Friday, October 12, 2007

What 50 Cent and I have in common

After I gave birth to Chicky, after all the bits were tidied and the craziness died down, I was offered the dinner menu showcasing the hospitals finest foods. And by "finest" I mean food of the institutional variety. Flavorless, cardboard meats, Jell-O, and crusty chocolate pudding. I was all over that menu like a starving dog.

I ordered a hamburger. The perfectly shaped patty, which in no way was formed by a human hand, was just like the ones I used to get in high school. I slathered it in ketchup from packets, and on the side was a small mound of almost colorless, thick-cut french fries. I slathered them in ketchup too.

While others held my new baby I took my first bite of that rubbery burger.

Then I took another bite, and another, stopping only to press a fry into my mouth. I finished that burger in no time, along with the french fries. I ate every last bite. It was the best thing I had ever tasted.

About halfway through my meal it occurred to me why I had enjoyed that meal so much. It had nothing to do with my misty water-colored memories of high school cafeteria lunches spent fiddling with my boyfriend's class ring on a chain around my neck while I nibbled on the same meal. It was because for the first time in 9 months I was able to eat something without fear of throwing it up. I could enjoy it, unlike all the other meals I had consumed since my OB-Gyn put me on Zofran five months before. I could savor every chewy bite and swallow without fear. It was pure heaven.

My prescription for generic Zofran was delivered to me Wednesday afternoon by one of my lovely girlfriends and it seems to be working. A little. I only have to run for the bathroom once or twice a day, but more importantly I have the desire to eat. Sometimes. The drug is not perfect.

I cannot even tell you how much I appreciate all your suggestions on combating morning sickness. Some of them helped a little bit, and that little bit meant a lot to this mama. But the problem with most of the remedies was that they relied heavily on eating. Eating is something I cannot do when I'm this sick. I can't force myself no matter how hard I try and if I do manage to choke something down it will immediately come right back up, every time. In a 48 hour period I consumed nothing more than half a package of Ramen noodles and a popsicle and nothing else. I almost passed out in the grocery store because I was so hungry and dehydrated.

I'm a strong believer in that life gives us what we need and what we do with it after is up to us to decide. At my most jittery, most desperate time I noticed a bottle of Vitamin Water in my refrigerator and a little voice in my head said, "Hey, I could drink that." And I did. And I really believe it kept me from going to the hospital. The funny thing is, the bottle had been in my fridge for a few days and for some reason I didn't notice it until then. My husband left it there before he left on his trip on Sunday.

Now, I know I'm all woozy and weird due to dehydration and little food for over a week and I'm not so crazy to say that Vitamin Water saved my life. But drinking that already watered down liquid was key to keeping me well. It could not have been any other sports drink or juice. It had to be Vitamin Water. Even now, with the drugs, it's the only thing I can drink. It's almost as satisfying as that hamburger.

Some of you have left me comments saying that you too went through this. Most of you told me that you also needed Zofran to maintain a somewhat normal life. The problem with this type of pregnancy-related sickness, whether or not you're officially diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, is that most people don't believe you're really as sick as you are. They'll sympathize, especially if they experienced some tough bouts with morning sickness themselves at times, but they'll be skeptical of your stories. And that's okay. I don't want you to understand because that would mean you had gone through it yourself. I don't wish that on my worst enemy.

So I hope you'll excuse me for waxing poetic about something as ridiculous as a flavored water. Without it, I wouldn't be able to take my Zofran. And without my Zofran I wouldn't have been able to even take a bite of that crispy chicken sandwich from McDonald's that I just ate. It wasn't a religious experience like the hospital hamburger, but it made me happy.

38 comments:

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

I'm first!! Better type quick...

I always thought pregnant people who said they were sick were either big babies or fakers. The woman closest to me never had those problems. Then I got pregnant and I realized how wrong I was!!

So glad to hear that you can eat something and maybe your misery will ease up.

Kevin Charnas said...

And as usual, I am humbled in the shadow of woman and all that she must endure.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Hang in there Chicky! Thinking of you and wishing you non-vomitous (yeah, I just made that word up) days ahead.

Team Zofran!

Miguelina. said...

Oh, thank God you're feeling better.

(So, what do you and 50 cent have in common? Yes, I am that unhip, or whatever kids call it these days.)

mothergoosemouse said...

