Please help me differentiate between severe nausea and vomiting and HG - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-05-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

I am 7.5 weeks pregnant (my first) and my first appointment with my obgyn isn't until 9 weeks. Right at the 6 week mark and up until today I have experienced all day nausea. I frequently vomit about 2-3 times a day, but I am usually able to keep my late lunch and dinner food down. I have vomited 8 out of the last 10 days since the nausea started and sometimes I vomit bile if it's the morning and I have nothing in my stomach. I am in bed frequently all day (I am not working now), but do get a little bit of energy and nausea relief for about 2-3 hours in the evening. I cannot even imagine going to work if I was working regularly. I have tried ginger, lemon, acupressure bands, eating frequently and small meals, ginger ale - sometimes they offer 10-20% relief, but I still feel bad almost all the time.

 

I have been researching HG and I have some of the symptoms, but not all. I haven't lost 5% of my body weight (but I've lost about 3.5 pounds since the nausea started) and my symptoms didn't start before I knew I was pregnant (started at 6 weeks). I have called my doctor and the nurse suggested everything that everyone else is suggesting and that I should take a walk outside, but I can't physically bring myself to do that. I've only left the house 4 times since the nausea began and they were all for short trips to the store. Since I told the nurse that I don't want to take zofran she said there is nothing the doctor can do and if I feel malnourished or dehydrated, I should go to the emergency room. 

 

After researching HG and seeing all the complications from not addressing it, I am freaking out that I have done some damage already to the baby or my organs by not going to the doctor or taking medication. I am keeping some food and water down every day so I don't think I'm completely malnourished or dehydrated, but I guess I won't know until I see a healthcare professional. I feel silly going to the emergency room rather than going to my doctor, but if my doctor can't see me or talk to me, shouldn't I go to the emergency room just in case? 

 

I appreciate all thoughts and comments - I am sooooo happy about this baby, but feel very down and nervous about harming the baby. Thank you for listening:)

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#2 of 10 Old 05-06-2013, 11:22 AM
 
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It sounds like you you have severe morning sickness, which if not managed well, by staying hydrated and keeping most meals down, could become hg.  The definition is murky.  You sound like you are hanging in there, but if I were you I would call my doctor or midwife back and tell her that I want to see her because I am losing weight and need to discuss a coping strategy.  Besides Zofran you can also try over the counter a B6 and Unisom combo- which is thoroughly researched and has been used worldwide for decades.  She may be able to prescribe this under the name Diclectin.

This is a really hard thing to cope with.  People who have not gone through it seem to not get how intense it is to be nauseas all the time and vomiting several times a day.  Keep forcing yourself to eat and drink.  Salty, sour, protein and crunchy seem to help.  But really, just eat whatever you can- don't stress about nutrition too much.  And going outside can really help, especially to eat.    

Good luck!

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#3 of 10 Old 05-06-2013, 11:42 AM
 
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I'm going to second what bellyfruit said. Ask your doctor about Diclectin or B6 and Zofran. I found it to be helpful as it worked on the nausea instead of primarily the vomiting.

 

I lost weight the 1st 1/2 of my pregnancy with both my children. With both I was able to gain a good bit of the weight back in the 3rd trimester. I ended my pregnancy with my daughter at the exact same weight I started with.

 

It is important to keep hydrated. So focus primarily on that. Whatever it takes to get and keep liquids down. Don't be overly concerned with the nutritional value, though of course healthier foods are better. At this point any calories or liquid are good things.

 

You sound a lot like I did with both pregnancies. My kids are both happy, healthy, intelligent children. It's amazing what our bodies can do.

 

While it is common for doctors to not want to see patients until after the 1st trimester that is not every doctors practice. Is switching doctors to one who will see you this early in pregnancy an option?


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#4 of 10 Old 05-06-2013, 12:27 PM
 
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I feel your pain! I am 21 weeks and still dealing with HG. I have been on Zofran from about 6 weeks. It helped me put some weight back on and allows me to eat. However, it is not fun to have to take medication, and Zofran comes with some unpleasant side effects (namely severe constipation). My food aversions remain strong. and nausea continues- but at least I'm not throwing up all the time. I would really love not to be taking Zofran, but at this point it isn't much of an option. When I've tried to go off it I get so sick and that makes me depressed. Anyway, this is a choice I have made, and I understand a decision not to take anything. It is all about risk and benefit. I personally reached a point where I couldn't handle it anymore, and couldn't function without the help of medication. 

Anyway, it has gotten better. At around 17 weeks I cut down form three 8mg pills a day to one pill a day. I found some foods that I can stomach, and I make it a point to get lots of rest and not try to do too much socially. My biggest struggle is comparing myself to others who don't have the same level of difficultly. HG is not rare, but it also isn't the majority of women's experience. I want to cry when people tell me the second trimester is "the best" or that I'll get a "burst of energy." While it has gotten a bit better (i'm off the couch!), it is still very difficult most days. 

In my opinion, you might want to talk to another doctor who is compassionate about you not taking medication, or is willing to discuss signs of malnourishment. The emergency room is a horrible place for a visit if you don't need it, and plenty of doctors should be aware of how to treat you. But also be aware of the risks associated with dehydration- it is important to get help if you need it.

