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My story of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

I will start off by saying we weren’t trying per say, but I got off birth control, stopped using any
means of contraceptive, therefore putting myself out there to get pregnant. I was nervous but very
excited at the same time. I could picture myself wearing cute maternity clothes and going
shopping for baby clothes…

November 27, 2008, Thanksgiving Day, (the day I should have started my monthly cycle) I
decided to take a pregnancy test. To find out, results were positive. I was a little in shock and a
little in denial because I had always had a weird feeling that I could not get pregnant… At that
point I was 2 weeks along, on a doctor’s scale I was 4 weeks…

I felt great, never had a thought in mind it was only the very beginning. About 1 week later I
began to feel very nauseated. I would suck on apple or orange flavored candies to kind of ease
the nausea. I would also try to eat very small meals and drink tons of water in between, it seemed
to help…

By week 6 and 7 I would wake up about every 3-5 hours and have to vomit. I remember
thinking to myself, if this is what morning sickness is all about, I can do it…

At 8 weeks on the dot, Christmas Day, I remember waking up nauseas as always. Headed to the
bathroom, got rid of the morning bile and headed to the kitchen for some yummy saltine
crackers and juice. Just as I finished one cracker I ran to the sink to throw it right back up… I
tried again and the same thing happened. From that day on I was vomiting non stop every 5-10
minutes apart. My body hurt, what felt to be my heart, hurt at well, my intestines, and stomach
muscles were as sore as ever. Felt as though I had just gotten done doing 1,000 sit-ups, literally.

I do hair for a living, so I was constantly in people’s faces and talking to people all day long. So
obviously by then I couldn’t hide the fact that something was wrong with me I had to tell my
clients what was going on… I was pregnant, clearly…!

I got tons of advise, and I tried ALL the advise I got, I had people tell me that I wasn’t eating
enough, that I needed to eat all day long and to drink non stop… So, that’s what I did, or at least
tried to do… I’d eat and no more than 10 minutes it would come right back up. In the mornings
I would reach over to my night stand grab a saltine cracker and eat it with my eyes closed,
people said to eat it before you even get out of bed, before you open your eyes, so that’s what I
did… I would eat my crackers and lay there for 15 minutes or so, I’d get out of bed and head
straight for the sink where they would come right back up. I got to the point where it hurt more
to vomit food than it would to vomit liquids. I would try to drink Gatorade, V8 juices, sprite,
and apple juice. Basically anything that would taste just as good going down as it would coming
back up…

I lost about 1/16 of my cliental because they were, well, as I found out later, they were
uncomfortable. Some of my clients asked if I had cancer. I went from a healthy 180 pounds to
160 in 5 weeks. I would go to work, pray that I would get through my haircuts and colors
without passing out or having them tell me, don’t even bother finishing. I had never been so
hungry and mostly ever so thirsty in my life.

I got the whole, why don’t you think positive and maybe you won’t be so sick… Well, if I
thought positive thoughts then that would make it not real, it would be in my head. The reason
why I was sick wasn’t in my head… it was in me!!! I was sick and no one believed me. I was
scared, emotional, helpless, and yes, sick!!!

My mother and sister had basically text book happy go lucky pregnancies, so why wouldn’t I???
My mother would wake up in the mornings get rid of her morning bile and be on with her day.
My sister got pregnant at a very early age, she had the whole morning sickness in the morning
and when she ate cereal with milk or ate something her body didn’t agree with, vomiting a few
times a day, up until the day she delivered. Her Second pregnancy she had no symptoms’, if she
didn’t get a pregnancy bump she would have never known she was pregnant. My mother had no
idea what was going on with me because she had never been through it, she could only imagine.
Yes, I am a very sensitive person that puts up a mean wall. People think I am a strong person
because I speak the truth, yes, I am very honest. My mom lives about 12 hours maybe more,
driving time from where I am, so she would send me packages in the mail with ginger pills,
peppermints, and peppermint oil… let me tell you, ginger is disgusting regardless, but throwing
up ginger pills after they have been half way dissolved and half still in pill form is very disgusting
and it hurts, it burns and it taste like crap. I hated the smell of peppermint and I absolutely hated
the taste by this point.

New Years eve, one of my co-workers said, Amber, you look like walking death. You need to go
to the emergency room, that day after work I went home and my co-worker called and asked to
talk to my boyfriend, he said, “please take Amber to the emergency room, she doesn’t look
healthy. I don’t want to see her die”. So, finally we headed up to the emergency room to wait in
line with all the other “real” sick people, I mean, I was just pregnant, as everyone would say…
Well after waiting for about 3 or 4 hours, I finally get in. They hook me up to an IV after finally
finding a vein, draw my blood and have me squeeze out what the little bit of urine I could,
(maybe a teaspoon full). After checking my blood the Dr came back with a gigantic potassium
horse pill because my potassium had dropped from all the vomiting. I take the pill, started to feel
a little better after 2 bags of IV’s. I am finally starting to feel less nauseated and shut my eyes for
an hour or so, I wake up and it’s the New Year. What a wonderful way to celebrate the New
Year with IV’s in one arm and a puke bag in the other…! After an hour passes the doctor comes
in and says “you’re ready to be discharged”, I looked at my boyfriend and started to cry, so I
gathered my things, started to walk down the hall and here comes my potassium pill. “Good
thing I had my cool vomit bag for my ride home”… They gave me a prescription for a UTI and
dissolvable Zofran and sent me on my way. I vomited twice on the way home. I’m sure the
motion of riding in the car didn’t help either. Any sort of motion made me vomit immediately
and yes, I tried motion sickness band too and no, they didn’t do a dang thing. Maybe the UTI
had something to do with it. I don’t know if it ever went away because I was unable to take my
pills.
I got home, felt ok, was still very nauseated, vomited a few times before bed, woke up the next
morning feeling ok, then the race was back on… I held on for the next 2 weeks with no relief in
sight. My boyfriend would always ask how is it that I’m ok when he’s home, but once he leaves
for work I’m worse? I don’t know, maybe it was the whole being alone, not knowing if I was
going to take a breath after my vomiting episodes. Sometimes I felt like I was going to blackout
or not be able to take a breath of fresh air. I would sit at home and cry wondering if this was
ever going to go away, I started getting really bad head aches, probably from the stress and
crying…

