Monday, January 31, 2011

HG Story of an OB/GYN

Thanks to "Knocked Up, Knocked Over" for posting this - this is her OB/GYN's hyperemesis story - no wonder she is a great doctor!

Dr. Aimee Brecht-Doscher: A Personal Story of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Interesting quotes:

"I dreaded caring for hyperemesis patients -- as do many of my colleagues -- for several reasons. We get frustrated when we are sometimes unable to offer the patient any meaningful relief. We see the patients themselves as difficult, even perhaps a bit crazy - having never met most of them before they were sick, it’s easy to wonder if somehow their depression and anxiety weren’t the cause, rather than the result of their illness. When patients improve in the hospital, and get worse again when they go home, over and over, we wonder whether there is a conflict at home and patients are either trying to escape or get attention, rather than just being the result of dehydration, or worsening of the disease. We don’t understand why some people have nausea and continue to function well, while others are begging for time off work." (emphasis mine)

Ever wonder how the "hyperemesis is a psychological illness" myth got started? This is a good explanation! What do you think?


Throughout this horrible experience, I received sympathy and support from some of my colleagues, but snide derision from others. My boss -- an Ob/Gyn, and the medical director of our large multispecialty group -- actually said to me, "I wish I could have hyperemesis so I could lie in bed and read books all day."

The same contempt with which HG is often held by society in general is, unfortunately, shared by many in the medical community (which is only natural).

I wish there were more doctors like this one out there!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Action Alert

Hyperemesis mums of the world, would you do me a big favor?

Go to Facebook, click "like" on "The Bradley Method of Childbirth":

And leave a comment regarding the article they posted on how "WOMEN who suffer an extreme reaction to pregnancy are paying up to $7000 for a drug not yet approved for use by expectant mums because they are desperate to control their illness." (This is regarding Zofran for HG.)

I was so angry regarding the first comment that I could hardly type. The Bradley Method has a bad reputation for being anti-drug, regardless of the need, and this is one HUGE example of it. I would really appreciate any input you could leave there. And let me know if you do.

(No wonder an HG friend of mine felt the need to leave her class during the all-drugs-are-evil part of the evening! I would too.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Merry Christmas!

If I haven't mentioned this before, I'm usually late! About everything!

Including Christmas cookies!

This year I got NO baking done for Christmas, outside of Lepkuchen Day. My mom brought frozen Christmas cookie dough for us to bake when they came to visit, but we never got around to it. It languished in the freezer until this past Saturday, when I finally took the plunge and spent a morning baking it off. It was great! We put on Christmas music and had a "Christmas in Retrospect" day. It was great.

(For anyone who's wondering, yes, our Christmas Tree is still up. But it's coming down this weekend or next - we won't keep it up till St. Patrick's like last year. Normally I spend January mourning over the passing of Christmas and re-celebrating it, but this year I finally felt done when Christmas was over, with no regrets. I think it's because this year was the first year we actually did Christmas properly, instead of remembering it on Christmas Eve - "Oh, shoot! It's Christmas Eve and we forgot to do anything about Christmas again!" Having a 4-year-old is helpful in this respect!)

My experiment this year was trying to formulate homemade vegetable-based dyes. I've recently become aware of the negative aspects of artificial dyes (though I still use them on occasion), not to mention that some of the worst behavior in history has surfaced in our son after eating massive doses of red 40 (for example, in a black-frosted cake last year.... oh my, that was ugly).

However, natural dyes are horribly expensive - $9.00 and up per color - so I made my own with suggestions on the web. They worked beautifully!! Here they are:

RED - Beet juice! I had made beet baby food (beets in crockpot all day, then peel and puree and freeze in cubes), so I thawed one cube in a strainer and collected the juice underneath. It made the most gorgeous frosting!

YELLOW - Turmeric! It started out a bit grainy-looking, but with time got better and better. A really bright, vibrant yellow! There was the tiniest bit of taste with this one, but it was only noticeable if you specifically looked for it - very minor.)

