Wondering how best to Help

A place where partners, fathers, friends, and family members can discuss experiences and difficulties regarding loved ones' Hyperemesis.

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Wondering how best to Help

Postby Shannybanan » Jan 16, 2012 2:43 pm

Hi all, My Cousin and best friend has been suffering from HG since her 4th week of pregnancy. She's 11 weeks now and has been in and out of the hospital, lost 15-20 lbs, and can barely eat. When she first got sick I TOTALLY thought that she was over exaggerating or "milking it' and I have to say thank you to all of you for helping me start to understand how real and terrible this is for her.

I have not seen her at all for over a month and I'm sure she must be feeling very isolated and sad. We text and email a couple of times a week. I've offered to help with grocery shopping, house cleaning, just a visit but she just says "aww thanks" and seems to not want me to come over.

I'm so sad for her and I miss her, and I don't know how to help. Do I just show up? Do I leave her be? I'm finding myself scouring the internet for remedies and I want to like, show up at her house with a bag full of stuff but I realize that might be the worst thing I could do.

Help!
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Postby AnneCan » Jan 16, 2012 7:30 pm

I wish every HG woman had someone like you who not only cares enough to offer help, but who actually seek out an answer/advice on their own on this board.

I can tell you from my experience, that the texts and emails make a HUGE difference in keeping me from feeling lonely. Most days I feel so yucky, and can only handle texted-length communication. I know for myself that personal visits are too hard. I feel like I look awful, I stink, and it brings along the pressure to be "up" for whomever wants to see me. I know visitors have good intentions in making me feel better, but visits are stressful for me, and I always feel more pukey afterwards from talking, moving, getting dressed, etc.

What I usually need is for someone to be willing and available to just do the thing I need, without the need for much interaction. My in-laws drop by every wed evening. I know they're coming by, so I write out a list of what I need them to get from the grocery store. Maybe you can "tell" your friend that you can be by on any X day(s) and to have a list ready for what you can do to help (sweep/vaccumn, pick up meds/groceries, put in a load of laundry, etc.). Tell her that she can stay in bed, and you will just pick up the note from the kitchen table. I just give my credit card PIN to my inlaws along with my card to use, and I write others a cheque afterwards for any expenses.

This may sound like a really "unfriendly" way of going about things, but it may offer her the break she needs, and it will give you a non-intrusive but totally loving way to help her.

Just my 2 cents. Every HG person needs different things though, so it's always a tough one. You're a great person for thinking about even helping.
DD1 born Jan 29, 2010. Mod-Severe HG. Started treatment at 5 weeks. c-section (breech)
DD2 born July 23, 2012. Severe HG started treatment at 4 weeks until birth. VBAC!
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Postby Hotbrass » Jan 17, 2012 12:46 am

I completely agree! I can't handle visitors really at all and that includes most family. I'm gross, I stink, my skin is not so hot, my place is out of order, and everything else she said.
Also I know in my own situation, I feel a sense of personal responsibility and even guilt for someone who didn't get me pregnant to have to take care of me. (My Hubby is a trooper but I expect him to help care for me because we are partners in this adventure - I didn't get pregnant without his help.) If she has any other children, an act of kindness for them would mean a ton to her I'm sure. I had a sweet friend drop off coloring books, stickers and hot chocolate mix and spray whipped cream for the kids - just for fun. I know she cares about me but I had no pressure to be or do anything. Thank you for caring so much about your Cousin - your support is so important (even if she can't express it right now) Don't give up!
HGx4 - Long term dental issues and Esophageal Damage
Tank (19) Untreated! Fought Pre-E last 6 weeks
Angel (17) Untreated!
Cougar (10) 6 Zofran pills. Mild PPD
Pumpkin (4) Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, IV's, Zofran and you name it, I've probably tried it.
H.F.G. is in the arms of Jesus (Miscarriage at 3 months/I was 40) after 2 months in bed sick.
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Postby DivineLotus » Jan 17, 2012 1:59 am

Wow your an angel honey. God bless you. :D
Image
Second HG baby. 8/6/15
Treated with zofran, diclegis, compro, colace, jigsaw magnesium. HG 7 weeks - 17 weeks. Continued meds.

First HG baby. 4/11/11
HG 4-20weeks, little treatment, severe. Zofran, reglan, B6, placenta pervia, lost 12lbs, depression, ptsd.
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Postby Shannybanan » Jan 17, 2012 9:26 am

Thank you ladies. That is great advice and that was exactly what I was afraid of about visiting. I don't want to make her even more uncomfortable. I think I will Start checking in at the beginning of each week, let her know the days I'm free if she needs anything, and reassure her that I'll be in and out and she doesn't need to entertain me while I'm there.