By this point everything ached and everything hurt. I would barely make it to the bathroom
because I was so weak. The only thing that felt good was sitting in a bath completely submerged
in water up to my nose. I have no idea why, but it helped. I would try to eat fruit and crackers
and sip on juice. The only reason I would get out was because I had ran completely out of warm
water from refilling the bath every 20 minutes or so. As soon as I got out I would vomit… I
wouldn’t dare attempt to take a shower; the water beads hurt my skin, it felt has though razor
sharp knives were stabbing me over and over. I would turn the shower on with a light spray and
it still hurt so I would just lie in the tub with the shower softly sprinkling over me to fill the tub
then just lay there and cry…

I hated everything!!! I hated the way my truck smelt, I hated the way my house spelt, I hated my
dogs, I hated walking to the bathroom every 5 minutes, I hated the TV, music, sound, light, the
smell of any sort of food, I hated pregnant women that complained about there babies kicking
inside of them, how fat they were and how ungrateful they were to have a baby bump, I hated
people that could eat and drink without a care in the world, I hated everyone… and I hated
life…!

I had heartburn galore, Maalox, Mylanta, liquid Tums, Tums chewable, Zantacs, pepcid; nada
zip zilch would do anything… I’m sure the non stop vomiting stomach acid did help…

Week 11, I didn’t have an OB in the city that I was living in yet. So I had my boy friend at the
time, now my husband, call to make an appointment for me to get me in as soon as possible.
Well, he called, the nurse wanted to talk to me personally, so she called me back about 10
minutes later. She asked how I was doing, I said, I was ok. I was really weak, couldn’t stop
vomiting. So then she said, ok can you come in next Thursday? All I could say was, umm, I
don’t know if I will be able to wait until next Thursday, I might not make it, and started crying.
So then she began to ask how much I was vomiting, how much weight have I lost? After she
heard my responses, she then asked “can you come in right now” with a concerned voice. Well I
could barely drive the 2 minutes to work, I wasn’t going to risk the 15 minutes to the hospital, so
I had to wait for my husband to get off work and come home. Finally after what seemed like
days of waiting for him to get off work, he was home. We headed to the OB office. Like I said I
didn’t have an OB at the time so my new OB had never seen me. We got to the office, didn’t
even have to wait for the people ahead of us on the waiting list to get right in, which was really
nice. I sat down on the table with my vomit cup, my OB took one look at me and said, Amber,
their isn’t anything I can do for you here. You’re sick; you need to go to the emergency room. I
told him I just went there 2 weeks prior and they basically sent me home in the same condition.
He said you need to go, I will call the emergency room and they will not send you home, they
will admit you. He asked me to lay back to make sure baby was ok, he was great, he was
healthy, and he was mine…! I started to feel a tiny bit better that I actually got to see my little
man.

We headed down to the emergency room, signed in and waited. After about 3 or 4 hours of
waiting and walking back and forth to the bathroom, I started feeling really weak. I have never
black out but everything started getting really fuzzy and closing in. I came back and asked my
boy friend to get a wheel chair because I was feeling so weak from walking back and forth to the
bathroom. I sat down and my hands started to clench together, I showed my boyfriend and he
told me to “stop being so dramatic, just cause were at the emergency room, it doesn’t mean you
have to make everything seem way worse”. I wasn’t faking, I couldn’t open my hands.