GREEN - Chlorophyll in a bottle from a natural foods store. It made a lovely pistachio/sage. And chlorophyll is a terrifically healthy food additive, so you can add it to baby food (which we're doing) or to your own smoothies (also doing).

One I forgot to make was PURPLE with blueberry juice.

And I wondered about ORANGE with carrot???? 

Mixing the colors was only marginally successful. We tried to do:

RED & YELLOW = ORANGE, but it came out more of a ROSE PINK (gorgeous).

We did do:


Here's the only caveat - for the liquid colors, add the colors before you thin the frosting with cream or milk, as the liquid dye will do a bit of its own thinning.

It's definitely a viable option! We had a blast

And now, pictures! Note the professional-quality decorating:

Our four-year-old was in charge of the sprinkles. Bad idea. He went through one and a half economy-sized mega-bottles. By the time he got done, the floor crunched under our feet.

Baby slept through the festivities.

Speaking of Christmas, did I mention that we got to see snow in Sedona for New Year's? That's right! Snow! SNOW! I was so excited. Not only do we not get snow in Phoenix (or in California where I grew up), but I haven't been to the snow in at least fifteen years.

So I was like I little kid with the stuff. I even insisted on being photographed with it. "See? This is ME! Me and SNOW! Get it? Snow! Snow! Snow!" (Where's a Bing Crosby and Danny Kay background track when you need it?)

It was our eldest's first time with the snow too, so the two of us had a lot of fun (DH is just like a cat - he can't stand cold or water, so he stayed inside):

More pics from family New Year's: 

And speaking of chronological incorrectness, here are some pics from Christmas:

And so, as I said - Merry Christmas!

January has been an interesting months of ups and downs. We have already mourned two deaths in 2011 - a friend's father, and the wife of my childhood assistant pastor. We have also received the news that the struggle with cancer for a dearly loved friend has now reached the terminal stage, so we are dealing with that.

We have also had great joy in this new year, though, as well. We have rejoiced in the newly-formed engagements (and quickly approaching nuptials!) of two of our young friends, who are now slated to be not only close friends for life, but sisters in law! Such an exciting time - what joy!

We also are rejoicing with our friends who recently welcomed their first-born, the sixth of twelve adopted embryos and the first to make it through the pregnancy process. I got to hold the precious little fellow this morning, and he is cute. New babies are wonderful!

Now that most of my friends have had their babies, I vote for a new round of pregnancy announcements!! (Married friends and soon-to-be-married friends, that is a *HINT*! I can't live too long without new babies!)

On a side note, the arrival of baby Matthew completes the circle for our little six-couple band of friends. Six years ago or so, six couples (DH and myself included) met at our church, and all of us were at the beginning of our childbearing careers - all of us were childless except for one baby and one baby-on-the-way. Now, six years later, we have 24 children between us, including eight children lost in miscarriage/ectopic/failed transfers, five embryo-babies in waiting, and ten little ones here on earth. With the birth of baby Matthew, we all have at least one babe in-arms. What a joyful completion of a circle! It has been a crazy six years with so many babies - so full of triumph and tragedy, joy and sadness. I am so thankful for all of our little ones.

In baby news:

Our little guy is doing well. He is now doing a lot of non-directed rolling, which gets him into some interesting predicaments. He remains as utterly adorable as ever!

We had a rather unsettling experience last week in visiting one of baby's doctors.

We are, to be sure, eternally grateful to this doctor for getting us out of doing a (very unpleasant) GI test on baby - she recommended testing by treatment, which we infinitely prefer.

However, she has also chosen to fuss about baby's health - saying that he is too small - and at our last appointment she chose to really take issue with his weight, especially with the fact that he is "still" breastfeeding (at 16 months), and she came out with a lot of anti-breastfeeding statements that really took me off-guard - like "You can't breastfeed him forever, you know" and "At his age, he really should be drinking from a cup" and "You can't breastfeed him till he's five" and etc.