Anyway- you're still early- and it could easily be that this will pass after the first trimester. For now, remember to take it a day at a time and drink plenty of fluids. And definitely find a doctor or midwife who is willing to discuss the medication issue a little further before writing you off as untreatable. Also be aware that if it doesn't pass at 14 weeks, that doesn't mean you're stuck feeling this way forever. When it is really bad in the beginning, it often takes longer to stop being so bad. even with my severe sickness, it has eased up some. 

Also, I am the type who throws up ginger tea and saltines- those things didn't do diddly for me.. I have found that for some reason Orbit's peppermint gum helps. Also roasted almonds are a helpful snack- they provide some real nutrition, unlike saltines. I want to barf just thinking about saltines. 

It helps me to remember that the nausea, as well as a new pregnancy, are emotional as well a physical. I found it helpful to talk to a therapist who deals specifically with peri and postpartum mental health. When I don't feel well physically and have no control over my body, or am afraid for my well-being, I get scared. This is a totally normal response to feeling crappy all the time. It was helpful to hear that from a professional, and to deal with some of the feelings related to control and fear it has brought up. I do the best I can, and most importantly, I listen to my body and force myself to stay fed/hydrated. It is hard, some days requires all the strength I have. 

I really do feel for you and hope you feel better soon!
 

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#5 of 10 Old 05-06-2013, 12:39 PM
 
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One more thing! When you can't keep anything nutritious down, it is very important to take a good prenatal vitamin. That way you can be sure the baby is getting the nutrition it needs. I definitely threw these up sometimes, but maybe you can take them during the time of day when you're less sick. For me, oddly enough, that was first thing in the morning (my "morning sickness" got much worse as the day went on). It felt good knowing that even if I was losing weight (and plenty of women do lose weight in the first trimester), I was providing the nutrition necessary for the growing baby.

It also helped me when my cousin described "morning sickness" as "all day hormone poisoning." Made me feel less alone. She was very sick in the beginning, but was fine after the first trimester. I even recently heard her say she missed being pregnant...

Also, from what I understand, Hyperemesis gravidarum literally just means severe nausea and vomiting. So sorry if I didn't help with differentiation!

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#6 of 10 Old 05-09-2013, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the helpful comments and advice! I sincerely appreciate it! It feels good knowing I'm not the only one suffering from this and that it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy even with these symptoms. Although I was adamant against taking Zofran since I am just a person who does not like taking medications and I am scared about potential long-term effects on the baby, I broke down two days ago and took it. I talked to my doctor on the phone (still haven't seen her) and she reassured me that she prescribes Zofran to a lot of women and they have had healthy babies or they take the B6/Unisom combo, but that the choice is ultimately mine. I really was at the end of my rope so I decided to take it. It did definitely cut the nausea in at least half and stopped the vomiting, but once the Zofran wore off (after 6 hours) I was back to vomiting, but at least I am only vomiting once a day now rather than 3 times a day. For the first time yesterday I actually left the house to go to the grocery store and run errands and it was so amazing to just feel "normal."

 

Bellyfruit, did you take B6/Unisom? I'm wondering if I should take that rather than Zofran? I am having trouble finding online whether one option is "safer" than the other. Thank you for the tips!

 

JollyGG, thank you for your helpful comments. Did your nausea ease up at some point in the pregnancies. I know that "morning sickness" for a lot of women tends to go away between 12-16 weeks, but I'm not sure if I'll be in that camp. Also, did you take Zofran and B6/Unisom? I'm finding that the Zofran does not completely take away the nausea - do you know if the B6/Unisom is more helpful for that terrible nausea feeling?

 

Manhattanmamma, thank you for your comments. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and I'm hoping you get to a point where you don't need the zofran anymore! After suffering for 2 weeks, I realized that, like you, I needed the meds to function. Oh my, I do feel like I'm being poisoned - that's a great phrase! Did you take colace for the constipation? As for the prenatals, my doctor told me that I should just stop them since they are making me more sick and just take separate folic acid and dha supplements up until the 2nd trimester. I think I would prefer to go back to taking the prenatals, but I figured I will try this to see how I feel. If I don't get more nutrients down though this week, I may go back to the prenatals since my diet has been all over the place recently!

 

Thank you so much ladies for all your help. It is so wonderful to have people support you at this time of need especially when you haven't announced your pregnancy to friends and cannot get support that way. You guys are the best - much love!!!

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#7 of 10 Old 05-09-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Hi there
I wanted to chime in bc I had hg from two months until the very end. I read a ton of I of too and likee you scared e myslf silly. I was already low bmd before pregnancy (i've always been tiny) andt thought that might having something to do with it. Turns out it really didint. I was nauseous and vommiint around the clock. Mornings tended to be worse but it really shouldnt be called moning sickness :SI didnt loosen too much weight once I found foods and things that worked for me, and it would change all the time. Boost was one of the only foods I would never throw up...its cazy bc I could never drink the stuff before. Its crazy expensive but was worth it. My midiwfe told me not to wory throughout the whole pregnancy that th baby takes all the good stuff anyway...and stress is sometimes more dangerous than hg or any other challenge. So I did just that.

