Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Eight Weeks, Five Days: Feeling Better and Growing Baby!

I have been feeling much better today than I have over the last few days. I was up to going to one of my classes earlier today, but then slept the rest of the day. The drug phenegran (also known as promethazine) is one of the better working medications I am on right now (along with zofran, reglan, vistaril, and a B6 vitamin supplement), but it knocks me out like you wouldn't believe. I started with just a prescription for zofran, but it stopped working after about a week. Then I was prescribed reglan (which also made me very restless and made it hard to sleep at night), which also stopped working after about a week. Now that I am on a combination of the zofran, reglan, phenegran, vistaril, and B6, I'm doing far better than I was with any of the drugs on their own. I am still very nauseated but I haven't thrown up since coming back from the hospital on Monday.

Today I was able to eat fairly well, although my food choices were not all that exciting: granola bars, and cheese sandwiches. I also just had a plate of pickles after randomly getting a craving for them. I'll definitely take the strange cravings over throwing up at the slightest foul smell!

They say morning sickness (or HG in my case) peaks around the 8-9 week mark. Well, I'm eight weeks and five days, so even though I'm in the worst of it, I can take comfort that it will be gone soon. I can also be glad that baby is growing and growing and growing like crazy! Here's a picture of the seven week ultrasound, and the eight week ultrasound. It's amazing how fast the little one grew!

Seven Weeks
Eight Weeks
I will be nine weeks on Friday, and will have another update for you then! Keep us in your prayers, especially for baby's health.

Love Always,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weeks Seven and Eight: Hyperemesis Gravidarum

...and what weeks they have been! I have never felt so sick in my life. I'd rather undergo the emergency appendectomy I had in Nicaragua while serving there as a missionary twenty times over than deal with any more morning sickness.

However, after a visit to the hospital last week, and another one yesterday for severe dehydration and non-stop vomiting, I found out that just plain old run-of-the-mill morning sickness wasn't the culprit causing my misery. It's actually a very severe condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, "a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance". It's like morning sickness on steriods, and it is terrifying. There's nothing worse than throwing up even the smallest sip of water and losing multiple pounds each day when there's a little baby trying to grow big and strong inside of you!

Yesterday, I was in the labor and delivery unit of the hospital for over twelve hours for treatment. I was given what seemed like a million different kinds of drugs, and two liters of IV fluids. Nothing worked. I asked to be sent home before they could admit me, with a combination of two drugs that take the edge off, promethazine and vistaril (a drug I used to take for anxiety). These drugs help make the nausea a little more bearable and I haven't thrown up since coming home last night, but I still don't feel close to even 100% better. 10% would be pushing it.

I do get a little frustrated some times, because hyperemesis gravidarum (we'll call it HG from here on out) is not widely known about or understood. It has gotten some spotlight since Kate Middleton was diagnosed with it and spent some time in the hospital getting treatment, but overall, it's fairly unheard of. Most people see me running to the bathroom or gagging and say "Eat some crackers, drink some ginger ale." I promise you, if that helped, I'd be doing it constantly. Unfortunately, it doesn't help, and some people just don't understand that HG doesn't go away magically with a few saltines and a nap. The eight pounds I've lost will vouch for that.

If you have HG, or would like to learn more about HG, it's symptoms, how common it is, and how you can help, please visit, the website for the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation. It's great learning resource, and has helped me tremendously as I battle the "morning sickness from hell".

Love Always,
Ellie (and Baby P)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Coming November 2013...

Baby Popeney!

  • - Mom is between 6 weeks and 4 days and 6 weeks and 6 days, with great vital signs, and horrible morning sickness. She has lost almost 2 and a half pounds since she became pregnant. Her awesome OBGYN, Dr. Tran prescribed her some Zofran for the nausea, so hopefully she will be able to go back to her morning and late night classes (when her sickness is the worst!).
  • - Baby has a healthy, strong heartbeat, is growing fingers and toes, and is measuring about 0.25 inches (0.65 centimeters).
  • - Super Dad is exhausted from running to the store to buy mom strange food at all hours of the night, and working hard to get everything ready for the baby.
  • - Miss Sadie Lou is already aware of what is happening, and likes to rest her head on mom's tummy.

We were surprised by the positive pregnancy test on Monday, February 18th (Ellie's birthday), at just 3 weeks and 4 days. I had been suspicious for a few days and had tried a few tests from the dollar store. I eventually broke down and got a First Response test that can show early positive pregnancy results, and I am so glad I did! What a great birthday present! I took three more tests over the next two weeks just to be sure. :)

See the faint lines? We couldn't believe it!

And now for some belly pictures at five and six weeks! There isn't much of a bump just yet. I am just very bloated right now, but maybe the seven week picture (coming tomorrow) might show some progress!

We will be blogging with this pregnancy at least once a week until Baby Popeney is born, so please click "Follow" to stay updated on all of the exciting news!

Justin, Ellie, Sadie, and Baby Popeney