I was really stunned, and not quite sure what to do. Firstly, because this doctor - of all people in the world, due to her specialty - should know the healthfulness of breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding, as well as the WHO's recommendation that babies be breastfed for a minimum of two years (and the AAP's recommendation that babies be breastfed for a minimum of a year).

Secondly, I am really bad in face-to-face confrontations. I can occasionally (not often, but occasionally) write something worth reading, but I can never, ever say anything worth hearing - especially in a confrontational situation. My verbal wit in such situations pretty much equals that of a drugged manatee.

So, in this situation, my best efforts at witty repartee resulted in a glazed deer-in-the-headlights stare, complete with a response that was something like "Mmmphth."

Needless to say, I dominated the situation.

In reality, I did gather my fractured wits enough to let her know that (1) I would not be weaning, (2) I would not give formula, and (3) his brother had nursed to 33 months and I hoped to get him at least that far. (As a matter of fact, I don't really care about that, but I figured it was a good response.) I did agree to give baby goat's milk - she emphasized that it should be in a cup, but we are mixing it into his food.

I should say it again - we really love this doctor. She has helped us out a lot, and she is a great woman and a good doctor. This difference of opinion doesn't change any of that. 

However, this visit emphasized something I've been feeling more and more - that I am done with specialists. We have enough information now to know what we need to know about baby's health, and at this point, further searches for a diagnosis for baby are pointless and needless. He is fine, health-wise - he is just going to be slow. Slow in every sense of the word, and he'll need help with physical therapy and education. However, he's happy, and he's healthy, and seeing so many specialists is now unneeded baggage. I'm ready to start getting rid of all of these visits.

I spoke about this yesterday with our (wonderful and amazing) pediatrician, and he more than agrees - so I have his blessing for starting to shed specialists as soon as I can. So that is my new project! Hopefully within the next couple of months, and hopefully with as few hurt/insulted feelings as possible.

I know that we'll always have more doctors' visits with this little guy - it comes with the territory. But I'm ready to go back to normal life, and that is my new project.

Oh, and interestingly, our pediatrician said that (1) baby's weight is just fine - it's on the low end, but it does follow the curve, which is what matters most, and (2) with motor-skills-delayed children, extra weight is not an advantage because they have so much trouble with movement anyway. Not that you want an underweight baby, or that one would ever restrict food - just that adding on extra pounds just to get him higher on the percentage scale could make learning his motor skills even harder due to the extra body weight. So interesting to see such differences in medical opinion. 

Well, there's tons more to write, but bed calls! (That's assuming anyone has actually made it this far!)

'Night, all!

Don't Go Here, Go There!

Sometimes I think that my blogs (both of them!) consist of posts saying "Hey! Someone wrote a great post, so go over to his/her blog and read it!" This is one of those posts.

So check out these posts by Sleepwalker! Important stuff, ladies!!

An article she links to: 

Rare, Severe Form of Morning Sickness Appears to Be Genetic

And a really important article, also on the issue of hyperemesis and medical marijuana: 

Hyperemesis gravidarum: the heartbreaking cries from around the world + sativex cannabis research and mission

This mother is doing great research for HG mamas of the world. If you haven't subscribed to this blog, definitely do so! It's for-sure one to watch. Sleepwalker, thank you - thank you - thank you for all you are doing!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Did I Say This Was an HG Blog?

Apparently I was wrong! It really is a medical marijuana blog, despite my best efforts. Pretty soon I'll have to change our button from a green ribbon into a green leaf.

I swear that I really am a fairly normal, suburbanite American. Really. How on earth I came to have blogs advocating placenta encapsulation and medical marijuana, I'll never know.

But anyhow! Back to the topic at hand!

Sleepwalker, an HG mama living in the UK, posted the following comments and thoughts on my articles about medical marijuana for hyperemesis, and I wanted to repost them here so that everyone could see them.