I also sent an email to her husband to see if he needs any help. I figured that might be a good indirect way to help her out. This is her first baby (poor thing) so she doesn't have any other kids to take care of (GOD BLESS Those of you who do, good lord, you ladies are tough).

Thanks for responding and I hope you all have a good day today :)
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Postby DebbieS » Jan 17, 2012 5:40 pm

Definitely keep on sending emails to her etc. My friends used to ring me weekly throughout my pregnancies and I appreciated it so much. I like the idea about helping out with practical things without requiring any interaction from her too. Whether it's doing some laundry, cleaning something in the house she finds smelly or doing some shopping on her behalf it all helps.
Deb
3xHG
DS 2003; Loss 2005.
DD 2007.
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Postby slterwil » Jan 18, 2012 2:10 pm

Wow...she is so lucky to have you. I totally second everything that everyone else wrote. Good luck to her.
Sandy
Angel baby 12/2005
Angel baby 5/2006
Angel baby 10/2006
Angel baby 9/2007
My sweet Erin 10/2008 5 lbs 10 ounces: untreated/undiagnosed HG from 6 -37 weeks (delivery)
Baby Riley 12/2010 6 lbs 9 ounces: HG from 6 weeks to delivery at 37 weeks (actually treated--PICC, IVs, subQ pump, Zofran, evil phenergan, benadryl, antacids--and *almost* got to be fluffy in the third tri)
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Postby phaerelastra » Feb 28, 2012 9:32 pm

My SIL lives next door to me and we've been friends for nearly 20 years, but I used to hide from her and my brother when they wanted to come over, even if it was to help. She would come over and offer to clean, but I hate being beholden to anyone, especially when they're asking me what I want, because I have a hard time with that kind of stuff. If she had just come in the house, taken my laundry and just gotten it done, I think I would have been okay with that. I guess it just depends on how close you are already. But she would make meals for my husband and 12 year old, which was a huge weight off my shoulders.

You're really great for helping her out like this. People need more friends like you. :)
Image

Kathleen Amelia, born by repeat c-section on 9/2/11. HG from 5-39 weeks, Zofran, Phenergan, Marinol.

Image
1st HG baby, undiagnosed - Elizabeth-Anne Rose, born 2-9-99. Proud to have survived a teen pregnancy and made it to the other side, especially with HG.
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Postby Hinano » Feb 29, 2012 2:37 am

If nothing else drop offa nice wrapped gift or some kind of pressie every now and then. I got given a new nightie that the friend had prewashed so it didn't smell (no smelly detergents) and itis ready to put on. another friend sent me some tngs for the baby she knew I wanted.
after being bedridden for weeks I can't tell you how nice it is to receive something.

I personally like the visits from people it is a distraction and I am better at asking for help these days and I don't care how bad my house is anymore, so I can get those friends to get me things I need while I am otherwise home alone.

Today a friend came in and just saw the things that needed to be done and did them, things my hubby doesn't think of that aren't essential but bother me looking at them all day.

Other people drop off meals for hubby and the kids, others get me foods or drinks I think I might be able to keep down. If she has any cravings for anything if you can get it to her ASAP it is more likely to stay down.
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Re: Wondering how best to Help

Postby MeganS » Jul 25, 2012 4:46 pm

This is the hardest thing she will ever go through. I agree, visits, although I was lonely, were way too hard. I felt like I had to get up and be a host (which I couldn't). My mother-in-law and mom would come over and do laundry, vacuum and tidy up. While I hated having to need the help it was so good to have someone help. My Mom and Dad would come over and just sit with me while I tried to rest. This was wonderful because I felt safe having someone there when my husband couldn't be. A ride to Dr.'s appointments was also a must! A gift of a new nightgown, pajamas or comfy pants brought me back to life for a short while. I also liked when people brought food for my husband. Small meals, single servings that he could heat up quick and then sit with me while we watched tv in bed! if she has any cravings at all, get her the food asap.

Everyone is different though. You are a good friend. Sending good vibes to you and your friend and her sweet little bun in the oven!
MeganS

Addison June 7.24.11~hyperemesis 4-37.5 weeks (delivery).
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Re: Wondering how best to Help

Postby broken580 » Dec 18, 2012 2:10 am

I just wish I could do more for her. It's awful to see her go through this and other people's ignorance just adds to her distress.
I don't understand why people can't do what I have done and look into it properly. It's so frustrating!
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