So Much To Be Thankful For

hot cocoaWhen I am pregnant, I have a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is not fun at all, it is a condition which you experience extreme nausea and vomiting, to the extent that you cannot keep anything down at all. It is not the same as morning sickness, and it can be fatal if not treated. There are four basic medications that can help control the sickness, unfortunately I am allergic to two of them, one of them didn’t work at all for me, and the fourth barely worked with my first pregnancy. Each pregnancy got a little worst, and by the time I was pregnant with the fourth babe, it wasn’t working at all. I know when I am pregnant, within two days of conceiving, it’s that bad. This time I was in the hospital four days after discovering I was pregnant. A week later I was in for a week and a half. Nothing was working medication wise so they just kept filling me up with fluids and sending me on my way. December 15th, two years ago ( I was only a few weeks pregnant), while Hubby and the boys were away at a wedding, my mom took me to the emergency room as she was really worried about me. Quite frankly, I was so sick I don’t think I realized how bad it was. They said it was a good thing she brought me in. I was promptly admitted and stayed on the maternity ward for the next two months. It was a very difficult time, and it was very hard to be away from my family. No treatment was working so they quickly decided to give me a picc line and for the next two months I was fed through a tube in my arm. It was a long two months, and there were a couple of big scares including one terrifying night that I tried not to panic after they discovered that I had a blood clot an inch away from my heart. By the time the middle of February rolled around, I was finally able to keep very small amounts of food down, for the first time in three months. Soon I was able to go home. For the rest of my pregnancy I was in and out of bed rest, and on tons of strong medications to keep the nausea under a bit of control. The last couple of weeks in my pregnancy, things started to get worse again. The vomiting was back with a vengeance and I was not able to get as much food and water down as I needed to keep the babe and I healthy. I was put on bed rest again as I was having problems with having too many contractions and I was oh, so ready to have this babe. After having my first three children completely naturally with no pain medication or intervention, this babe made her entrance via an emergency c-section. She was born severely tongue tied, so much so, that she couldn’t nurse. I spent the first two nights, in a fair amount of pain, pumping my milk and feeding it to my newborn in a tiny medicine cup. We ended up having to stay for a week as she wasn’t gaining enough weight, but eventually she got the hang of nursing and we were good to go. Two weeks later, I ended up in the emergency room as I was having a difficult time breathing. They told me it was a panic attack (because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong), but three days later I was back. I had a bunch of gall stones in my gall bladder and one had gotten loose and blocked off the duct to my liver. The doctor said she was amazed I wasn’t yellow, as my liver had almost completely stopped functioning. I was admitted once again, and had a minor surgery to correct the immediate problem. Once the little one hit six weeks (and my c-section scar was sufficiently healed) I went back for another surgery to remove my gall bladder. Needless to say, it has been a long two years. My estimated recovery time for just the pregnancy problems was 18 months, not counting the extra healing time I needed for 3 surgeries in six weeks. So last Christmas was spent pretty much recovering from a round of surgeries. All of this to say, that I have so much to be thankful for. After two difficult Christmases, and seventeen months of recovering time, I am finally feeling pretty much myself again. I have four beautiful, healthy children, and my own health is back. I am really looking forward to this season as it’s been a while since I had a really enjoyable one. Wow, I didn’t mean to go on for so long. I have so much to be thankful for, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat to have my beautiful children. Hope you all are having a wonderful time of year, and remembering that no matter how bad some things get, there is always something to be thankful for.

family • Monday, November 30th, 2009 • 17 Comments »
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17 Responses to “So Much To Be Thankful For”

  1. Pomona says:

    You poor thing – I know how serious it is – Charlotte Bronte died of it, and a friend of mine suffered in the same way. I am glad that you have recovered now – and I hope that this Christmas is better for you than previous ones.

    Pomona x

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Pomona, I discovered that Charlotte Bronte died of it shortly before I got pregnant with the babe, and so in tribute to her I listened to audio books of her books while I was in the hospital. The miracle of modern medicine, for sure, if I had been born then I would not have made it through myself let alone had four beautiful children.

  3. SparklePetal says:

    I have been reflecting on my pregnancy and birth experience (only my first!) today, as it’s my little girl’s first birthday. The birth was a very long-drawn-out affair, but I had *nothing* to complain about compared to what you’ve been through! I must agree though, there’s something about the fact that you get a baby out of it all that makes any difficulties fade into the background in a magical kind of way!

    I just popped over here from Attic24, so I’ll have a little look round now I’m here!

    SparklePetal x

  4. ginny says:

    golly jennifer you really have been through it… i am so pleased that you are now recovered and have your 4 beautiful children… yes … i agree lots to be thankful for… and i am so pleased also to tell you that you have won my giveaway… pop over to my blog to see … and if you could email me your postal address that would be great.
    warmest wishes to you
    ginny x

  5. French Knots says:

    Goodness, that must be awful feeling vile when you’re a Mum is just too much. And to be away from home for so long . I think the harder it is to have them the more thankful we are when we are lucky enough to have children. Things weren’t straight forward for me and sometimes I have to pinch myself – I have three lovely children and am so grateful for that.x

  6. Amy says:

    oh my gosh….that is a crazy story and you are a trooper.
    Sharing a story like that gives us readers so much more insight to the kind of person you are –which is clearly strong, gracious, and tenacious. Glad you are back to yourself finally.

  7. Anna, Sydney says:

    Oh hon, how brave of you to continue giving life. And thank goodness you came through to tell your story. Hope you have a lovely December and Christmas this year. x

  8. mark says:

    I am thankful that I got to watch the 3 older kids everyday while you were in the hospital for 2 months and Nathan was at work, and then go to work at night. lol But really, would do it all over again. I am thankful for you guys.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Thanks everybody, it feels really good to be back to normal. Mark, you will never know how much that meant to us that you sacrificed so much to help us with the kids. We love you.

  10. Emily says:

    Wow. I remember you briefly mentioning your condition when I met you but had no idea just how difficult it was. Praise God that you are healthy and have four beautiful children to be thankful for. What a journey you’ve been on!

  11. Your grace and fortitude are inspiring. Thank you for giving me some perspective on what it means to be a generous and strong mother.

  12. Sometimes I think it is amazing when women have easy, “normal” pregnancies and 100% healthy children. There are a million and one things that can go wrong.

    You must have wanted more than one child very badly to have gone through that four times. You do indeed have much to be thankful for and so does your family.

  13. Mousy Brown says:

    Wow – it sounds like you sure deserve a fabulous christmas this year – try and relax and just enjoy yourself – big hug x

  14. my goodness, that is some ordeal!
    thankful indeed.
    enjoy this year.

  15. Goodness gracious! What a wild adventure. I’m glad you see the beauty that are your four wonderful children as the outcome. That truly is something to be grateful for. Enjoy your christmas.

  16. The Editor says:

    gratitude is such an elevating exercise

    you are a warrior

    it is amazing what we can endure as mothers (i have three)

    blessings to you this season

  17. Concetta says:

    Oh Jennifer, you brave, amazing lady. I know a little of what it is to be knocked for six for bringing babes into the world, but boy oh boy, your journey has been a tough one. Thank God, that season is over and you can sink into the peace and happiness of being well with all your beautiful family this Christmas. cx

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