"I'm not pregnant but had awful hg and have been researching marijuana on my blog. Vaporisers (volcano digital) look to be the way to go as you don't get smoking fumes and if you have hg you won't be able to keep anything down and you only need a tiny bit, much less than you'd ingest from hash cakes. I have bought 'chronic ice' tea from an online shop here in the UK to try. It is legal and has 5% hemp syrup. It tastes fine, like any ice tea, and I would say I feel a little mellow after a while but certainly not high or anything. MS sufferers have reported that they have found beneficial effects from drinking the legal teas (chronic ice and C-Swiss are the two I have read about). Chronic ice is about £1.30 a can. If it helps MS sufferers then maybe there's enough hemp syrup to help hyperemesis gravidarum but you'd have to be able to keep it down. If I am ever brave enough to be pregnant again (I'd love another baby) then I will find a way to get medical marijuana for the sake of me and the safety of my unborn baby. I've read all the scientific papers and it is safe to use medicinally in this way and much more safe than doing nothing imho. I was so starved and dehydrated that I really don't know how my baby girl did survive. I've posted links to further reading on my blog."

And then: 

"Here is the online shop I bought my tea from (I live in Scotland so this is completely legal here). It is £1.45 a can and is a tiny tiny amount of THC but it is as hemp syrup, not a synthetic additive.

"In the US I think it depends which State folk live in whether or not this is available and I've sern it on but sold out. The packaging is different on my cans, they are green. I bought the 'The Hemp Solution' DVD from that site too and it is very interesting. Marinol, which is prescribed in the US for HG is almost pure THC, much stronger than even the strong strains of cannabis. Drug companies can't make any money from cannabis as they can't patent a plant so they are developing synthetic cannabis compounds which are less effective and not tested on pregnant women (obviously). There's an interesting scientific study of Jamaincan women who make cannabis tea for morning sickness and their babies do really well. I'm going to contact the researcher. See my blog for links." 

And then this evening, an utterly fascinating article:

Lack of endocannabinoids may cause hyperemesis gravidarum suggests Dr Ethan Russo

In terms of evaluating any of this, I am completely out of my element! But I think that there is more-than sufficient evidence to show that medical marijuana has overwhelming potential for the successful treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. And the main problem is not safety concerns, but legal concerns. If anyone has anything to add, feel free!

I would write more, but I have to go water some plants in my basement.

Night, all! (And I apologize for the formatting errors - my fault for not being careful enough with my pasting.)

* Yes, the line-before-last was a JOKE.

More Hyperemesis Material!

From an HG mama! A blog that is not a "hyperemesis blog" but which contains a lot of material on and experience with HG - with the added bonus of a search bar for quicker searching!

It's Just a Liminal Phase

Mamas of the world - if you have written down your stories/experiences/research online, whether in an HG blog or a personal blog, do let us know so that we can post it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Really IS an HG Blog....

.... and not a medical marijuana activism site. I promise. This blog is about morning sickness. Really.

(Now, let me wave away the smoke in here so that I can properly see the keyboard to type.)

Anyhow! My blogging friend Becky sent me this article:

Entrepreneur Says Marijuana Soft Drink Will Be a Hit

I'm sure it will!

But more importantly, does it have any use for treatment of HG?

It looks promising, at least! Medical marijuana and lemon lime soda combined - sounds like the perfect extreme morning sickness aide, if one is so inclined.

Interesting, anyhow!

My questions:

(1) Is there enough active ingredient to be worthwhile?

(2) It mentions (I believe) that the active ingredient is THC, a marijuana derivative, not pure marijuana. Is that safe? And/or as effective as pure marijuana?

(3) Does the method of delivery matter? I've only heard of HG mums smoking marijuana, not taking it orally - though if oral use was acceptable, that would be a whole lot easier than smoking!

A definite line of thought it anyone out there is interested.

Spreading Around....

