16 March 2011

Ten Weeks

Note to the reader: In case you haven't noticed, I'm talking bluntly about bodily functions in these posts. If you would really rather not read such information, now is the time to move along to something else.

Amazingly, this means I'm one quarter of the way through the forty weeks a pregnancy typically takes. (Don't get me started on how average gestation became a time limit...) It also means, based on previous experience, I probably have between four weeks (if I'm super lucky) and ten weeks (if things go the other way) till I feel good. Subtract four or five weeks till I'm functional but still pretty much feel like crap. And yes, that means I could feel functional any time now.

Monday evening I started taking Ondansetron (i.e., generic Zofran). This is an anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medication usually given to cancer patients. It is a Category B drug in pregnancy. It stops one from getting sick by blocking a chemical in ones brain that may be causing one to vomit. I've thrown up twice since I started taking it.

Now, don't get me wrong: twice in about 36 hours is far preferable to six or seven times in twelve hours, which is how I spent Saturday and Sunday. But, since it was my understanding that I shouldn't be throwing up at all while on this new medication, I called the midwives. They agreed and said I should come in for an analysis, and we'd decide what to do next based on what they found. Various possibilities were mentioned, up to admitting me to the hospital.

The good news is, none of them were necessary! My midwife was, "very happy with [my] urine!" — and yeah, it was as weird to be told that as it is to read it. Good, but weird. No ketones and I'm not dehydrated. So, that means I need to ... eat more!

Apparently, an empty pregnant stomach is a nauseous pregnant stomach. I was politely but firmly told I need to be eating, protein if possible, no more than every two hours. And keep drinking, as much as I can tolerate — dehydration also makes nausea worse. Scrambled eggs, cheese, nuts... keep stuff at my bedside, in my purse, whatever it takes. NEVER allow myself to feel hungry.

[Side note: she listened to the baby's heartbeat again, found it quite quickly, and it was nice and strong. As she said, "See, baby doesn't care if you're miserable."]

The problem is, nothing has been appealing to me. Lemon yogurt is okay, as is lemonade (from concentrate only). I was eating Ritz crackers with spreading cheese, but the last batch Chris brought up to me were, all of a sudden and without warning, totally revolting to me. Scrambled eggs are usually okay, as are hard boiled eggs (nothing liquid-y, please). I'd been okay with chicken noodle soup until a couple weeks ago, and with string cheese till I vomited shortly after eating some — if it doesn't come back up well, forget it.

To further complicate things, Chris has caught the tummy bug the girls have had, and so the idea of him prepping food for me has been ... unappealing. Having worked in hospital central processing (where the instruments are cleaned after use and prepped for reuse), so the man knows about cleaning his hands and all that. It's just... well, I don't need another reason to be puking, nor do I need diarrhea. And I have not been up to making my own food. There have been days when I've barely been up to getting to the bathroom on my own.

So I started thinking: what did I eat during the other pregnancies? Not Dorothy's, that was almost as bad as this one. Mairi's? Subway — but see earlier comment about not needing a reason to puke more. I have not had good luck with Subway and food poisoning. How about Nora's? McDonald's cheeseburgers, with everything but onions.

Now, if you read anything about NVP, it will tell you, "avoid greasy food!" Says so right there on the handout from the midwives, along with suggesting bland is better. But ... I'm desperate for something that will work here, folks. So, since it had already been a while since I ate anything, before going in to the midwives' office, I asked my Mom (my chauffeur, because Chris is sick and she keeps asking what she can do to help — have I mentioned I love having my folks live nearby?) to swing by McD's on the way home.

I'm telling you, nothing has tasted as good to me since I got pregnant as that cheeseburger did! I wasn't able to finish it, but I ate somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4. Mom offered to help make sure I ate something again in two hours, and after some discussion we agreed Dad would bring me another cheeseburger (side note: my dad was quite amused by being sent to McDonald's). He brought me a double cheeseburger (no onions!) and I ate nearly all of it, at least 9/10.

Supposedly, eating and drinking at the same time are a no-no, so when I finished the burger, I popped an Altoids peppermint in my mouth. When that was done, I drank my 8 oz. or so of lemonade. And people, I feel almost okay! Not good, not really, but not like I'm gonna have to dash for the porcelain god in the near future. I'm telling you, until you've been this ill (and I know some of my friends have been, for this or other reasons) we just don't know how grateful we should be for every day not spent nauseous and/or vomiting. And yet, I forgot. I think (once this is past) I'm going to say a prayer each morning: Thank you, God, for not waking up needing to puke. I'm serious!

So, we'll see where things go from here. Food, preferably protein, no more than two hours apart. Keep on the drugs. Sleep enough. Drink enough. Try not to spend all day in bed — I think I feel better when I'm not lying down, especially when I eat. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have better news in the "Eleven Weeks" post.

*knocking on wood!*

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