Saturday, July 28, 2007

Morning Sickness? Hyperemesis Gravidarum? Zofran Pump?

I wish I had started this 6 months ago...there is so much ground to cover!!

The first 3 months I tried every remedy I had heard of with absolutely no relief (actually some of these remedies made me vomit more). I threw up everything I ate - between 5 and 10 times a day. Everyone told me that after 3 months I would feel great and have so much energy - I looked forward to that so much! After passing the 14 week mark we started to realize we were dealing with more than just average "morning sickness".

I was exhausted, John was frustrated and tired of his grumpy, sick wife (he also missed his homemade meals) - we were all at a loss. I lost 10 pounds and hardly looked pregant until I was in my 6 month. We realized I was suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is a morning sickness disease that less than 2% of women have during pregnancy. Of that 2% of women most feel better after 20 weeks. To read more about HG I have added a link on the right.

I talked to the nurse at my doctor's office daily. I tried all the different anti-nauseau medicine available - Reglan, Phenergan, B6, name it, I tried it. None of them gave me any relief from the nauseau and vomiting - plus, they made me tired, spacey and I felt weird. The final medicine - which is the strongest available - is Zofran. This medicine is normally given to chemo patients to alleviate nauseau. It costs around $30/PILL and you need to take 3/DAY!! Each bottle cost around $900!! Praise the Lord we have group insurance and they cover it. Zofran took the edge off my nauseau - but I still threw up everything I ate and drank.

I was on oral Zofran for almost 2 months when I hit my breaking point. I was weak, tired and hungry - I was absolutely miserable. Finally the nurse at my doctor's office had me go into the hospital and get an IV. I was there for a few hours and got 3 bags of fluid. After a miserable weekend, I called the doctor again on Monday. At this point they suggested something called a Zofran pump. I was totally freaked out to get this and dreaded having something attached to me at all times. A company called Matria sends a nurse to your home and hooks you up. I had to put a needle in my thigh and hook up a syringe - the syringe went in a tiny contraption (the size of a remote) that slowly administers the medicine throughout the day. I have to carry the pump with me at all times.

Here I am with my Zofran Pump in my tummy and IV

Zofran is tough on the tissue and you get a hard red knot about 3 inches around that really hurts!! Once it starts getting sore & red I have to change the location to another spot on my thigh or tummy. The result: tons of 3 inch around hard, red knots all over my thighs and stomach. It was really hard to sleep with all those sore spots!

Matria is the most amazing company. This company specializes in high risk pregnancies. They come to your home and have a 24 hour call line available. A nurse calls you daily to check in with you. The nurse I talk to daily, Jen, is a lifesaver. She helped me figure out my "triggers". These are things that guarantee vomiting and nauseau. Here are my triggers:

1. Drinking any amount of fluid (yes, even water)
2. Eating more than 3 or 4 bites of anything at a time (there must be at least 30 minutes between snacking on anything)
3. Motion (leaving the house for anything, being in a car, working around the house)
4. Eating anything other than carbs (I eat crackers, fruit popsicles, toast, bagels and a few nuts)

Once we pinpointed these triggers - I finally gave up on trying to eat a normal meal. Going out to eat is extremely depressing for me. I told John that a couple weeks after Levi is born we are going on a date (without Levi) to an expensive restaurant and I am going to EAT!!!!! I miss eating and drinking!! I have decided that with all the things I am going through there are 2 things I should be allowed to do:

1: Drink Alcohol (if anyone needs alcohol it is me) :)
2: Cuss :) (Everywhere I go my tubing from my IV and Zofran gets caught on doorknobs, drawers - anything that sticks out at all!!)


Ashli McCall said...


Sorry to see you've had such a rough time with HG. I had it four times and ended up writing a book on the disease. If you think it would help at this point, I'd be happy to send you a free, postage-paid copy. You can reach me at if you're interested.

Best of luck,

Ashli McCall

Jenna Gahlon said...

I can realte. I am 14 weeks pregnant with my second child, and crabby, tired, hungry and extremely thirsty. I had HG with my first one, it did end at about 18 weeks. I can not get to that point fast enough. It is hard to staY positive. This time is also harder because I have a little one at home to care for now also. My husband also is getting tired of it, and hungry! I had a PICC line inserted last week.

