Hi, my name is Starr Andrews-Strong and this is my story of having Hyperemesis Gravidarum!  In May of 2010, I met the man I knew I was going to fall in love with and marry.  We had our first date on May 19, 2010 and it just got better from there....  We actually knew each other from a car club years before and reconnected all these years later, but we didn't realize it till we were talking about friends, and found we had some in common. Only then did we figure out that we had met before!  We hit it off well and got very 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 after we started dating we announced our engagement to everyone, most were happy for us, some were shocked but we were happy so that's all that mattered was our happiness and that of our close family!


We set the wedding date for October 19,2010 at Circus Circus in Las Vegas and with that being four months away we figured we had plenty of time to plan and pay for everything and have the reception back home in California!  We talked about having a child but honestly thought it wasn't in the cards for us!  Because when I was 21, I got into a very bad car accident, a drunk driver hit me and my world got turned upside down!  I broke my back, crushed my legs, was paralyzed and in a coma for over 8 months!  I had to learn how to walk, talk, read and write, and speak all over again.  It was the hardest time in my life, at least till this point in time....  With a lot of therapy and a lot of hard work I slowly started walking and learning how to write and speak once again!  I was also living with Fibromyalgia; it’s a disease that causes widespread pain all over my body with no cure!  By the time Robert and I started dating I was no longer using a wheelchair unless it was a bad day that I would get from time to time.  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!  For one thing: I was on a lot of medications and I had not had a period for ten years!  They said I had PCOS (periods only once in a while or lack of periods all together) and it's very hard to have a baby when you don't have a period...  When I was told I would not be able to had children, I was in my early twenties and I wasn't ready for kids anyways.  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!  He would tease me all the time you will have my baby...  I would smile and laugh it off, but thought to myself ‘it’s never going to happen’

So with four months till our wedding we did the planning, I got my beautiful princess wedding dress, I always wanted to wear...  About the time I started dating Robert I started to have some bleeding. My periods had magically returned, I was in shock and so happy, I figured after our wedding we could try for a family!  On July 12th, 2010, I started getting really nauseated.  I never had this type of nausea before it was different then the nausea I got from my chronic pain and then I started episodes of nonstop vomiting and when I say non stop it was from morning till the next day and the next day after that.  Sometimes it would be 50-100 times in one day that I vomited!  I had bad pain in my stomach, I couldn't keep any of my medications down, my throat was so raw and I was vomiting blood, I couldn't even swallow my own saliva without vomiting it was really bad! Anytime my husband or mother in law would cook food, I would have to shut the door and put a towel in the crack of the door and get under my covers and cover my face with a towel because the smell would get to me!  I usually loved the smell of my husband’s cooking but it was making me very very sick!  My sense of smell was enhanced alot for some reason way more than normal! Finally, my hubby took me to the ER when I was vomiting every single day without a break and I was treated for the pain with morphine and didaudid!  I told them my husband and I were trying to have a baby but my periods just came back after ten years so can you run a test to be sure I’m not pregnant!  They tested me and it came out negative, I was a little disappointed even though I knew it most likely would never happen!  They told me it was food poisoning but Robert didn't think so.   My dear husband kept saying I know your pregnant Starr, I just know it, and it’s just too soon to tell!  I kept telling him “whatever Robert it’s not going to happen so don't get your hopes up!”  I got released from the emergency room and went home, I was so sick once again with the non-stop vomiting the very next day.  We tried to control it at home with Pedialyte and Jello water and ice cubes I could suck on.  No matter what I would eat or drink it always came back up, I tried crackers in the morning, 7 Up, Ginger ale , even wrist bands for motion sickness,  anything we could think of,  nothing was helping me.  My hubby went out and bought some home pregnancy test and I tested negative on each test and it was still saying I not pregnant!  I didn't understand why I was getting so sick every day. Was I dying? What the hell is causing me to be so sick?  Was something really wrong with me?  I honestly thought to myself if I'm not pregnant then I was very sick and I was going to slowly starve to death and die from whatever was wrong with me!  

After buying 15 or so tests my hubby went to the 99 cent store and spent his last $5 dollars out of his check and said try this and this time I took a test and it came out Positive.  I had two pink lines for the first time...  I was in shock to be honest; I took the rest of the tests he bought the next morning just to make sure that it wasn't a dream.  My husband kept saying I knew you were pregnant all along Starr.  I smiled and said you were right honey, but let’s see what the doctor says (we were just thinking ‘this is just morning sickness, it will go away after the first trimester’) I wrote my OBGYN asking for a blood test and went in to test my HCG level and I looked up the results up on my HMO's website and it was at 500, she didn't write me back right away and I was wondering what does this mean?  Am I indeed pregnant?  I wrote her an email and she said make an appointment to come see me so we can make sure this is a viable pregnancy and that the baby is attached in the right spot! She said with my history don't get too excited because I could of been lossing the baby how sick I was or had a molor pregnancy! I wanted to be excited; I wanted this little life from the very start!  I told my best friend Kierra at the time all about what was going on and she said she knew this baby was going to be born and healthy.  I wanted to believe her so much.   She also said you're having a girl Starr.  I laughed when she told me and said I hope so but I just wanted a healthy baby! I told her.  You will be there with me when we find out the sex anyway silly!  This was a Friday and I didn't see my OB until Monday.  I started to have very bad cramping.  The cramping got so bad that night my hubby picked me up and carried me to his truck and off to the emergency room we went.  This would be one of the many many trips I would take to get help!  I got right in and they said we will repeat blood work check your HCG level and go from there, they hooked me up to fluids. They said I looked dehydrated I said I had been vomiting all night long.  They said it was so early in my pregnancy it was hard to tell if I could be having a miscarriage or not...  My hubby and I prayed when the doctor left the room for our little angel to be safe!  The doctor came back later and said my HCG level has gone up since the last time they tested me.  He said if it keeps going up it’s a good sign and after the first three months it would be safe to say I wasn't going to miscarry.  He said all the vomiting was normal morning sickness and it will go away by 12-15 weeks.  He said I should look in to seeing a high risk doctor because of all my health problems and the medication I was on!  He said I was very blessed to get pregnant and to take it easy when I get home and get some rest!  I got discharged after four bags of fluids and shots of intravenous Zofran and Reglan and a GI cocktail!  We were on the way home on the 57 freeway and my phone rings at 3:30am I was thinking who is calling this late ... I answer saying  “hello” and it was Kierra's boyfriend.  I asked if everything was ok and he said “she is gone” I said what?  With tears in my eyes, I said what happened he said she was driving with her daughter Amanda in the back seat and got hit head on the 71 highway.  I said are they ok and he said Kierra is gone Starr!  I started cryin so hard I could hardly breathe I thought I was going to have an asthma attack!  My dear hubby is driving and keeps saying what's going on?  WHAT'S GOING ON STARR??  He was tapping my shoulder.  I asked if Amanda was ok. I was told that she was in children's ICU.  I just dropped the phone and was screaming to my husband; "Kierra is gone, oh my gosh she's gone”.  My best friend that I could count on for anything was gone! I can't believe this is happening, even my husband was crying with me trying to drive and focus on the road!  He said he was sorry that I lost my friend and he wished he could have met her.  I was crying so hard I could barely breathe.  My best friend wasn't going to be here for me! 

