This is Starr Andrews Strong HGactivist short story of her nine months of hell . Starr’s full story will be in her book about her Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancy.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum before during and the aftermath is a volunteer base organization. We are a worldwide awareness organization dedicated to advocacy , give support to raise awareness
In all 3 aspects of HG.
the book will have the same title !
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Life before Hyperemesis Gravidarum . In this picture I was in Las Vegas at the stratosphere . This was a ride that shoots down . ” I was such a thrill seeker back then .
This photo was taken in the summer of 2007. I went to Las Vegas often ….
In May of 2010, I met the man I knew I was going to fall in love with and marry. On our first date we realized that we actually knew each other from a car club years before. We hit it off and got close very quickly. Everything just seemed to be going right for us; it truly was love at first sight with Robert and me.
About a month later, we announced our engagement to everyone. Most were happy for us, some were shocked, but we were happy, as well as our close family, so that’s all that mattered.
We set the wedding date for October 19, 2010 in Las Vegas. We talked about having a child, but I thought it wasn’t in the cards. At 21, I got into a very bad car accident when a drunk driver hit me and turned my world upside down. My back was broken and my legs were crushed. I was paralyzed and in a coma for over 8 months! I had to learn how to walk, talk, speak, read and write all over again.
With a lot of therapy and hard work, I slowly started to recover. I was also living with Fibromyalgia, a disease that causes widespread pain all over my body with no cure! I also have suffered from CVS ( Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome) the two together broke me down hard .
By the time Robert and I started dating, I was no longer using a wheelchair unless it was a bad day. Most days I could walk and some days I was stuck in bed, unable to move.
Following my accident, I was told I would never have any children. I was on a lot of medications and I had not had a period for eight years. When I was told this, I was in my early twenties and wasn’t ready for kids anyway. Now I was almost 31 years old, and I was so sad for my future because I wanted to settle down and have a family. I knew whatever God had in store for me was what he wanted; if it was his will, I would have children. Robert was okay with me not giving him a child as he had an 8 year old daughter from a previous relationship.
About the time I started dating Robert, my periods had returned, so I figured we could try for a family after our wedding. On July 12th, 2010, I started getting really nauseated after we had sex . I thought I was going to have a bad flare of my CVS and FM.
This type of nausea was different from the nausea I got from my chronic pain. I then started vomiting nonstop, sometimes 50-100 times in one day. I had bad stomach pain, I couldn’t keep any of my medications down, my throat was raw and I was vomiting blood. I couldn’t even swallow my own saliva without vomiting! I never had this saliva problem so it really bother me and nothing work but having my bucket to puke in and paper towels . I would carry a cup to puke with paper towels or zip lock baggie. I had a towel on my pillows and put Gauze to soak up the saliva .
There were days vomiting would last up to 98+ hours and no medication would stop it ! I was scared I was dying , I was on deaths door even before a positive test .
Finally, Robert took me to the ER and I was treated for the pain with morphine and didaudid. I told them we were trying to have a baby and that my periods just came back after eight years. They tested me and it came out negative. Even though I knew it most likely would never happen, I was still disappointed. They told me it was food poisoning but Robert didn’t think so.
I was released from the emergency room and went home. The next day, I was sick again with non-stop vomiting. We tried to control it but nothing was helping me. No matter what I ate or drank, it always came back up. My husband went out and bought some home pregnancy tests; I tested negative on each test. I didn’t understand why I was getting so sick every day.
After buying 15 or so tests, my husband went to the 99 cent store and bought another test. This time it came out positive. I had two pink lines for the first time I was in shock.
I took the rest of the tests the next morning just to make sure.
I wrote my OBGYN asking for a blood test and went in to test my HCG level. I looked up the results and it was at 500. She said with my history to not get too excited because I could be losing the baby with how sick I was or I had a molar pregnancy. I wanted to be excited, I wanted this little life from the very start. I told my best friend, Kierra, all about what was going on and she said she knew this baby was going to be born and healthy. Such optimism she always had this and one of the reason she was my best friend.
I wanted to believe her so much, I did I wanted too .
The sickness continued day in and day out and my doctor suggested I see a high-risk doctor. I was discharged after four bags of fluids and shots of intravenous Zofran, Reglan and a GI cocktail. On our way home, my phone rang and it was Kierra’s boyfriend – she had died in a car accident. I started crying so hard I could hardly breathe. I dropped the phone and was screaming to my husband, “Kierra is gone, oh my starr’s she’s gone!” My best friend, who I could count on for anything, was gone. My best friend wasn’t going to be here for me. We made it home I was hysterical , numb and felt like I was in the Twilight zone.
