Thursday, October 2, 2014

Telling My Family & the Attack of Sickness

I thought it would be difficult for me to keep the big secret from people. Wrong-o. I liked it being a secret, just between me and Jordan. For some reason when we tell people I get all embarrassed and weird feeling. I don't know why...maybe it's just because it's a big change? Or it feels like it's asking for attention? Or because it's so surreal that I'm scared to tell? Or it makes it more real? Probably all of the above.



Anyway, none of my feelings on the matter changed the fact that we were forced to tell people due to the violent onslaught of my sickness. 

I was nearing the end of week 5 of the pregnancy. We were with my mom's side of the family at our annual beach vacation reunion at Myrtle Beach when things went awry. One day I was living it up on the beach, eating delicious food, playing Spike Ball, spending time with my beloved cousins, and then the next day I was annihilated by relentless vomiting.

Not nausea. 

Not morning sickness. 

Extreme stomach bug-like misery. Throwing up 20+ times a day horribleness.

It began en route to Moe's with the entire fam. Luckily I was in my parents' car with them and Jordan, which was actually weird now that I think about it that I wasn't with my cousins but I'm glad God worked that little detail out.

After confusing and shocking my parents by getting them to abruptly pull over (I never get car sick) (ps -- it's also quite hard to abruptly do anything in Myrtle Beach traffic), I ran out of the car and threw up immediately. Upon looking up, I realized I was directly beside an outdoor eating area at a restaurant. To the people who were having a nice dinner up until that moment: I am so, so sorry. But I probably didn't even look too out of place because, hey, it was Myrtle Beach.

Jordan helped me and we tried to play it off like we didn't know what happened or why it could've occurred. As soon as we met up with everyone else at Moe's and they had all been informed of the reason for our delay, my cousin Tom gave me an interesting look. Oh no, I thought. He knows.

And he did. Tom is an experienced health professional who has worked EMS and in the ER for years. He saw right through our little lies. He let me know he had liquid Zofran he could inject me with if I needed it (kind of as a joke) but didn't say anything about pregnancy. After I still felt badly the rest of the night and then woke up early with it in full force, I knew I needed help.

Tom came downstairs to our condo that morning and told Jordan, "Look, I think your wife needs to take a test." Jordan then walked him into our room where I was and Tom was officially the first to know our news. He wasn't really surprised besides the fact that no one else in the entire world knew, haha. Bless you, Tom! 

I naively wanted to wait and see if it subsided before resorting to medication. It absolutely did not. I was getting stick every 20-30 minutes consistently. We knew we had to tell the fam before they started to really worry or think I was possibly infecting them all with a terrible bug. 

I honestly cried about this whole thing because I had been dreaming of cute and fun ways to tell them (especially my parents for their first grandchild experience) and doing it this way seemed neither cute nor fun. Jordan thankfully was understanding of this and offered to find a way to make it a little bit fun.

Soooo, Jordan went down to the IGA to get me ginger ale, crackers, and some sort of something to tell my parents with. He came back with a little baby swimmer bottom thing. It was indeed cute. 

We waited for Tom and my aunt to leave the condo so it could be just my parents (my bro was still asleep). My dad was doing some back stretches on the floor and my mom was nearby at the kitchen table. Jordan basically just tossed the swim diaper to my dad and said something like, "We're gonna be needing this next year." 

It took them a second to realize what it was and what it meant. Then they just bear hugged me while tearing up. It's hard for me to remember because I was so sick, but it was sweet and cute and all that. :)

Then we made our way to the other condos in between vomiting sessions to tell the rest of my extended family. Even though it wasn't how we thought it would be, I'm so glad we got to tell them because the next time we would see them the baby would be born! (Lord willing.) We are very close with them even though we only see them once or twice a year. They were so excited. Well. The women were, the guys were just like oh wow, weird. Haha. 

Then dear angel Tom gave me the Zofran, which thankfully was able to be shot down my throat rather than injected. That gave me about five hours of relief so I was able to go on the beach one more time, sleep some, and eat a piece of bread with some ginger ale. Ha.

My very enthusiastic mom, great aunts, and cousin wanted to take a pic in honor of the baby news.



Unfortunately that was the only dosage of Zofran he had, so that night and the next day were absolutely miserable. I couldn't keep a sip of ANYTHING down, I was getting really dehydrated, and we had to make the trip home. That trip was pure misery. It's only a few hours of a drive but we had to pull over 9 or 10 times for me to throw up on the side of the road. I could barely even move or talk. I would grunt and point toward the door when I needed Jordan to pull over. 