Finally, the nursed called my name. Ask me what the problem was, the usual I guess. After finally
finding a vein, drew my blood and about 10 minutes later, the doctor asks how I was feeling, if I
had any chest pains, well little did I know, my potassium had dropped to a 1.7, my heart was
skipping beats and my body was basically shutting down. They start IV’s in both arms filling me
with potassium as fast as it would go through me, as they rush me to ICU. All of that was kind
of a blur, I just remember laying on the bed, hearing the doctor’s talk, but couldn’t make out
what they were saying. I just remember them doing an echo gram on my heart and making sure
my chest felt ok. I wasn’t in any pain, just very weak and confused… I woke up in ICU feeling
like a brand new women, I wasn’t nauseous I felt like nothing had even been wrong with me. I
was starving and couldn’t wait for my first meal. Little did I know I was on a clear liquid diet!
But anything was better than nothing. That was the best chicken broth I had ever eaten. It was
plain and really sucked but it was so great all at the same time. I was on potassium IV’s for the
next 2 days, then they cut me down to regular IV’s and a multi vitamin IV along with IV zofran
and raglan. By day 2 I was eating full meals like they were going out of style and drinking
pitchers of water along with all the apple juice and cran cocktail juice I could get down, it was so
great to feel normal again and not crazy. Day 3, they had me start taking vitamin B6, B12,
potassium and a few other pills by mouth. I wasn’t even scared, I took them and they stayed
down. I wasn’t once nauseated or felt like I could vomit. I brushed my teeth and my tongue
without gagging or vomiting. Oh, it was great. Day 4, I was discharged and sent home with a
prescription for raglan, zofran, potassium, Unisom, and reflux pills. My boyfriend turned in the
prescriptions and returned home with hundreds of dollars worth of pills, but I didn’t care. If they
were going to work then I was all for it. I got married that Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 while I was
feeling wonderful. About 5 days later I started feeling sick, I’d wake up, vomit, have breakfast,
vomit again, have something else to eat and basically continue like that all day long for the next
week or so. I had my husband call my OB, I hated talking on the phone, (I hated texting and
that’s not like me, anyone who knows me knows I love to text). My OB had me come in for a
check up, baby was growing and getting bigger, that’s all that mattered to me. I was so sick, but
seeing his little heart beat made me smile… My OB told me he can order me a home nurse so I
would save from going back and forth to the hospital and not having to wait in the emergency
room lines. Thought that would be great…

Got home, waited for the home health nurse to get here. Finally… She hooked me up to an IV
and showed me how to use my new zofran pump. It dispersed zofran every couple minutes or so
into my thigh or abdominal area. I had to have my husband stick me with this tiny catheter about
the size of a quarter; I couldn’t do it on my own, I would say ok, I can do this but couldn’t. Well
I never got any sort of relief, I waiting a day and still nothing. My home health nurse would call
to check and see how I was doing, I had to weigh myself daily and pee on a stick the check for
keytones (keytones in your urine indicate that your body is in starvation mode, your tissues are
breaking down and your fat and muscles are being destroyed, basically) that I reported back to
my nurse. Well, my keytones would not subside they would just get worse. I was on IV’s all day,
except for the 2 or 3 hours I would go to work for and the constant zofran pump that stayed
with me 24/7. After days of blown veins and trying to keep the IV’s going I went in for my
good ol’ normal check up a few days later.

You don’t realize how great life it until you’re strapped to an IV pole, day in and day out… just
to go to the bathroom was a hassle. One day I began to think how most people take everything
for granted, that no one realizes life is good, even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I sure
realized it right then. As one day all of what I thought wasn’t great was completely gone. I didn’t
appreciate that I was able to eat, I just ate… I didn’t appreciate doing the laundry, dishes,
sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, all of the things I would complain about doing I could no
longer do and I wanted too… Now that I could no longer do those things, I waited patiently for
it to all come back and it didn’t…

I’d go to my OB every other week or so if I wasn’t in the hospital. Went in for a check up on
week 13, and was admitted to hospital. By then my OB had basically given me a free pass to
labor and delivery so I wouldn’t have to wait at the emergency room. All the nurses knew me
and knew my condition so they basically had a bed waiting for me when my OB would call
down and let them know I was headed there way…

I couldn’t gain a pound if I tried, like I said before I was a health 180, now down to 150. I’ve
never had issues with food. I’ve never been skinny; I played sports my entire life and had an
athlete’s body per say… I would exercise but would basically stay the same weight… Now, I
would try to eat what ever felt appetizing at the time but nothing would stay down. I’d try, I
would eat tiny bits and I would take teaspoon size sips of liquid, still nothing would stay down!!!

All I ever heard was give it till week 12, when that came and gone I had week 16 to look forward
too. Well, in between hospital visits and home nurses I was tired and burnt out, I prayed every
night to just get me through till the next day. I almost made it to week 15 when I was headed
back to L&D where I would sit in a room, watch the ceiling and feel helpless, angry at the world
and angry at god. I would ask myself over and over what I did to deserve this… I was starting to
give up hope and also felt I needed to look for a new OB. It seemed like he was trying
everything he knew of that he could give me without harming the baby. But, I felt he was too
proud to ask other doctors if they’ve come across any other medicines or advise that may help.
My OB came in as usual the next day after being admitting and mentioned that it would
probably be best if I got a PICC line so that I wouldn’t have problems with blown veins and
IV’s getting clogged. I was all for it, no more getting poked over and over till the nurse finds a
good vein. The procedure took about 25 minutes. It’s an internal IV that went in my left inner
arm where the IV followed down through a vein next to my heart. I had no idea that a PICC
line was very important to keep clean, I had to have my husband clean it out weekly and
bandage it up correctly. He actually had to take a quick 101 PICC wrapping class before they
would send me home. After all, he was way better than any nurse I had, except for one good
friend/nurse (thank you)… But, because it was an internal IV that was so close to my heart, that
if I got any air pocket or blood clots I could possibly get a sever infection or possible even die.
Now I had a more permanent IV and would be getting the hydration and medicines I needed,
correctly…