Anonymous said...

i experienced the same thing. i to had hg. it was emotionally devastating for me. i have never felt so weak. HG can make even a strong person very weak. i do not know how i survived, but i did. i have always wanted two kids, however i cannot envision myself going through that ordeal again. my daughter is 7 months and healthy, and although my ordeal is over, i am still emotionally traumatized, and cannot help but cry whenever i think of my pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

Ladies, i am now 14th week pregnant and having HG. it is difficult to explain to all docs around what i am going through. I am tired from IV fluids and I am extremely hungry. WE do not have in Jordan Zofran pump or IM injection, only oral tabs and IV injection. other medicine hier is not well know. I am praying that this suffering will stop one day

Mari said...

I just ran into yr blog while trying to do some research. I'm 14 weeks prego this week with my 4th child & I too am using the Zofran pump & IV. My family thinks something else must be wrong as I've never been like this before with my other pregnancies. I'm soooooooooo tired, run down & sick of being sick...I know you all know what I'm talking about. It's hard too cause I have a 9, 6 & 23 month old to take care of. To top things off my hubby has been having heart problems. The house is a mess, dishes go undone, the laundry's piling up...oh well it'll all get done eventually, right?
I'm thankfull that the zofran is working but the pain from the infusion site isn't too nice either, better that than nausea though.
It's hard to be excited about the pregnancy or a new baby when yr feeling so horrible though, i have always enjoyed my pregnancies but so far I'm not, i hope it all changes soon.

K@tty said...

Hi, Im 11 weeks pregnant and I've been on the zofran pump for about 3 weeks now. Yes, the vomiting has decreased but it has notcompletely stop. The nausea is always there and I keep getting frustrated at the whole situation. I stoped putting the site on my stomach since everytime I called for a demand dose would burn me, so now, i just have to put it on my tight, some days is hard to find a spot where it wont hurt. At first, I was just hoping to turn 12 weeks (thinking that it would b over by the first trimester), but the nurse told me that if anythng the earliest that it might stop it would be between the 16th and 18th week. This is so depressing. I feel I'm not even going to be able to enjoy my pregnancy. My husband has been very supportive but my siblings think is mental, that even gets me more frustrated... Who would want to be carrying a pump and staying home all day, all week, if it wouldnt be because you are really feeling sick? I just cant wait for this to be over, and be able to go to back to my normal like, and self.

Good luck to all of you.

Ashley said...

I am only 13 weeks prego and have been suffering ever since the 5th week. I was pregnant last year with twins and expierenced the same sickness, however we lost the babies at 10 weeks. My doc whom is amazing just put me on the zofran pump after trying ever anti nausea medicine under the sun. I was diagnosed with HG and found a very helpful website: Hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions needed.

Natalie said...

Hi, I can so sympathize with you all. I have three children and the HG started with the second and got worse with the third. I had Zofran and Phenergan both times. My husband and I are considering a fourth child. Do you think that the Zofran pump helps more than the oral pill or not a tremendous difference?

martha said...

My daughter is now experiencing her second HG pregnancy. The first time was so unexpected.....I had never heard of HG, she lost 30 lbs in one month and threw up constantly. She and her husband moved in with us so I could give her the round the clock care she needed.At 12 weeks they started her on steroids which made a huge difference. She gained the weight back and was able to resume her teaching job.She had a beautiful, 6lb baby girl. This time we were more prepared, in that we knew what might happen and sure enough at 4 weeks the non-stop vomiting began.Zofran had little effect the first time and hasn't helped much this time. Her doctors put in a PICC line and she has had PTN ( nutritional IV) for 3 weeks now. She is 10 weeks and we are praying that the steroids will help again, only 2 more week to go.HG is so awful and hard for people to understand, it is not just morning is so annoying when good meaning friends give the try a cracker, ginger, etc. advice. My laid-back daughter is now an emotional basket case, this is truly hell!!!

Holly said...

i too am on the zofran pump as of yesterday. I agree with everyone on this site, YES BEING SICK ALL THE TIME SUCKS!! I havent been sick yet but its probably becuase of the additional shot of zofran the nurse gave me yesterday before she left. ive had to use one bolus dose and it helped with in 15 minutes. Im hoping being sick will subside soon and hopefully my job will still be there when I am able to go back. If I able to go back