Robert carry me in the house . I was crying all night and morning and finally took Benadryl to sleep . I woke up feeling so sick to my stomach. A feeling, that I would have with me the whole pregnancy. I started vomiting non-stop. I tried my hardest to suck it up. It was just morning sickness right? Everyone was telling me it was. I also thought all mothers can’t go through this, something was not right.
We went back to the hospital because the vomiting wasn’t letting up. My throat was burning and I was vomiting blood! I was crying so hard I wiped my face and I thought my nose was bleeding it was but the tears of blood was horrific.
When we got to the ER, the nurse asked me if I had Hyperemesis. This was the first time I heard the word. Seven nurses tried to get an IV in me with no luck. I wanted fluids to feel better and anything to stop the nausea, vomiting and pain. I felt like I was dying. The pain I was in was just too much to handle. They sent in a NICU nurse since my veins were super tiny and rolled, and being so dehydrated, I was a hard stick , but dehydrated even worse .
After all of the torture, we anxiously awaited our first ultrasound as we knew it would give us something to look forward to. I had my first ultrasound and it was amazing! We could see our little baby on the screen. Our baby was so tiny, but you could see the heart flickering. It melted our hearts and from that moment I knew we would fight for our baby!
While still in the hospital, an OBGYN asked if I wanted the baby. I said of course we did! I said I wanted my baby, but I wanted the nonstop vomiting to end. She said I should have a therapeutic abortion. By the time she left my room, she had me thinking this sounded good and that this was my only way out. The OBGYN said if I continue down this road, both my child and I would most likely die from starvation. She told me my blood work was very bad and that I was losing fluid faster then it was being put in me. My potassium was super low which could cause all sorts of problems like a heart attack, a stroke or even death.
My husband came back and I told him what the doctor said. He said they were trying to get me to do something we don’t want. I was upset that I had to risk my health and the baby’s health because I had some pregnancy condition that even healthcare professionals knew very little about. I felt this wasn’t fair to me. Why me? Why do I have to suffer?
While we were talking, I was puking my guts out. My Zofran was due and my husband was getting upset that the nurses weren’t responding when I pressed the call button. No sooner then he left, two women doctors came in with the OBGYN that was in my room earlier and continued to pressure me to get the abortion. Finally I said, “DO IT! TAKE ME IN THE OR AND GET IT OVER WITH!” My husband came back and I told him these were the doctors that thought it was best for us to give up our baby. They said Mrs Andrews we can’t do it here ! I screamed then why are you pressuring me to do it get the hell out of my room . Robert said we are keeping the baby so start treating my wife and the baby like a human being unstead of a cage animal .
He told them we were keeping the baby so they should start treating the baby and I to get us healthy. They excused themselves while I kept crying and puking. Every time I would throw up it took all my energy. I was finally given a NG Tube and was placed on Formula threw my NG tube. I had lost a lot of weight so they wanted to give me some food while I was admitted I couldn’t hold anything down not even water or ice . The pain I was in from Hyperemesis Gravidarum was the worse pain ever having fibromyalgia on top of Hyperemesis was hell. I was in the hospital for 3 full months they released me due to my insurance they said they send me home with a picc line but just sent me home with meds and left me on my own to die !
The wedding day came it was hard journey to get here but I made it without vomiting during my vows and puking on my wedding dress . I got my beautiful wedding I wanted and I felt joy and happiness. I wanted wanted a second chance to put my old life behind and my new one ahead .
I started getting sick when my MIL took all of us out to eat . I smelled someone burger behind me and had to rush to the bathroom to vomit . I always have to sit when I’m puking . The stall I was in I couldn’t even move because my wedding dress was so big .
It is not easy by any means for you to pee when you have a wedding dress on a princess gown and a puffy slip underneath it . I was sick most of the night and finally got some rest before we headed home the next day. When we got back home I was hoping my “morning sickness” was over, but it came back in full swing.
It was in the book Beyond Morning Sickness that I learned about PICC lines and home healthcare. I also learned that there is actually morning sickness and there is Hyperemesis Gravidarum they are not one in and the same . Also HG Falls on a spectrum from mild to severe . Some moms don’t have Vomiting but are malnourished.
Reading about Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) I soon knew if I do not fight for my care my baby and I will die.
It took two months of me going in and out of the ER and L&D and fighting for them to give me a PICC line. We were at the hospital at least 3-5 times a week for fluids and they were sick of me coming in for nausea and vomiting. It was hell on earth trying to get an IV in me I was treated so badly and poorly my the doctors and nursing staff at Lakeview Kaiser .
