Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not Your Ordinary Morning Sickness...

As most of you know, during the first trimester most women experience the ever so common morning sickness, which consists of nausea and vomiting. Most pregnant women feel as though they’re going to vomit everything they ingest, or feel as though most odors nauseate them to the point of vomiting. Yet, there is a small percentage of pregnant women (about 0.3% to 2%) who become afflicted with a condition called “Hyperemesis Gravidarum,” which differs from ordinary morning sickness in that those afflicted become extremely dehydrated and continue to loose weight. Three symptoms confirm extensive vomiting: ketosis, weight loss, and dehydration. “Hyperemesis gravidarum is uncontrollable vomiting during pregnancy that results in dehydration and ketosis.”

A women must receive IV infusion of water, glucose, and electrolytes to correct the dehydration. As far as the nausea and vomiting go, well, medication is the best bet. Stormy’s drug of choice is “ ondansetron (Zofran).” The major downside to this medication is the cost — I’ll spare you the price as some of you may feel sick to your stomach, and since this post is about vomiting and all, we don’t want any of that, now do we. Zofran is often administered to cancer patients for similar symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

Stormy’s mom, Carolyn, has always said that Stormy was “special.” Given that only 0.3% to 2% of pregnant women develop this extreme condition, I’d say that’s pretty special —although the experience in of itself isn’t special by any means. Still, it’s a fifty-fifty chance that a pregnant women will develop this condition if she developed during a previous pregnancy. As many of you know, Stormy experienced what some would call a horrific pregnancy the first go around. All the same, and as special as she is, hyperemesis gravidarum is back. Still, Stormy and I were discussing on the way home from the infusion clinic yesterday about the differences in this pregnancy to that of Sofía’s, and Stormy made the comment that the one major difference is that, even though she’s vomiting and dehydrated, she can look at Sofía and smile and feel a little bit better. Sofía has adopted a practice that is quite endearing; she sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” whenever mommy isn’t feeling well.

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