At that time I was introduced to IV steroids that did absolutely nothing… They tried IV
phenergan that made me feel absolutely crazy and twitched, suppository phenergan that was very
uncomfortable but I would try anything. Still, no relief and was then introduced to another new
drug called thorozine, it was a shot that was given to me in my butt/hip area, hurt and burned
like hell. But it seemed to work. That is, for the next couple of days like everything… I was sent
home, I felt as though my doctor was frustrated with me, at the situation and I felt that I should
look for someone new, someone that might now a little more about HG. I was sitting at home
one day, my phone rang and it was the OB’s office, so I picked up. I don’t know if my doctor
could sense something was wrong or felt that I was sad and scared and was at a loss for help, he
actually called me personally to see how I was doing… At that moment, I then realized he did
care and he wanted to help me but everything he had given me is just about everything out there
that he could. I had doctors roll their eyes at me (not my OB) and say, “There is nothing more
we can do for you, we can’t help you” (and then sent a bill for hundreds of dollars, nice)…
That’s the worst thing to hear when you’re already terrified for your life as well as your unborn
baby’s life.

I felt like things were getting back on track, little did I know they weren’t. I had been talking to
my boss about my situation the entire time, she and another co-worker were both pregnant and
neither of them were sick had they ever met someone like me. Neither of them understood my
situation, neither did I, it was all new to me too… But after getting the new thorozine shots, I
thought I would be ok to try and go back to work. I tried the shots; they made me really dizzy
almost to a blackout point, I guess I had never realized it in the hospital because I was always in
bed after my shot, I would usually get really tired and go to sleep for the next couple of hours,
so I found it was too hard to work. On the other hand I was then told I couldn’t come back to
work until I was completely better because it was unprofessional of me to be pregnant (sick)
while working. People didn’t understand it, nor did I…
It is defiantly amazing how different I would feel after getting IV’s pumped through me in the
hospital. I felt that when the IV was running so fast that I would have to go to the bathroom
every 10 minutes or so, would be the only time I would get any relief. After the vomiting would
subside as always, it was such a rush to get me out the door. So, I would go home… relax and
slowly but surely would get right back to square one.

Finally week 16 is here, and still nothing… Between runs to the pharmacy and gas stations for
Gatorade and apple juice… (My husband did for me)Nothing has subsided, it has only gotten
worse, I didn’t not realize it could get any worse, just when I thought I had reached my point of
easing the pain, it worsens… I am now on IV’s, IV zofran, thorozine, zofran, raglan, reflux,
unisom, and prenatal pills and still nothing, nothing at all.

Week 17 I go in for my regular check up, now headed to L&D I lost another 10 lbs. I go in for
IV hydration while continuing the usually vomiting about half a day later the vomiting subside.
By that point my OB has no choice but to put me on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) also
known as Nutritional Support. That way baby and I will be getting the proper nutrients and
hydration we both need. It was no more 2 days later while on TPN the vomiting came back
(because IV was turned down, and pumping and the slowest)… Nothing would stay down, I
remember thinking how I had been craving a tuna sandwich and sun chips oh and a Pepsi and
that’s what I got for lunch, it was great, until it came back out, gross!!! During this time, one of
the nurses who are a close friend had asked if she could take picture of the baby with the ultra
sound machine. She couldn’t quiet figure how to print them so she found one of the doctors on
call. The Dr had asked if we knew what the sex was, we didn’t know at the time and he said it
was a boy… How comforting to actually get to start picking out boy names… It was nice. We
went with Blake Keen Royle, now I could start talking to my baby boy by his name…

I stayed in the hospital until week 19 where I was going crazy, I was so use to going to the
hospital for relief. But by that point I was no longer getting any relief but more pain. I was
vomiting every 5 to 10 minutes. I could tell the nurses wanted to do something, but there was
nothing more that could be done… I was given more phenergan that made me crazy and gave
me the twitches. Then some new drug, I have not a clue as to what it was but if I heard the
name I would never take it again, it made me sweat, it made me want to rip the face off the
nurse who gave it to me, it made me vomit even more… I thought vomiting every 5 minutes
was bad; it made me vomit every 30 seconds for about 55 minutes. The longest 55 minutes ever.
After that crazy medicine wore off I was given some IV Unisom, where I would try to sleep till
the next morning…

The only thing good about the hospital is the shower chairs, I loved those shower chairs! And
well, some of the nurses that wouldn’t try to tell me what I need to do to make the sickness go
away. Cause if it was that easy no one would be sick with HG…

Day in and day out I would lay in my hospital bed crying and praying to get better, I began to
get migraine head aches where I wouldn’t even let the nurses open my blinds, I would sit in my
uncomfortable hospital bed with my eyes shut crying… The next day my OB came in to see how
I was doing, I was basically the same, except for the head aches I could not get to go away. He
explained there probably from the amount of stress and pressure I’ve been under, that he could
start me on an IV head ache medicine and order an MRI to make sure nothing else wasn’t
causing the tension in my head…