I ended up back in L&D for IV Zofran because fluids at home were not enough. I always waited until I had a lot of ketones to go in because when I didn’t, they said I wasn’t dehydrated like I “claimed.” I hated having to tell others how to care for me, but no one else was going to be a health advocate for me and my baby so I had to fight the best I could as sick as I was; I was to weak to speak most of the time . Robert would speak for me but I had a Hyperemesis Gravidarum medical treatment protocol plan written down on paper and would hand it to the doctors they didn’t understand I was in a conscious coma . This happen to many CVS sufferings but being pregnant and so sick I was worse, I was delusional and hallucinating at times due to malnutrition and severe dehydration . I felt like I was in one of those crazy fun houses at the fair . I was terrifying even closing my eyes I still saw it .
I hated being pregnant, I was starting to get upset at my baby and resent her for making me so sick. I wanted to have a normal happy pregnancy like my friends, But I knew if I had come this far and hadn’t given into those doctors that wanted me to abort my baby, then I could make it the next four long months until my planned C-section.
The hospital staff would say awful things to me like I was making myself sick on purpose because I didn’t want my baby, or I was an unfit mother because if I cared for my child, I would see a shrink about my eating disorder. They also said I was a drug seeker and was just there for drugs.
So “Drug Seeking ” Zofran and fluids I was told you think Zofran helping you but you are addicted to it 😳
The verbiage of Zofran did not wrap around my head this wasn’t a controlled substance , I was mind Fu*%
why they thought this .
I was treated so badly and poorly in Orange County California one of the high end city’s around and I was treated so poorly .
I was sick to the very end, My HG didn’t get better at 20 weeks like I was told. I threw up all the way to the delivery room. Every day I just tried to keep myself and my daughter alive.
I got an ultrasound done to measure how big my daughter was and they said she was running on the small side and they said my HG could have caused this, but they claimed it was most likely it was the medications I was on since they assumed I was addicted to Zofran! In there eyes I was fending Zofran .
I had IUGR Uterine growth restriction due to Hyperemesis Gravidarum many HG mothers have this issue I was unaware of at the time . Only found this out looking at medical records . It’s amazing how much your not told about your own health and body !
I vomited non stop everyday I only got short breaks before the HG started again . I would vomit non stop for a minimal of 24-98 hours get maybe about 4-10 hour break if I was that lucky and it started all over again like clockwork ! I vomited so much I popped blood vessel in my eyes to the point my eyes would bleed . I had broken blood vessels in my cheeks , tore holes in my stomach and throat and threw up buckets of blood . I was starving and pregnant ! I felt I was screaming at the top of my lungs and no one heard me .
I ended up having to go to NST where they monitor you and the baby to see if your having contractions and watch the baby’s heart rate. I did this the last three weeks of my pregnancy and each time my baby did what she was supposed to do.
I was admitted one last time about a week before my scheduled C-section. This would be my last hospital visit for HG; the next would be to have my baby.
My husband and I were so excited to see what our beautiful baby looked like. We had finally made it to the day of the birth of our baby. We made it though HG hell, the nightmare of the pregnancy, and all the drama the doctors and nurses put me though.
The day of my C-section, we both had feelings that were indescribable. During the delivery, we were waiting for the sound every parent wants to hear – the first cry. The C section didn’t go as easy as I thought ! It took a very long time to get the spinal in my back over 2 hours ! The baby was stuck up above my ribs so they were pulling and tugging to get her out .
When we heard her cry for the first time, we both cried tears of joy. Finally, it was all over and she was here. Once our precious baby was released from the NICU, my husband brought her to my room to stay. When my husband handed her to me and I held her in my arms, I fell instantly in love. My daughter opened her eyes just enough to look at me and I said, “You are safe now, Kierra.” We decided to name her after my best friend who had passed away.
Even though my pregnancy was high-risk, I was blessed with my baby girl. So many mothers lose their babies to HG. It’s amazing that we survived with being so dehydrated and malnourished, vomiting to the point of blood and needing IV medications and fluids. Most mothers fear taking medication during pregnancy, but I didn’t have a choice; it’s what kept my daughter and I alive.
