICC lines and skin infections, as well as an infected gallbladder (common side-effect of HG) and the side-effects of an induction leading to a c-section (done to shorten her term with HG). She had to wilfully struggle with enormous temptations toward both suicide and abortion (and she is a devout Catholic who would never consider either thing normally). I pray that I am never where Jenna has been with this horrible disease.
I highly recommend this book. It is not a book that will be useful in terms of finding help for hyperemesis - stick with Ashli McCall for that. It is, instead, a book that is highly useful for emotional healing post-HG and for finding out that there truly is someone out there who knows what you have been through.
Jenna told me that several customers have bought multiple copies of this book to hand out to unbelieving/non-understanding friends and family, and I would highly recommend this book for that purpose. It is a great way to induce understanding without having to get into arguments or involved explanations of hyperemesis.
I highly recommend this book for all HG-mums and their libraries! I am thankful to have had the opportunity to read it and will recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Own Version of "You Know You've Got HG When...."

I thought I'd change this list to mirror my experience. As I've noted before, I had mild hyperemesis, so the intense stuff doesn't apply too much to me. I'm leaving in the ones I've experienced and adding some new ones.

You Know You've Got HG When...

- You want to kill people who tell you to eat crackers
- You dutifully try to eat said crackers, ignoring the fact that they are making you sicker... and sicker... and sicker
- You buy Ensure by the case...and you are only 27 years old
- Your hubby shops at five different stores trying to get deals on Ensure (those babies are expensive!)
- You can pontificate in ridiculous detail about the virtues of various nutrition drinks - Boost, Ensure, Slimfast, generic brands (Chocolate Boost rocks; don't even waste your money with the generics)
- You forget you are pregnant (seriously - very seriously)
- You think about writing a book about throwing up (basically, with this blog, I am!)
- You tell your husband, "Okay, we can watch this for a few minutes, but I'll need to go throw up for a while before we can finish it." (this is at the tail end when you're feeling much better)
- Taking your prenatal vitamin is about as practical an idea as swallowing a beached whale.
- Your husband’s complaints of nausea makes you laugh.
- You think, "Next week I'll feel better... and next week.... and next week.... and next week...."
- The nausea causes you to lose all fear of labor pain.
- You are finally at your target body weight after all those years of trying.... and you're too darn sick to care.
- The idea of eternity takes on a whole new meaning.
- Post-HG: The following phrase has driven you to the brink of madness: "Come on, we all dealt with morning sickness!"
- You think eating an entire bowl of cereal constitutes a good meal.
- You call your entire family to tell them about said bowl of cereal ("Hey, guess what! I just ate a whole bowl of cereal! Cereal!!)
- After recovering, you thank God every day for the rest of your life for your health

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Know You've Got Hyperemesis When.....

Found this on the web. Too funny! I can vouch for about half of these. If you're an HG mum and have some you'd like to contribute, send them on!

You Know You've Got HG When...

- You want to kill people who tell you to eat crackers
- You buy Ensure by the case...and you are only 27 years old
- You forgot you are pregnant
- You think about writing a book about throwing up.
- You throw up and it plops out like cookie dough because you are so dehydrated.
- You have to bring your own soap to to the hospital for your baby's delivery becasue their soap is the one that was used to rinse out your vomit basin during those numerous HG hospital/ER visits.
- The humming sound of an IV motor puts you right to sleep.
- You invite your home nurse to your baby shower.
- When your husband’s complaints of nausea make you laugh.
- You show up at the hospital to deliver and you brought your own IV fluids.
- You think eating an entire bowl of cereal constitutes a good meal.
- Your doctor tells you the worst is over when you just start contractions.

The Insanity Continues....

So we're now on Day #4 of the new diet DH has us trying. It's been easier than I thought! Time-consuming, and somewhat confusing, but not that bad. Hopefully it'll continue that way!

I wouldn't have chosen to go whole-hog with this thing, so it's probably a good thing I have a fanaticism-tendencied hubbie who does dive in feet first to any new enthusiasm. After all, I do have a good bit of weight that I'd love to lose. I could be charitable and call it leftover baby-weight, but as a matter of fact, it would be more accurate to call it toddler weight! Weight that suddenly started putting in an appearance around DS's first birthday - I have no idea why, but I have been too tired to care (much) or do anything about it! So it's probably good that my hand was forced by a now fanatically-health-food-minded hubbie (and this is the man who couldn't get through twelve hours without a soda or two.....).

Of course, we'll have to see if it lasts. Give it a couple of weeks or months! I'll write in then to say if it's a lasting passion or a short-lived spark. I'm good either way.