We made it home but later that nite after I finally knocked out from crying myself to sleep.  I woke up feeling so ill so sick to my stomach.  A feeling, that I would have with me the whole pregnancy. I started vomiting and like clockwork it was non-stop. I tried my hardest to suck it up.  It was just morning sickness right?  Everyone was telling me it was.  I thought I was just being extra weak due to the baby but I also thought all mothers can't go through this, something not right here!!!   About after the tenth time of Robert asking me "you want to go to the hospital now?" I said yes, as the vomiting wasn't letting up it was just getting worse, it wouldn't let me breathe.  I couldn't even swallow my own saliva without puking.   I was trying to deal with it and hold out till I saw my doctor on Monday, but the pain was just too bad and the vomiting wouldn't stop! I wanted to stay home and not be a baby but it was just getting worse not any better!  My throat was burning and I was vomiting blood!  We get to the ER and the nurse said to come inside we were at the window and she asks me has anyone told you that you have hyperemesis?  I said hyper what?  What is that?  This was the first time I heard the word… What was it? What did it mean?  I couldn't look it up on my IPhone, since there was no service in the ER.  I ask my hubby to ask the nurse how to spell it and to go Google it outside on his phone.  While he was outside they were trying to get an IV in me and after the seventh nurse tried I said this is BS I'm sick and none of you can get an IV in me.  Send someone who could or I’ll go to another hospital that knows what they are doing!  I was mad, I wanted fluids in my veins to feel better and anything to stop the nausea and vomiting and pain!  I felt like I was dying the pain, I was in was just too much to handle, the vomiting was so bad that it actually hurt me everytime I vomited it was so forceful and violent!


They sent in a NICU nurse that put IV's in babies they said my veins were super tiny and rolled and being so dehydrated I was a harder stick then normal!  The nurse that came in was Shelly Andrews and I remembered her name and got to know her well.  We had the same last name and I was the only Starr she knew.  So we got to know each other well, each time i came to the ER!  She tried getting an IV in both my feet and no luck then finally tried behind my wrist!  This was the only good vein she could see.  She got it thank god.  It was painful but at least the IV didn't blow and it was in.  I could now get fluids and get rehydrated...  The best feeling in the world when you feel like you’re on death’s door!  They checked my ketone level.  Something I had no clue what that meant.  But soon, I would test it at home daily when I eventually got on home health care.  I was admitted over the weekend for fluids and given medication to stop the vomiting. 
They wanted me to keep my appointment with my doctor and my hubby drove me from the hospital to Santa Ana to see my OBGYN.  I had my first ultrasound.  It was a transvaginal one and on the screen we could see our little baby.  It 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! 


I got referred to see a high risk OBGYN just because of all my health problems and medication I was taking and took to make sure the medications’ benefits outweighed the risk, I could stay on some and get off the others! 

I also had to see the high risk doctor for my hyperemesis as I was told this wasn't common during pregnancy.  Only 1% of pregnant moms got this and I was in that 1%. That's one out of a hundred moms.  It’s not very common; something like this needs more public awareness...  As the date got closer to our wedding the more and more I got worried how are we going to make the four hour drive from Orange County to Las Vegas?  I was praying a lot!  I had at the time only oral medication so I was scared I was going to be real sick!  My mom and I prayed every nite that we could all make the trip and get back before I went into another HG episode!  With less than three months till the wedding, I got very sick again and ended up in the hospital for over a month and a half.

This was my first long hospital stay since my bad accident in my early 20's.  I ended up staying for such a long time.  That's how sick I was, I couldn't keep fluids down, food down, nothing by mouth or hospital code NPO.  I let the intravenous fluids give me my water.  I couldn’t sip liquids and I would gag on my own saliva to the point I would drool and have to spit it out.  It was gross and awful!  I would be so thirsty that I couldn't even swallow,  at one point my mouth was so dry I would beg my hubby to go steal some ice for me from the ice machine to suck on and I would let the ice sit in my mouth till it melted , and I could swallow it!  It always came back up for the most part, but it helped that I wasn't just throwing up stomach bile!  Even though I couldn’t keep fluids down I would drink something anyway just so it didnt hurt so bad throwing up my stomach acid!  When you are you sick with non-stop vomiting you will do whatever it takes to make the vomiting, the sickness and the pain go away!!  They would give me Zofran shots every 6 hours and were giving me pain shots because my back and my legs and my stomach were hurting so much!  The vomiting was causing my FM (Fibromyalgia) to flare up and cause me even more pain then normal!  I honestly couldnt handle the pain from my FM it was far worse when pregnant and at times and I would go into a huge flare!  I would be crying because I just couldn't handle the pain and the non-stop vomiting made my pain worse!  I got to the point I just wanted it to end.  I was sick of being sick every single day.  It just wouldn't let up!  I felt like I was dying a slow painful death!


While still in the hospital, an OBGYN came in to my room to talk to me and flat out said do you want this baby?  I said yes of course my husband and I do!  She said what do you want Ms Andrews?  I said I want my baby but I want the non stop vomiting to end, this is not normal, it's just not normal. And she said I know a way to stop it if that's what you want.  I was thinking some type of medication we havent tried I said “yes, of course sign me up” and then she bluntly said I think you should have a therapeutic abortion!  I was like what? I said I don't want an abortion.  My hubby wasn't in the room with me at the time so I felt I was being pressured into something I didn't want. I was vomiting into a bucket and crying the whole time this doctor was in my room!  By the time she left my room she had me thinking this sounded good and this was my only way out!  I wanted it to end and this would solve my problems she said!  The OBGYN said if I continue down this road both me and my child would most likely die from starving to death!  She told me my blood work was very bad and they were trying to get everything balanced back out but I was losing fluid faster then it was being put in me and my potassium was super low and this could cause all sort of problems like heart attack or a stroke or even death!  My body was badly dehydrated and I was malnourished staying like this wasn't healthy or safe for me or my baby!  So I needed to let her know what I wanted!  My hubby came back after the doctor left and I was telling him what the doctor said I should do and he said they are trying to get you to do something we don't want and I said I'm sick of being sick baby.  I can't take this anymore; I actually went off on him yelling you’re not the one that has to suffer.  You’re not the one vomiting a 100+ times a day!  I was upset I had to carry this child and risk my health and the baby's health all because I got some rare condition that most women who are pregnant don't have and have never heard of!  So I felt this wasn't fair to me!  Why me?  Why do I have to suffer?  I could see in my husband eyes he was sad for me he knew I was being forced into something I didn't want let alone what he didn't want!  I didn't mean to yell but I was the one suffering, he was just along for the ride!  While we were talking as I was puking my guts up my husband went up to the nurses station because I was pressing the call button and knowone was responding to me.  My Zofran was due, my husband was getting upset they were not helping me!  No sooner then he closes the door it opens back up and I see two women doctors and they came in and were putting more pressure on me to get the abortion....  Finally I said “DO IT!  TAKE ME IN THE O.R. AND GET IT OVER WITH!  Then the blonde OB says oh we can't do it here Ms. Andrews, you will have to call a number and do it outside the hospital! I said what?  You kept forcing me to make a decision and I do and now you’re telling me I have to wait longer and still suffer till I can get an appointment!  I don't understand this hospital!  My husband walks back in and I scream out ‘these are the doctors that think it's best for us to give up our baby’  He yelled at them we are not giving up our baby so if your trying to kick her out so she can do that it's not happening!  We are keeping the baby so start treating my baby and my wife to get them healthy!  They excused themselves and I was just in tears crying and puking in my bucket!  I was so tired and weak from the vomiting.  Every time I would throw up it took all my energy and I would rest till I had to throw up again!

