Monday, March 4, 2013

My Amazing Sister (Slice 4 of 31)

This post is a part of the Slice of Life challenge which is hosted on the Two Writing Teachers blog.  The month of March the challenge is to write a blog post a day.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is the name of the condition that is changing my sister's life right now.  If you have heard of this condition, then the next words out of your mouth might be, "Isn't that what Kate Middleton had to go to the hospital for?"  The answer is yes.  My sister is suffering from extreme nausea during her pregnancy.  Did she try ginger? You might ask.  Yes. Did she take Zofran? Did she eat soda crackers? Did she try peppermint? Yes, yes, and yes.  My poor sister has been nauseous since September when she found out she was pregnant.  She got exactly 2 days to enjoy the news and has been miserable ever since.

By December she was feeling sick but still able to wrestle down some food.  In February, she had to take medical leave because in her state she just wasn't able to do the twelve hour shifts that her first year of residency asked of her.  She has had to defer her spot at Harvard for her neurology residency until two years from now because next year she will be making up her time off.  Now, she has started an IV line at home along with a Zofran pump.  They are having to pay an exorbitant amount of money for home health care and she is still miserable.  The good news is that the baby seems to be growing well and everything seems healthy.  However, there is no relief in sight for my poor sister.  There is absolutely nothing that the doctors can do to relieve her nausea and she has to continue to try to get food down because she needs the nutrients and so does that little baby.

I am so excited to meet my little niece in May and I know her parents will love her also.  I just wish my sister didn't have this to deal with throughout the pregnancy.  I had never heard of this condition before but I will know more than I wanted to about it from now on.  If you ever have a friend suffering from this, know that they will need your support and comfort.  They may not be able to talk on the phone, but they will appreciate messages and e-mails.  I know that my sister and I have had much more contact in the last month or so because she needs someone to talk to.  Being at home and unable to move around very much can get quite boring.  I have gotten so I look forward to the message I know is waiting for me most mornings.

What I am most impressed with is my sister's amazing resilience.  She is going through something that is unimaginable for most of us and she is never getting any relief from that nausea.  Does she get down every once in awhile and express that frustration? Absolutely.  However, she manages to keep finding a bright side and to look forward to the precious baby that will come from all of this.  She is strong and beautiful and I am so lucky to have a wonderful woman like this in my life.


  1. Wow! My daughter-in-law had this for the first trimester. She ended up in the hospital with an IV. It was tough, but as she went into her second trimester things got better. She is expecting a baby boy next month. So, I understand a bit. Your sister is amazing!!

  2. What an amazing person to endure such hardship. What a blessing that she has you to provide care, comfort, and kindness. What a beautiful family!

  3. She's having many life changes all at once. I'm sure she needs your support.