The next day I wake up to a group of MRI trainees in my room standing around me, as the
MRI doctor starts asking me questions about my head aches… I just told him what I felt, that the
upper part of my head had a lot of pressure that lights, sounds and people talking made it
worse… Now, could you get out…  I didn’t say that, but if I had enough energy I probably
would have. About 3 hours later a patient transport shows up at my room to take me down for
my MRI. I had never had one, and let me tell you, you probably don’t want one either,
especially if you have a head ache already, you’re going to leave with an even worse migraine
head ache. I slowly lay back on a cold hard flat board while they put ear plugs in my ears as I
held tightly on to my puke bag I slowly moved into this huge large cylinder. The Dr starts to talk
to me over the speaking in the machine, he asked me to stay very still, it should only take 30
minutes… 30 minutes I thought… umm, well since I vomit ever 5 to 10 minutes that probably
wont work, but I will try… I laid there calm and told myself I will get through this just breathe…
Right then, fire engine horn, loud I mean loud loud noises! The noise stopped for a second, and
I asked, should it be this loud? The doctor said yes, now stay still… If I didn’t know I was in a
huge cylinder I would have thought I was standing directly in front of a fire engine headed to a
burning house… I had no idea it was going to be like this… I laid there counting seconds as
what I thought was 3 minutes and had to be pulled out to vomit… Back in I went and on with
the loud obnoxious noises… Another 5 minutes I went, vomited then back in… and so on for
the next 20 minutes. Its really hard for them to get accurate results when they have to keep
stopping to MRI, so for future reference, if I ever need one again I will be sure to have them
knock me out before attempting to do so…

During this time in between cleaning my PICC, trying to keep it covered while I would try to
get through a shower or bath I some how became allergic to the plastic tape wrap I had to use
to keep air and dirt out. My arm was so itchy and I got a horrible rash around the site. So I
would sit at home, rub cortisone cream on it and change it 3 times a day. My home nurse was
drawing blood from my PICC a few days later and got it clogged, all I could think was, oh no…
my main source of intake was now clogged and it was Friday at 3pm, if only it could have been
an hour before that. The PICC team leave for the week Friday at 2pm… What was I too do?
Well, the next morning I sat at the hospital clinic for 11 hours waiting for anyone that could
replace my PICC so I could get some sort of nutrition… Finally a PICC Tech had just gotten
out of surgery and said she would take me because of my situation and that is the only source of
food and hydration I was getting… Thank god, that’s all I thought, so maybe he was on my side
for a few hours or so…Or so I thought…!

I had been basically begged the nurses and doctors to discharge me for the past 3 days since I
wasn’t getting any relief, I would be just as sick in the comfort of my own home as I would be
in that uncomfortable hospital bed, so I just figured why waste anymore of there time. I mean it
was definitely a lot nicer being waiting on hand and foot but I wasn’t eating meals so it was
basically pointless. I would watch the meals carts come every morning, afternoon and evening
time and would get really mad that I couldn’t eat any of it… Most pregnant women get nauseated
by the smells of food, but, I would get hungrier and my stomach would start growling… I was
starving but could not eat; I knew that if I did it would only be worse on the way out.

Finally, my nurse had gotten a hold of Coram, my home health nurse; they would be in charge
and taking care of my every needs for TPN. We headed home, while we waited patiently for the
home nurse, we watched the clock tick… At last, she arrived with machines, TPN, hydration,
Protonics, thiamine, vitamin B12, B6, gloves, just a few things to get me through till the next
morning until FedEx would arrive with 5, 20 pound boxes (for the next 3 weeks) filled with
medicines, hydration and my wonderful food in a bag… yum…! My nurse showed my
husband how to fill the bags with the medicines that needed to go in it, how much was needed
and in what order and then the fun part keeping my PICC clean and changing the bags. My IV’s
had to be flushed with saline and heparin that tasted discussing. Even though it was being
injected in to my IV in my arm I could taste everything as though it was being dumped directly
in to my mouth. Those made me vomit even more… fun stuff. He got a little frustrated at times
but he pulled through and did what was needed to be done to get me my nutrition. Our house
looked like a doctors office, boxes full of IV hydration, TPN bags, medicines galore, gloves,
hundreds of different size needles, sharp containers (which I still need to ship out but haven’t),
PICC cleaning stuff… It was crazy, but it was the only thing that kept me and Blake alive…

Heartburn was still horrific, I was given protonics, which was supposed to be the best to ease
heartburn, and I don’t think I noticed a difference, but the nasty taste in my mouth after it was
injected… It came in a powder form that had to be mixed with saline and then injecting in to my
IV… Oh and my wonderful 10 pound back pack, with 2 machine pumps, one for my hydration
and the other with my TPN that I carried around everywhere I went… It was probably 8
pounds, but it literally felt like 50 pounds.

Week 20 and counting….I had gotten married in January and did not get to celebrate it, so we
had a Reception March 21, 2009 where I sat on a couch with a plant bucket to vomit in as all of
my friends and family had a good time. It was hard, but I made it through another miserable
day. Most of the people at the party had no clue as to what was wrong with me. Some people
even asked where I was going because I was carrying around a 10 pound back pack like I was
going to for a stroll down the street. No one had the slightest clue as to what I was going
through…Not my mom, sister, husband, father, friend, family, co-workers, doctors or even
nurses…!