They gave my husband a cot to sleep on since they were keeping me and going to treat me to save the baby and me!  The shift ended and the new shift started I had a nurse come in and take my bucket away from me and said to me seeing the bucket was making me vomit more and on purpose so she took it away I told my husband over the phone because he went home to shower, and get a change of clothes!  I said I need you to get over here now!  I need something to throw up in, the nurse thinks I'm making myself throw up on purpose and I need my bucket, I was just too weak to move it took everything out of me to vomit!  I ended up puking all over myself and my blankets and bed.  When my hubby got there he was very upset and called members service and complained to anyone that would listen about what this nurse did to me!  And my hubby said he didn't want her in my room ever again.  She was treating me like a caged animal and I am pregnant and in the hospital needing help and that wasn't the kind of help I needed!  I finally got a new nurse!  Every few days they would try fluids and solids with me but it would always come back up!  I was starving to death and the IV fluids were the only thing keeping me alive!  I was in the hospital for so long they had a volunteer with a dog come in for a visit, I guess the dog is suppose to improve the moral of patents.  It was nice to have a pet visitor but I was still feeling so sick.

Finally they put a TPN up my nose and down my throat to give me some food because I wasnt eating or drinking and I was losing weight.  They talked about me getting a PICC line and home health care but nothing every came of it when I got discharged!
This being my first pregnancy I wasn't sure how many times I would end up getting an ultrasound of my baby, I got way more than expected and got a picture printed each time and have them in a book for her along with her baby book!  I enjoyed this part of my pregnancy the most seeing her or hearing her heart beat is what kept me in the fight to go on and not give up!  Most of the time when I was getting the ultrasound done I was in the midst of a bad HG attack laying down to get them to be able to see her was hard as laying down made me feel like I was going to start vomiting again! 
Well my pregnancy was deemed high risk because of all my preexisting conditions!  My accident in my 20's really damaged my body bad!  Everyone was so scared with me carrying this child, everyone was freaked out it was going to cause me serious harm to carry my baby to full term!  I had to see two doctors my normal OBGYN every few weeks in the beginning and went to once a week toward the end of my pregnancy and then my high risk doctor every month till 30 weeks and it was once a week after that! 
We were not sure what we were having but a lot of the wives tales said boy!  Even this test that cost almost $30 bucks from Walgreens said it’s guaranteed so I bought it!  It’s supposed to tell you if you’re having a boy or girl by mixing your pee with these chemicals!  Well mine said I was having a boy so I was starting to think it was a boy!  I really just wanted a healthy baby! 
I was in fear if we had a girl she would inherent mine and my mother’s muscle condition Fibromyalgia.  It's widespread pain all over your body; your brain is sending the wrong message; that it's signaling you’re in pain, you hurt and you over react and your body goes hay wire!  There no cure!  So I was scared if we were having a girl, I didn't want her to suffer such sorrow!  My mother helped me see we would be here for support and was hoping we were having a girl but all the wives tales said boy even the Chinese calendar said boy!!! 

With my HMO I had to wait till 19 weeks to find out and I honestly couldn't wait till then!  When I was 14 weeks along we went to the local 3D ultrasound place that can check gender and we got to see our baby in 3D! These places are so wonderful they have a nice bed for the mother to lie on and a nice big couch and huge TV for loved ones to watch!!  I was instantly in love!  Even though my baby looked like an alien.  She or he was my little alien and was perfect in every way.

My baby was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.  My baby looked wonderful for only being almost 15 weeks!  The heartbeat was strong they said and ask do Robert and I want to know the sex and I screamed yes, you don't know the hell I have been though!  The Tech said what do you mean and I explained a brief thing on HG and these nurses were floored as they never heard of it before I told them knowledge is power and the key to finding a cure.  I told them maybe you can read about it on the HER Foundation website and if just one mother comes in here and doesn't know what's wrong you can save a mother and a baby as 1 out of 3 mothers and babies die from HG and lack the proper care!  They were all amazed by HG. The baby was kicking and punching me I was in awe
The Tech said you want to know, I got a good view and I'm sure I know what you’re having!  I was dying to know.... She said see those hamburger buns and she was pointing on the screen, I said yes....  That's a sure sign it's a girl!  I was in tears and when Robert saw me crying he was crying he was proud, he now would have two girls; his 8 year old from old relationship and now a new baby daughter.  We just didn't want to stop staring at her she was the most beautiful baby!  She was very active and even had two other nurses come watch her move around my belly!  I was on my cell phone and Facebook posting and texting like crazy “It's a Girl”!  I was so happy I was having a little girl because deep down this is what I wanted I really didn't want a boy, but I would have been happy with whatever god picked out for me!  I just had a feeling this little child inside me was a baby girl!  I have heard of them making mistakes but as many ultrasounds I got during my pregnancy I had it reconfirmed it was a girl more than six times so I knew buying pink we would be safe!  My daughter has a book full of her ultrasound photos; my husband, Robert and good friend Jerry said she was a born model as most of the time she was in a cute position like sucking her thumb!

So October came and we packed for our trip and we went out two day early to Vegas!  I actually didn't do to bad on our ride there.  I was eating alot of ice and had my bucket right by me the whole time!  My hubby was driving and my mom was in the back seat, we stopped often for restroom breaks and for me to get fresh ice and we finally made it to Las Vegas!  As soon as we got to our room I passed out!  The next day was the wedding that morning my hubby left to get ready in his mom’s room and I got ready in mine.  My 8 year old step daughter Serena was there and as I was getting ready in my room finishing my makeup and doing my mom’s makeup  I get a phone call from Jerry.  Jerry was there to walk me down the aisle and give me away!  He was my dearest friend; he helped me with anything I needed help with.  He has been there for me since my bad car accident when I was younger, he helped me out with just about anything and has saved my life more times then I can count!  I needed someone like him in my life I love him like family!  He called me on my cell phone and said that my step daughter Serena should be knocking on the door...  I hear a knock and its Taylor my friend from Texas who I’ve known since I was 17 here to help me get ready!  I said where is Serena?  And she goes I don't know I haven't seen her; so I start to freak out!  I call Jerry screaming Serena hasn't gotten to the room!  Well what happened was we were at Circus Circus and they were in the elevator bringing Serena back to the room and Jerry was going to the chapel to meet Robert. They had not realized that the elevator had stopped at the wrong floor.  They had gotten out and Serena headed to our room, he watched her go to the door and knock and he got back in the elevater and went to go help Robert. Serena went to the right room she thought but she was on the wrong floor.  She was a brave little girl and found a security guard and they saw my mother leaving her room and she ran to my mom saying grandma Dee and started crying but the guy wouldn't leave her with my mom. While this was going on I called Robert who went looking for her.  Then I got on the hotel room phone saying my daughter was lost and they told me they found her and that they would bring her up to my room.  She ran up to her Mama Starr and we both cried and were just so happy she was okay.

