Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Me and Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte, one of my favorite authors, officially died of tuberculosis. It is believed her two sisters (writers of some of my favorite books) also died of TB many years before. However, many of Charlotte's friends, including Elizabeth Gaskell (another one of my favorite authors - yeah, I have a lot) said that she was suffering from extreme nausea and faintness. She and her unborn baby died soon after she became pregnant. Many people have speculated that Charlotte Bronte died of hyperemesis.

Here I am today with a complete understanding of how hyperemesis could kill someone. I don't want this post to be too long. Super long blog posts are a pain to read through and I really like the people who read this blog so I don't want to cause them pain :) I will try and keep it short(ish). Technically I have been told that I had hyperemesis before. This was based more on weight loss and nausea. They were obviously very mild cases. An extreme case of hyperemesis is rare....I guess you can call me rare.

It is a Thurs. I have slowly been feeling worse and worse but manageable. Thurs I start throwing up and throwing up and throwing up. It doesn't stop. I think I must have a stomach bug because I was throwing up every 45-60 minutes. It continues to Fri. John got supplies (sprite ;) Thurs night when he got home. By Friday morning I have slowed down to throwing up about every 1 1/2 to 2 hours but nothing, even water and sprite, is working. I am still pretty convinced I am going through a 24 hour throw up bug. By Sat night I know I am in trouble. I am still averaging 10-12 throw ups a day and honestly it didn't feel anything like a tummy bug. I live through Sunday on nothing. Monday morning it is obvious to me and the doctor that I need heavy medication or I am going to have to going to have to spend a lot of time in the hospital. Enter Zofran. A lot of pregnant women take Zofran for nausea. It hasn't always been successful in extreme cases of hyperemesis but it worked for me. I finally stopped throwing up. When the Zofran wears off I throw up and throw up. It was tricky in the morning because it would wear off in the night and I would have to throw up a few times just to be able to get it down in the morning but I am alive :)

Zofran comes with SO many side affects and I have been lucky enough to experience most of them. A lot of mornings I couldn't take it right away because I was unable to see clearly or even stay awake to drive a car. So I throw up in the morning and about 10 minutes before I would take the boys to school, I would pop the Zofran. I would drop the boys off and about 10-20 minutes after getting home I just collapse. That would last for about 2-3 hours until the first round of side effects started to lessen. By the time I needed to pick the boys up I usually felt like I could handle driving but we didn't leave the house for many weeks simply because I couldn't drive. I missed church for 10 weeks and have rarely left the bedroom. I really don't know how the two little ones and I have survived. It is sort of a fatigue blur. The extreme fatigue (I mean EXTREME) cause by the Zofran has been hard but I am finally doing better.

I am now well into my second trimester. Most days I still need Zofran (okay I have only had one day I didn't need it) but I can do half pills sometimes and I can make it most mornings without throwing up. I feel the hold of hyperemesis breaking. It really is like a physical addiction. I don't know how to explain it...just that I am so glad it is almost over. I still don't feel good but I feel so much better. I almost feel like I am living now instead of just being alive :)

This morning with tears in my eyes I told John that I didn't think I could be the same person I was after this experience. He laughed and said that no one could go through it and be the same person...he'd be shocked if it didn't affect me :) When I can say things like that or talk about something then I know I am on the mend. So don't worry...I really am doing okay now!! As with most trials in life I have learned a lot and been shown so many blessings!! I just wish I was a better learner so that Heavenly Father wouldn't have to keep giving me trials to help beat things into my head. Wouldn't it be great if we could just pick up perfect charity and empathy and humility and faith, etc on the first time around?? !!!
And I love my Miss Charlotte even more now... :)


Marci said...

I think about you every day. I hope that you start to feel better and things start looking up for you. The night before I had Jack I was barfing (like always) and for some reason you came dancing in my mind. I realized that you had 5 babies (now almost 6) and were miserbly sick the whole time and are remarkable and haven't let it stop you from having a fantastic family. You gave me hope because I knew you survived and somehow I would too. So thanks for having crappy pregnancies and handling it well. It gave me hope in mine.

Sara said...

I wondered why you hadn't been blogging lately . . . It's nice to see you on here again. :)

I do hope you continue to feel better!

merathon said...

oh wow. each of my pregnancies got worse and with my last one, i was throwing up multiple times a day for the first four months and lost 15 pounds. i just knew i couldn't do it again, which is why that was my last pregnancy, and here YOU are on number six. you're amazing. so glad you're doing a little better and hopefully will continue on that road!

(also, so sorry you guys didn't get to make that trip to Houston...)

katharine said...

sorry it has been so rough on you!
i'm imagining you with a little baby girl named Charlotte. hope i'll get to see her! :)

Anonymous said...

I knew you had hard pregnancies but didn't realize how hard - especially this time. I am glad you are doing better!

Bruce and Cindy said...

I can take the kids to school any day. I can pick the kids up from school any day. Let me help you get thru this last pregnancy!

Jaz said...

My poor Melissa! I'm so sorry you've felt awful. I'm glad you're feeling a bit better.

Tonia said...

You are an amazing woman Melissa, even if you don't think so all the time. You know it's a crisis when Sprite doesn't help - that's the cure all for sick tummies in our house! ;)
Keeping you in our prayers.

Raspberry said...

I'm glad you're, and I feel guilty about complaining about having 2 pregnancies. You are stalwart.

Rob McDonald Family said...

Oh Melissa, this brings back so many memories of me in the hospital getting IV's. I feel your pain! Three times over I feel your pain! Zofran didn't take away the nausea for me...just the throwing up. I had moments I thought I might die from pregnancy! Even when I had to take the HCG to help Parker get here I got super sick. I think it's an allergy to HCG or something. How do some of us get it so bad and some don't.

So you are amazing and I'm so glad you are starting to feel a little better. I had the nausea worse with the girls, so something about the girl hormones adding in?

Can't wait to see a baby
GIRL Prince! She's going to be so spoiled...and a little rough and tumble too!

I'll keep you in my least you know she can't stay in there forever...:)