Monday, November 30, 2009

11 weeks... and starting to feel human again!

Maybe all it took was threatening my body with a Zofran pump. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm at 11 weeks now. Or maybe God decided to stop the torture. Either way, I am feeling more functional and human-like than I have this pregnancy!

Do I still experience nausea? Yes. Do I still throw up? Of course. Do smells and sights and sounds and movements still cause me to gag? Definitely. The difference now is it's on a more controllable schedule AND the extreme fatigue is subsiding. Last week I added Reglan on top of my Zofran/Phenergan schedule and am finding the nausea and vomiting can be (almost) controlled with rest, fluids and frequent eating. Here's to no more days of being unable to lift my head without throwing up!

I am so thankful to be feeling more functional, especially since I just started week 2 of labor training at work. I am LOVING labor training and feeling stretched and challenged again at work, but working in a more high-stress, fast-pace role isn't thrilling my baby has much as it's thrilling me. Thank God for the wonderful women I work with! They continue to anticipate my needs and notice when I need a break, even if I haven't figured it out yet.

11 weeks down... 29 to go.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Whistler 2009 (or reasons why we LOVE Canada!)

We just returned from my surprise birthday/anniversary gift for Jim: a week at Whistler. This was a particularly special trip for us because a) we originally wanted to spend our honeymoon there but were not able to get a reservation the week of our wedding, b) Whistler is a world-class skiing spot, and c) the alpine events of the 2010 Winter Olympics will be held there.

Unfortunately, when I planned this trip in July, I did not plan on being pregnant and unable to do anything winter sport-sy at all. I sat in our condo and watched the snow fall all week while Jim was able to get out and snowboard a little. The weather was perfect; Whistler had a record month of snowfall this November, and it snowed at least a few more feet while we were there. We felt like we were in a Winter Wonderland!

I wish I had remembered to bring a camera to capture the gorgeous scenery, but it seems like these days whatever brain cells I haven't puked out the baby has stolen (or vice versa). So instead of browsing through some pictures, you get to enjoy my list of reasons why Jim and I love Canada.

1) The Food
We have yet to have a bad meal in Canada. Every restaurant we've gone to has been exceptional. There is nothing better than Canadian beef direct from the plains of Alberta. The best part? Canadian restaurants serve correct portion sizes.

2) The People
Canadians are genuinely friendly and courteous, and always willing to lend a hand. Anytime Jim and I looked confused in public, we were guaranteed to have a friendly face ask us if we needed help.

3) The Scenery
Jim and I have only ventured into two provinces, but we have been impressed with the beautiful country we've seen!

4) Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons is the Canadian McDonalds. There is literally one on every corner! They serve coffee, doughnuts, sandwiches, and soup, and they are extremely popular. Jim and I visit one every time we're in Canada... and so far we've always struck out. We think we must have "We're dumb Americans" plastered on our foreheads and the employees take that as their cue to torture us. They never get our order right and they can never except our plastic, forcing us to use American cash that they never exchange right. We always end up with the wrong food and losing out on a few bucks. But the food is always worth it, so we keep going back! Well, that and our goal is to have one experience at Tim Hortons that goes right.

There are many other reasons why we love Canada, but I've thrown up twice trying to write this blog entry so I'm going to just call it quits (the real reason is the limited number of brain cells I have left can't remember anything beyond what I've already written!). I will end my tribute to Canada with this: God bless you Canada, for being good to us every time we visit you. If Jim was offered a ministry position in your great country, we would be hard-pressed to turn it down!

In other news, we are now 10 weeks pregnant. Jim was excited to find that the virtual baby on this blog looks like "a real baby"! This week I will be acquiring a new body part: a pump that will continuously intravenously infuse medication and fluids into my body to (hopefully) allow me to be a functional human being again. This week I will also be starting intensive labor-training at work. I am officially out of sick-time, so even if I'm lying on the floor dying, I will still be at work! As for the sickness, I keep praying better days will come.

Friday, November 13, 2009

IV Fluids Round #1... and #2... and...

It's official: the Zofran has stopped doing the trick.