Then we had to rush to the chapel to get my dress on, I didn't want to take any chances that my hubby would see me in my dress so my maid of honor Azziza and Robert’s aunt help me get my dress on.

I got my dress on just in time and walked out to meet Jerry to escort me down the aisle. Jerry and I get to the chapel doors and my song starts and everyone stands. I was so nervous as I was about to walk down the aisle.  I wanted to take Robert’s breathe away and I did!   I was only looking at Robert at that moment in time, it was like no one else mattered he had tears coming down his face, the reaction I hoped for and waited for. The minister asks Jerry who gives Starr to be married to his man and Jerry said her friends and family.  Jerry passes my hand to Robert and we say our vows and kiss as husband and wife, we were married, we did it I was so proud I made it though the ceremony without vomiting!


We did all our wedding pictures and then we had planned for everyone to go out to eat my mother in law was treating everyone so we found a place in the hotel!  I order food like a dummy and ended up getting sick while I was still in my wedding dress!  I excused myself to the restroom and threw up everything I had just eaten and more. I finally felt I could get my head out of the toilet and go back and mingle!   I walk out the bathroom and these strangers start snapping pictures of me, I was thinking is this for real?  I thought it was TMZ or something as I always joked about them catching me in Vegas with an awful look on my face or my lipstick messed up!  I had not been modeling so I was confused.  They all had accents they wanted to take my picture because they never seen a bride in Vegas before.  It was their first trip to Las Vegas, so I was posing with all these people putting on

a model’s smile.  A fake one because I felt so sick but you couldn't tell I was forcing it as they made me laugh with their silly accents!!  Everyone came out of where we were eating looking for me and Jerry was snapping pictures of me also it was fun and short lived as soon as they walked away, I needed to throw up again.  I was walking back to the bathroom and this lady that spoke no English gives me five bucks and starts talking to me in Spanish.  I didn't understand her but think she was wishing me luck!
We finally went back to my room to get my wedding dress off and relax before we all headed out for the evening.  I was feeling sick but everyone wanted to celebrate our wedding, so I stocked up on my nausea medications!  We all went out and everyone had a drink but me and my hubby and then I wasn't feeling good so we left and headed back to the room for the night!  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...
I actually didn't get my PICC line for two more months.  I got this book in the mail that was on HG, the author herself had also suffered from HG.  If it wasn't for this book, I wouldn't have known about a PICC line or home healthcare.  This book helped me fight for my own health care. It took two months of me going in and out of first the ER, then when I was far enough along L&D.  We were there at least 3-5 times a week for fluids!  I needed

fluids often because I wouldnt stop vomiting I would vomit more then 50 times sometimes more then 100 a day!  They were sick of me coming in for nausea and vomiting.  It was hell on earth trying to get an IV in me.  Most the time an anesthesiologist would have to come down and they would get mad, that they had to do something that was a nurse’s job until they saw my veins.  Then they would say oh ... I see.....  get me some Lidocaine and it would sting but they could fish for my veins and it didn't hurt me as bad i wouldn't  tense up and it was easier to get a IV in me!

I kept telling the nurses can you put in a request for me to get my PICC line.  I was supposed to get one but no one did anything. They would put it in my notes and after getting to know everyone in L&D. I finally got a doctor to agree to a PICC line.  She put the orders in and on 
December 5, 2010 I finally had my appt for my PICC line!  We got there early and were there most of the day.  I was in the post-op section with everyone coming back from their colonoscopies and I would hear nurses saying “Okay Mr. Brown, just get those farts out and you can go home.”  At least I had a little humor in my hell....  After they did two blood tests to check how fast my blood clotted, the PICC line nurse finally came in.  I wanted to get this done and over with before I started to feel sick again!

She had me lie on my left side and put my right arm up.  I had a mask on and she was in a full gown and covered head to toes for the area to be sterile as possible!  She injected me with Lidocaine while talking to me to distract me it burned so bad.  This was a much bigger needle then I was use to and she would fish the IV needle up my right arm I could feel it going up my body, it was a gross feeling!  The nurse was getting mad because the IV line wouldn’t take, it wasn't till about the third time of trying and me praying to the lord she got it in!  She had this Y shaped thing around my neck and it was supposed to tell her if my PICC was in the right spot! She has this little machine and the dot was suppose to go down the middle and she finally got it and I said praise the lord ...  I can remember my husband peeking though the curtain and the look of worry on his face, he was freaking out because I lost alot of blood and looked very pale!  I told the nurse as soon as I could sit up and take my mask off I need to sit up I'm going to puke. She gave me this tiny thing to throw up in that usually holds your toothbrush and paste in it, I miss and it went all over the place and me, she got me some ice to suck on and I had to sit there for a while till I felt better.  Then I’m sent over to X ray to make sure my PICC was in my chest and not to close but not to far from my heart!  I just wanted to get home, my arm was feeling so sore and the next day I felt like a train hit me.  I could see three huge bruises on my arm near my PICC line and my arm was super swollen.  I could barely lift it!  I left message for my OBGYN can I get the IV Zofran now because home health said I have to have her write the prescription for it and finally got it the next day.  I was really happy they delivered my IV bags and everything I needed to take care of myself at home.  So I was thinking no more trips to L&D for a while... well only lasted a short while.  My insurance would only give me a three day supply of 8 mg Zofran at a time, so if I ran out on the weekend which happened a lot.

I ended up back at L&D for them to give me IV medication of Zofran to stop the sickness because fluids at home alone were not enough even though I would try not to I always had to go in....  I always waited till I had a lot of ketones because one time I didn't and they treated me awful and said I wasn't dehydrated like I "claimed”.  When you are nonstop vomiting to the point of blood and bile and there is nothing in your body to come out, you’re dehydrated and when you can't pee and the tiny bit you do is dark yellow, you’re dehydrated!  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’s life and health.  So I needed to stand up for us and when I was too sick my husband would fight for us.  It was a daily battle with my body and usually my body won...  I couldn't wrap around my head how something as beautiful as a baby, a tiny little person made from me and my husband was draining the life of me,  making me feel like i was dying a slow painful death.  At this point, I hated being pregnant i was starting to get upset at my child and resent her for making me so sick!  I wanted to have a normal happy pregnancy like my friends.  It didnt seem fair to me that they could enjoy their pregnancy and I hated mine!  I knew if I have come this far and didn't give in to those doctors that wanted me to abort my baby then I could make it these next four long months till my planned C section date!
I wanted to have a baby shower so much.  I knew I was honestly too sick but everyone was telling me to just do it.  So we had it planned for February 19, 2011.  The date and number, 19 means a lot to my husband and me as our first date, our first kiss and our wedding were all on the 19th day of a month!  At time, I was sick every single day; I was doing IV fluids at home at least 2-6 bags a day but still was very sick!  The date of my shower came; I really wanted to feel like a normal mommy to be, so I went to the shower without my IV fluid and wore a long sleeve blouse to cover the PICC line in my arm. It was great to see so many friends and family come to the shower.  Being so sick I had not been very social during the previous few months and most of the guests had not seen my baby bump before. My mom, who does not go out much, was even able to make it to the shower. I was able to eat some food and cake. And was able to enjoy being “normal” for a few hours.  I got through the games and was opening presents when I started to get sick again.  I ended up vomiting a few times in the restroom. Robert was asking if I wanted my IV fluids and medications. I told him to wait a little since the party was almost over.  I got through the presents and then I was hit again by more nausea and vomiting. 