So my advice is rest as much as you can. Snack around this clock. Try different foods and drinks. Stay as hydrated as you can...even if its icecubes or popsicles. Read what others have done to help it. Try not to stress. Rest rest rest. I found fresh air and walks helped a lot everyday.

So I threw up and coulsnt eat or smell about 90% of food on the planet until I gave birth. Yes thats right.I as eve. Throwing up with each contraction. Once she was in my arms I said to my midwife..this wasnt so hard I can do it again. They all thought I was nuts lol. It was a very hard pregnanfy. I lost my job for having too much sicktime. But in the end she was and is super halthy and weighed 7.9 lbs!

Just take it day by day ok! Hang in here and just think, you're going to make it through and have a wonderful baby soon momma! Hugs!!♥
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#8 of 10 Old 05-09-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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I had severe morning sickness with my first, but it wasn't considered hypermesis. I vomitted multiple times a day, but never lost weight. I took b6 and unisom during my next pregnancy and it was much, much better. I still threw up everyday, but it wasn't nearly as bad. I'm 8 weeks pregnant with #3 and am taking b6 and Benadryl every 6 hours or so. So far I haven't thrown up or had any severe nausea. I strongly suggest you get some unisom, Benadryl or Dramamine. It is a lifesaver! I hope you feel better soon. I know it's so awful!

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#9 of 10 Old 05-09-2013, 02:27 PM
 
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For me personally it got better right around 20-24 weeks. When everyone was asking me if I felt miserable in the third trimester I'd laugh and tell them I felt the best I'd felt all pregnancy.  Zofran wasn't much help for me though I was on it for a while. I had much bigger problems with nausea and not being able to eat. Vomiting wasn't my biggest issue. I found B6 and Unisom worked better for the relentless nausea without vomiting that I experienced. I was on both at the same time for a while.

 

As someone else mentioned I also found what worked for me. I had to eat, but never very much at once. I could drink a lot easier than eating. If it sounded good or I was craving it it would usually go down okay. But eating anything just because I should was a recipe for disaster.

 

One of the hardest things for me was reading all the books and articles about the importance of optimal nutrition in pregnancy and I was having trouble getting any calories at all in and often when I did they weren't the healthiest out there. I felt guilty and scared and all those things.

 

I just want you to know that it really is okay if your diet isn't ideal. And your baby really will be okay. My kids were born at healthy 8lbs and 10oz. My son is in the gifted program at school. They really did turn out okay. Not just okay, they are amazing kids.

 

You'll get thought it. It will suck. But in the end you will have an amazing healthy baby.

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#10 of 10 Old 05-10-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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So great to read everything people have written. 

@Clementine25, I also had to take the zofran every six hours, and it really only stopped me from throwing up- I still battled constant nausea. I did take Colace, I even tried Mirulax once (The absolute worst two days of my pregnancy so far!). I took colace with my zofran a couple of times a day until I I cut down to one pill. Now I don't take it at all, and I really don't feel like I need it as much. Staying hydrated has been the #1 best way to fight the severe constipation. Also walking, if I have the energy just to walk around the block it helps get things going. I think of my digestive system like that of a sloth. It takes a whole day for them to climb down a tree to go #2. And it can take a whole month for food to move through their system! I'm a little like that :). But I also had digestive difficulties around my menstrual cycle before. I actually just read that Zofran is helpful for IBS, which would explain why every time I try to go off Zofran now, I am inundated with digestive issues instead. 

As for prenatals, I switched around and found one that didn't upset my stomach. The New Chapter one, taken three separate times a day has been best for me (though the smell was just terrible in the first few weeks!! I had to hold my nose when I opened the bottle! Thankfully that has changed).

Anyway, I want to share most importantly that while the nausea hasn't gone away completely, things are MUCH better now than before. I could barely work before (I am so sorry to hear about you losing your job @deailedlace! I was asked to take a week off around nine weeks because I was so incapable of doing anything at the office, but my bosses have been very compassionate on days where I couldn't do much of anything- especially when I showed up to work and spent the day in the bathroom or hiding in the coat closet with my head between my knees), and now I can do usually do a full day of work as long as I've slept enough the night before and sometimes close my eyes for a bit in the middle of the day in the bathroom. Some days I just have to admit defeat and go in late, or go home early.  

The moments I have the hardest time are the ones where I am judging myself for still feeling sick, or comparing myself to other women who don't seem to be having as much difficultly. It was really helpful for me to see how well the baby was doing at the nuchal scan and the 20 week anatomy scan. As sick as I've been, this baby, and the force of pregnancy is much stronger and bigger than I am. She is doing just fine! Women have been doing this since the beginning of humanity, and they've been just fine without "What to Expect" and lists of what to eat/not to eat. I do the best I can, and take care of myself, and stay connected to other women who have compassion. A simple tool has been a friend of mine who is three weeks ahead of me. I think to myself, if she can make it to 24 weeks, then I can. I have been doing this since week 7, and I've made it to 21 weeks (almost 22!). And I even ate two lunches yesterday!
 

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