I want to write a bit about 2 pregnancy disorders that are rare but can be quite serious… and frustrating! Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Gestational Diabetes.
I’m not sure if I posted about having HG with my first daughter, Nina or not. If not, let me give you all a little background.
I was severely sick with Nina. I had a rare pregnancy disorder called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) that affects about 1% of pregnant women.
It’s basically one of the cruelest jokes a pregnant woman can experience. It’s extreme sickness marked by constant vomiting and nausea.
I know.. Some of you are thinking, “Don’t ALL pregnant women experience that???”
Lots of pregnant women do experience “morning sickness” (that actually usually strikes at any time of day, not just in the morning) but it’s not severe and it goes away shortly after the 1st trimester.
But with HG, the symptoms are extreme and can last the entire pregnancy. We’re talking every time I put something in my mouth, it comes back up almost instantly. And this is all day, every day. For 9 1/2 months. A pregnant woman who can’t eat!? Why, God????? Why is this happening to me!? That’s the experience I’ve had… twice.
I have been on multiple medications as a result. Some have their own unpleasant symptoms.. severe dehydration (resulting in the need for an IV or picc line), constipation, headaches, etc.
There is one medication that has proven effective for me in both of my pregnancies. It’s brand name is Reglan but the generic is called metoclopramide. It was the last medication I took with Nina, close to my 3rd trimester.
I have actually been taking it since the end of my 1st trimester with my current pregnancy. And it’s been working about 95% of the time. I’ve had a few episodes but they have been few and far between. I just take it religiously 3 times a day, before every major meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), every single day.
Well, now I’ve been dealt another serious blow that complicates my pregnancy a bit more. I have recently been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD), basically high (or low) blood sugar that only affects pregnant women.
And I. Am. Struggling. To say the very least…
During pregnancy, you have to take what is called a Glucose Test. The doctor gives you a really sweet, sugary drink and then tests your blood sugar (through a blood draw) at timed intervals. Depending on how your body is processing that glucose (or not processing it) will determine if you are diagnosed with GD.
After taking 2 different timed tests, my glucose numbers were pretty high. Therefore: diagnosis. Now, I have to prick my fingers and test my blood sugar multiple times a day with one of those testing kits and it gives me a glucose reading. I have also taken a class specifically for GD education where I learned how to (try to) control the disease with a meal plan and regular exercise.
Notice I wrote “try to.” Because it ain’t workin’…….
Let me tell you.. this “meal plan” is constant eating. We’re talking 6 times a day. Literally from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. And it’s a LOT of food. Protein, fat, carbs, with EVERY MEAL. 3 meals a day PLUS 3 snacks. Who can eat like that!?!?
I’ll tell you who….. a pregnant woman who is NOT suffering from HG. 😒 The last thing I want to do is eat. All day long. I’m getting nauseous just thinking about all the food I have to eat today. Ugh.
But that’s not the worst part. The kicker is although I am following this meal plan to the letter (and sometimes vomiting said meals right back up) my numbers are STILL HIGH! Seriously???? How, Sway????? Could this be any more frustrating!?
Ok. Woosah………… I guess frustrating is not the right word to use. More like, I quit. I’m done. What else can I do? Besides write a blog and complain about my uncomfortable, pregnant life.
But I am honestly truly grateful for this blog because sometimes I need to vent. And I need to laugh at myself. And I need to admit when I’m feeling overwhelmed, or frustrated, or silly, or clueless. As mothers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves (and sometimes other moms, Judgey McJudgeypants) but at the end of the day, we have to be ok with making the best decisions we can and living with them…..
After speaking with an RN about my conditions (the HG + the GD), we concluded that I may not be able to control my blood sugar with just diet and exercise. Sometimes we need medicines. And that’s ok.
More than likely I will have to go on some sort of medication to control my GD. And if that means my baby girl will be healthy at the end of all this, it will be totally worth it. I’m not going to stress about this. I’m not. I’m going to continue to do what I can with what I have. And that’s a great team of doctors and nurses and the most amazing support system I could imagine. (Shout out to my husband and my sister-friends for your encouraging words and texts/calls! You know who you are 😊.)
It’s amazing how different one pregnancy can be from another. I thought my pregnancy with Nina was bad. But baby girl is showing out already. She’s letting me know in utero who’s the boss lol. (Lord, help me..) And this is why the “bakery” will be permanently closed for business as of June 1, 2017 😉
So tell me, have any of you experienced HG, GD or both at the same time??? How were your pregnancies different from one child to the next???
Leave me a comment and let’s discuss!