..... the news of a new HG blog! Thank you to several of my friends who alerted me to this site.

Islands of Grief, Mountains of Joy

I cried reading her story. Be forewarned, it is intense.

I am so thankful that so many more hyperemesis mothers are getting into the blogosphere these days. When I first started this blog, I was (as far as I know) the only active HG blogger (that is, a blogger with a blog devoted to HG, as opposed to mothers telling HG stories on personal blogs, which are harder to find). Ashli's blog was around, but it was no longer active (though the archives are priceless). Now I can count at least five HG blogs on the net, and I am so thankful that these resources are out there. HG mamas of the world, if you have any interest in doing so, I encourage you to start your own HG blog. It is an enormous blessing to new HG mothers who are out there desperately looking for help.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Beginning of a Journey

No, not for me, but "Knocked Up, Knocked Over" is.....


This is (I think) the first time that I've gotten the "we're expecting!" news from a previous HG mother. I am brimming over with congratulations (Congratulations!!!!) and so very nervous for her at the same time. Ladies reading, this mother could use your prayers and your encouragement. You'll definitely want to follow her journey over at her blog, if you haven't already subscribed. Not only is it now a pregnancy journal, but it bids fair to be one of the most comprehensive HG blogs on the web. Trot on over to see!

And now....

Onward and upward! Congratulations! We'll be waiting and reading and praying!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What Year Is It, Again?

This past week, a friend posted on Facebook: "So, how are you all doing with your New Year's Resolutions?"

I told her that I would be glad to update her, but for the small fact that I had forgotten what mine were and would have to go look them up to see.

Such is the eternal fate of my New Year's Resolutions.

Normally, as a matter of fact, I have a strict policy against New Year's Resolutions. In the past, I found that with any life change I wanted to make, if I was serious about it, I did it immediately. If I subconsciously didn't intend to follow through with it, I would put it off till New Year's.

Then, at New Year's, I would write up a grand list of resolutions, resolve firmly to follow them, put them carefully away, and then not see them again until I ran across them accidentally in a forgotten notebook - ten years later.

So - away with resolutions!

But I do like to look back at each past year and examine how I want my life to be different. I did that this year, with the unexpected result of ending up with an entire page of New Year's Resolutions.

Which I promptly forgot.

However, I just looked them up again, and they are things that I want to work on. Continuous prayer for my marriage and parenting skills. Working consciously to neglect my hobbies (which can become obsessive if I don't watch them) while building up my family and home. Better health habits (baby weight, begone!) such as walking and working on a healthier diet and getting more sleep. Continually working and reading on life simplification, parenting skills, spiritual growth, and kindness of attitude and speech.

I've got a lot to work on!

Two more Christmas stories from this past month:

This year I experienced that heady nirvana, that sweet smell of victory - I found the perfect Christmas gift. Yes! I did! I really did!

It was a copy of "Going Back to Bisbee", a travelogue-style journal of Arizona culture and history that I read and absolutely adored - and which I knew would be perfect for my dad, who loves such classics as "Thousand Mile Summer" (highly recommended!!!).

There is the additional issue of the fact that I am a terrible gift giver. Just terrible. When I need to buy a gift, I usually tell the person, "Tell me exactly what you want, or you are pretty sure to get something you'll hate." I have zilch-o imagination in that area.

So, once inspired, I bought the book, zealously awaited its arrival, wrapped it up, and presented it with baited breath, knowing that for ONCE, I had purchased the perfect gift. 

My dad's reaction?

He was supremely unimpressed. I believe his vocal response was something like "Mmmm."

But that's okay. That's how my dad is. I think the most emotion I've ever seen him express is a slight lifting of the eyebrows, accompanied by an "Ah, well."

Though I would have appreciated some bouncing up and down, along with, "Oh, wow! What a great gift! Boy, I can't wait to read it!"

But from my dad? Not happening.

