There are very few times in my life I wish to revisit and change. I truly believe everything we experience happens for a reason. I have learned to accept the good with the bad and cherish all that has occurred this is the cycle of life. But if I can be honest, and human for just a moment, every now and then I look back on my pregnancies and wish I could do them all over again.
Hyperemesis is the devil. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Knowing that I gave birth to two happy, healthy children still didn’t change the fact that not only could I not enjoy my pregnancy, I also couldn’t eat, or even do simple things such as brush my teeth without getting sick. Constant nausea and vomiting even ruined my dental health. Seven years later I am still in need of $8,000 worth of dental work to correct the damage that was done.
The OB from hell
Adding insult to injury was my OB/GYN never taking me seriously until my ketone levels were out of control and I ended up hospitalized. Even then it became a fight because she as well as the other doctor’s in the practice believed all I needed to cure my symptoms were ginger ale and saltines. Despite the constant issues I had throughout my pregnancy, lost teeth due to constant vomiting, and even rapid weight loss never gaining, my doctor’s never once spoke to me about hyperemesis.
Throughout my pregnancy, I was at the hospital twice a month due to low ketones, dehydration, and various other reasons, all related to hyperemesis. I repeatedly asked the doctors and nurses what was the problem, but no one seemed concerned and I never really got a straight answer.
Deciding to make the switch
In my 36th week of pregnancy after another round in the hospital and my 4th lost tooth, I changed doctors. After an encounter with my doctor and her nurse that resulted in verbal abuse and threats from her, I decided I needed to switch. Despite my repeated pleas for her to listen she still wasn’t getting it. After going home and calming myself down, I frantically searched for a new doctor at another hospital. After making several calls seeing who could work me in the fastest, I found one.
It was through my new doctor that I learned I had hyperemesis and what I was dealing with. While it was too late to really do anything, they made the last several weeks of my pregnancy a blessing. For the first time in months, I was able to eat without getting sick. A few nights before delivering I took the plunge and ate Chinese food. It was delicious. I was so happy to finally be eating something other than white rice or mashed potatoes. I enjoyed a Bojangle’s sweet tea and savored every sip.
For months after, I struggled to get my appetite back on track. The simple taste of water still makes me queasy on occasions ‘til this day. Certain foods I have been unable to eat since early in my pregnancy, I don’t know if or when I will ever try them again.
Compassion is free
As we know maternity healthcare in the states is in serious need of a revamp. As a black woman in America, I experienced firsthand how doctors refused to listen. The negligence and dismissal of my concerns by my doctor’s made me angry. I mean really angry. I fought back and won. The doctor was removed from the hospital/practice, but she is at a new one in the same city.
Anyone dealing with or having dealt with hyperemesis my heart goes out to you.