I want to have another baby. I desperately want to add a baby to our family.   One does not replace the other- EVER. I know this. But it will help to heal my heart.  It will help to fill the huge empty space- just as I cuddle a little extra with my children and smell their little heads a  few more times than normal, in an attempt to fill that space. Maybe that’s not right to some, but I know myself well enough to know that it’s my truth.

In the few moments we talked about ending the last pregnancy, my husband said “Ok, but we’ll try again?” and I said no.  I imagine that statement comes from the same place of hurt and loss that I feel.  But, I told him if we terminate the pregnancy this is it. If I can’t do this one, I can’t do it.  Why end this one, to just tackle it again?  I already spent 6 weeks in hell, why would I do that again? If  I wasn’t going to do this one, I wasn’t going to do it again.

Well if you read my Breathe In, Breathe Out, post you know that I do 24hrs a day (yes, even in my sleep) think about getting pregnant again. I want to go through the hellish pregnancy, I know this is a futile attempt to set things right.  To fix the history of it.  I also want to personally beat this disease. I want to triumph from it, and I don’t want to end my reproductive history like this- I don’t.

I have a crazy binder with tabs and colored paper and extra handouts. I have had a consult with an OB who I think can help me (though I’m not convinced she truly gets it- so will try to find someone else- I actually have an appointment with one today, but I’m going to cancel). I made a “to-do” list of things that would  need to get done before TTC (trying to conceive) ie. buy Xmas/bday  presents for the kids,  as I won’t be able to get out of bed.  Cook as much as I can ahead of time, for dinners.  Collect easy microwave/recipes the husband can make.  Collect ordering out menus.  Hire help.  I save a little every month so that we can hire help if need be. I have a printable typical Grocery shopping list to hand out to anyone who wants to help us.  I must stock up on unscented shower, bath/cleaning products GARBAGE BAGS!   All this is done in an attempt so that if I am ever blessed with a surprise pregnancy again, I will be prepared or if we ever decide we can tackle this, then I will be more prepared than last time.  I think and hope that will make all the difference. Type A personality- you bet- I am an attorney after all.

I will share the binder and upcoming “survival kit” at some point. Yes it includes cups from Dunkin Donuts, to spit into.  (best spit cups ever- you can make it look like you are drinking coffee in public and then toss it, so you don’t have to vomit from emptying it- ugh I feel like I’m going to vomit thinking about this)

Anyway, I ramble a bit.  The reason this post is entitled terrified is that I actually, (although desperately want a baby) don’t really want to be pregnant again.  I can’t breathe when I think about getting pregnant.  I have a very real anxiety attack, that I have to talk myself down from. I don’t want to be fed through a PICC line, running near my heart. I don’t want to miss the better part of a year with my children.  I don’t want to loose my job and have my husband look for a job and struggle even more with money.  I don’t want to vomit blood. I am so very terrified of it all.  HG can be worse than I had it the first time. My HG experience can look like a picnic compared to others. It looks like it was headed in a worse direction for me the second time.  It came on sooner and more violent. What if a subsequent pregnancy follows that pattern?

I know there are treatment options that will keep me alive, physically. But I feel like death is a very real possibility.  I truly do.  That’s why I ended the last one.  The fear is very very real. I don’t want to miss out on the babies I do have. And I keep thinking, the grief and pain I feel about loosing my last baby, well magnify that by 1000 and that’s what my children would feel without a mother. I don’t want that for them.  The risk just feels too great for me.  My OB, whether right or wrong, said she thought any more dehydration would put too much pressures on my kidneys and that dialysis could be a very real possibility.  I am 28 years old. I’m not prepared to take years off my life.

Then I read Ashli’s book and I read it from the colored lenses I have now.  And where others see wonderful hope and treatment options, I read and feel even more terrified.  Picc lines and IV treatments – Hg women owe our lives to them.  I owe my life to the IV treatments and  I probably needed a PICC line for my second pregnancy, I just wasn’t offered one.  But I don’t want one!  I don’t want to go into a situation where I might need one.  I can’t catch my breath even thinking about it, or typing this.  And if I’m truly honest with myself, sometimes I feel that there is something a little off about my son.  I feel residual guilt that either the medicines or the months of dehydration took a toll on his developing body.  I blame his speech delay on my pregnancy whether accurate or not.