(When DH met my dad for the first time, that is, when he was coming to pick me up for a date, he left under the impression that my dad hated him and would be awaiting his return with a loaded pistol. Which, for my dad, was a friendly greeting. I had thought it went rather well, in fact.)


This Christmas I had wanted to do the "making a birthday cake for baby Jesus" activity, to attempt to reinforce the Christmas message. But we were so busy this year that I neglected to get around to it... until Christmas day (I decided to use the cake for our dessert). After presents had been opened. Brilliant, no?

So it went something like this:

Me: "Come on into the kitchen! We're going to make a birthday cake for baby Jesus!"

DS, in the middle of his newly-opened gifts: "Nooooo! I don't waaannnnaaa make a birthday cake for baby Jesus!"

It was a short-lived craft, to be sure. Next year - memo to do this earlier!

Now off to do some work! I am home "sick" from church with some wicked allergies, and I've been enjoying the chance to blog. In fact, I have several more entries I'd like to do! However, our littlest one is getting bored and/or comatose sitting on my lap, so I need to move on. Maybe if I have another few minutes after doing something productive! Happy Sunday, all!

"Remedies for Morning Sickness"

I found this article on a blog that I read, and it is quite good:

"Remedies for Morning Sickness"

May I say right away - this is an article to help mamas with garden variety morning sickness, not HG. As we all know, most of the remedies for normal NVP are either useless or counterproductive for extreme NVP/HG. However, I was impressed with the depth and breadth of this article - lots of great natural remedies, details, and recipes. Good stuff.

Has anyone out there ever tried the Vitamin K/Vitamin C remedy? I read about it before our last came along, but I was too nervous to try it since I'd never actually seen anyone who had actually used this remedy. If anyone out there has used it, please do let me know.

Here's an interesting comment from the comment section:

"This article caught my eye because during my last five pregnancies I was horrifically ill. One interesting note: the two pregnancies I'd had prior to meeting my eternal companion, I wasn't sick at all. Okay, except for that one time I downed a package of gummy bears in 10 seconds flat. 

"However, I really want to share what I discovered, finally, during the 7th and last pregnancy. I was feeling so, sooo awful that I called my midwife so as not to leave her out of this experience. In my conversation I explained that I felt like I had too much acid in me. I wasn't just nauseous, my entire body felt like … you know-the word with the hockey sticks.

"Right then, was when I first heard the term "alkaline diet". She suggested that maybe I really did have too much acid in my body. So, she told me some foods that are alkaline and come to find out, those were the very things I would eat that would give me some respite from the prison of pregnant sickness. (raw carrots, lemonade-made no sense to me!)

"So, taking this thought process further, since apple cider vinegar is (very surprisingly) an alkaline once it's in your body, I decided try drinking an HVC (honey-vinegar-cayenne) concoction that normally the midwife doesn't start me on until later on in the pregnancy. Oh my! You would not believe what a difference it made for me. Not only did I get a break from the nausea, I actually pepped up a bit. I went from spending the entire day suffering while providing minimal care of my younger children til my teen came home so I could go to my room and cry in my bed to actually picking up the floor and cooking meals again.

"I wish I could run an experiment on other women who felt the same way during their pregnancy, but no one has been brave enough to be my lab rat.

"Maybe someday someone will make a break-through discovery and be able to help all pregnant-sick women completely naturally."

This caught my eye because (1) it sounds like this mama really had HG, rather than run-of-the-mill NVP, and (2) right now I am reading up on the concept of alkalinizing diets, with the eye to HG prevention. Any input, anyone?


Not Just for Hippies

A year or so ago, I posted an article on the use of medical cannabis (marijuana) for treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. At the time, I had not really given much thought to the issue of medical marijuana, so I did not have a position on it.

Since then, I have given it considerable thought, and I have come to believe that medical marijuana has the potential for legitimate use in the treatment of hyperemesis and other medical concerns.

What do you think?

