With third pregnancy for Princess Kate we revisit morning sickness hacks

Morning Sickness Hacks for Princess Kate by @MissLoriBack when Princess Kate announced her 2nd pregnancy I penned a blog post letter of suggestions to her as a fellow sufferer of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, under my Babble.com byline. With the news of a third child on the way for the Duchess of Cambridge I thought an update was in order. While I finished having babies at number 3, because of my third childs’ nearly life long fight with chronic illness my thoughts on HG have continued to gestate. My daughter Jaedyn suffers from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS). With these issues, and her original battle with acute recurring pancreatitis, she has lived with constant, insufferable nausea. As I sought a better understanding of her ailments I realized that I too had experienced some of her symptoms back when I was pregnant with her and her siblings. Making that connection went a long way towards my being able to offer more than just sympathetic platitudes in response to her suffering. I was able to give her some actual concrete suggestions for dealing with elements of her condition that spends most of the time cruely hiding the keys to successful treatment.

Dear #PrincessKate, I’m a woman who’s kneeled at the porcelain throne thru 3 pregnancies and survived to tell the story. @MissLori

Originally when I first wrote to the Duchess of Cambridge I thought HG mimicked POTS and ME, but in this my 10th year traversing my daughter’s medical conundrum, I now think that HG is actually an offspring of the POTS and MECFS syndromes. While there are still no comprehensive, standard treatment protocols for any of these iterations my daughter’s long time GI doctor Dr Brian M. Edelstein and I have discovered a protocol that has improved my daughter’s quality of life immensely; bi-weekly hydration infusions of lactaid ringers solution. We have coupled that with the suggestions from her GI and Neuro doctors from The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Drs Thomas and Gisela Chelimsky. They advocate for an increased ingestion of sodium, potassium, riboflavin, and alpha lipoid acid. We started this protocol for Jaedyn in hospital at the beginning of 2017. Immediately we saw improvements in her cognitive functions and her ability to hydrate and nourish herself freely, as well as an easing of her nausea. My daughter now receives 2 liter infusions twice a week, but we are planning to expand that out to 1 liter three times a week in order to give her more hours in the day of freedom. In the coming weeks I will detail my daughter Jaedyn’s medical journey and how I have used the knowledge I have acquired from her odyssey to battle serious medical issues of my other two children and now even my mother. (#helpjaedyn)

Infusions would have eased my stress considerably, which is something that a pregnant woman needs to keep in check. @MissLori

I received single IV hydration infusions in hospital with my second and third pregnancies, but only after I had become so dehydrated that I was passing out. Watching the effects regular infusions have had on my daughter has me convinced that had I received regular infusions during my battle with hyperemesis gravidarum I would have been able to nourish myself with greater free will and lessened my contributions to the porcelain throne. As such, infusions would have eased my stress considerably, which is something that a pregnant woman needs to keep in check to protect the health of their growing fetus. Best of all regular hydration infusions would have allowed me to remain actively involved in the day to day events of my other young children, keeping our family unit universally cared for as we excitedly prepared for the arrival of our newest member. Hopefully these ideas will give the Duchess of Cambridge and other pregnant mothers something to discuss with their doctors as they seek medical assistance for this debilitating syndrome. However, I will forever wonder what my daughter’s medical prognosis would be today had my hyperemesis gravidarum been treated proactively instead of passively after the damage had been done. “What if’s” are hard. I hope that this post will help you avoid some.

I am a dogged, critical-thinking, research inclined mom educated by 10yrs of parenting a chronically ill child. @MissLori #HelpJaedyn

While being pregnant is not an illness Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a very serious medical condition that can have devastating effects on Mom and fetus, and can even lead to complications for baby after birth. So don’t hide your suffering in shame. The only people who should hide in shame are those making jokes about “morning sickness,” and negating your suffering. There is nothing more challenging than growing a human being inside your uterus. Please seek help if you need it. And keep asking for it until you get it.

The only people who should hide in shame are those making jokes about “morning sickness,” and negating your suffering. @MissLori

I am quite sure that Princess Kate has the best doctors available guiding her pregnancy, but most other women aren’t so lucky, so I share this information with them front of mind. Remember I am not a doctor a nurse. I don’t even play one on TV! However, what I am is a dogged, critical-thinking, research inclined mother educated by 10 years of parenting a child chronically ill with a very rare syndrome. In the meantime, I am reposting my original letter to Princess Kate with an addendum update, hoping it will bring some comfort and relief to her and the millions of other women out there who are struggling with this debilitating condition in a time that would otherwise be far more joyous. As always if you have some suggestions of your own that you have found to be tried and true please share away. We are all in this together…or at least we should be.

SMILE On!