I’m happy to say that today my daughter is a happy but challenging 6 year old. She is the love of my life and I would do it all over again for her. I wouldn’t do HG again, for another child , I had a hysterectomy but thankful I have her . My daughter does have health issues due to Hyperemesis Gravidarum as I do and the aftermath hasn’t been easy by any means! Six years ago no one ever talked about the aftermath and I was tired of feeling isolated and depressed and alone. I knew I could not be the only one suffering in the aftermath, that I couldn’t be the only one that had Hyperemesis Gravidarum so bad that made my teeth rot and changed me in every way shape and form . I made a choice that I am going to speak up , let the world know that It’s important to fight for their care , I have had my health stripped from me . Hyperemesis Gravidarum has stolen so much from me , physically mentally and emotionally. It destroyed my friendships my finances and how I was accustomed to living.
I learned those people who did not stay were not truly friends anyway. If they can not be there for me at my worst they don’t deserve me at my best !
I founded in 2011 Hyperemesis Gravidarum before during and the aftermath a Volunteer base organization to help moms in All 3 aspects of HG and start a HG crisis team to help moms, write care plans and educate doctors around the world on HG and long term health consequences for poor care. I started writing my book and started a support group so no other mother was alone and told ” Its All in your head “. I did not want another mother and baby to go through the hell the torture the agony that isolating feeling Hyperemesis Gravidarum moms get . I was losing it, HG takes you mentally to a dark place . my mind and rather die then fight ! I had no fight left to fight !
When I was in the midst of my HG, with all the nausea, nonstop vomiting and pain, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how hard I tried . If your a mom that at your breaking point reach out to me , I’m here to help you fight and be the voice of Hyperemesis Gravidarum .
If you are suffering from HG and thinking you can’t handle it, trust me, every second is worth it in the end for your baby but fight for your care and your babies ! It’s so important to have good care , the long term consequences. I wish I would of known to fight harder and have someone guide me as I do to moms daily . I have had a PICC for 2 years to control my CVS and Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Gastroparesis. Quality of life is a must for me .
Don’t give up fight for home health care , PICC line or feed tube right away don’t delay if you can’t get home health see about IV treatment outpatient at the hospital . You have options out there know this don’t let uneducated doctors force you to terminate. This is not a cure for HG!
I’m also thankful for the support from the people in my life – I don’t know if could have done it without them.
Kierra, you may have been in mommy’s tummy, but you helped me fight and to go on. You are my everything I always wanted to be a mommy and was told I can’t . I wish mommy knew what I know now so I could of fought better for us . I can not changed what we went through or the health issues we both have . However we can help others mothers and their babies have a better outcome.
Thank you my sweet angel for staying strong inside me when mommy was falling apart. I love you with all my heart. You are my heart and soul and my reason to go on! Daddy help me hold on .
I wish we could of had better medical care so my daughters health issues and mine were not so bad . I see god put me on this path because he felt I was strong enough to live it . All the inspirational messages I get mean so much to me daily and keep me fighting my battle daily ! My aftermath has not been well I’m still sick I have a Picc line and ongoing care at home to help with my nausea and vomiting and keep me out of the hospital.
If you think you have HG please contact me so I can help you fight for your care during Hyperemesis Gravidarum , remember Hyperemesis Gravidarum is dangerous and can harm you and your child good care healthy-mommy and baby . The aftermath of Hyperemesis Gravidarum has been hard on me because I’m still chronically ill with CVS Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Disorder and other issues with my health triggered by Hyperemesis Gravidarum or pre-existing issues made worse. Know you are never alone !
If you are an HG mom and need support on anything, please feel free to contact me. I’m making it my mission to help other moms that are suffering from HG and get them the support they need. I would have loved to have just one person that understood from personal experience help me get through it all. I did not have that but you can .
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the contact page from my website.
”I have suffered; I know what it feels like to die a slow painful death! I survived Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) I am an HG Survivor and so is my beautiful daughter! Together we made it; we overcame the odds of HG. 1 out of 3 babies dies from HG, due to lack of understanding, little research, and ineffective or lack of treatment. I hope one day a cure is found so no other mother or child has to suffer from this pregnancy condition.”
I run Hyperemesis Gravidarum Before During And The Aftermath and I am a volunteerd for HER . I work closely with the co founder she one of my very best friends and has help me so much these past few years in the aftermath. You can reach out to the THE HER FOUNDATION
My book hopefully will be release in 2019 if my health and Kierra’s permits it . My full story and other inspirational stories and a FQA will be in my book . Thank you so much for reading my Hyperemesis Gravidarum story of my nine months of hell ! No one talks about the aftermath of HG even doctors think they can snap their fingers and you will be well . This is not the way it works in real life .
” You are not crazy ” ” This is not all in your head ” you are not alone ! I believe you and you are validated that this is real and yes you or your child could die .
Starr Andrews Strong HG activist
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