The issue came up both in this past year's elections, when Arizona voted by a tiny margin to approve the use of medical marijuana, and when I came across this excellent and thought-provoking article concerning medical marijuana for the treatment specifically of hyperemesis gravidarum:

When Getting Baked Means More Than a Bun in the Oven

I've examined all of the arguments against medical marijuana, and have found that most of them don't stand up for scrutiny: The objections brought up are either artificial cultural constructions (marijuana is illegal (easy to change!), marijuana is associated with hippies, marijuana is a "street drug", marijuana has negative cultural connotations), or objections that could be just as true of legal pharmaceutical drugs (marijuana has side effects, marijuana is addictive, marijuana can act as a gateway drug, etc.).

There is a very good summary paper here that you can view to read up on objections to medical marijuana, along with answers:

Potential Objections to Medical Marijuana

I think that the objections to medical marijuana can be summed up in the following: (1) We're used to thinking of marijuana as illegal, (2) We have cultural biases against it, regarding it as a "hippie" drug, and (3) being that marijuana, as a natural substance, puts no profit into the drug companies, and does not have millions of dollars behind it in advertising and advocacy.

We're also used to thinking of "pharmaceuticals from the pharmacy are safe" and "street drugs are evil" - when in reality, it's a question of context and usage.

Here's a story from my family:

We have one family member who has put our family through the mill with a long-standing drug addiction. We've dealt with a dysfunctional family situation and family dynamics, drug-induced theft and violence, jail, the court system, probation, and two rounds of drug rehab. It was an exhausting drama that lasted for years.

What was the drug involved? Cocaine, meth, marijuana, etc?

Nope. Prescription pain killers. Vicodin and Percocet, mostly, with a cocktail of others thrown in.

The point - it's not the drug, it's the usage. We need to get over cultural biases (that drug-store drugs are necessarily good, and recreational drugs are necessarily evil) and look at the root of the matter.

The real issue - is it safe for the baby? Well, no drug is tested directly on pregnant women. Studies (to my best knowledge, correct me if I'm wrong) are either done on animals or retrospectively on women who used any said drug (outside of a study). The above article discusses safety, and marijuana seems to have as good a safety record as any. Is further study warranted? My guess is yes!

As always, it's a matter of personal belief, comfort, and preference. Some HG women refuse to take any drugs (brave, brave women!). Some prefer to stick with Unisom, some are comfortable only with Zofran. Regardless, it is an intensely personal issue, and each mother must have peace with her own decisions as to what she will take for her NVP/HG. No one should feel pressured either way. And I know that there are some women out there who would never feel comfortable taking marijuana for NVP. That's fine. But I think that it should be a legal option.

What do you all think? I welcome conversations that are kind, thoughtful, and civil.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back from Genetics

Did I say we'd "finish with the medical machine"? Ha, ha! Well, I suspected that I'd be eating my words.

I am.

Anyhow, we had our appointment with Phoenix Genetics today (follow-up to our original appointment). It was pretty basic - our (wonderful!) geneticist just confirmed that all genetic tests have shown negative results, and she confirmed that she wants our neurologist to go over baby's brain MRI to evaluate the abnormalities found with that.

She also ordered more tests - blood, urine, audiology. She is looking into metabolic disorders in particular. I asked her if the fact that baby has physiological markers would not rule out metabolic disorders, and she said that the possibility of a metabolic disorder was remote, but not impossible, and should be ruled out.

So we're off for more labs, more appointments, etc. However, I do have hopes that we are starting to wind down with this thing - it's not nearly as intense as it was for the first couple of months. Thank goodness!

Have a great week, everyone!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brief Update on Baby

Last week we finally received the results from our baby's genetic testing (the chromosome micro-array test). And the final results were.....

All 100% normal.

An occasion both for rejoicing and for puzzlement!

The conclusion, then, is that we have a child with definite problems, but nothing that is genetically-caused (or that can be detected by modern technology).