So even though I make preparations, and I wish I could beat HG, and I keep up on my other HG sisters who have made the preparations (here’s looking at you Knocked up Knocked over) and in my heart of hearts I want another baby, I don’t know if I can overcome the fear.  And to set the record straight, I am not actually afraid of the physical act of vomiting. I know lots of HG women develop that fear. But I think I can handle that. I know I can handle that.  What I was and am afraid of is the dehydration. I am afraid of blacking out, of hallucinating of starving to death.  I am afraid that I will loose my kidneys. I am afraid that I will die.

If I ever get pregnant again, and theoretically the choice of me or the baby presents, I will choose the baby.  I would never make it through another termination, alive.  So do you see in my head, it just feels like getting pregnant equates to death.  Rational or not.  Truth be told, this doesn’t lead to a fabulous sex life. You can follow the line. Sex equals pregnancy. Pregnancy equals death.

I am probably, most likely a high-risk pregnancy.  Am I willing to take that risk?  I want to and I am terrified too. Other will say, “why not just adopt?”  It’s just not as simple as that. I would have just said that to someone too before I had this disease.  Women with fertility issues, will get it too. It’s just not that simple.

I know enough to know that I am  not in any clear state to make any major decisions, but it is still something that weighs heavily on my mind.  It is still something that knocks the wind out of me on a regular basis.  Add it to the list of things that feel insurmountable.

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6 Responses to Terrified

  1. dallison says:

    I heard every word you said.

    I wish I had words to make it better. But I don’t.

    I can’t help but feel that a powerful support system could make some sort of difference. I think we are going to learn a great deal from Knocked-Up Knocked-Over. Could you imagine having a doctor who is also an HG sister? Being taken seriously…validated? Agressive treatment from the get-go?

    I believe your terror will diminish as you heal. I believe the day will come when you will know–one way or the other.

  2. Saira says:

    Thank you for writing this post. I myself struggle everyday between wanting a child right now and being terrified to get pregnant. I had an abortion too because I could not take the sickness anymore, I couldn’t handle the feeling of death. I want so badly to survive the hyperemesis, I want to overcome it, I want to be strong, I want t bring my child into this world. I obsessively research the disease everyday, hoping someone found a new treatment or better yet a cure. My husband wants children and I feel like I’m not strong enough to give him any. Just like you said “I actually, (although desperately want a baby) don’t really want to be pregnant again. I can’t breathe when I think about getting pregnant”. I share your sentiment.

    Everyday is a struggle and I hope to overcome this monster one day.

  3. Sleepwalker says:

    I really want more children but can’t face being so ill again so right now I’m searching for treatment (as you know) and also getting tests for all the things linked with hg (h. Pylori (negative); thyroid problems (have underactive one now); vit B12 def (i’m now in normal range). I’ve not tested for coeliac disease but doubt I have that. I’m making sure to carry extra weight so I can be ill and not be underweight. I can’t figure out how I would look after my daughter and be so ill but I can’t put it off for very long or I’ll worry about my age. I also had problems with pelvic instability, anaemia and carpal tunnel but I think the last two may have been linked to an undiagnosed underactive thyroid caused by hg. The pelvic problem is likely to come back too though. I have spoken to the docs about wanting to plan for next pregnancy and I’m waiting to see a counsellor for anxiety. Fear of being having hg again but wanting to get pregnant kind of makes it hard to even be affectionate, let alone more. I mentioned that to my gp during an appointment for thyroid update but she said nothing and her eyes flickered over to the clock. I know that when I finally decide to have another baby the waiting for hg to hit will take the joy out of the little blue cross. My approach is to hope for the best but plan for the worst. I’m not ready yet though. My diary from pregnancy has underlined passages, warnings I wrote to my future self, telling me not to forget how ill I was and not to ever get pregnant again. My research into medicinal cannabis is my only hope for the future. I’ll get cylazine much sooner but if I’m losing weight again I’ll have to try medicinal cannabis.

    Just so you know, I don’t expect you to reply to the comments. I think everyone is amazed at how brave you are to post your story at all. I’m waiting to see a counsellor as although my hg pregnancy did let me carry to term I think I have post traumatic stress from having hg the whole way though. I also had a very long labour (3 days) and although I don’t worry so much about that, I think that’s just because I was so glad not to have hg anymore. I certainly can’t watch tv about birth. I have to sort myself out mentally before contemplating pregnancy again. I’m waiting on a list to see a nhs counsellor but wonder about going private to speed things up. Your posts on counselling and preparations would be of great interest to me, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Sleepwalker says:

    I’m not afraid of the vomiting and stuff either, it’s the physical toll and knowing it could be even worse. I know I’m in the warrior level of bravery, maybe crazy brave, because I’m thinking about going into battle again from a position of knowing my enemy. I think it’s pretty normal to feel terrified, who wouldn’t be?