ML

 

(originally posted on Babble.com in 2014)

Dear Princess Kate,

I know we don’t know each other , but I wanted to reach out to you about your news. First of all, congratulations. Very exciting. I remember when I first found out that I was pregnant with my second child, everything felt that much more solidified. The idea of having two children really made me feel like a certified adult. And when the third came, well, by then I just felt outnumbered. :) With my first pregnancy I was sick all the time until my fifth month and then it was smooth sailing. I had no contemporaries around me who were having babies and my own mother had adopted me so I just assumed I was a big baby and just not taking to the pregnancy well. But by the time my second pregnancy came around it fast became clear that my “morning sickness” wasn’t typical at all and I most certainly wasn’t a big baby. I actually passed out in my home when I was alone with my 18 month old son. Beyond terrifying. You are lucky that you had people around you diagnosing your Hyperemesis Gravidarum right away in your first pregnancy. Once it was diagnosed for me during the second pregnancy I knew what to expect by the time the third came around. Well, I thought I did except that I found the symptoms increased in intensity with each child. With that in mind I want to share with you some tricks that I learned that got me through all of the rumbling, tumbling, gurgling, curdling, gagging and up chucking. I am not a doctor. Heck, I don’t even play one on TV. But I am a woman who has kneeled at the porcelain throne through three pregnancies and survived to tell the story about it. Mothers, even those across the pond, need to help each other out whenever we can.

Cheers!

Miss Lori

 

We are all in this together…or at least we should be. @MissLori

 

Eat absolutely anything that makes your tummy happy this isn’t the time to watch your waistline. It’s going to expand no matter what.

Keep hard candies on hand. As much as possible you don’t want to leave your stomach empty. An empty tummy is a hornry tummy. But sometimes, as I am sure you already know, eating is just out of the question. That’s why I kept a handful of hard candies available at all times. Sucking on a hard candy would often keep my stomach juices at bay long enough for me to develop a new taste for some sort of food.

Orange soda. Everyone always told me to rink Ginger Ale. That it would calm the curdling in my stomach. It never did it for me. What did was orange soda. I don’t know why, but I gotta tell ya, with as much distress as I was in I really didn’t care. I was just happy to have something work.

Don’t stick out your tongue to brush it. It’s easy to forget when brushing your tongue is a life long habit, but I found that in doing so I was sure to gag myself with distressing results.

Use flavored water to rinse your mouth out. When the inevitable happens you will need to rinse your mouth out. Regular water or even mouthwash can lead to repeat performances. I found water with lite flavoring like brio helped to refresh me without igniting more stomach gurgling.

Avoid dairy during the day. Dairy creates mucus and mucus can leave you gurgling. That’s bad enough, but if and when you have to bend over the porcelain throne dairy will bring about a significantly more unpleasant episode.

Keep a small refrigerator in your bedroom. Invariably you will wake up hungry. Getting out of bed can make your stomach even more rumbly. Keep a small refrigerator in your bedroom stocked with your favorite late night snacks.

Greek yogurt in the middle of the night. Dairy during the day can be very unpleasant when you are   spending a lot of time up chucking your meals. However, during the night yogurt was a great and soothing option, particularly greek yogurt. Remember, protein and calcium compliment sleep.

Find a scent that calms you-agrees with you and keep a little satchel of it on hand. There are so many smells in the world. And when you are pregnant and suffering from HG those smells can leave you green at the gills and gasping for air. I found it helpful to keep a small satchel of a cinnamon because that scent never bothered me. Whenever I was assaulted by a fragrance that was working to make me swoon I would hold that satchel under my nose and breathe in relief.

Spaghetti O’s because it tastes the same going down and coming up. Nuff said.

Additional suggestions for 2017 and beyond:

Visualize your food before you eat it. You may already be doing this instinctively, trying out potential meals in for minds’ eye before ingesting. The visualization form mouth to tummy is key in determining what foods will have the best chance of going downing staying there. It can make decision making a longer and somewhat more arduous process, but you will be glad you took the time in the end.

If you get a craving eat it before you change position. Sometimes the act of changing your position can wipe a craving out completely. The problem is once you stand up you don’t just loose the craving you loose the taste for food in general potentially leaving you empty and ripe for an unpleasant episode. Put your team to work. Let them bring you food where you are. There will be time enough one the baby is born for you to get back to attending to their every need, I promise you. This is your time to be served.

Dixie Cups give you small victories. Sometimes when rebuilding your strength a bottle of liquid can seem like an insurmountable hurdle. Try a dixie cup full of your chosen libation and take the little win. The most important issue is to keep your stomach consistently occupied. Emptiness is not your friend. Try a dixie cup full of a protein shake every hour so that you have the fuel you need to continue to do the great work of growing that baby.

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