My parents, grandmother and cousin drove and flew in for the occasion. The day before the
reception my mom and dad showed up, the first thing my mom said was, “oh you look so good,
I was scared you’d be too skinny and helpless”. Little did she know I was like that, I was just
being brave for her… she had said “I didn’t think your baby would make it by what all I knew
that had gone on, you look good, I feel way better now”… It was a real weird day. I hadn’t gone
one day since I was on TPN with any relief, meaning I hadn’t gone one whole day of vomit free.
But the morning that my mom got there and I had talked to her, she basically made me eat, so I
did, and I never threw up, well almost a full day. That hadn’t happened in a while, so all went
well for a few hours. But better than what had been going on… The Reception was now over,
family was gone, and I’m back to being sick… At that point I was almost starting to get use to
the fact that I was on the down slope, I was over half way and if it got better, that would be
great, if it didn’t, I was ok with it…

Going on week 22, March 24, 2009 I go in for my as scheduled normal doctor visit… Dr asks
how I am doing, same as usual, nothings changed but I am over half way, that’s a positive…! He
started to check the heart beat and couldn’t find one; at that point I had a weird feeling in my
stomach but didn’t think anything would be so wrong… So, we switched rooms to one with an
ultra sound machine, he put the paddle on my stomach and I could instantly see my baby just
floating there not moving, no heart beat… My doctor stopped, he didn’t say anything for about
30 seconds and then said, I’m so sorry Amber, there isn’t a heat beat, it isn’t suppose to happen
this way… Still to this day, clear as day I can picture my little boy motionless… The saddest,
hardest thing my husband and I have ever had to go through. We gathered our tears and headed
back to L&D one more final time, to deliver my dead baby boy. To actually go through being
induced, having horrific contraction, having your water break to delivering a stillborn is the
hardest thing, emotionally and physically. I didn’t actually see my doctor cry, but I heard that he
did outside my room, he told my friends and family standing there, that what happened wasn’t
fair. This should not have ever happen this way… it isn’t supposed to be like this… I prayed
every day to get better, to not be sick, to just wake up and feel like a new women. I guess I
didn’t realize the only way I would feel better was to have my little man out. I wouldn’t have
prayed to get better; I could have fought through the next 4 months like I fought through the
first 6… if I would have only known…

I now only have his pictures, a marble casing for his ashes and memories to have and to
hold and the wonderful advice people say, where do I begin… Everything happens for a
reason, its better off now than later, well, you were so sick, I’m sure your baby would have
been so tiny because how sick you were, at least your not sick anymore, I’m sorry… Well all
those wonderful sayings are great, but it doesn’t make up for the emptiness in my stomach
and the in my heart… it doesn’t make me feel any better that those are just sayings, sayings
with no answers… Women have gone through HG with healthier babies than women with
wonderful pregnancies, so all the wonderful advise isn’t so wonderful. I’m stuck with more
why questions… Doctors couldn’t tell me why his heart stopped, they couldn’t tell me why I
was so sick, and they can’t tell me if it will ever happen again… Just a great example of live
and learn…

Everything does happen for a reason, but will we ever know that reason…? I ask myself
every day why it happened to me. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a horrific tragedy
when there are people who can’t care for or provide for a baby, crack heads, druggies,
alcoholic and people with eating disorders that get blessed with healthy babies and have
happy go lucky pregnancies… Hmmm, where did I go so wrong…? I could care for my
baby, I could provide for my baby and I actually wanted my baby!!!

I wish this upon no one. .. But I do hope for people to get a better understanding before they
make prejudgment calls and think they know what they are talking about, NO one has any clue
what it is like to go through HG unless you’ve been through it. It is a tragedy that will be with
me for the rest of my life… Not knowing the unknown is the worst thing ever. Not only did I
not get better or leave with a cure, I left with nothing… No wonderful present in the end… I
didn’t wish for my sickness, but I do wish for people to sympathies about this serious condition
and how life threatening HG is, it is not to be taken lightly, it is a very sever sickness and a
deadly disease in you, not in your head. I would know, I survived HG but my son did not…

It took a lot for me to get where I am today, I am not happy by any means and I am still very
angry inside about the outcome of my story, but I am coping with it as best as I can. People
need to understand that what I went through is a very hard thing to go through for anyone and
people need to think before they speak, knowing that I am listening to everything people say… I
understand the world can not stop for my loss, but people can try to be a little understanding and
a little more respectful when it comes to respecting me and my wishes. It always seems as though
when ever someone has a loss they are completely surrounded in happy go lucky pregnant
women without a sick person in sight, why is that…? Is it kind of like when you think you got
this brand new car no one else has, you drive off the car lot and see 10 on your way home…?
Maybe, but you can always trade that car in for something bigger and better, but you won’t ever
get back your baby you lost back…!

So, what did I learn, nothing about my disease, but I did learn to be grateful for the little
things in life, the littlest things you would never think of because life happens weather you’re
ready for it or not, life doesn’t wait on you, life goes on…

Maybe I wasn’t ready to jump in to the whole baby shower stuff yet, but I wasn’t asked I was
told… I sucked it up and I did it. I do have some friends and family that can’t imagine going
through what I went through but they do sympathies and respect me, they ask me they don’t
demand me…

I am back to my healthy 170 pounds and couldn’t be happier… It has almost been 7 months and
is their not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Blake? I probably would have tried to have a
baby a lot sooner depending on the circumstance, the outcome and my over all well being,
maybe if I had gotten any sort of cure for my disease I wouldn’t be so hesitant and scared now...