  5. I research the condition almost on a daily basis also. I use my accounts from the various universities that I have attended. It is disheartening to say the least. There aren’t many answers, and there are so many contradictions. I want to know that it was not all in my head. I want to know the long-term affects of what HG usually has on women and their children.

    I decided almost a year ago that I would become a physcian and specialize in hyperemesis gravidarum. I have another year before I apply to medical school. If I knew that my physician had HG, I would trust her more than any other person. We need an advocate. I am terrified of having another baby also, but at the same time, I want nothing more than to add to my family. Hugs to everyone.

  6. Laura says:

    I share many, many unfortunate similarities with your story. I have tears streaming down my face after finding your blog after so many internet searches googling hyperemesis and termination and finding answers and others who understand.

    I am 28 years old. I have two children, a five year old and a 20 month old, who I had very severe morning sickness with, but not hyperemesis, although with my second I was medicated with oral zofran, I did not reach total disability or require hospitalization. I went through a divorce after separating from my ex-husband when the baby was three weeks old, and met a wonderful man who shared my baggage and with a wonderful son that is 4. We have been together eighteen months, and recently moved in together.

    I was on the progestin-only mini pill and to my surprise conceived while on it. Despite very irregular periods I found out immediately that I was pregnant because I felt very off immediately (nine days post implantation positive test). Because of our three children, and the unexpected nature of this pregnancy, we debated initially what our choice would be. We both love kids and love each other and felt that someday we would have a child together. That someday we were not expecting to be right then, but we debated, planned and found ways that it would be both feasible and wonderful. And then, at five weeks, the HG set in. I vomited fifty times a day on a bad day, twenty five on a good day. Through the middle of the night. Constantly. I lost twelve lbs. in two weeks. Zofran dissolvable at six weeks round the clock, through the middle of the night plus countless other measures to reduce nausea taken, and still I got so sick. Our kids were suffering. I would not be able to work. We would not be able to support our kids on his one income, and I had not even hit eight weeks yet. When PICC line and zofran pump became the only other option, with almost sure loss of employment, we began to reconsider. We waffled, debated, cried, researched, and ultimately it came down to the kids that we already had. They were suffering. They are young. They need their mom/Laura. My partner needed support also, although he was a superhero at coming home from work, doing dishes and making dinners and helping like my ex-husband never would have.

    I decided at eight weeks to terminate officially when the insurance denied my zofran for pickup and the pharmacy only let me pick up 12 pills. Two days worth. Even with the zofran I threw up ten times a day or more. It was keeping me out of the hospital. I did not want to wait longer if termination was inevitable, and in quiet desperation I called Planned Parenthood and scheduled an appointment for four days later.

    On 9/19/12 I went in at 9 am 8w4d pregnant and came out at 2pm hollowed out like a jack-o-lantern, sad, guilty and defeated. I felt selfish, I felt weak and I felt relieved, and guilty for feeling relieved. On 9/29/12 I was readmitted for hemorrhage and had two more d&cs before they could stop bleeding. I felt like it was punishment, and I deserved it. My body was still so weak, I felt like I would die. I lost almost 20 lbs off my 155 lb 5’8″ frame and continue to deal with health problems and fear b/c of hyperemesis. I know we did the thing that we had to do, especially for the other kids, but I just wish that things could have been different, that my body was not so terrible and that we did not have to make such a choice.

    Nobody understands. The few that know, most judge. You terminated b/c you were nauseous? Selfish. It was an unplanned pregnancy, why are you sad? When you are the one that consents to a procedure, there is no sympathy. I feel isolated, alone and right now that island is much bigger than any mountain of joy. I know time heals, but I wonder if I am broken forever in some unchangeable way. Thank you for your blog because it came to me on a day that I needed to hear that somebody understood. Even my ever supportive, loving partner did not physically experience this and while he tries to understand, he does not and while he grieves, he does not grieve like the person who carried the baby and was the ultimate decider in its sad fate.

    I’m sorry for the long, long post but again, I just wanted you to see how remarkably similar our stories are and how thankful I am that somebody, somewhere has experienced what I have.

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