Robert got my IV fluid and my IV pole.  By this time the family had nicknamed my IV pole, “Frank, Jr.”  I sat in the back of the room with my IV going while the last of the guests were leaving.  Those friends and family who did not know how sick I was, found out that day.  I probably I should of started my IV sooner because that evening I was hit by a bad HG episode.  And again Robert was packing me into the truck for another trip to the hospital. It was impossible to maintain a normal life; I rarely left the house except for doctor visits and hospital trips.  On the few occasions that I did try to join the family outside of the house I attracted a lot of attention. You get a lot of stares when you walk in to the local coffee shop rolling your IV pole and bag of fluids connected to your arm. 

During some of my hospital visits, the staff was able to control my Hyperemesis in a short amount of time and I was sent home. But on other visits, no matter what they did the vomiting would not stop and I would be admitted to the hospital until I was stabilized. Sometimes this was overnight and sometimes it was almost a week.     
I was on a lot of medications for the nausea & vomiting and also for my Fibromyalgia pain and my anxiety!  The hospital ended up putting me back on medications for anxiety.  I was on meds for years but when I got pregnant I stopped a lot of my medication and was only on about 5 different meds instead of 13 or 14!  When I first saw the high risk doctor we went over each medication seeing if the benefits outweighed the risks!  My medication for my heart I had to take and prevent heart attack.  I had to stay on my medication for my Fibro and chronic pain.  I didn't have a choice, I would have miscarried if I even tried to wean myself off and I wasn't going to risk my baby's life or mine and the doctors agreed!  

Anytime I had a bad HG episode and couldn't keep all my pills down my hubby always ended up taking me to L&D  They would be very upset about the medication I was taking but they had to give it to me to help me!  The hospital staff was very mean to me, the doctors and nurses would say awful things to me like I was making myself sick on purpose because I didn't want my baby, or I was a unfit mother because if I cared for my child I would see a shrink about my eating disorder!  They would say awful things to me like I was a drug seeker and I was just there for drugs!  My husband would complain but nothing was ever done about it.  Somehow paper work for the complaints we sent in got lost.  I just wanted April 6, 2011 to get here so I never had to see any of these people again!  I was sick to the very end.  My HG didn't get better for me like I hoped at 20 weeks! I threw up all the way to the delivery room!  Every day I was just living to try to keep myself and my daughter alive.  

I finally was doing fluids around the clock and tried to stay away from L&D in less I was having contractions!  During the last 8 weeks with all the stress I had on me from my insurance company and all the doctors making threats against me I was very much a strain on me!  I had to go in a few times for my asthma because I was having breathing problems.  My asthma meds were not working. So they put me on a high dose of steroids.  They were hopeful this would help my nausea and vomiting along with my asthma and also my pain from my Fibro!  Most of the time, the pills would end up coming back up due to me vomiting so much!  I just wanted my pregnancy to be over!  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 most likely it was the medications I was on!  I ended up having to go to NST it's where they monitor you and the baby on moniors and see if your having contractions and they would watch the baby's heart rate and it had to go up to a certain number for a period of time I did this the last three weeks of my pregnancy!  Each time my baby did what she was suppose to do and then I could leave and go home!  I was admitted one last time for a hospital stay about a week before my scheduled C section!  

This would be my last hospital visit for HG; the next time I would be here would be to have my baby!  I had many hospital stays, I would end up staying a few days here and there till my HG episode would calm down and then I would get discharged!  This last stay I thought I was going to have a nerivous break down!  I was having a bad HG episode and after being awake for two whole days vomiting non stop I finally stopped enough to get some sleep.  And I'm suddenly waken up out of a dead sleep to my high Risk OBGYN doctor and two other OBGYNs, one of which didn't like me and accused me of being a drug addict and drug seeking and told me I was a awful mother for starving myself on purpose.  I didn't like this lady at all!  The third doctor I had never seen before!  Well I was half asleep and my OBGYN high risk doctor tells me that social services will be called on me when my baby ends up in NICU due to my medication use.  She says my baby would be in NICU for weeks to months because of all the medication I took!  They told me this is all my fault and I brought it all on myself!  I was so out of it i felt loopy i wasnt sure if i was dreaming or this was for real!  I started to wake up more after they left.  It didn't really sink in until after they left my room and I was more awake and I started thinking they were going to take my baby from me!  They had no legal right to do this I was thinking to myself!  I was so upset and I was crying so hard that my heart rate went up to 175 and my blood pressure was going through the roof.  The machine were beeping and going crazy finally a nurse came in and said what's going on?  Why are you so upset Mrs. Andrews? Calm down....  I finally calmed my crying enough to tell the nurse that I was going to get CPS called on me because of the medication my doctors put me on, when they all knew I was pregnant.  I was crying so hard I could harly breathe... She kept telling me to calm down and breathe that I had to get my heart rate under control or my baby might be in danger!  I said my baby, my baby; no one is taking her away from me!  The nurse said can I sit and talk to you?  I said go for it, it's not going to change anything!  Then I said why are they going to call CPS on me when it was these doctors who put me on these medications in the first place, they knew I was pregnant!  Then she said they will be calling social services in house on you!  I said the hospital has their own in house social services?  She said yes, so just explain to them what's going on and everything should be fine!  She got up from the chair and said can I get you anything and I said I feel nauseated again and she said I'll see if it's time for your Zofran!  I grappled my bucket and started vomiting again!