I am healthy and I am a live… I hope this story helps other women that went through HG tell
their story, maybe one day they will find a cure… because women shouldn’t have to go through
the pain of having to terminate wanted pregnancies or live on the verge of dying for 9 months or
in my case, go through hell for 6 months and go home with absolutely nothing at all…!
Completed 10/25/2009- exactly 7 months to the day since the day that will stick with me
forever… Life, Love, Laugh… Never regret and live life to the fullest… You never know what is
around the corner.

Amber Rose Boehlke

In loving Memory of Blake Keen Royle

March 25, 2009

-My Comments, Concerns, Suggestions, Dumbest “Quotes”-

I thank my husband, family, friends, doctors and nurses who stood by me in this time of grief.
I’m sure it was hard for them to watch me go through so much without being able to help me…
My husband for being there every night, my sister and sister in-law for coming to the hospital for
my on going weekly hospital visits and my friends who came to sit and talk… As much as I
didn’t want anyone around, it defiantly helped…

Still no one has the answers to HG; all I know now is it does go away. Weather its 16 weeks, 40
weeks or delivery, it’ll eventually go away and you’ll get this wonderful present in the end to
make it all worth the sickness, maybe. The HG did go away immediately after I delivered him…
But, no one ever tells you how life threatening it is on you and your baby and that he probably
won’t make it. They don’t tell you that in any book you read or any shows you watch on TV…
My experience was new to me, friends, family and co-workers… No one had any idea this
disease was out there, and I’m sure you still won’t find it on any TV show…

I still to this day think that the only thing that helped was, straight IVs pumping through me,
where I was going through 7-10 bags a day. But after not vomiting for 2 days in a row all the
doctor in care of me would assume it was done, little did they know it would be right back after
all the hydration slowly seeped out of me. I could not keep any liquids by mouth in me, only IV
hydration when it was on full force!!! I am B- blood type and still to this day I believe it has all to
do with the whole hyperemesis stuff… All the doctors I have to say is that it doesn’t, but I still
feel it does. All you negative bloods out there, be sure to a Rogram shot, it stops antibodies from
forming in your body after you miscarry or deliver a baby. If not given the shot your body will
produce antibodies to fight off any further pregnancies therefore will lead to many complications
for your unborn baby… I was reading on www.hyperemesis.org and that kind of squashed my
theory on the whole negative blood type, but who knows, one day they might have the answers
for thousands of women that need them…

Most of the world is very unknowledgeable about HG and what it does mentally, emotionally
and physically to women that have it. Doctors do not have a cure, they do not know why or
who gets it. They do not consider HG to be a high risk pregnancy because they are so unclear
about the actual disease that it is… I would think other wise, they’re the doctors, and who am I
to decide…? I only lived through it…
Most people told me that I needed to get a second opinion, opinion on what? Doctors can’t try
new unknown drugs on pregnant women. Are women willing to be guinea pigs for 3 months, 5
months, 7 months or even 9? Probably not, but that’s what I felt like, everything was new to me
every time I would see my OB, he would always try something new, something that may have
worked for others but not for me. This disease is so unknown that there are not many doctors
out there that have had a patient like me. In a way I was blessed that I didn’t loose my life in the
process, although it is extremely unfortunate that my son had to loose his…

Statistics show that I had a .5%%chance of ever getting HG and my chances of getting it in any
future pregnancies is a .5%%chance… That’s 60,000 women reported in America that get it each
year… That isn’t very many considering there are over 300 million people in America. I guess
someone had to get it, question is, who gets it? What causes it? Where in the world does it
happen? Why do we get it? When does it happen? How do we get rid of it? Why, why and
why…? Will we ever get that answer?

I’ve always wanted to have babies while I had turned 25, I don’t know if it will ever be possible,
please help…

Everyday I thought and thought how what I went through was so horrible, before I found the
HER webpage I thought I was alone. Not that is makes it any better by any means, but I can
actually talk to women who truly know what I meant when I said I’m sick! They all get it and
I’m not afraid to speak my mind. They have all been where I am today, and there are still
women out there going through the same stuff. It’s just not fair…

Everyone told me I was better off with my loss now than later, (please tell me who made them a
doctor). The reason I was so sick, was a sign from god that things were going to be worse… So
why is the saying, the sicker you are the healthier your baby will be? I prayed for my life as well
as my baby’s life daily…

I almost felt as though I was living a freak accident day in and day out. I felt that there was no
way women can go through this all for a baby. I felt that the next time I would conceive it
wouldn’t be like how it was. (Maybe it won’t be) Maybe I will have a normal pregnancy, but
what is normal, I don’t know what normal is…But as the days go by and I read more and more
stories about women with HG, my thought seem to kind of fade away. I’m scared to death, I
have no idea what to expect, I think how things couldn’t have gotten any worse, but god works
in very weird and crewel ways. Always expect the unexpected but pray for the best…

I could not believe that living in such a small city, I found no one that knew what I was going
through, no one that have ever endured the sickness nor ever thought this disease ever existed,
and I was the first for my doctor, unbelievable…

Lately I have had so much on my mind I started My HG Story; I never even imagined this was
how I would spend my first and last 6 months of pregnancy… The past few days I’ve read
stories on hyperemesis.org and its heart wrenching how similar all of our stories are. It hurts me
every day. I walk past my son’s ultra sound pictures, footprints and marble casing that sit on a
book shelf for the world to see…I should have my little boy right now, and I don’t. It isn’t fair,
life isn’t fair. It still bothers me how women who hate babies, who have never wanted babies,
who cant care for babies, and have no means of supporting a baby have healthy happy babies
without a care in the world.