I'm still digging the Vitamin Water. But I'm glad you've got the Zofran to go with it.

Mrs. Chicken said...

This made me so sad, Chicky! Sad and happy that you feel better. I hope that the rest of your pregnancy is better. And if I knew your address, I would send you a case of Vitamin Water. Instead, I send my good vibes.

margalit said...

I'm so glad you're feeling a bit better. Having dealt myself with this problem during my pregnancy I hesitate to say anything about 'morning sickness' because I'm so bitter. No vitamin water in those days, and I could only eat white food. The COLOR of food made me nauseated. Anything colorful made me sick. It was weird.

Drink vitamin water. If it helps, drink a lot of it. Vitamins are good for you and the baby.

jen said...

oh honey...i wish i was closer, that i could help in some way. Aside of course, from tele-celebrating the victory of game 1.

flutter said...

so glad you got some nourishment in you!

Phoenix said...

Keep drinking that Vitamin Water. At least you'll be hydrated.

A bite of a chicken sandwich is a good sign though. I hope you can eat again soon.

Toni said...

Those who don't believe women are as sick as they claim while pregnant have a) never experienced anything in the realm of what you are or b) cold, heartless, bastards.

Hip, Hip Hooray for Vitamin Water. During my last pregnancy, all I could drink was ginger ale. And, until that pregnancy, I hated ginger ale.

If it works, use it. Sending you lots of mental vitamin water and warm wishes!

slouching mom said...

Damn, Mrs. Chicky.

I believe you. I believe every word.

I'm just so sad that it has to be that way for you.

motherbumper said...

Relief, a tiny bit of relief is what I felt when I read this post because I've been worried about you buddy. I remember that first sandwich I ate post birthin' (it was out of a machine - three cheers for universal healthcare) and I'll be damned if that wasn't the best ham?/chicken?/turkey? mystery meat sandwich I've ever eaten. I'm happy that the Vit water saved you and damn girl, I'm happy to read about it.

BOSSY said...

When Bossy was "morning" sick, she spent her days clutching her sheets and dreaming of completing small tasks: like standing under a shower nozzle.

Alley Cat said...

It's hard to keep McDonald's down on a good day! I'm glad the vitamin water is helping.

ewe are here said...

I'm just happy you're starting to keep a bit of food down. Hooray for Zofran!

Jackie M said...

Hi Mrs. Chicky, thanks for sharing with us, I really can't express how alone I felt until my sister sent me a link to your blog & herbadmother's blog. I was feeling pathetic as I lay there fearing that I would need to go to the hospital to be rehydrated because I could not make myself drink or eat anything. I felt like it was mental, and I was lacking the ability to take care of myself. I literally sobbed as I read through the experiences people have shared on these blogs and in comments, and I am so grateful to everyone for sharing. I am finally entering my second trimester, and my nausea is no longer an all day companion, for which I am so grateful. Pregnancy number 1 (10 years ago!) was not like this. Regarding Vitamin Water, which my husband has been buying me - I also have had good luck with Fruit Punch Recharge, which is not as strong tasting as it sounds. I have struggled with the fact that one day I can eat something and the next day I can't, and I felt like I was running out of things that would not make me ill. Another thing that helped me a lot was "surprise" food. If my husband made something or brought me something that I did not have to smell or think about, I could usually eat a little more! Thanks again for all of your thoughts and comments and strength!

Ladybug's Picnic said...

So glad you're feeling better! Ironically, for me it was that first post delivery meal that made me sick! Not that I ate it - but the mere sight of salisbury steak after not eating for three days was enough to put me over the edge!

Mrs. Mustard said...

In my case, my sickness is the opposite: I only feel good while I am actively eating. That makes for very rough times when trying NOT to inhale 10 000 calories and gain 100 lbs in the pregnancy.

Blog Antagonist said...

HG is a very real condition, one which I've seen (but thankfully not experienced) first hand. I'm glad the meds are helping a bit.

I didn't read all the comments, so if I'm repeating something forgive me, but ginger is a natural antinausea antiemetic. Either natural fresh ginger or in things like ginger snaps or ginger ale. It won't be a magic bullet, but along with the meds it might help a little. There is also a product called Preggie Pops than contain ginger that might help.

Hang in there Chickie.

Alex Elliot said...

