Wednesday, December 31, 2008

4 weeks, 6 days: Holding the Line

So far, so good. I have a couple (usually 2-3) periods a day when for an hour or so I think, "Uh oh, I don't feel so well," but otherwise I am doing fine. Unfortunately, it's just too stinking early to be encouraged by that - I was just the same last time.

The amount of supplements I am taking right now is enough to make someone sick without the HG! Let's see: Supplements = multi-vitamin, acidophilus, AbsorbAid, calcium, magnesium, B6, Unisom, vitamin C. Herbs = ginger syrup, ginger capsules (lots!!), tincture of wild yam, tincture of dandelion, peppermint tea, decoction of wild yam, peach leaf tea, milk thistle. Homeopathics = Sepia 30C. If that doesn't do it, nothing will, LOL!!

I saw my OB's PA yesterday (getting in to see the OB is a 3-month wait, so I gave that up as impossible). I actually do like her - I think we're just too much alike to really hit it off automatically. We're both a bit on the reserved side. I hope I've made a wise choice, as I really don't want to have to change practices in the middle. I love this practice because they're midwife-friendly and very naturopathic.... But they may be too naturopathic for HG. When I mention drugs, she mentions ginger and lemon. Hmmm. And when I asked about my drug options, she said that (a) they'd prescribe Zofran when I couldn't keep anything down, (b) they didn't like to prescribe anything else because all other anti-emetics are class C, and (c) if my insurance refuses to pay for the Zofran, there's nothing they could do about it. From other people I have heard that (a) it's better to start Zofran before you are super-sick so that you don't have to work uphill, (b) other drugs are fairly safe and are better than hospitalization, and (c) doctor's offices can hassle insurance companies for patients if they want to in order to help move medication orders through. So.... Hmm. We'll see how it goes. But I love the philosophy of this practice and the fact that they want to consider natural options!! Most other OB offices would just scoff. So I am very thankful to have them! We'll just have to see if it's a good fit further down the line.

Other than that, I've just got a bunch of nervous energy - from WAITING!! My goodness, it's nerve-wracking! I'm not panicking (yet), but I don't like waiting. Hopefully there will be nothing to wait for!!

Lots of love,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Journey Begins: 4 weeks, 3 days

Well, folks, this is it! Here we are. Quite unintentionally, this blog has now moved from "potential" to "active," in other words, I'm pregnant! At least I think I am. I can never quite convince myself in the early days (positive pg test - check; eighteen days high temps - check; beginning NVP - check).

For us this is baby #3. We lost one baby in a miscarriage in July of 2005 and had our DS in June of 2006. This baby is due in early September. If she comes on the 6th, that'll make three Sept. 6 birthdays in our family!

The story:

Well, if I was superstitious, THIS would have been my first pregnancy indicator (I'm NOT, so it's not, but otherwise....). I was watching a birth video on YouTube with my son the other day (I want him to be used to them before he's old enough to be grossed out), and while we were watching the birth he turned to me and said, "Baby here!" I said that no, there wasn't a baby here, and he said cheerfully, "Baby here soon!" It did make me wonder, I've got to tell you.

Anyhow, I'm afraid the nausea started at about 3 weeks. This is bad, because last time it waited till week 5. But until I got a positive test, I had to sit around wondering if I was so paranoid that I was actually making myself sick by my fevered imagination! You see, I usually spend the last week or so of my cycle absolutely convinced that I am pregnant. I'm kind of paranoid this way. So this month, I thought, "Great. Not only am I imagining pregnancy, I'm imagining nausea. Terrific. Way to go." I wasn't able to get a positive reading till Christmas Day (that's what happens when you use super-cheap tests from the dollar store - you have to wait longer!).

By Christmas Day, I've got to say, the nausea was starting to interfere with life (And I'd just gotten a positive test! Great!). I felt more like sitting on the couch and groaning than doing anything else. It didn't take long before I broke down and got out the home-made Bendectin/Diclectin, and ever since have felt MUCH better. The stuff really works, at least for me.

