[personal profile] eye_of_a_cat
(questions provided by friends, family, colleagues, and those neighbours whose response to hearing I was pregnant was "Congratulations, that was fast")

Q. Wow, you're still sick?
A. Yes. :(.

Q. Isn't it supposed to go by now?
A. Yes. Sort of. Usually pregnancy sickness starts improving by the early second trimester, and only 10% of women have any sickness left after 16 weeks. But 10% is still a lot of women.

Q: Isn't it getting any better?
A: No, not really. But the latest drug (metoclopramide) lets me eat and drink, so I'm not getting dehydrated any more.

Q: Is it safe for the baby to take those drugs? What about that one where kids were being born without arms and stuff, wasn't that for morning sickness?
A: Yes, all the drugs are lethal, I'm just taking them because I like to dance with danger. More seriously: the reason drugs aren't ever ruled totally safe in pregnancy is because ethical issues get somewhat in the way of running a proper clinical trial on pregnant women. But these drugs are already prescribed for pregnant women, so the evidence we have is from large-scale studies of women who took them during pregnancy. That evidence all indicates the drugs are safe. The alternative to drugs is being unable to eat, drink or basically function, so yes, they're worth the risk. (Interesting fact on thalidomide, the birth-defects-causing drug of the late 50s (and still used today although not in pregnancy): it was prescribed for sickness because of its sedative properties, because pregnancy sickness was thought to be psychological.)

Q: Is it that thing Kate Middleton had?
A: Depending on how you define hyperemesis, it either is or isn't. Helpful! At any rate it is controllable with drugs and I've managed to avoid hospital admission so far, so I'm doing better than a lot of women, which is depressing to contemplate.

Q: Have you tried...
A: Yes. Doesn't work. Whatever it is. Trust me, if very strong anti-emetic drugs are only just touching it, no amount of ginger/peppermint/acupressure wristbands/crackers/eating little and often (haha)/keeping something in your stomach all the time (HAHA) is going to do a sodding thing. I have been dealing with this for over four months now; for your own health and safety, please, please, do not suggest anything that you heard helped once or that turned up after a cursory Google.

Q: What causes it?
A: Nobody knows. Risk factors include a history of migraines, a tendency to travel sickness, your mother/sister having it in the past, a multiple pregnancy, a female foetus, and the fairies placing a curse on your family unto the hundredth generation. There is a theory that it might serve some evolutionary advantage by protecting the foetus from dietary toxins or otherwise unhealthy food.

Q: Is that true?
A: I can't speak for 'normal' morning sickness, but for what I'm dealing with at least that theory is total bullshit. Had I been sick with this on the Pleistocene I would already have been eaten by a leopard. Also, even on the drugs that let me now think about food without retching, my Approved Foods List mainly consists of:
- fruit (sometimes);
- Coke, full-fat;
- bread roll containing a fried potato scone topped with a fried egg, salt, and ketchup;
- cereal (decreasingly).
A healthy diet this isn't.

Q: Can it last for the whole pregnancy?
A: Yes. :(.

2013-10-28 13:18 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] drenilop.livejournal.com
Ugh... I am so sorry to hear this. I really do hope it gets better. As the End Draws Nigh, can I send a blanket for the baby and a box of oh-my-God-I-can-finally-eat-again goodies for you to celebrate with?? I don't know that my famous cookies would manage a transatlantic shipping very well, even padded in a blanket, but chocolates, caramels, brittles, and other candies would.... It's tradition in my family to give a blanket when someone you know has a baby.... I figure 5 years of e-friendship counts, yes? :-) And if anyone deserves a celebration, you do... If you're comfortable with it, please email me a mailing address, due/target date, and color preferences (match the baby's room? gender neutral? etc.) - my email is leanne.powner@gmail.com .

2013-10-30 11:28 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] eye-of-a-cat.livejournal.com
Thank you, that is so kind of you! I'll email you with my address etc.

2013-10-28 16:03 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] elettaria.livejournal.com
Ye gods, still? *hugs* Huzzah for the metochlopramide working and not being evil, anyway. As for your current choice of diet, it doesn't sound too bad to me. Calories and salt, which are essential. When I was having that really bad time of it a year ago, and was sometimes too ill to chew, let alone to cook, I got some twit in a vegan forum going on about how I should be living on raw veg. Because gnawing a raw courgette is dead easy when you're that weak, and I needed vitamins and minerals, not any of that nonsense like protein or fats!

2013-10-30 11:31 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] eye-of-a-cat.livejournal.com
But of course, raw courgette would fix all your ills! Egads, I hope nobody reading that in future takes his advice on board as actually useful. Idiot.

2013-10-28 17:55 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] vettecat.livejournal.com
Yurgh. I am so sorry it's not letting up but glad the drug is at least helping somewhat. I hope The Man is doing the cleaning, shopping, etc. so you can at least get some rest when possible.

2013-10-30 11:30 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] eye-of-a-cat.livejournal.com
Yeah, he's doing pretty much everything, fortunately! God knows how women get through this on their own or with unsupportive partners - I don't know how I'd manage at all.

2013-10-31 03:42 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] vettecat.livejournal.com
I'm very glad you have a supportive partner, it does help tremendously. I especially appreciated it toward the end when I couldn't reach the stove or the sink.

2013-11-07 14:58 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] elettaria.livejournal.com
By the way, have they tried you on Gaviscon, if acid is a part of the problem? Sorry to do the "have you tried" thing, but this isn't one I've heard of, and it was just mentioned by a friend of mine who seems to have had an even worse time with morning sickness than you did (in and out of A&E for IV fluids, lost three stone).

2013-11-07 15:32 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] eye-of-a-cat.livejournal.com
Yep, antacids didn't help. They do seem to work for some people though; I've heard of people with really severe hyperemesis taking them alongside the antiemetics and the two together working when neither will individually, but I'm guessing acid isn't what's triggering it for me.

Consultant gave me ondansetron, which is "the best thing we've got and pretty much the gold standard" according to the hospital. (It is also expensive as anything and has some really unpleasant potential side-effects, so they don't prescribe it unless you've gone through everything sodding else first from what I can tell.) For some people this one really does seem to be the wonder-drug that fixes everything, and a lot of other people report that it did work better than the others, so fingers crossed for some relief at least. And that it doesn't wear off in a month or so like the other drugs, otherwise I'm pretty much screwed as far as future medication options go!

2013-11-07 15:51 (UTC)
- Posted by [identity profile] elettaria.livejournal.com
I thought you'd have probably tried it, it sounded like an obvious thing to check, but it was worth a shot. I had it when I accidentally chemically burned my oesophagus the other year, and found it to taste like a particularly vile combination of soap, bicarb of soda, and peppermint. Worked, though.

When did they put you on the ondansetron? Hooray for finally getting to a consultant, and getting access to the pricey stuff.

I can't even imagine losing three stone during a pregnancy. It's fourteen years later and she says her teeth have only just recovered, too.

How are things with you generally, apart from the nausea? Fancy a chat some time?

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