I'm glad you got the Zofran. I remember feeling really excited about Gatorade.

Candace said...

I've heard of this and how unbelievably awful it can be at times.... I was so excited when I got to the part about the chicken sandwhich!!
I am also drinking a vitamin water while I read your blog.....
hmm.

Major Bedhead said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better. I threw up every day for 7 months when I was pregnant with my first. I was too young and too scared to tell anyone that a.) I was pregnant and b.) once that became evident, that I was throwing up all the time. I passed out a couple of times, probably because of dehydration.

Vitamin Water really does rock. Big Papi even says so.

carrie said...

I had a similar religious experience with a Wendy's Frosty after the birth of my 2nd.

And hey, whatever works, I say do it. And three cheers for keeping anything down!

I hope it will only get better from here on out for you and that little peanut.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I'm so glad I didn't get that sick while pregnant. I'm so sorry you do.

You also reminded me of my post-birth Kit Kats. Mmmmmmmm. . . those were awesome.

Mommy off the Record said...

I am SO sorry you are so sick! I had m/s pretty bad, but never like this. I wish you many more enjoyable crispy chicken sandwiches. ((hugs))

kittenpie said...

Ah, I'm glad you're at least feeling that much better, and hope it keeps getting even better. Poor lady. (And my first mean was a PLATTER of sushi in the hospital bed as soon as I was allowed solid food. It was a deal I had with Misterpie for staying off it the whole pregnancy.)

Mom101 said...

Thanks for the reminder as to why those have experienced pregnancy feel part of a club. Initiation is hell, but it's worth it when the hazing is over.

Hang in there. Keep a case of Vitamin Water around.

FENICLE said...

Aw hang in there. I know it's rough...but the end will be awesomely rewarding - that I promise!

moosh in indy. said...

My first post partum meal?
Cod and spinach.
Better than Cheesecake and Sex (at the time at least)
Glad to hear you're drugged and YOU KNOW I KNOW WHAT'S UP.
Damn fools not believing you.

Hannah said...

So glad you're feeling better, if Mickey D's is doing it for you that's a big improvement over last week! My first post-delivery meal was a chicken sub from the subway in the hospital. Because mealtime wasn't scheduled for hours and I was starving. And it tasted like bliss.

Binky said...

Yay for Zofran, vitamin water and crispy chicken from McDonald's. But what's with the chicken? I thought pregnant women always craved the McFish (is that what it's called?) sandwich. What is that about, anyway? I mean, I never had that particular craving, but I hear about it all the time.

Velma said...

I have such empathy for you, because I don't think I'll ever forget what it was like to throw up 8 - 10 times a day for months. Horrific! I'm so glad you are feeling a bit better. I love the Vitamin water so much that my son (the cause of my own hyperemesis) refers to the stuff at "Mommy water."

Pendullum said...

Be Happy Mrs.Chicky... Be happy...
Do whatever gets you to where you can ingest....
So sad it has been a rough go....

Redneck Mommy said...

I wonder if I lived on that Vitamin Water if I'd finally be able to fit into my bikini for our trip...

I'm doubting it. Pathetic that I'm envying your morning sickness, isn't it?

Get better soon, friend.

Lawyer Mama said...

Zofran was a lifesaver for me, but it just took the edge off. Nothing ever really got rid of the horrible, horrible sickness.

When it first got really, really awful, one of the OB's in my practice actually said to me "Oh, everyone has a little nausea. Just suck it up and it'll be gone in a few weeks." I then proceeded to puke and dry heave all over his shoes. I had a prescription about 2.4 seconds later.

Lisa b said...

Chicky sadly I know how you feel.
You are right, people who haven't gone through it really don't get it.
It is completely dibilitating.
for almost a week I was off water.
like lawyer mama I found the meds just took the edge off. I really really hope it gets better for you.

Em said...

Can't say I know exactly how you feel as my "morning" sickness did go away at about 3 1/2 months, but I can say THANK THE LORD FOR ZOFRAN!

I ended up losing 15lbs in the first two weeks that I had morning sickness before my doctor gave me Zofran. Even with it I couldn't eat much and still lost it occasionally but at least it wasn't all day, every day anymore.

I sure hope things get better for you soon.

Thank goodness babies are so cute and sweet because it sure wouldn't be worth going through all the crap of pregnancy and labor without such a wonderful reward.