First off, I would like to say that I had no idea what Hyperemesis meant until my wife first started showing signs. As soon as I realized just how horrible of a condition this was, I honestly didn't know what to do. Not that I'm always on point, but there are few problems where I can't at least figure out something to help.
Literally, my wife finally YELLED at me, after I kept trying to get her to eat different foods. Foods that won't go right back up. Foods that need to stay in her body, so she can stay healthy enough to take care of this baby. I'm getting worried. Like most of these poor women here, my wife vomits (sorry, honey!) constantly for days, and then the storms are quiet for others. Mostly, though, we have four bags in the room all the time, and I have an ENTIRE process by now on how to be efficient and clean up. If she can make it there.
I said "poor women", and I hope that didn't offend anyone. I chose that word because I just didn't know what to say. I feel terrible. I wish that I could take the pain in the stead of every one of these women, if they feel anything like my wife does. I cannot BEGIN to imagine the pain, stress, or thing growing in my stomach that comes along during pregnancy. Really, though, like parenting your first child... no one is ready for that.
Before I get into my wife's HG pregnancy (she's around 30? weeks), I will share some information that I will let others decide if it's important:
My wife was diagnosed with Mixed connective tissue disease around three years ago, showing major arthitis (requiring surgery for carperal tunnel). The doctor said - at 26 - he had never seen a patient as young as my wife, with two hand tendons FUSED together, with a crust. If you think that's nasty, you're right. And apparently very painful. But my wife - a teacher, of all things - continued to fight through the pain the best she could. To be quite honest, it's been a burden on me - one I will never put down, or make someone else carry - that has been rendering me practically ineffectual for a 9-5. I've been with my wife for 10 years, and it has not been easy. As a matter of fact, most men probably would have left her, and I will admit that I have gotten angry and frustrated with her, that has led to arguments. We're good now, and plan on keeping positive vibes constantly around the baby.
The baby. You know... This is another area in which I feel HORRIBLE for my wife. I feel like every woman (especially if you log on Facebook, ever) has a tough time with pregnancy in one way or another; however, judging from comments/stories/pictures, and really just a general happiness. I mean come on... they say pregnant women GLOW! Which is, again, why I feel horrible for my wife. She has not "glowed". And let me say this: I think my wife is the most attractive woman in almost every single room we've entered, and that's complete honesty and I'm proud to say it.
But my wife isn't smiling, or glowing, or laughing. She's staring at the TV, like a zombie, in-between throwing up. Not all day... some days it's only once, or a few times. Other days it has been non-stop. I don't know what to do. She is getting big in her belly, but I feel like her face is getting skinny, along with her arms and neck. I worry she can't keep the food down enough most of the time, and she's getting used to not eating. We've had to go to the hospital numerous times - hours a piece - to get IVs and other tests done, until she could leave. Seriously, I feel so bad for her.
Okay, here is the meat of the story, and to be honest, I'm at a loss. This being the internet, it's so hard to "read into" someone. All I can do is promise that everything I say is 100% sincere, and I have never EVER asked help outside of my family before. But I feel this is a complex, delicate, yet horrible situation. Let me explain.
My wife is a teacher. I say my wife, and she is, but we've only been married a few months. We had a baby about a few months before we got married.
Got it? For those who don't like logic, or puzzles, here's what we have:
A pregnant woman, unmarried, teaches at a private school. Gets married, and meets the standards, but is it too late? We still don't know. No one gives you that answer. All I know is that I have loved my wife since the day I met her, and for ten years, we stuck together, and always knew we would be married. No, we were NOT married when the child was conceived, but we wanted both marriage and a child at the time... we just weren't financially ready. Too bad - or good!! - for us, it happened. The school wasn't happy, and basically told my wife if we didn't get married, she would lose her job. I get it, and I did it.
Not that it matters, but I always wanted a nice wedding, with all my family there. Did I miss out on that because I had a baby, or because a school forced my wife to marry or lose her job? I'm no philosopher, it's just another question I can't answer.