The phone rang and it was my husband he said he was on his way down there and he would be there soon I said ok with tears in my eyes and we said I love you and hung up !  My husband got there and saw me vomiting he said we got to get you to stop vomiting and get the hell out of here and I said I don't have a switch Robert I can't turn it off and on!  He said “What I mean is let’s try to take care of it ourselves!”  So hubby got me ice chips to suck on and brought some of my medication from home that they were refusing to give me but I couldn't go without!  So my hubby went out and bought some pedialyte and crushed some of my nausea pills and my medications that would help me sleep.  If I could just fall asleep I could get a break from the non stop vomiting that's all I wanted was to be knocked out!  I finally knocked out from sipping my pills in pedialyte to be able to sleep enough to feel better when I woke up!  My hubby said the nurses came in and kept putting medications in my IV to prevent me from throwing up.  My meds were around the clock they said if I was not vomiting in the morning I would be able to go home! Morning came and the doctor came in, my husband woke me up and he said how you are feeling Starr I said better but my stomach hurts so bad, he said it from the non stop vomiting! I said my throat was so raw and I could barely talk!  He said let me look at your orders! He then said I see in your orders a GI cocktail I said I would love to have that it will numb my throat and make the stomach pain better I have had it often during this pregnancy and he said well if your better and not vomiting I will send you home today ! I said that sounds wonderful I want my own bed! He said you will have one more non stress testing to do then your scheduled C section is this Wednesday at 7:00 am! I said I'm counting the minutes and hours to this! Later that day I was discharged and my hubby took me home! I got a bag of fluids and was doing them around the clock as told so I wouldn't be back at L&D for my HG I rested what was left of the day and the next morning I had NST testing for the last time ! I go in and sit in this nice chair and put my feet up and they hook me up and my baby heart rate was nice and strong and I was having a few contractions but they were not to painful  . I was hook up on the monitors for about 20 mins then had my last ultrasound , they said my baby looked great I was thinking this is the one part I'm going to miss is seeing my baby girl in my stomach  and I ask can I hear her heart beat please ! My husband and I looked at each other and smiled and she said you’re all done go up to the desk to check out! So I go up to the desk and they said is today your last day Starr? I said yep my C section is tomorrow got to be at L&D next door tomorrow at 7 am all the ladies wish me luck and said good luck tomorrow I said thank you and my hubby and I left!  We headed up to pack for the hospital and get ready for our baby!
I was getting her crib sheets washed and the outfit she was going to come home in! I was being POSTIVE and so was my family! The doctors told me she wouldn't be home for a few weeks or even months because of all the medication I had to take during my pregnancy! I have a lot of health problems and told I would never have a child of my own so my daughter was my miracle child and I was going to fight for her , I was her mother and it's my job to keep her safe and from harm !  I was getting my list of questions and answer ready for social services because I was told they would be coming to my room to talk to me!  I had my full list of every doctor that saw me while I was pregnant and prescribed medication to me and for how long and why! I was going in to that hospital and fighting to leave with my baby! I was determined I wasn't going down with out a fight; this was going to be the fight of my life!  Even though I suffered nine months of on going hell and hated everything about being pregnant I just wanted my daughter out of my belly and safe in my arms!  

My husband and I couldn't sleep we were so excited to see what our beautiful baby looked like if she had my eyes or Roberts eyes! We had a bet; Robert said she would have his brown eyes while I knew she would have my big blue eyes!  We held hands and prayed out loud to god for my C section to go smoothly and for our daughter to be born safe with no complications and for her not to be in NICU for very long and to come home with us!  We know this was asking a lot but we ask all of our friends and family to pray the same prayer and hopefully god will hear us! We had to be at the hospital by 7:00 AM sharp my husband wanted to get up at 5:30 AM and make sure we got everything and be there early!  So I think we finally went to bed like 3:00 am I had my IV bag of fluids with the vitamins in my PICC line and did my IV push Zofran and thought this will be the last time I do this myself at home I was excited this time tomorrow my daughter will be in my arms and not inside of me! I was thinking she has been in my stomach for almost a year she and I have always been together as one! Even though I was sicker then a dog and threw up non stop almost everyday the moments I didn't feel sick I will miss like her hand poking out and I would push on it and she would push back !  I was excited for her to be born too and I laid down in bed said my prayers to myself and dose off with my hands holding my belly tight! 530 AM came so fast! Normally I would press snooze a million times but today was a big day my baby was going to be born!  It was also my mother in laws birthday so it was extra special to her because none of her grand children were born even close to her birthday so she was very happy that I picked April 6, 2011 to be the baby's birthday!  I woke my husband up and he was out of it I was rocking him pushing him and slap him in the face to get up!  He finally said I'm getting up and I said you better or I'll have this baby without you Robert!  I have never seen him pop out of bed so fast in my life!  

He got dressed and I made sure I had what I needed for the baby and he and I and we got in my husband truck and off to the hospital we went!  On the drive over there I was telling my husband this will be the last trip we make for my pregnancy, for my HG and he said ‘thank god I am sick of living there we were there 99.9% of your pregnancy I can't wait till our daughter comes home and hopefully never go there again!’  We arrived at Labor and Delivery for the last time!  The nurses knew us well!  Holly this really sweet nurse said are you ready to have your baby Starr and I said “oh yes” I have been ready, we both laughed and she said its so weird to see you here not sick and vomiting.  I said shhhhh don't say another word I don't want to jinx it!  She took me to the room I had to wait till I was brought to the OR for the surgery!  We got there a little before 7 am they hooked my PICC line with a bag of fluids and also a bag of steroids.  They said I had to have a dose before surgery since I was taking them for the HG.  I still to this day don't understand why I needed the dose but didn't complain!  I was supposed to go to the OR at 1030am.  I had everyone come visit to say hi and good luck before it was time to move to the OR! 

All the important people I cared about were there!  My mother, Robert’s mother, my step daughter and her mother and Jerry, he had walked me down the aisle at my wedding and was my dearest friend I could count on him for anything!  10:30 am came and they still hadn't taken me to the OR everyone was getting worried so my husband went to the waiting room to explain to everyone they were running behind, they had three EMERGENCY C sections so it pushed me back to a later time!  Everyone took their turn visiting me one more time and then the anesthesiologist came in and ask my nurse how many bags of fluids have I had she said one, that my PICC line was making it go slow!  She was upset and said we are putting another IV in you in the OR and have to get two bags in you before we can start, I said ok, I didn't want to get poked again.  My arms have been though the ringer but I figured this was the last time.  

So the nurse said, “Where is your husband?” My mom was in the room with me and said she would go get him!  He got there just in time, the nurse handed me my IV bag said hold it up high and I was using the other hand to cover my butt, I had no underwear on!  We get to the OR and they show my husband where the scrubs were and to get dressed but put his mask on last!  They said we will call you in once we get your wife's spinal in her back, shouldn't be too long so we thought!  I told my husband don't forget the camera my mom has it!  He said he would get it!  

While I was in the OR the anesthesiologist put another IV in me so the drip would go super fast and she put it on a pole as high as it would go, so I had fluids going in my PICC line and in my left arm!  She explained to me she was doing a spinal instead of an epidermal because sometimes epidermal only take on one side!  I said ok and prayed she could get it in my back!  I had to sit on the table and hug a pillow and hunch my back! Everytime she tried to get the needle in my back it wasn't going in right and I was screaming in pain it felt like shooting intense pain going down my right side and leg , I have never felt pain like this before I was crying it was extremely painful!  She asked me what kind of injuries I had to my back! I told her it was from the middle to lower part of my spine, that I don't know the exact numbers but I was paralyzed from it!  She said she was going to try to go in at an angle!  By this time it's been almost an hour and my husband was freaking out something bad was happening!  I asked the nurse can she let my hubby know what's going on.  He is the type that worries and so is my family!  She said yes and went out to tell him!  My husband went to tell my family as they were freaking out as well!  Then the anesthesiologist said “yes I got it!”  I said praise the lord and her and the nurse laid me down very quickly and put the drape up so I couldn't see anything and my OBGYN and the doctor that was helping her walked in and said are you ready?

