I found out later that I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (which simply means “excessive vomiting in pregnancy”). No one I talked to had ever heard of such a thing (probably the reason no one had heard of this is because the estimated number of pregnant women afflicted with hyperemesis ranges from 0.3% to 2.0%. I seem to be among the blessed few!), and I remember several ladies saying to me over the phone, “I just can’t understand why you would be so sick!” I couldn’t understand it either, and it frankly caused me to go into a period of depression. I felt alone and like there must be something wrong with me. Was it something in my diet? I knew so many mothers who were not very concerned with eating what I would consider healthy food, and yet they felt great while they were pregnant. I had been eating a whole foods diet for years, and here I was, very sick.
After our first baby was born (a beautiful, wonderful home birth!), I couldn’t wait to have another baby. I was sure that I wouldn’t be so sick this time. Boy, was I wrong! And now I had a 15-month-old to take care of. Those were very trying times! I would drag myself out of bed in the morning, get my daughter up and dressed, go downstairs and put her in the highchair with a granola bar and milk for breakfast and I would lie on the couch next to her while we watched a video. Oh, it was so hard! During this pregnancy I also began to have migraines for the first time in my life. What made this pregnancy seem almost harder than the first was trying to care for the baby I already had, and trying to be cheerful and mothering even though I felt so bad. Even though this was hard, my already-here baby gave me hope that this new baby in the womb would also survive despite my sickness (and she did survive and was born very fat and healthy, and I had another home birth!).
After reading Shonda’s books, I decided (in between my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies) to do a whole body, liver and colon cleanse. I even got the very one that Shonda said she used. I also started taking milk thistle (for liver support) before conception and also after I found out I was pregnant. Shonda had also recommended Entrox and AbsorbAid, and I used both of those, too. None of this had any noticeable effect on my morning sickness. I was still miserable this time around, and now I had a 12-month-old and a 24-month-old to take care of. Oh, it was hard! Changing messy diapers was the worst. I also had migraines again. How many tears I shed! But again, I went on to have a very healthy (9 pound) baby boy. He was born at home and his was my favorite, most happy birth (the circumstances surrounding his birth were especially wonderful and happy!).
My fourth pregnancy was the same as the others (miserable), except I now had three small children (5, 3 and 18 months) to take care of. Also, my husband had been laid off, and we were trying to sell our house and find a rental house in a town four hours away. I think this was one of the hardest times. I had many migraines and the nausea never went away until after the birth. But thankfully, I gave birth to another healthy baby girl at home!