Sunday, December 21, 2008

Putting it all in perspective - an explanation for my general crapness since June

This is going to be VERY self indugent, you have been warned. But for the last few days I've felt I needed to get this all down to put into perspective what has going on with me and the "joys" of pregnancy.
This might, in fairness, be a little TMI at times so you have been warned. Anyone of a sensitive disposition should run away, screaming, at this point.

Anyway, on June 25 (the husband's birthday) I got a very faint positive line on a pregnancy test. However I had managed to get distracted between the peeing and the reading of the result so couldn't be sure it was an accurate result and convinced myself it was purely an evaporation line. This was despite feeling rough as the proverbial badger's arse for the previous 10 days.
The following day, I started bleeding so was convinced it had indeed been only an evaporation line and came home from work - poured a mahoosive glass of wine and drowned my sorrows.
Only I was still feeling sick and, well, pregnant.
I was convinced to test again and a positive line came up straight away (no distractions) so immediately all I could think was that yes, I was beduffed, but feck it, I was already miscarrying.
My head, as they say round these parts, was a marly.

The next day, bleeding having stopped, I bought a Clear Blue Digital test which proclaimed "pregnant" at me in large letters and this was one about 2689 pregnancy tests I did over the coming weeks.
Feeling sick as a dog I soon started to feel sorry for myself but reminded myself that with the boy I had felt sick til 13 weeks and then been just fine for the remainder of my pregnancy. The countdown to 13 weeks started in earnest. I would feel well again then - and be able to eat and do what I wished.

At 6 weeks and 2 days beduffed, I started bleeding again. Bright red blood. Now I'd bled with the boy - but it had been browny and "old blood" and he had been fine and while it had been scary, it was nowhere near as scary as bright red blood. I took a panic, told a colleague tearfully in work and she whisked me to A&E - where I did yet another pregnancy test and was sent for a scan.
Now by 6 weeks you should see something in a scan - but they couldn't. They thought they saw a yoke sack, and possibly a foetal pole (which is basically a dot) but there was no heartbeat or anything discernably baby looking.

I was told to go home, rest, and wait it out for two weeks before a rescan. All the while still bleeding. (With that fecking Leona Lewis song playing through my head the whole time... "keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding").

It was the longest two weeks of my life. And yet I was feeling sicker and sicker. (I started to wonder was it possible to actually feel any sicker?) But when we reached 8 weeks (5 weeks before the hurrah! 13 week mark) I was taken for me scan.
And lo, there was a heartbeat and a shrimpy shaped thing on screen wiggling at us. Our baby was alive. The bleeding had stopped. We would most likely be parents again.

13 weeks came and went - the sickness just came and came. I went to Dublin at 14 weeks for book promo and ended up violently ill in Bewley's Hotel (entirely pregnancy related). I learned the valuable lesson that day that mushrooms take a long time to digest.

Two weeks later I went to Dublin again thinking I would be safe if I flew down- and spent the day trying not to be sick - only to find on the flight home that there was nothing in this world which was going to stop me puking. All over myself. Twas not my finest hour.

At that stage (16 weeks and three weeks past the magical 13 week mark) I begged the doctor for help and was prescribed metoclopromide for hyperemesis - even though at that stage I was only being physically sick 2/3 times a week - the nausea was becoming a little much to take.

So I took metoclopromide for 8 weeks until I was advised to try not taking it - just to see how I went. By this stage, I should say, even on medication I was now being sick daily.

The day after I took my last metoclopromide I woke in what can only be described as a state of panic. (I should state that two weeks prior to this, partly I think to the constant sickness, I had been diagnosed once again with my arch nemesis depression and put on Prozac- I have thought long and hard about revealing that on this blog but as I have been so open about my depression in the past it would be remiss of me to pretend to be just fine and dandy now).

Anyway, that panic attack didn't lift and was accompanied by constant retching, throwing up and a total loss of appetite. I spent that weekend crying, throwing up and feeling utterly, utterly rotten. I can put my hand on my heart and say that I have never felt so low - so utterly in hell - as I did that weekend.
And yet my brain was addled. By Monday morning - despite not having eaten in three days, not being able to keep water down and bursting into tears at every opportunity I insisted on getting ready for work. I dressed, throwing up into a basin beside me, and it was only when I narrowly avoided fainting that I realised something was seriously wrong. By that stage I couldn't even keep a sip of water down.

Cue me being taken to the doctors and admitted to hospital (see post further down about that).
I was rehydrated, given different medication and urged to keep taking the Prozac. The panic didn't ease. I spent hours staring into space feeling as if I wanted to give up. I saw no joy in anything - I just felt beyond wretched. In many ways I think I had a breakdown of sorts - which I know was contributed to by the dehydration.

Earlier this week, or perhaps last, something changed. Whether it was body recovering from the dehydration - whether it is the new anti-sickness medication (valoid) working, or the Prozac kicking in I have felt able to cope. Yes, I'm still being sick on a daily basis and it does get me down - despite having mastered the art of projectile vomiting - but I see hope and joy again.

I can put my hand on my heart and say in the last week I have finally been able to feel excited about the prospect of being a mum again - and it's not forced or because I should feel that way. It is genuinely and honestly how I feel - and it had destroyed me for a long time not feeling any glimmer of hope or excitement.

So if you want to know why I've not been posting as much, now you do. I felt the need to share so that anyone else going through this doesn't feel quite so alone.


Emerging Writer said...

Oh poor you, Claire. My heart goes out to you. 9 months is a long time when you're wretched. It's more common than you would think though.

bfs said...

♥♥♥ to you and your little baby growing and growing. What a dreadful deal to be so sick for so long.

Fionnuala said...

Asmfuzzy haired Gilbert O'Sullivan once said...'Oh Claire'
I really feel for you. Nine months is a terribly long time when you're living it day by day, moment by moment. As you know, I to went through it but my little Madam, now 20 is such an incredible person that she would have to have been hard earned!
Sending you virtual hugs and kisses,

Stickhead said...

Oh Claire - to say you've been through the mill a bit with this one would be the understatement of the year! I think talking about 'this' side of things is so so important and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing it and I am sure you will be a ray of hope to the others out there who are going through similar.

I really hope that that glimmer of hope grows and grows and you are able to get through the remaining weeks with at least a little bit of respite.

Thinking of you and have a lovely Christmas.


Evie said...


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