Saturday, January 17, 2009

7 weeks, 2 days: Wisdom from the first seven weeks

I've been thinking a lot about what I've learned these first seven weeks, and I wanted to share a few points. These are all based on stupid mistakes I've made, so hopefully none of you will have to make the same errors!

(1) Don't think that Dr. Wonderful for pregnancy/birth is Dr. Wonderful for HG.

All of the traits that make for a Dr. Wonderful with pregnancy and birth (in the natural birth world, that is) - things like patience, faith in natural processes, reluctance to intervene, dislike of using drugs, reliance on natural medicines - are likely to make for a Dr. Awful in HG treatment. While there might be a doctor who's great on both ends, it's my impression that the best doc to treat HG is likely to be the foot-tapping, clock-watching, pitocin-pushing, scissor-happy Dr. Jerk with the 70% c-section rate who never met a labor-augmenting drug he didn't like!

(2) Do your research in advance. Not when you get pregnant.

I really did do my research in advance - a whole year of it. But, frankly, I was going in the wrong direction. I now know just about everything about natural treatment for morning sickness, but, to be quite frank, none of it has worked. I can't say that my pre-HG protocol didn't have any effect, because it might conceivably have mitigated my symptoms and kept it from being worse. But I never experienced direct relief from any of the natural remedies - only the pharmaceuticals. (And I ended up dumping all of my herbal teas/infusions/etc. a couple of weeks ago because the very smell of them was making me vomit! Literally!) The end result is that I had to do my drug research for HG while pregnant and sick, and that is not the best way to do things.

(3) Fight your insurance before you need the drugs.

Preferably pre-conception, but definitely pre-HG. If you've had it before and you know you'll have it again, do your fighting before you need the drugs. I waited until I needed Zofran to start fighting for it - bad idea. It took one week, start to finish, to get the prescription approved, and I had an incredibly, miraculously easy road. If your insurance wants to be stinky, it can take weeks - too long. I survived because I was not super-sick and because I had a store of Zofran to get me through. You might not be so blessed.

(4) Don't assume that "honesty" means "full disclosure"

This point is really obscure, and won't apply to too many people. Anyhow, when I was searching for an OB, my main concern was finding one who would work with a midwife's client (not many will, sadly). So my first question was always, "Are you okay with working with a midwife's client? Will you still take me?" - a question with deplorable results, as you've seen by previous blog entries. I realize now that there is no need for me to disclose everything. If I had it to do over again, I would go to my chosen OB, quietly accept all the ridiculously unnecessary prenatal procedures that she required, get treatment for HG, and then quietly "change practices" after treatment was no longer needed. Possibly not the most straight-forward method, but it would have saved a lot of heartache.

There, you've been instructed! Now don't make any of the same mistakes I did!



  1. Regarding your last point -- honesty doesn't mean full disclosure -- I have to say that my husband frequently asks me, "What, were you weaned on sodium pentathol?" for my "full disclosure" when it's not necessary. He's *much* more of the "give minimum information" bent than I am. I have to work at keeping my mouth shut. But reticence does work out better a lot of the time -- as the old saying goes, "Least said, soonest mended."


  2. WONDERFUL entry! All so true! I hope people learn from it. I also hope you're doing okay!!

  3. My experience was much like yours. I fired an OB for being too passive about treating HG. The one that saved my life was quite *medical* in his approach, but that is exactly what I needed.

    I hope the Zofran is still helping you. I think about you often and am praying for you throughout every day.


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