Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

If you never watch Dr. Phil, please watch it this Thursday, April 12. The topic will be hyperemesis gravidarum. Here is a description of HG that I borrowed from the Hyperemesis Education and Research website:

"HG is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the newborn(s). "

That paragraph is a very condensed version of what happened to me during the summer of 1998, when I was pregnant with Julia. This was not morning sickness, folks. Between June 4 and Sept. 19 of that year, I threw up around 15 times a day...and that is no exaggeration. I lost 35 pounds, missed two months of work and was hospitalized seven times for severe dehydration. To make matters worse, my doctor was clueless and had no idea what to do with me. (I also had HG with Jenna. It wasn't nearly as bad, but I was on home healthcare for a while.) After my ordeal was over, I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't find any information on HG on the web. So I started my own online community for women who had suffered or who were currently suffering from it. I met women from all over the world who had been through this horrible disease. I met many who had terminated their very much wanted pregnancies to save their own lives. I also met Kimber MacGibbon, who will be featured on Thursday's show. I eventually let my website go and later, Kimber and some others founded the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation, or HER. The HER Foundation website,, has excellent resources for HG patients and their families.

So little has been known about HG -- most survivors I've met had never heard of it until they were diagnosed with it. We campaigned Oprah for years to do a show on it without success. But we got Dr. Phil, and isn't he the next best thing? Please pray for this show to help shatter the silence and ignorance that has surrounded HG for too long. And pray for research and a cure. Julia knows now how sick I was with her, and how blessed we are for her to have been born healthy after I didn't digest anything for almost half my pregnancy. I pray for medical advancements to be made so my girls can have the joy in their pregnancies that I couldn't have in mine.

Please watch the show! Someone you love may have HG one day.

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  • At Tue Apr 10, 12:27:00 PM, Blogger Sarah P said…

    One of my friends from ACU had that with her first baby and is in the process of enduring another pregnancy the same way with baby Sam who isn't scheduled to debut for a while. I'll have to email you her link so you can encourage her. She's having a pretty rough go of it.

  • At Tue Apr 10, 12:46:00 PM, Blogger David U said…

    Deana, this has NOTHING to do with your post.......sorry! But I just noticed you are now in Arkansas! When did you move and do you ever get to Searcy? Email me and give me the skinny.


  • At Tue Apr 10, 03:02:00 PM, Blogger Karen said…

    We had a sweet sister in our old church back in Omaha who dealt with the same problem with her pregnancy... to make matters worse, her husband was deployed during much of her pregnancy. We were thankful she was able to have a safe delivery (my husband was on hand to do her epidural!). A few months later, her sister developed HG with her pregnancy; our friend felt so grateful that she could offer support and understanding to her.

  • At Tue Apr 10, 06:36:00 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    My neice that Sarah P mentioned is very sick! Baby Sam is a fighter but goodness she is too. Bless her heart, she just wants to be normal and go home. She even has a new house and has never seen it! She is not up to reading her emails as of yet but her mom and mom in law, hubby take them to her in the hospital. If you want to email her just leave me a message on my blog and I'll pass it on. I had never heard of it until Christine. Pray for her and all her tired family!

  • At Tue Apr 10, 07:19:00 PM, Anonymous mary beth said…

    michael's sister had that when she was pregnant with her twins! not good she almost lost the twins and she almost died!

  • At Tue Apr 10, 08:29:00 PM, Blogger mindy tyndall said…

    Deana...thanks for your post. I shared it with Christine and it encouraged her.
    This "disease" is a monster. It is so hard to watch it just take over. Little Jack made it through and we just know and pray that Sam will too!
    God bless you for sharing your story!

  • At Tue Apr 10, 10:09:00 PM, Blogger Giggi said…

    Thanks for sharing. I'm Christine's mother-in-law. We knew it was coming up on Dr. Phil but probably would've missed it, so thanks for sharing the date with us. She's having such a tough time, but many, many prayers are going up for her & Sam & we are trusting in our Great Physician to see us through! Your story encourages us so much! Thanks!

  • At Thu Apr 12, 04:48:00 PM, Blogger jettybetty said…

    I don't watch Dr Phil very much, but just did accidentally today--can you believe I had never heard of that--AND I know (go to church with) Christine that everyone is talking about here--and I didn't know that's what she has--I just knew she was extremely sick. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Did you have this all 3 pregnancies?

  • At Fri Apr 13, 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Hi Deana,

    I'm so sorry to hear what a hard time you had with your pregnancies. Makes mine seem like birthday parties. :) I'm glad that both your daughters are fine, as well as yourself now.

    I do have what I think is some important info about this illness. It has become more and more common as our culture's diet has turned more processed and artificial. I don't mean to annoy or imply that I know allllll about it... 'cos I know I'm no expert - but I thought this might be of help to you.

    Here's a link with some info: In particular, you may want to look at 3.14, but the rest of is is well worth the read.

    I've been following this lifestyle for a few months now and am starting to experience some great health that I have never previously experienced. I *think* I sent you a link to that blog I started a long time ago to chronicle my journey - if you're ever interested and want to read it please let me know and I'll resend the link.

    Sometimes health is a lot simpler, less mysterious than our medical establishment has made it out to be. Please understand, I'm by no means slamming doctors, if I broke a bone or got in a car wreck, get me to a hospital now. But doctors do not know much about nutrition, instead trying cocktails of different drugs to suppress our systems. I believe that if we treat our bodies well and live naturally, we need never fear "incurable" and chronic conditions that affect so many. Our bodies were wonderfully created by God to be self-healing if life conditions (diet and other important factors) are present.

    Take care and thanks for sharing your story and caring about women who go through this horrible condition.

  • At Fri Apr 13, 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At Fri Apr 13, 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Third try's a charm hopefully. The link didn't post entirely in my first comment.

    (just join the 2 lines to make 1 url)


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