Other than that, our life has been just a busy routine of work, church, toddler-care, and ANTS. Lots of ANTS!!!! We're now in that late-summer phase wherein if a particle of food is dropped on the floor, there will be a thin black line charging toward it in an hour. I have always been fanatic about animal rights and not killing unnecessarily (taking spiders outside, etc.), but ant hoardes are one thing that can turn me into a wild-eyed mass murderer.

Well, I'm wasting DS's nap! Onto more productive things!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Note to Betsy

Hi, Betsy! Just wanted to make sure you'd gotten my email address when I sent it to you... If you didn't, please leave a comment on this blog and I'll do my best to get it to you. I certainly need to improve my skills in sending emails to commenters!! Love, Diana

Monsters, Inc.

I've created a monster.

Two monsters, actually. And they're both contained within one small, regular-looking man - my hubbie!!!

First of all, I allowed him to go to a Star Trek convention with his cousin. He left a mild ex-Trekkie (like myself) and came home a raving, foaming-at-the-mouth on-fire dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie. AAAHHHH! He immediately started taping Star Trek episodes and has gone from there.

Secondly, I checked a diet book out of the library that my mom had recommended. It's called "Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution," and while it's based on atheistic principles, it has some great information in it. I had figured on extracting some principles from it and applying them to our diet - in a gradual, partial sort of way (ha!).

Well, one morning this week I woke up to find that DH had picked up the book randomly, spent half the night reading, and was now a full-fledged fanatic set on trying this diet head-on. The end result was that we spent two hours shopping last night picking up all the items and supplements we needed, spending more than triple what we normally spend on groceries, and are going to be trying this diet starting today. If it lasts more than 48 hours (it's not an easy diet) I'll report in on how it works.

The moral of the story: Never put incendiary material where one's DH can find it!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ice Cream of Bad Karma

I had to post about this.... It was so disastrous that it was hilarious.

So, last night......

We'd been planning on making cherry ice cream, and we needed to do it soon because I had the cherries ready to go. But with one thing and another, it was already past DS's bedtime by the time we headed to the store to get ice.

We arrive home with said ice. There is a message on the machine from a friend of DH's, asking him to return the call. DH, thinking it might be important, calls back and ends up staying on the phone for something like 45 minutes. Aarrgghh! The ice is melting in the bathtub, and DS is tired and cranky.

I think, "Well, at least I can make up the ice cream to have it ready." I go to the computer to print off the recipe - Aaarrghh! DH has been doing a long series of updates, and the computer is down. Well, I needed to call my parents anyway, so I give them a call and ask my dad to look up the recipe for me. He can't find it.

In the meantime, DH gets off the phone and the computer finishes its updates. My dad asks me a question that I would have had to ask Joe about to answer. I say, "Here, ask Joe!" and hand the phone to DH, intending to look up the recipe and then take the phone back. Both my parents get on the phone and chat with DH for the next HOUR.

When I realize that DH is not going anywhere for a while, I take DS to the kitchen and do my best to mix up the ice cream - on the floor, so DS can watch and participate (sugar, vanilla everywhere, yes). I mix it up, take it to the tub to put in the mixer, and realize.... Aarrgghh! We didn't buy enough ice! It barely comes up to the top! I start it anyway.

DH is still talking. DS is getting crankier. I finally put DS to bed (extra-cranky, as he wants his papa) and then raid the freezer for our few remaining ice cubes. Not enough. I whisper to DH that we need more ice. He nods, and tells my parents that he needs to go so he can go buy more ice. They agree, but keep talking. By the time DH rushes out the door to buy ice, the ice level is down by half.

Ten minutes later, DH returns with more ice. We fly into the bathroom, only to find that..... Aarrgghh! The motor has stopped! And stopped who knows how long ago!! The smell of burning electrical equipment fills the air. The motor is dead as a doornail (not having done this before, I didn't know to keep an eye on it).

Thankfully the ice cream is basically done, so we take it to the kitchen and store our now-needless second bag of ice in the freezer, then collapse to eat the now-extremely-expensive fruit of our labors. It is well after eleven-o'clock.

And after all that..... Well, it was good! Here is the recipe. May your ice cream be more peacefully made than ours:

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cups cherries, quartered.

Mix cream, milk and sugar till sugar is dissolved. Add other ingredients. Freeze in ice cream mixer.

My notes:
- For a standard freezer, you will need to double this recipe.
- I would add a pinch of salt next time.
- This is VERY rich. One could easily reverse the proportions of milk and cream, or reduce the cream even more.
- Yum!!

And now, you're asking, what is this doing on an HG blog? Well, this is a personal blog as well, and I must do something to keep it active!!

That, and ice cream was one of the only things I could eat in the month during which I was coming out of HG! That and egg nog (thank goodness it was holiday time!) and pork barbecue (don't ask me on that one!).