Of course, this is only the beginning. Nausea isn't even supposed to BE here at 4 weeks, let along need drugs to control it. Needless to say, I am good and scared. But at least it's under control for now. I'm seeing my OB's PA tomorrow, so hopefully I can get some guidance from her. Hopefully I'll be able to connect better with her tomorrow than I did last time I saw her. She was rather cold, detached and clinical, and I can't stand that kind of professional medical relationship. I hope she warms up a bit!

I am also wracked with guilt for taking a pharmaceutical while pregnant. If you Google "Bendectin" and "safety" you'll come up with two types of diametrically-opposed articles - type #1, which claims that Bendectin is a falsely-maligned wonder-drug for NVP, and type #2, which claims that Bendectin is a teratogenic nightmare (or not that bad, but a drug which raises the chance of birth defects). So while I have the go-ahead from both my midwife and my OB on taking it, I still feel guilty and somewhat nervous.

I'll post later on how to formulate Bendectin at home so that it's available to anyone who wants or needs to make it.

The pregnancy has been a great impetus to get going on my move! Moving with a toddler is not easy, and I have packed maybe 20 boxes in the past 2 months. Yesterday alone I packed twelve! Hurray!

There's also a lot less fanfare with non-first pregnancies, I've noticed! I'm not rushing off madly to read "pregnancy week-by-week" websites like I did with DS. I'm eating lunchmeat with casual abandon. And I cleaned the catbox yesterday without even thinking about it! Such is life, I think.

We finally got through telling our families yesterday. My parents (who are helping us get our house ready) were, I think, less than pleased. My mom was cheerful, at least; my dad didn't say a word (typical, but depressing). DH's mom's first reaction was, "Um, did you plan it like that?" Reactions from church family were much more satisfactory!

And another WONDERFUL piece of news resulting from all this is that the pregnancy has effectively derailed my hubbie's plans to buy a puppy! Hurray!! (I love other people's dogs, but I do NOT like owning them - I'm just not a dog person.) He's still thinking of perhaps buying an adult dog, but that's fine with me as a compromise - no training to do and much cheaper.

So here we are! The beginning of the journey. I am hoping for a fluffy pregnancy, or at least for nausea that behaves itself and proves amenable to treatment. If you are reading this, I would appreciate your prayers!!

This is also a bit of an adventure for me, because my family is composed almost entirely of childless or only-child families. I am the first woman in the maternal line in three generations to have more than one child! So the sibling thing will be new to me.

Wish me luck! I'll check in as often as I can.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

HG Protocol - the Semi-Final Version

Merry, merry Christmas to everyone out there as we celebrate the birth of the Savior! Have a safe and happy day of celebration.

I wanted to go ahead and post my "semi-final HG protocol" - this is the plan that goes into action when one receives a positive pregnancy test. Most mums who have had HG once prepare an HG-protocol for subsequent pregnancies - it's essential and very helpful. If you have had HG once, I encourage you to try it! It's very empowering. This plan is extremely basic, as plans go. Many HG mums have protocols that are pages and pages long - to see these, visit the forums at

As always, you, the reader, are responsible for making your own medical decisions and doing your own research. The following is not medical advice, but simply a report of what I am doing - so use any of the information at your own risk.

Here it is!


– 100 mg per day, in two 50 mg doses
– 2 caps per day of 70-80% silymarin

After positive pregnancy test

– yogurt & acidophilus
PRENATAL VITAMIN – maybe without iron?
OMEGA-3 – 2 to 4 caps of fish oil a day
DICLECTIN REPLICA: - Start with 4 doses per day, up to 6, then up to 8 with OB’s supervision. Standard timing is one morning, one mid-day, two at night

B-COMPLEX – 10-mg four times a day (I will do 50 mg three times a day)
UNISOM – 10 mg 4x/day with b-complex (start with just one 25 mg tab before bed, then move up – tabs must be split in half to get ~10 mg)
VITAMIN C – a little bit with each (??) for absorption

MILK THISTLE – 3 caps per day of 70-80% silymarin
WILD YAM - (1) 3 capsules per day, (2) 1-2 tsp. dried extract three times daily, (3) 2-4 mL tincture three times daily)*
DANDELION – as directed on bottle
GINGER - 1,000 mg every 2-3 hours as needed, no more than 20,000 mg per day
ENTROX– 1 cap per meal (for total of 3 per day) – this is an either/or with the fish oil, as they are both omega-3 sources
ABSORBAID – 2 caps per meal (for total of 6 per day)

