The transition from pre-clinical to clinical years can be an exciting, yet challenging time. I mean, you essentially go from having classes 5 days/week and guaranteed weekends, to working 12-14 hours/day, studying 4-5 hours/night for your shelf and just trying to live. Now, I don’t know about my fellow MS3’s, but I have let a few things fall by the wayside. For example: sleep, cleaning duties and social engagements. What has not fallen by the wayside (however), and has taken up MUCH of my time is my little one who is set to appear April 2018.
It has definitely been a shocker! I mean, who wants to find out that they are 6 weeks pregnant while nearing the end of their surgical clerkship. I remember worrying about the radiation exposure I received during Urology and Trauma Surgery, and just prayed that my little one was strong enough to get through it. Another major challenge in my pregnancy was: hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
According to the HER Foundation, hypermesis gravidarum is “a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.” Early on in my pregnancy, I was forced to take time away from my MS3 year. It was heart-wrenching, but necessary, because I knew that I could not do my best on the wards while throwing up every 15-20 minutes. The emergency room had become my second home, because I was severely dehydrated, ketotic and could not keep anything (including water down). Often, I would dread the ED, because the staff could not place a line in my tiny, collapsed veins. Although I hated the repeated sticks, I yearned for the relief that the IV fluids would bring to me. (Ultimately, I would end up with a PICC line and daily IV infusions, but I’ll save that for a later post)
Not only was HG a physical challenge, but it was emotionally and spiritually draining. Often, I held onto Galatians 6:9 which says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This scripture, coupled with my love for my little one, would motivate me to fight for them just as much as they were fighting for me. I remember feeling locked away in my apartment, because I could not climb the stairs. And I watched as my body shed 30 lbs, and my ribs became palpable. By no means, was it an easy road… but I am proud to say that I am now 23 weeks pregnant, and my little one and I are taking it one day at a time and pulling through. We are also back on the wards, and determined to finish the year strong!
If you know someone who is struggling with hyperemesis gravidarum, or have questions in general, I would love to connect with you. I also look forward to sharing the tips I learn along the way, and will post bump and ultrasound pics as soon as I can!
Stay strong beauties and gents ❤