I said where is my husband? Get him in here and let’s do this!  The nurse put oxygen on me and I kept looking at the doors for my husband to walk in! The anesthesiologist asked me how I was doing.  I said I can still feel everything she said ok give it a few mins and just about then my husband walks in he in scrubs from head to toe all I could see was his eyes!  We made eye contact and both started crying, till this day I have not forgotten the feeling I felt at that moment in time!  My hubby walked over to me and sat in the stool they had for him.  I said I love you and he kissed me with his mask on and we both had tears in our eyes; this was a very emotional time for us!  We finally made it to the day of the birth of our baby. We made it though all the hell of my HG and the nightmare of the pregnancy and all the drama the doctors and nurses had put me though!  Finally it was all over and she was going to be born!  We both had feelings that were indescribable!  The doctors asked me if I could feel what they were doing and I said no!  

At that point in time I tried to move my legs and they were dead weight!  I started to have a panic attack and the anesthesiologist asked me; what's wrong Starr?  I said this reminds me of when I was paralyzed in my 20's, I'm freaking out!  She said I will give you something and she pushed some medication into my IV and I started to feel my heart slow down and stop racing and my OBGYN said are you ready Starr?  I said yes and my husband and I looked at each other and we said this is it at the same time!  They told me I would feel a lot of pressure, tugging and pulling, and then they said you’re going to feel us pushing down on you very hard, I said okay!  My daughter was so high up; she was stuck up under my ribs. I was thinking no wonder she felt so high up and everytime I was sick she felt like she would move up higher and higher and now I knew why!  They said hear she comes and we waiting for the sound every parent want to hear, the sound of her cry!  They suctioned out her mouth and nose and we heard her cry for the first time.  I started crying tears of joys.  I looked at my husband he was crying also!  I kept yelling at him go snap some pictures, I want pictures!  He went over there and they were cleaning her off and weighing her and seeing how tall she was and I hear my husband say she just peed Starr.  Everyone started laughing and once the nurse put a diaper on her my husband took a picture of her! 

They bundled her up and handed her to my husband and he brought her over by me.  I was crying; I wanted to hold her so bad but the nurses wouldn't let me!  My husband got to hold her and I got to stare at her for a few minutes then they said we have to take her to NICU.  They told Robert he could go with her.  He kissed me good bye and I told my baby I love you and ask Robert to leave the camera I wanted to see what my daughter looked like,  I couldn't tell with her all bundle up!  Robert went with the baby and I was left there to be sown up!
I started to feel them inside fixing me up and I was complaining of pain and crying it hurt very badly!  She kept giving me medications but it wasn't working she said we got to get you to recovery.  So once they were done they wheeled me to recovery.  They wheeled me past the NICU which I was unaware of till I hear my mother in law say “she doing great Starr don't worry, you did good baby girl”  I was crying in pain so bad and said to her watch my daughter and pray she is okay and she said “I will she is fine don't worry!”  We finally got to the recovery room and I was crying so much; the pain was intense and far worse then I suspected.  She was giving me a shot every minute but it still didn't touch my pain.  She started asking me questions to try to get my mind off the pain and focused on my baby!  I showed her the picture on the camera and said this is my baby girl!  She said she is so beautiful, I said she looks like a monkey and I laughed saying that was her daddy's side.  She said let's get you to your room so we can get your pain managed so I got wheeled to my room!

My mother, mother in law and Jerry were all in my room waiting for me!  They had all gotten to see the baby in the NICU and were all reassuring me that she was doing great!  I was on the gurney and had to move to my bed!  This was one of the most painful things I can remember. I still had no feeling in my legs, so they were dead weight.  It took a few people to move me and I tried to help and let out the loudest scream I probable scared all the women on the floor!  After I got settled, Jerry was showing me a few pictures of the baby he had taken in the NICU and I was so emotional, I wanted to see her and hold her more then anything, but I couldn't get up for 12 hours till the spinal wore off.  I was crying I just wanted my baby so bad!  My husband walked in and I said “how is she?”  He said “she is doing good I have to go back, the doctor is suppose to see her and I want to see what they have to say”  I said go go take some pictures so I have something to look at, my husband said ok and headed back to the NICU!  Everyone was reassuring me she was doing well, she didn't seem sick or in withdrawals so far from all the medication I was on!  I just kept praying for her to be okay!  

My husband calls on my cell phone and said he would be up to the room soon.  I said ok and love you and hung up!  About 10 minutes later I see my husband rolling in the clear bassinet; my heart about stopped.  I said they are letting her visit me, oh thank the lord and my husband said no baby they released her from the NICU.  I said really?  Are you sure?  He said the doctor looked at her very carefully and said she wasn't having any of the symptoms they thought she was going to have!  I was overjoyed I said she doesn't have to go back?  He said no, she gets to stay in our room!  So my husband picked her up and handed her to me in my arms!

There are no words to express the feelings I was having at that moment!  I was instantly in love!  My daughter opened her eyes just enough to look at me and I said you are safe now Kierra!  We had decided to name her after my best friend who had passed away, in her memory her name will go on!  I was holding on to Kierra so tight I didn't want to let go!  I got to feed her with a bottle and she was a fast drinker, I loved it!  I was getting tired and I ask if someone could burp her as I was hurting so very bad and needed to rest!  Everyone said there goodbyes to me and said they would leave us alone to spend time with the baby!  Everyone was taking pictures and my step daughter was so proud to finally be a big sister!  She told me she had a gift for the baby and I said thank you I opened it, and it was a little outfit for her new baby sister.  She gave me a kiss and said I love you Mama Starr and I said I love you to.

Everyone but Robert left and I fell asleep for a while and get waken up by the social worker!  She said she needed to talk to me about my drug use; I corrected her right away and said prescription drug use!  I said all the doctors were fully aware I was pregnant and they kept me on my medication and added more things to my list of medications!  I said I have a list of every doctor that prescribed me medication, my husband handed her the list and she looks over it in great detail and then said ‘thank you for the list; I'm sorry to bother you but its just protocol by the hospital.”  I said I understand and she walked out!  I looked at my husband and said “praise god this is over thank god they are not going to take our baby”!  We hugged and kissed and cried tears of joy!  

The next day they made me get up to walk!  I asked for a griddle for support and the nurse and my husband helped me stand up.  They put it on me and I had to try to go to the bathroom on my own, I had a catheter in me since my surgery!  It felt like my insides were falling out as I tried to walk to the bathroom and go pee!  They wanted me to start walking so my hubby pushed the baby in the bassinet and I push my IV poll and we walked laps around the third floor!  The doctor came in and said we would be going home tomorrow.  I said the baby too?  