Thus, our six month search for answers has now officially turned up empty. We have a child with severe developmental and neurological delays, and a host of doctors and tests and labs have failed to show any causative factor or definable syndrome or malady. He's got us all stumped, that little one does!

Over the next two weeks, we have four doctors' appointments - check-up with our normal ped, genetics, neurology, and GI (the last three are follow-ups to labs or to initial appointments).

My hope is that these coming visits, rather than initiating further testing, will be a sort of "shutting down" of the medical machine. Baby has been prodded and poked and scanned within an inch of his life; we now know a lot about him, though we don't have any real answers. At this point, we're ready to stop and just treat symptoms through therapy. We don't feel a need to forge ahead to a diagnosis. We would like to wrap up things with these doctors and then just go in for occasional check-ups. The last six months of constant labs, tests, hospital visits, and doctors' appointments has been exhausting - and since baby is healthy, apart from his delays, we're ready to slow it down and just get on with our life as a family. Baby is receiving therapy right now, and will probably get help with speech and academics when he gets that far, and that seems to be all he needs.

This past year has been quite a roller coaster with our little fellow! We've gone from "we have a healthy baby!" to "hmm, something doesn't seem quite right," to "hmm, something really doesn't seem right" to "oh crud, something is really wrong here," to "okay, well, it's a mystery we're just going to have to live with."

But we're so thankful that it isn't worse and that he is such a healthy, happy little chap.

Right now my goals are to get him crawling by 24 months and walking by 36 months. Not that I'll be upset if we don't meet those goals, but those are just vague dates to shoot for. Will we make it? Not sure.

Tomorrow is our appointment at Genetics, so we'll see where things go from there.

Happy New Year, everyone!!!!

Hyperemesis Article


Common Treatments for Hyperemesis Gravidarum

What did I think of it?

Hmm. Well, I love Mothering Magazine, I love, and I love Peggy O'Mara. And the article isn't bad.


It contains a lot of statements that just make me sigh. Such as...

"Smaller, more frequent meals that are low in fat and sugar and contain plenty of vegetables and fruits can help."

"Ginger root has been used for centuries for nausea; it can be taken raw or in the form of tea, tinctures, capsules, or candy. It is often suggested that the intake of foods containing B vitamins be increased. These include whole grains, leafy greens, dried beans, almonds, peanuts, broccoli, and cabbage."

For any HG mamas reading, I don't really need to say anything more. 

And other statements that are discouraging toward the use of antiemetic pharmaceuticals:

"Newer antinausea drugs, such as Zofran (ondansetron), were designed for cancer patients and are expensive. Nor are they always covered by insurance, as they are not labeled as approved for use by pregnant women."

"Although no animal or human teratogenicity has been reported regarding Zofran (ondansetron), arguably the most effective drug for nausea and vomiting, Zofran’s package insert cautions: “There are, however, no adequate or well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproductive studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.”

The natural living community is a wonderful place, and I spend most of my mental time in it. (Hey, I run a crunchy-granola-homebirth blog! This is my tribe!) But if the natural community has a fault, it is a failure to recognize the need for cold, hard, drugs when the need is real and present. I have seen this in scores of natural pregnancy books.

So... look into natural options. Sure. But don't throw away your Zofran. :) 

HG Book for Young Children

An HG news alert!

Ashli McCall, authoress of the wonderful HG book "Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum", has come out with another book - this time for the kidlets:

Mama Has Hyperemesis Gravidarum (But Only For a Little While)

Knocked Up, Knocked Over has written a review of it (as well as of Ashli's book and blog), so head on over and read about it!

Ashli McCall's HG Books and Why Everyone Should Read Them

And it is quite true.... If you are an HG mother, you NEED to make time to read Ashli's blog - all of it - and to order and read her book - all of it. Don't put it off. Do it. ESPECIALLY if you are considering having another baby. And while you're at it, do your doctor or midwife a favor and order a copy for him/her as well, as well as for family - especially any skeptics.

Thank you, Ashli!