I was at Goodwill on Saturday, and found myself drifting wistfully toward the maternity clothes section. With several of my friends pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant, I feel the urge to join them!! If only I could have a nice fluffy pregnancy, I'd go get pregnant tonight!! (TMI, I know) But since HG looms large, as always, caution rules.

However, I am doing splendidly on my whole-foods pre-pregnancy diet! I am consuming massive amounts of greens and broccoli and whole foods. My only downfall is a sweet tooth, as noted above. :) Well, I can but try!!

Love to all for now,

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Note to Betsy

Hi, Betsy! If you're still reading this blog, I just wanted to let you know that I replied to your sweet emails by visiting your blog and posting comments on your latest entry. For some reason whenever I click "reply" to blog-comment-emails, my emails go off into never-never land, never to be seen again. I just wanted to let you know that in case you were wondering why I didn't reply!


Why is HG a Mystery Illness?

I have been amazed, as I dive into the world of hyperemesis, how many HG mums there seem to be out there. If we count just our church and its close associates alone, we have three HG mums. And I continually hear from HG mums around the nation who have found my blog! After all, hyperemesis pregnancies are supposed to account for something like 1% of pregnancies. So why is this disease such an unheard-of mystery? One percent is actually pretty high!!!

Here are some reasons I've thought of:

(1) Although HG may be 1% of pregnancies, that doesn't translate to 1% of mothers, just because what they say (wrongly) of caesareans applies very strongly to HG mums - it's usually "once an HG-pregnancy, always an HG-pregnancy." Therefore, if a mother has hyperemesis with her first baby, she will generally (not always, but generally) have it with all subsequent pregnancies. Thus, one woman could have three HG-pregnancies, and there could be (statistically) 297 other non-HG pregnancies out there, with the end result still being a 1% HG rate. (This still doesn't explain why there ARE so many HG-mums out there.)

(2) HG is not a "public" disease. If you have it, you are too sick to be out in public raising awareness. There are no marches of women with hyperemesis-signs saying, "I'm living with hyperemesis! Support funding!!" etc. etc. If you have it, you're pretty much out of the public eye. For example, most people at my church (and I attend a reaalllyy tiny church) have no idea that I had any problems at all with my pregnancy. When various people ask if we're going to have another baby, and I tell them that I'm scared by the thought of another pregnancy, most of them say, "Oh, really? Did you have a rough pregnancy? How come?" etc. So stuff like that doesn't get around!

(3) The usual issue of HG being dismissed as typical morning sickness, i.e. "We all go through it, just get over it," "Eat something and you'll feel better," etc. etc. etc. No need to go into details there!

I'm sure there are other reasons.... Just can't think of any right now! And I need to go get our little guy up. So cheers for today!! Sometime soon I promise I'll post that long-overdue book review!!

Love to all,

Friday, August 1, 2008


It's been quite a week! I have been busy setting up my new blog, and am pretty happy with the results. Right now I've been drowning in book reviews - I still have one (soon to be two) more to do for this site, and a ton for the other. With my other blog I am going to have to pace myself, as I have about thirty (or more) books which I could review (having been reading steadily on the subject of pregnancy/birth for the past year). However, most of those books are safely in the keeping of either my midwife or the local library, so that will keep me from rushing out in a frenzy to review them all at once - thank goodness!

Also, I've been busy getting ready for a possible upcoming move, working, baby-watching, housecleaning, and a ton of other things that I can't remember at the moment! Today I have to finish house-cleaning, pack for our weekend trip, get paperwork together, and make dinner - all in the next five hours - yikes!!

This blog has been a wee bit neglected lately. Honestly, as I've stated before, I experienced an odd sort of "release" once I posted my manifesto on "questions for God about human suffering." I really feel like Job - I've thrown out my challenge and am waiting for the answer! Of course, I know the answer - I'm just still working through it. I am doing Bible study, book studies and prayer, and have great hopes that there will be good fruit eventually. It's odd that I was able to push down all these feelings of hurt for almost two years before dealing with them - kind of like a wild animal that can put off going into labor during times of stress! But I'm glad I'm being given time to deal with things now before heading into another pregnancy.

I'm really excited to find out what this cycle is going to hold for me - if I get another short luteal phase, I think that I can definitely self-diagnose a luteal phase defect (not that that guarantees sterility; just lowers fertility levels). Right now I just don't mind being infertile, so it's kind of cool to be able to diagnose one's own medical issues. I feel very self-important! A little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing. :) I was at a great natural-family planning class last night, led by a great local midwife, and she couldn't tell me whether or not a luteal phase can change with pregnancy - though she thought it possible, and so do I. Something has changed our fertility! But, of course, as soon as I think that I'm good and infertile, I'll show up pregnant, so I'm not going to relax too soon.

Well, with all that I have to do today, I'm wasting time! Love to all! And more later.....