The biggest question I can't answer is this:
You're an all-girls school. Your motto: "Empowering young women". Your mentality? Wish I knew. I also wish I knew which school my wife teaches at: the one the website describes, or the one she tells me about? I literally took two hours out of my day - TODAY - to talk to my wife as she broke down, crying, telling me that the principal came into her class, while she was teaching, and - in front of all the kids - proceeded to YELL at my pregnant wife about not showing up to her parent conferences last night. My wife DID go. The principal would KNOW that if she asked, and... maybe, just MAYBE, another time than in front of her students? Well, it's not like teachers need to be respected, or anything, right!?
I'm not sure how you feel after hearing that, but I can't take much more. The school has practically bullied my wife into quitting, although she's trying to stay strong, but I have a few SERIOUS problems with that. First, her school should show WAY more respect to a pregnant person, but HG is even worse. Like most other stories here, no one believes my wife is that sick. Do we have to count the times she has thrown up each day? The school nurse has gotten to know her VERY well.
The HUGE problem is that I don't feel like she can take much more of this. She is trying to fight so hard for her job, because to her we need it so bad, to pay for our little boy. She's partly right, but I feel like NOTHING is worth continuing putting her and/or the baby through this. I can't help but feel like the school should have to change their slogan, at least, because there is nothing empowering about professional adults complaining about covering for a young pregnant woman, or administrators downright harassing my wife.
This woman, my wife, has not only kept up with her school work so far, she submitted an AP syllabus on her own, which was finally accepted after two failed attempts before her, and only missed 10 or so days? Too bad, that's too much. Being a first year teacher, my wife was told she only gets FOUR sick days - the school's handbook reads 7 sick, 3 personal days for first-year, ten month employees - paid for the year, and then they are DOCKING her pay after that. What!? FOUR days for not only a pregnant woman, but one with HG!?!?!? If my wife makes it ONE WEEK to school every day, I am SO proud of her, because she's puking inbetween classes, on the road, and at home. But she still gets it done.
If she does her work, and is pregnant with a horrible condition, you KNOW they'd show compassion, right? Don't make me laugh. My wife has had a target locked onto her from thanksgiving to February, and I have had it. The poor woman can't even ENJOY the fact that she is giving birth into the world, since she's throwing up so much. That's TERRIBLE. Except, after all of that, she has to TRY to sleep, then wake up and teach ALL DAY, or else she will lose $170 dollars a day at the LEAST, at worst... her job. She only makes $33k. My wife has her masters.
I'm sorry for the long post, and at times I've gotten off topic. To be honest, I'm beside myself with worry, and almost have to die myself to the chair so I don't pace all night... My wife looks and feels unhealthy, is due in 10 weeks, with a condition that has made her throw up constantly her WHOLE pregnancy (just about).
We don't have a name for the baby. Just ideas. We haven't registered, because she's sick and/or resting constantly.
She hasn't enjoyed any of this, when every woman should. No one can take her pain away, but I find it terrible what her school is doing to her. There were additional comments/issues, as well as over 2,000 dollars in money taken from the checks of my wife, so it's not simply these issues. I will share in responses, but didn't want to write more than I already did!
It's no one's fault that my wife got this condition. All women have a right to be pregnant, and can enjoy it to some extent. These women with HG are not enjoying themselves, and for employers to act like laying on the floor, throwing up, until you can get up to clean it, which takes a long time because you haven't kept food down in days.
In a world where everyone is screaming TOLERANCE, and fighting for all types of causes, I would really hope that someone would be able to at least point us to someone who can help. I ALWAYS can figure out something to do, even if it's just a hope. This time, I'm out of options, almost out of time, and I really feel like my wife needs to destress and get on bedrest after what she has been through the past few months. It's not only been terrible, but she has handled it with class, and I think she deserves the chance to deliver a healthy baby with the best chance.
Thank you so much for listening to my story. I will be praying for my wife to have the strength and faith to do what is good, and right, and that her school does the same thing. Any advice is gladly appreciated. At this point, I want to talk to a lawyer, which I've never done or even considered. I always want a solution, not a fight, but this is just so messed up and I feel horrible for my wife. Help! I don't know what to do!