Specifically for NVP/HG

BREASTFEEDING – helps some women
LEGUMES – supposedly good for quelling nausea
PHARMACEUTICALS – under care of an OB
- alfalfa, basil, black horehound, chamomile, ginger, lavender, peppermint, peach leaf, wild yam root, red raspberry leaf, yellow dock

* Most OB's will tell you that Wild Yam is not okay to take during pregnancy. Most midwives and herbalists will tell you that it is just fine to take during pregnancy. I'm going with the latter, but each mum must make up her own mind.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Introducing.... The World's Newest HG Blog!

An online HG-friend of mine, Anna, has recently created the newest HG blog on the market! These are few and far between, so take note and check it out! Here it is:

Anna's Blog: "My Hyperemesis"

Anna's story is really unusual in that, after suffering with severe HG, she experienced a rare complication - HG that did not end with the birth of her baby. Now, almost a year after her baby's birth, she is still heavily nauseated and on anti-emetic drugs. Take a few minutes to read her story!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blog Entry - "Ashli's Story"

Check out this great post from Kathy Peterson's great blog, "Woman to Woman Childbirth Education":

Ashli's Story

Ashli McCall is the guru of all things HG-related, having experienced this condition four times, and she is now probably the leading proponent of HG-activism and awareness. She's also the author of the main work on the subject, "Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum." Kathy includes a brief synopsis of her story, links to her websites and a video of an interview done with her about three years ago. Despite the fact that I've been corresponding with Ashli for several years, I had never seen this interview (too bad I didn't; it was done when I was in the middle of my own HG), and it was neat to finally see her "in person."

Check it out!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just a quick note

Blogging, like much of my normal life lately, has unfortunately been pushed to the side by our house project and move. My housework has suffered; my email is being ignored - all non-essential life is being put on the back-burner to make room for the all-encompassing HOUSE. Hopefully I will get my life back soon! But it doesn't seem like it will be too soon - our move date keeps getting pushed up... and up... and up... as we discover more things to fix on the house before we can move in. Of course, better now than after we move in! But I probably won't be "back to normal" for months - not until spring or later. I have never unpacked with a toddler in tow, so that should be interesting! Normally I devote myself to it body and soul for two straight weeks, and it's done, but with a toddler I have the feeling it might be a wee bit different.

I have made the nervous decision that I'll try to be officially "open to children," as the Catholics say, after our move. I should qualify that, though - we are always open to children, any time, anywhere - I am just referring to actively "trying" for children, though the thought makes me shiver with fear. Not that we haven't been cheating on our natural family planning rules for the past year and a half, but doing it consciously is quite different! We may just take the "not trying, not preventing" route and let nature take its course.

If the Lord does permit us another child, at least I won't be so fearfully naive or passive as I was last time. I have a plan and a back-up doctor, and I mean to use both. No more "toughing it out"!! I've tried that and it was hell on earth. Nope, I'm going to be a hard-hitter this time. A sister-in-law of a friend of mine took the same approach. Her insurance gave her problems with treatment for HG, so she made repeat visits to the emergency room to be checked in and told her insurance that they could expect the same from her until they agreed to cover HG treatment. Good for her! I hope to follow her example.

That makes me realize that I need to get out my HG protocol and finish it up. I got all of the research done when I had my last big pregnancy scare, last fall, but I think that I need to input the changes and post it so I'll be ready to go whenever it is needed. I'll try to get to that soon!!

Lots of love to everyone. My blog will be horribly neglected for at least the next quarter, but I am still here and will try to check in occasionally.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For My Anonymous Poster on Residual Nausea

I'm not able to respond to you personally, as an anonymous poster, so I wanted to say hi here! Best wishes on your pregnancy, and please let me know how it goes. If you would like to correspond with someone who has also experienced residual nausea, please leave your email address in the comments and I'll send you this girl's address (she is looking for other people who have experienced post-pregnancy HG nausea to talk with). Best wishes!!