I had my usual appointment with Dr. Risky today, and I went in feeling like absolute crap. Normally my morning sickness follows a good day/bad day pattern. I consider it a good day if I keep down more than 50% of my food and liquid intake. A bad day is less. But, for the last week-ish, I’ve had more bad days than good. This morning I was nauseated and couldn’t keep anything down, even liquids. Right away, Dr. Risky’s nurses were concerned. I had trouble producing enough urine for my usual sample, and I was showing other signs of dehydration (dark urine, ketones, chapped lips, headache) (I also threw up in their office – twice). The nurses immediately started talking about me needing IV fluids.
Unfortunately, Dr. Risky was in an emergency delivery so I had to wait a while. Her nurses let me lay down in an exam room instead of sit in the waiting room, which was so nice. Eventually (three hours later) Dr. Risky returned from the delivery and gave me an ultrasound.
The baby looked great. Perfect growth, strong heartbeat, and s/he was flipping around like an acrobat in there. It was like the baby was waving hello to us. Mike later joked that the baby was actually saying, “HELLO I AM THIRSTY!”
Dr. Risky was concerned by my dehydration, and sent me to the ER for IV hydration. No one likes IVs, but I was kind of relieved because I knew it would make me feel better. Luckily, I was taken back quickly and was soon shivering under four blankets while cool saline and zofran flowed into my bloodstream.
After the bag was done, the resident and attending came in to check on me. They asked me if I had to go to the bathroom…I didn’t. So, another liter of saline was ordered. Once that bag was finished, a nurse came into my room and walked me to a bathroom for a urine sample. I managed to squeeze out a small bit for the sample, then climbed back under the blankets. The doctors and nurses were shocked that after two liters of saline, I had hardly any urine output. At this point, they started talking about admitting me.
Dr. Risky was consulted, and she asked them to give me one more liter of saline before she’d even think about admitting me (I love her). Luckily, that last bag of fluid made the ER doctors happy enough with my vitals that they discharged me. They weren’t thrilled that I didn’t urinate even after the third bag, but we all agreed that the hospital was too germy a place for a pregnant lady. They were also certain that the fluids would catch up with me on our hour-long drive home. They didn’t, but I have peed twice in the four hours since arriving home so maybe it will be a delayed reaction.
Severe morning sickness can be really frustrating because it’s not often taken seriously. For example, the admitting nurse at the ER said to me, “Why don’t you just drink more water?” I explained to her that I drink plenty of fluids, but I can’t always keep them down. It was only after I told the doctors my history of morning sickness throughout the lengths of both of my pregnancies that they realized I wasn’t just some dumb lady who doesn’t drink enough liquids. The ER attending, however, was very understanding, and explained to me and the ER residents that my dehydration was a build up of several days of not getting enough fluids, and that it’s a common symptom for women with hyperemesis gravidarum.
I have my fingers crossed that this morning sickness will be typical and go away soon, but I am prepared for it to linger like it did with my first two pregnancies. I have my zofran and will continue to do everything I can to keep down food and liquids. It’s not fun but in the end, it will all be worth it when we get to meet that little acrobat.