Back in 1988......

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Back in 1988......

Postby Sue in Swindon - UK » Jun 11, 2004 9:17 am

I have two daughters, 17 & 15, and back in the 80's - long, long time ago, when I was pregnant with the eldest, my sickness was bad for about 13 weeks, I was sick most days but managed to go to work on my good days. No one at work understood, "no-one takes sick leave for morning sickness", never mind that I'd had to get off the bus twice to be sick ! But, two years later with my youngest child, I was being sick as soon as I was pregnant and it lasted until I was about 15 weeks. I lost over 30 lbs, in less than 3 weeks and was nearly at death's door and couldn't stand up. My GP was useless and kep telling me to go home and eat half a banana ! She wasn't keen to admit me to hospital either. My ex-husband was useless too which did untold damage to our relationship for years. I was helped by being in hospital, reassured, scanned, checked over, where I slept for four days, was given intravenous potassium, salts etc and even started to eat a little. As soon as I was discharged though, I got through the front door at home and was sick all over the hall carpet !! I remember reading something recently about HER, and that it was psychological and women who carry on as normal as much as possible don't have such terrible morning sickness - I couldn't believe this at the time but still, it made me think back and wonder if it was the case - and then I decided I'd never heard such a load of crap in my life - excuse my anglo-saxon ! There was no way in the world i could control my constant, morning, noon and night sickness. I was so pleased to find this website, and would love to hear from anyone else who's had the same awful experience of HER because no-one I know has, and when I speak to women who absolutely sail through the early months with no ill effects - Well, it's just not fair !!

My youngest daughter, 9lbs 6ozs, can you believe ? started having epileptics fits at the age of 4-5 months and we experienced months and years of worry with her as a baby and toddler. The condition is called West's Syndrome and I have often wondered whether my HER had anything to do with it. When I asked, or when the neurologists wanted to know the history of my pregnancy when she was being investigated and treated, they always dismissed it, but it is something that plays on my mind. She's OK now and grew out of the epilepsy, we were very lucky as they say that only 10% of children are normal - and she is !!!

Nearly two years ago, this is with my fiance, Ian, I happened to get pregnant at a really bad time - my oldest daughter was seriously ill in hospital. I had been staying with her at the hospital and forgot to take my pill because of the situation e.g dashing back and forth to the ward, worrying etc. Well, again, as soon as I was pregnant the sickness started.
It was very, very bad. I had to tell everyone I had flu - flu that lasted 3 weeks - because I couldn't move without retching and being sick. Because I was nearly 40, not married, going through a very bad time with my daughter and her illness, I decided on a termination, which happened very quickly thankfully, because of the severe sickness. Now 2 years later when I look back I feel terrible about it all but couldn't have carried on because of the debilitating sickness and the thought that this may have caused my youngest daughter's problems as a baby. Luckily, Ian was most understanding but we do find it very difficult to talk about it.
Its like a very sensitive wound that we're scared to touch.

When I said that nobody I know has had HER, I forgot about my mum and my auntie on my dad's side - they both suffered exactly like me but had no medical intervention. This was back in the 60's, my experience was in the 80's and hopefully now, in the 21st century! Drs will recognise, help and advise women with the effects of severe sickness and help them to cope.
Sue in Swindon - UK
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Postby PamelaRose » Jun 11, 2004 10:47 am

Hi, Sue, and welcome! I'm so glad you're learning about the condition. So many of us struggled through one or more pregnancies with no diagnosis. Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is still confusing and easily misunderstood, but at least it's a real medical condition and garners some medical attention. You're right--up until recently, HG was considered by many to be psychological, the evidence of a woman's weakness or ambivilence. Of course that's completely not true, as today's studies are showing time and again.

Since HG appears to be multi-causal, not coming from one source, it is difficult to understand and treat. Not a lot is known about effects of HG on babies; we know that most babies are born completely healthy despite the mother's poor health, and we know that HG babies are more prone to reflux. That's about it for the knowns! Motherisk out of Toronto is currently studying long-term effects of HG and its treatments on babies, and you might check with them to see if there has been any evidence of your daughter's condition being linked to HG. They have a website you can use to get in touch. You can also check out the research forum to get an idea of the kinds of studies and theories being proposed now.

I'm sorry for your loss, but you'll find that it is not unusual here. You'll also find just a wee bit of bitterness toward those lucky individuals who sail through pregnancy all happy and glowing. One of my favorite HG sayings came from a forum member: "The only glow I had was the reflection of the toilet water on my face." That about sums up the experience of HG! Congratulations to you for making it through--you might share your story in the 3rd Trimester forum - one of the moderators, Diane, also went through HG in the '80s with no diagnosis. I hope to hear more from you!

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Postby Ivydragon » Jun 13, 2004 12:45 am

I am so very excited to welcome you! We have lots of gals having their children now, but very few who have had HG in the past, and we desperately need you! There are some research concerns, like early onset of osteoporosis, and how prevalent HG is from generation to generation, and it's so important for us to get information from women who aren't just building their families now! There is a survey you can fill out from the home page of HER, and there will be another one out probably in six months or so that will include more things.

Many women also wonder what they'll think of HG looking back more than a few years, and how they'll heal, and how it will affect them when they aren't in the midst of HG. Let me know if you'll be staying around. I'd love to have your input.

I am sorry for your loss. I am also sorry for your stress and worry over your daughter's epilepsy. My youngest sister is epileptic, and I know the type of worry and concern that can afflict a family in that situation. I was 9 1/2 when she was born, and remember well her extreme seizure days. She never has outgrown them.

I hope you feel welcome and needed,

:) Andy
Mom to Aaron 14 (HG), Anna 11 (HG), Adam 8 (adopted), Andrew 8 (adopted), fostering a newborn . . .
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Postby Libbee » Jun 13, 2004 1:01 am

Hi Sue,

I wanted to respond to your post because I too have a daughter with Epilepsy, I have often wondered if my being so sick caused it. She was my first and I was the sickest with her. I was at deaths doorstep when I finally got treatment.

I was severely dehydrated and malnurished. At one point when I was around 15 weeks along, the baby had quit growing. She was 3 weeks behind in development and there was very little amniotic fluid. None of the nurses had ever seen someone in such bad shape as I was. I was in ketosis and very very sick.

I asked my daughters neuro if this could have caused this and he said it is a possibility, but its one of those things in life that we can't be certain of.
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