Surviving an HG Pregnancy

Hanalei here…I asked Anna to share her pregnancy journey both for her sake, and for that of anyone elses’ who may be experiencing or know someone going through HG. I sincerely hope it does not scare anyone away from being pregnant or enjoying pregnancy! Instead I hope that in sharing, it will start a dialogue, help us feel an increased empathy towards one another, and allow us to create connections so we know we are not alone in our struggles. Love you Anna and thanks so much for sharing!!

Lessons learned from my HG pregnancy…

I always thought pregnancy would be “the easy” part of having a child and that women still had 9 months to live before their lives changed forever. LIFE SMACK in the face #1, you’re wrong, Anna! 

The first 6 months of my pregnancy I struggled with severe and incessant nausea and vomiting, aka hyperemesis gravidarium (HG). I was tired, hungry, nauseated, dehydrated, constipated all at once. Sometimes I could eat a few things, other days I would survive by nibbling on a single croissant….FOR AN ENTIRE DAY! This was a very hard state for me to accept. I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink. The foods I could tolerate were carbs and basically toddler food, a diet I had as an adult associated with as being unhealthy. I soon learned to give up everything I knew about being “healthy” and was just trying to survive. Did you know low blood sugar also causes nausea? Yeah, so if you’re hungry but can’t eat anything because you’re nauseous, you’ll just get more nauseous because you haven’t eaten anything. How ‘bout that?!

LIFE SMACK in the face #2, this was a very “normal” part of pregnancy, Anna! Who in their right mind would ever get pregnant if you felt like dying every day?! And with that emotion of seeking eternal unconsciousness, there is a certain lack of joy, appreciation, and gratitude for the miracle of life that is kind of responsible for your current state of death. AND with that comes a lot of GUILT. I soon learned it was ok to feel resentful and dare I say it, regret our decision. It’s ok to feel all the feelings. The best piece of advice I received during those dark months was “just be glad to make it through each day.” Every day was a battle to see what would trigger the vomiting, what foods would look appealing enough to keep down, how I could creatively get fluids, and when/how I would have a successful bowel movement without stroking out. 

LIFE SMACK in the face #3, “It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that there’s not much we can do,” – OB/GYN. There’s no magic pill?!!!! Well, there’s the one medication called Diclegis, but most insurances won’t cover the cost of it. I was discouraged by two different physicians from taking it because “it was the same thing” as buying Vitamin B6 and Doxylamine and taking them at the same time. Looking back, I should’ve advocated for myself and told the MD’s I’d pay ANYTHING. I regret not trying Diclegis. The combination of B6 and Doxylamine didn’t work for me. And Zofran, an anti-emetic/anti-nausea medication, is strongly discouraged in the first trimester while the baby’s still baking/forming. In the second trimester I took zofran and continued taking the B6 and Doxylamine. The combination of those three drugs helped me live a more functional life and controlled the nausea and vomitting/heaving to a more tolerable level. I was also on stool softeners and getting IV fluids on the weekends to combat the dehydration and constipation. PS did you know most prenatal vitamins have iron, a constipating supplement, in them? I found some gummy vitamins at Target that didn’t have iron to help eliminate that factor from the already constipating situation. My chiropractor also suggested taking a magnesium supplement to promote bowel movements. It’s called CALM and you can find it at Whole Foods or Sprouts. Did you know when you’re pregnant the extra hormones cause a decrease in digestion and can increase risk for constipation? Did you know Zofran also causes constipation? Yeah, so if you’re preggors, nauseated, taking zofran, dehydrated, taking iron containing prenatals, and aren’t eating a consistent amount of food and fiber, you’re gonna be stuck…literally…how ‘bout that?!

