I was just reflecting on how my pregnancy is going. For the most part my pregnancy has been great and I mean that in ever since of the word. Great for me means “no persistent vomiting”. When I was pregnant with my daughter about 10 years ago, I had the worst pregnancy, I could imagine. And there is a name for the crap I had to go through about 7 months out of the 9 months of pregnancy and it is called “Hyperemesis gravidarum.” If you don’t know what that is let me give a little explanation;
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of morning sickness, with “unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.” Hyperemesis is considered a rare complication of pregnancy but, because nausea and vomiting during pregnancy exist on a continuum, there is often not a good diagnosis between common morning sickness and hyperemesis. Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women afflicted range from 0.3% to 2.0%.
So for 7 months of my pregnancy I couldn’t really eat or drink because I vomited everything up. The nurses called me around the clock. I was constantly dehydrated and having to go into the doctors so I could be rehydrated by needle. It was a very scary pregnancy. Not only did I have that issue but at about 5 months I was hit with a situation, the doctors thought my daughter might have Down Syndrome or Spina bifida.
Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition characterized by the presence of an extra copy of genetic material on the 21st chromosome, either in whole (trisomy 21) or part (such as due to translocations). The effects and extent of the extra copy vary greatly among people, depending on genetic history, and pure chance. The incidence of Down syndrome is estimated at 1 per 733 births, although it is statistically more common with older parents due to increased mutagenic exposures upon some older parents’ reproductive cells. Other factors may also play a role. Down syndrome occurs in all human populations, and analogous effects have been found in other species such as chimpanzees and mice.
Down syndrome is associated with some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics. Individuals with Down syndrome tend to have a lower-than-average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate disabilities. Many children with Down syndrome who have received family support, enrichment therapies, and tutoring have been known to graduate from high school and college, and enjoy employment in the work force. The average IQ of children with Down syndrome is around 50, compared to normal children with an IQ of 100. A small number have a severe to high degree of intellectual disability.
Spina bifida (Latin: “split spine”) is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. If the opening is large enough, this allows a portion of the spinal cord to protrude through the opening in the bones. There may or may not be a fluid-filled sac surrounding the spinal cord. Other neural tube defects include anencephaly, a condition in which the portion of the neural tube which will become the cerebrum does not close, and encephalocele, which results when other parts of the brain remain unfused.
I had to take a test that they normal give to a woman pregnant and over 35, they gave to me a 21 year old, and the test is called “amniocentesis.” That process in itself was very scary because there was a possibility of miscarriage if I went through with it. And there was also a possibility my child could have one of the two or both.
After making my decision to get the test to find out, me and my fiancé’ had to wait 2 weeks or more to get the results back. It was longest, most heart wrenching 2 weeks of our lives. I think even more so for my fiancé, he was so happy to become a dad, I think his heart broke even before the results.
When the results came back they were negative we were so relived but I was still sick as a dog.
Now that I’m pregnant with twins I can say I was very scared of going through the same thing but two times worst. Fortunately I had a good 3 months of morning sickness and that was it. I may occasionally throw up be nothing as severe as with my first pregnancy.
I’m thankful for that of course, seeing as there are so many other things I have to go through because I’m pregnant with twins. So throwing up every minute I think would have driven me crazy. I appreciate greatly I had someone by my side the entire time with my first pregnancy I don’t know if I could have gotten threw that by myself.