I mean, it works better than nothing at all. Currently I'm taking 8mg of Zofran every 6 hours around the clock with a dose of Unisom and Benadryl at bedtime... and waking up every couple of hours to throw up through the night. And throwing up several times a day. And unable to keep most foods down. All of that and working 12 hour shifts do not mix well together.

The breaking point came yesterday at work when my MD promised to call me in a prescription for Reglan and instead called our lead nurse and told her to pin me down, put an IV in, and give me IV Phenergan and fluids. It's amazing what IV Phenergan, three liters of IV fluids, and a night of sleep only interrupted with one brief period of nausea can do for a person. I feel almost human again!

I still have my IV in and am managing it at home with an ample supply of IV fluids and IV medicine. I am also still working full-time, and my coworkers get a kick out of me sitting in report in the morning with an IV pole. Tomorrow I will stop the Zofran all together and start Reglan, the next step on the ladder of hyperemesis treatment.

In other news, I am 9 weeks pregnant tomorrow. Only 31 more weeks to go.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oh, it only gets better?

"Just you wait, Daja, it'll get better..."

Here's what I've got so far:

-Urinary incontinence
-Inability to control my emotions
-Back pain
-Leg pain
-Stomach pain
-The general feeling that my pelvis is being pulled apart like sticky buns
-Loss of skin elasticity
-Dry hair

Add to that list the fact that Zofran is working only about 80% of the time and bringing with it some really *super* side effects. Here's my (recently) updated list of medications:


And if this cocktail doesn't work, I will be dabbling with Reglan, Compazine, IV hydration, or even possibly a PICC line with a continuous Zofran pump.

Fortunately, I work with a fabulous group of labor and delivery nurses who are generally concerned about my welfare and completely willing to pester my MD for more medication and IV hydrate me while at work. Unfortunately, I have to work and need to save all my paid time-off for my Hawaii trip, maternity leave, and any other unforeseen pregnancy-related complications, so taking a sick day because you were up all night vomiting is out of the question. So, I have mastered the art of carrying little blue baggies around in my pocket and finding convenient corners to duck into when needed. Oh, and I have my MD's personal cell phone number and permission to bug him "whenever I want". My job definitely comes with some perks!

On that note, Jim and I are doing some traveling these next few weeks. First, we are heading to Tacoma for the Northwest Baptist Convention, which is three days of meetings for Southern Baptist pastors in the Northwest. Secondly, I surprised Jim for his birthday/our anniversary with a week at Whistler. This trip was planned prior to getting pregnant, so while I am disappointed to not be able to ski, I am looking forward to spending a cozy week in front of the fire in the middle of Winter Wonderland. That is, as long as the medication holds out...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thank God for Zofran!

I know I've said it before, but here it is again: Pregnancy sucks.

The act of vomiting has now become a sport. Normally, when I get sick to my stomach, throwing-up brings relief. These days, there is no relief. No matter how much or how many times I vomit, the awful nausea is still there. Beyond that, the sight and smell of the vomit causes me to keep throwing-up (and not just that smell, but the smell of almost anything/everything!).

And yes, I have tried every "remedy" out there: eating saltine crackers in bed, eating ginger, taking B6, taking more ginger, wearing a sea-band, taking Unisom, and even taking Phenergan (my usual favorite go-to drug for my sick patients!). Nothing worked, and it progressed to the point where I was unable to keep any of it down. In fact, I couldn't even keep water down.

This past Sunday was awful. I was vomiting every 30 minutes and my throat was raw from the constant barrage of stomach acid. Thankfully, my dear friend Jordan came to my rescue with her left-over Zofran from her pregnancy. She brought me snacks that helped her during her pregnancy and flowers, and cleaned my house and toilet. She even gave me a pedicure (something I was pretty sure wasn't going to happen for me anytime in the next 7 weeks)!

The Zofran is currently working magic on my stomach and I haven't thrown-up since Sunday... thank God! I've been able to work and eat and live only slightly less-normal than usual.

Thank you Jordan for coming to my rescue! You are a wonderful friend and I am very thankful for you!