Obviously, my story is one of many pregnancy experiences out there. For some women the nausea lasts the entire 9 months, for others, it lasts just the first trimester. Some women don’t have any signs of nausea at all. Some women get diagnosed with HG and some go undiagnosed. The one thing I do know is that sharing my story explains why my greetings to pregnant women anywhere usually go like this “Oh ::stares at belly and then into mom’s eyes:: I’m so sorry! Are you ok?”….just kidding…kinda…it’s more of an internal dialogue. But more seriously, I hope sharing my story helps people understand that pregnancy is highly complicated and normal all at the same time. I also hope it helps one procreating human help themselves or better support their partner.

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Easy Roasted Chicken & Veggies

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The one intimidating word I left out of the title was spatchcocked. Yes. This chicken is spatchcocked and it tastes so good. I know what you’re thinking. WTH does spatchcocked mean? It sounds like a verb used to describe a murder scene, which technically I guess it could, but that would be very morbid. Spatchcocked refers to how a chicken is prepared before it is roasted or barbecued. More specifically, the backbone is cut or removed and it is laid open, like a butterfly. This allows for a shorter cook time with just as much moist tenderness for the chicken and even more for the vegetables that lie below! Here’s a quick video of how to cut the backbone (ignore the skewer part).

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I love this dish for four reasons…

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Christmas Praline Crunch

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Christmas time is here and it’s time to spread some delicious cheer! Every time I make this it takes everything inside of me not to eat more than a handful and most times I fail miserably and end up doubling the recipe. Here’s my simple holiday snack that I love to wrap up and share with neighbors, co-workers, and friends. This would also be a hit at any holiday party. I like to call it Christmas Crunch, but its street name is Christmas Crack.

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Keep reading for the recipe…

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Non-Traditional Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing

DSC_0922We are doing back-to-back food posts, folks! Because it’s not too late to run to the store and buy the ingredients to all these delicious Thanksgiving day meals we’re cookin’ up.

DSC_0821Over the years, I’ve been asked to share this recipe a thousand times. Ok, maybe not a thousand times, but it feels like it. I’ve been making this stuffing recipe for YEARS! My friends don’t request this dish; they EXPECT this stuffing to be on the table at our Friendsgiving every year. Let’s get out of the boxed thanksgiving meals and make something delicious!

Here’s my step by step tutorial:

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Pumpkin Bars for Friendsgiving

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Our annual Friendsgiving is coming up, and we are testing out recipes here on Foggy Dress!  Normally, I would grab a special store bought treat, but this year I decided to make something intentional. I’m (Anna that is) sharing my super easy & quick recipe for pumpkin bars that you should definitely consider taking to your holiday dinner.

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When I was a poor and starving college student, I worked in our Human Resources department as a work-study student. I loved that job mostly because my boss was like a second mom. She would bring me tasty homemade treats and listen to me complain about my classes. Every fall Noelle would make these PUMPKIN BARS! They literally put a smile on my face and made my day (because good food does that to me).

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This upcoming Friendsgiving gave me the perfect excuse to make a bunch of pumpkin bars, “taste test” a handful, and remember those good old college days. Be it a bake sale, dinner party, or a treat to share with a friend having a hard day, I hope these bars will bring you and your friends warm fall feelings!

Happy Holidays!  -abc

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Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs

1 Cup oil

2 ¼ Cups sugar

1 (15oz) Can of Pumpkin

2 Cups Flour

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 Cup walnuts, optional

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350°. Beat eggs, oil, and sugar. Add sugar one cup at a time and gradually introduce into the egg and oil mix. Mix in pumpkin, then gradually add flour (half a cup a time). Once flour and pumpkin are mixed well, add salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in all the nuts except 1 heaping tablespoon. Pour into greased and floured 17 x 11 inch baking pan (jelly roll pan). Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining nuts on top of frosting. Cut into bars. Top with cream cheese frosting below.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (3oz) package cream cheese, softened

6 tbsp butter or margarine, softened

1 tbsp half and half

1.5 Cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Directions: Beat cream cheese with butter until creamy. Add half and half, powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Place in Ziploc bag, cut off tip and pipe frosting over individual bars.

PS – How to Throw a Party and What to Wear to Friendsgiving

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