I completely understand the meaning, “god doesn’t give you what you can’t handle”. Umm, well
I guess I’m just at loss for words. I handled it to the best that I could, but by no means did I
pray for a dead baby. I wasn’t in need of gods help at the time, but I was in desperate need of
his help once he blessed me with HG. I don’t get it, I needed him, and he wasn’t there…!

There are thousands of women who terminate wanted pregnancies because they can’t handle the
power of HG, we are not in the right state of mind by any means, and we are angry, helpless
and stuck sitting on a couch with one question, WHY!!! Why me???

Question- if Hyperemesis is in god’s hands as everything else in this wonderful world is, then
why aren’t doctors constantly trying new approaches to helping women who endure this sickness
find a cure? I was basically a guinea pig for 6 months, using medications that were supposed to
ease if not completely subside the nausea and vomiting but never did. My baby’s life was in gods
hands from day one, he was either going to make it or he wasn’t, and he didn’t…

Just one bullet

I prayed everyday, please god, Jesus, lord, who ever, make my sickness go away and one day it
did. Immediately after I delivered Blake I never once vomited again, I felt as though I could but
nothing would come out… I would have never even bother god, Jesus or the lord if I knew
asking for help was going to terminate my baby’s life. I know he was so little but I think every
day if he suffered from my sickness, weather he was in so much pain he couldn’t take it anymore.
I will never know. I was not in the right state of mind, I sat on a couch or my hospital beds for
months. The only thing that would cross my mind was termination. I have never terminated a
baby for any reason nor did it ever cross my mind once I got my positive result on the
pregnancy test. But HG made me crazy. It mentally alters your mind in to making you feel it’s
your fault and this is why your baby is in danger. I wasn’t nor am I now mentally unstable, but I
will admit at times I thought just one bullet and this will be all over, just one slight slip of my
finger on the trigger, no more pain and no more suffering. No one understood what I was going
through, not my mom or my sister. My sister thinks I need help. Well, why shouldn’t she, she’s
had perfect text book pregnancies her entire life. She has no clue what its like to feel helpless,
scared that you may never take another breath again. Maybe I do need help; but I wasn’t the one
who brought this disease on. I wasn’t an alcoholic, druggie, nor did I have an eating disorder, I
was happy, I was pregnant and I actually wanted my baby! I don’t think I need help in a way
that I don’t pity pregnant women that complain about the dumbest crap. I don’t care if your baby
kicked and you hate it, be thankful there actually still kicking…
I know how I felt and I know how I feel now, it’s so hard to get my point across for people to
completely understand it without hurting some ones feelings… When I say I had morning
sickness, it wasn’t normal morning sickness, it was beyond morning sickness. I don’t pity you if
you vomit a few times a day, women don’t know what vomiting is until they have lived a
pregnant day in my sick pregnant shoes. I don’t pity those women because they don’t appreciate
the fact that their belly is growing, their baby is alive and they do not struggle every minute to
get past to the next hour. I wanted a baby bump more than anything, I pictured wearing
maternity clothes, and I would always brows the maternity section even when I wasn’t pregnant
just to scope out the new cute clothes in style. I wanted my bump…! I was 6 months Prego and
I looked like I had cancer. My once tight jeans, shirts, under ware, spandex, everything, was now
hanging/falling off me. When spandex is loose on you, there is definitely a problem…

I now completely understand where my Hg friends are coming from when they say hurtful
things. One of my friends said I wasn’t a friend because I was being mean; it’s not mean just
because it’s the truth, what ever happened to “the truth hurts”…? It isn’t fair for us; we did not
wish this upon ourselves, we did not do this to ourselves, we prayed for happy pregnancies and
healthy babies. Our outcome, we got nothing! Granted, I feel for the people who aren’t sick, that
appreciate it and their babies die of unknown heart problems. Some women get sever HG as
others do not and they make it through the rough rocky road and get their present in the end, I
did not. I am very hurt and very angry. It’s just not fair…

I did not wish for this, I did not pray for this, I played the hand I was dealt and I came up
broke, literally… Mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially broke. I didn’t not realize that I
was gambling with my life as well as my baby’s life, but I was…

HG is a serious life threatening, life altering and life changing disease that very few know is out
there. We need to make people aware of this horrific disease. No woman ever imagines that they
will spend every waking second on a couch debating their life. Weather they should terminate the
pregnancy and live with the guilt forever or just take their own life to make all the pain and
suffering go away...

Here is a web page with more proof if no one will take my word for it:

http://drphil.com/slideshows/slideshow/3804/?id=3804&showID=881&versionID=

Thanks for looking…

People say the dumbest $h! T: One quote I will never forget, “at least you know you can get
pregnant”. Ya, because this is how I imagined I would spend my 9 months, if I would even
make it that far… People think…!

I am searching for help, I want to have a baby so bad but I am deathly afraid of dying in the
process… Please help

Amber