She smiled and said yes the baby too.  She said the nurse will be coming in to bring your celebration dinner in a few minutes.  I said great and smiled and the doctor walked out!  The nurse came in and let us pick from a special menu and we would be getting apple cider to toast with.  About 10 minutes later the PICC line nurse came in to take my PICC line out of my arm!  I was extremely scared for her to take my PICC line out!  My PICC has been like my safety net the past few months and if they took it out and I got sick they would try to have to find a spot for an IV.  My arms were thrashed up from over the past nine months of being poked to death!  The nurse said you don't need this anymore, you’re not pregnant and the Hyperemesis is over with.  She pulled it out of my arm!  I had all these emotions going though my head but was trying to be positive.  I wasn't going to be sick anymore!  I honestly thought I was going to be sick forever, but was trying really hard to be positive

Finally they delivered our food!  Like the nurse said with apple cider!  My husband Robert and I toasted to being HG survivors and overcoming everything we did and being able to take our daughter home way earlier than expected!  I scarfed down my food so fast I was thinking this is the first time I get to eat a meal and keep it down!  Well as soon as I ate I started to feel sick again!  I told Robert get me my bucket and I started vomiting again, I was crying saying I thought my HG was gone!  

My husband called the nurse and they got me back in bed she called the doctor to get me oral medications to help the vomiting.  They didn't want to put an IV back in unless I got dehydrated again!  She said let's try to get this under control so you can go home in the morning or even today!  They brought me oral dissolvable Zofran and Reglan!  I was eating ice chips and finally after half the night being sick I started to feel better.  The plan was for us to be discharged in the morning!  My husband went home to get my car with the car seat.  Since I had a C section, I wasn't allowed to pull myself up because I could tear my incision!  My hubby got back and brought the car seat up and put the baby in it and got the rest of our things and the nurse wheeled me out to the front.  She said we are going to take your picture so we can send it to you in the mail!  I asked if she could get one with my camera too.  My husband held up the car seat, so you could see Kierra and I was in my wheelchair as she took our picture. She rolled me down to the lobby.  My husband had the car in the waiting area and he put kierra in the back seat then helped me!  I said I don't want to sit in the front I want to sit in the back with the baby!  So he helped me back there and we told the nurse thank you and waved bye!  The whole car ride home I took pictures and we got home and finally our daughter Kierra was safe with us.  All the threats of taking her away from us were just that, threats, all the doctors telling me my baby will be in the NICU for months.  She won't be coming home when I go home weren't true.  My miracle baby was home and safe in my arms!  I just sat there and cried I was relieved that she wasn't stuck at the hospital and the fight for my baby was over.  I could now focus on my recovery from surgery and on motherhood!

Even though my pregnancy was high risk and I was being watched very closely for a lot of reasons I was blessed for the outcome I had.  Because so many mothers lose their babies to HG!  When you can't eat or drink hardly anything for nine months it's a blessing an unborn baby can survive these condition with the mother getting so sick.  So dehydrated and malnourished, vomiting to the point of blood and needing IV medications and fluids! Most mothers fear taking medication during pregnancy!  I didn't have a choice it what kept me and my daughter alive! Having a PICC line to give myself daily fluids from an intravenous bag is how I got my water on most days! I do hope we can get the word out on HG so the cause and a cure can be found before my daughter has children!

Well I'm happy to tell you one year later my daughter is a happy, thriving one year old.  That I'm trying to keep up with she is the love of my life and I would do it all over again for her, if I had to! When I was in the mitts of my HG; with all the nausea, nonstop vomiting and pain I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel!  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!  It was nine months of hell for a lifetime of heaven!  If I had got the abortion when I was only a few months along I don't think I could have lived with myself!  There would have been too many what ifs!  What she would look like?  What about her smile; her giggle; her laugh; and her cry...  
I'm glad that I had the support that I had during my pregnancy!  I think back and I don’t know if I could have done this if I didn’t have the close circle of people in my life!

I had my husband; Robert, who was my full time nurse and caretaker I was so ill and was lucky enough he was able to stay home and care for me 24/7 though most of my pregnancy and take me to my appointments or rush me to the hospital if I needed it!

Also my dearest friends: Jerry, I love you so much and appreciate all you have done for me while I was pregnant with HG!  You showed me no matter what with everything going on in my life, it was going to be okay and I would get though this like I have everything else!  I have had so much thrown at me and you showed me it has just made me fight harder and be stronger!  You have been there though so much good and bad and I appreciate you never leaving my side then and now.  You are the best and I love you!

Rachelle, you showed me that I was already a good mother and all the things I was going though to fight for my baby were challenges thrown at me and no matter who tried to knock me down I got back up fighting, thanks for all the talks and crying hugs.  I love you girlie!

Both my mother and Robert’s mother were there for me in different ways; I needed support, love and guidance and they both did that in their own way!  I didn't have any other mom friends that suffered from HG like me, like I do on FB now!  It would have been great to have their support as at times I felt so alone and at these low times I was thankful for my mother, Diane who has been my biggest supporter and fan.  She has always stood by my side even as a little girl.  Now that I was going to be a mother myself she was proud I was going to try this even thou I’ve been very sick and having a lot of health issues!  I never thought I would be a mother.  I just didn't see it in my future as I had so many health issues.  And I could hardly care for myself let alone a little one but that has now changed and even though all my health problems are still there I try the very best I can to care and love and support my baby daughter!  It helps having an understanding husband he knows when I'm not feeling good he has to help out more and he's okay with that!  My mother in law and her boyfriend have also been a huge help and couldn't have got though a lot of this without them!  I'm thankful for both my mothers and for their support! 

I also wanted to thank the author of Beyond Morning Sickness, Ashli Foshee McCall her book helped me fight to be my own advocate of mine and my babies health without this book I don't think I would have got my PICC line and home health care like I did!  I was letting the doctors and nurses railroad me and I needed to make a stand so thank you so much.  Ms. McCall, I will make sure other moms read this book as it was truly life saving! 

Kierra, you may have been in mommy’s tummy but you helped me fight to keep you alive and to go on.  There were days I was too sick to move off the bathroom floor and you would start moving like you were telling me "mommy you can get up and make it to the bed".  I would talk to you with the little bit of energy I had and I felt you knew what I was saying.  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!
God has seen me though all my ups and downs, my trials and tribulations and he gave me enough strength to fight Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).  Thank you God for saving us and I do hope to save other mommies and babies that are suffering now!

If you are a 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 experance to help me get though the hardest nine months of my life!  I know I can make a DIFFERENCE and if it's just in one or two pregnant mother that are suffering that's two more mothers and babies that are HG survivors..... 

Starr Andrews Strong 


”I have suffered; I know what it feels like to die a slow painful death!  I survived Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) I am a HG Survivor and so is my beautiful Daughter!  Together we made it; we overcame the odds of (HG).  1 out of 3 babies and mothers die from HG, due to in proper care from doctors & hospitals!  I hope one day a cure is found so No other mother or child has suffer from this rare Disease"


"Living with Fibromyalgia  
 Is one of my hardest challenges everyday! Finding a cure is my mission"



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