When we finally pulled into our driveway I started crying tears of relief (although there weren't many actual tears due to the lack of moisture in my body). Looking back, we probably should have gone straight to the hospital at this point, but if you know me you know how I am -- even going to the doctor for any sickness is the last last resort for me always. I can't even remember the last time I went to the doctor besides my OB-GYN yearly check-up. BUT if you for some reason are reading this and experiencing this PLEASE go to the hospital and get meds and fluids! I knew I had my "I'm pregnant" doctor's appointment in a couple days so I thought I could make it until then.

Another dear angel who is a surgeon friend of ours called in an emergency prescription for Zofran and Phenergan for me. It took a while for Jordan to get it because it wasn't ready. All I remember is laying on the bed staring at the Google Chromecast screen on our tv at the pretty screensaver pictures, praying and willing each minute on the clock to pass so he could be home. Oh, and also **TMI alert** throwing up blood at this point.

Jordan returned and was quite scared of my kind of delirious demeanor and blood-puking state, so he prayed and prayed the medicine would work quickly. It thankfully knocked me out so I could sleep and drink a little bit of Gatorade. Jordan would wake me up to drink some Gatorade but I don't even remember that.

The next week was spent gradually getting liquids and some food into my system while trying to recover, thanks to the glorious medications. Of course I would prefer not to be on them, but at my doctor's appointment that week they confirmed that I needed both if I wanted to be able to get any nutrients at all. I was introduced to the term hyperemesis gravidarum (aka HG...if that sounds familiar you've probably heard it about Kate Middleton. Jordan thinks I should write her a letter and become bff's. I agree.) They also confirmed that I'm pregnant. Ha.

My mom and my amazing husband helped me constantly during this time. This was definitely love in action as I could do nothing for myself and I was a disgusting mess. Again, if you are in this situation please go to the hospital. Thankfully I was alright but it was due to these factors: medication in the nick of time, not having to work that week at all so I could sleep TONS, my mom/Jordan being able to be my nurses, and the lack of any existing children/major responsibilities at that time. Oh and by the grace of the Lord of course!

Seriously, His timing is amazing. If I had experienced this earlier in the year I would have had to miss many things that I had committed to. Which, of course, would have been worth it for the baby, but the end of the summer was a good time for me to be out of commission. Also Jordan had started studying every day for his upcoming engineering test, so he had already planned to be home when he wasn't working.

I'll tell more about how the sickness has gone in my first trimester post, and also about how we told Jordan's side of the family and friends. 

Please take this info as just a record of how things have gone, NOT as complaining. I am alright, the baby is growing, and the Lord has been completely faithful through good and bad. I can make a whole list of positives from all this, and I probably will. :)

Thank you for the sweet comments! I'm excited to be back into blogging!
Ashley

6 comments:

  1. Ashley, you're a great blogger! I always enjoy reading your stories :) Congratulations to you & Jordan, and glad to hear you're doing better!
    Pam I.

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  2. OH MY GOSH, Ash, I'm so thankful you're doing okay now! That sounds intense! I've heard of HG before but didn't realize how bad it was, so I'm glad that you were able to get it under control! Keeping you in my prayers in case it rears its head again!

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  3. I am so sorry friend! It is ROUGH. I was on Zofran until 33 weeks because I was so sick, people always told me to eat crackers and drink gingerale and I was like "Don't you think I've tried that?!". Throwing up multiple times a day is no fun and leaves you so drained. I feel you. I didn't gain weight until month 4 or so! But Ford is a happy and healthy baby boy, I loved knowing that each time I was sick, I knew my baby was growing!

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  4. Congratulations, Ashley! I'm so excited to hear your news. I am NOT excited to hear about the HG! But I'm thankful you've been able to manage it. And for the record, I totally think you should call Kate Middleton up and be BFFs... then your babies can be too!

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  5. Poor girl. My DIL was sick like that. AWFUL! Glad to know you are feeling better. Congrats again!

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  6. I sooo feel for you! I had hyperemesis with all three of my pregnancies (I had a miscarriage in my send pregnancy and am expecting my second child in January). It got worse with each pregnancy and medication didn't even work this time, but thank God for Intravenous fluids! Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly and always rememberwwhatever pregnancy difficulties you experience they will pass. Congrats and God bless!

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