Not Just Morning Sickness; My struggle with Hyperemesis!

June 29, 2016 8 comments

 

This year’s Mother’s Day was extremely special for me; our 2 precious daughters, oblivious of this special day, made me reflect on the incredible opportunity and joy of being a mother amidst tons of challenges while aiming to be a perfect one. But it also reminded me on the cost that some mothers, in pursuit of caring and nurturing a pregnancy, pay!

One of the rarest pregnancy condition that was unknown to me before I became pregnant is called ‘Hyperemesis Gravidarum.’ It’s an extremely severe form of morning sickness that I became a victim of in my two pregnancies. Today, I opt to share my story to encourage any mother struggling or a future target of this condition.

No words can express the overwhelming emotions when the doctor confirmed that the pregnancy tests were positive. I was 4 weeks pregnant! We were so excited. How would our baby look like? Will it be a boy or a girl? How does a pregnant mother look or behave like? I was over the moon and couldn’t wait to share this wonderful news with our parents and close friends.

Early morning the next day, I woke up a bit nauseous. It hit me its morning sickness that ‘any’ expecting mother endures. I happily handled it and left for work. The frequency of throwing up increased that day and I fainted on my way back from work. In a few days that followed, it was quite unbearable and rather uncomfortable especially in office and if using the public transport means.

We soon visited a doctor but the medicines were not helping. Nothing was going past my lips even water. Everything and everyone around me was smelling awful as my sense of smell went off the wall. This induced uninspiring and incessant vomiting that left me very dehydrated.

In the 5th week, I was booked in for my first hospital admission. Initially the nurses were a bit unsympathetic but it changed later. The intravenous drips were helpful as they eased the burden but still I was unable to make a bite of anything. The days were pretty long and nights hard to bear only adjoining to the hope that the foetal Doppler gave me when I heard my baby’s heartbeat.

By week 7 I could barely stand or make a trip on my own to the bathroom without my husband’s help. During the numerous hospital admissions I was ‘chauffeured’ in wheel chairs and I became friends with the guards, cateress to the senior doctors. Actually one day we jokingly asked the manager to permit us to be paying rent rather than the prohibitive daily bed charges.

Wema

Wema

Tash and Wema

Tash and Wema

As the pregnancy progressed, my health became worse and no medical remedy was working. I was incapacitated and by week 8 I had lost nearly half my weight made worse by over 2 months of having eaten nothing apart from the IV fluids. At week 16 I was 39kgs, my veins had collapsed and the drips were now connected to my feet veins which is another painful experience. The doctors realizing my system and organs were shutting down contemplated on terminating the pregnancy on medical grounds as the pregnancy was life-threatening.

By God’s intervention, another doctor in the team recommended expensive steroids that miraculously enabled me to eat and they were able to re-hydrate me. The debilitating experience of the past 8 weeks was eased albeit shortly as I later made many hospital admissions during the whole pregnancy term.

I was on bed rest as any activity would trigger the vomiting. Having embraced a lot of pain during the pregnancy, I was no longer afraid of labour. The only uncertainty was if the baby would be born via Caesarean section or natural. By God’s grace, my labour lasted for a few hours and the baby we were waiting for was around. Immediately baby Tashley landed on 27th March 2014, I felt the heavy and dark blanket of Hyperemesis lifted away.

On January 2015, we realized that we were expecting again. Tash, our first-born was barely 10 months. If the first pregnancy experience with HG was bad, the second one was even worse. I spent nearly 3 months hospitalized cumulatively. The doctors again recommended termination of the pregnancy. I wasn’t there when Tash made her first steps; a major milestone that every mother desires to witness.

Amidst all the struggles, baby Wema was born on 21st August 2015 at week 36.

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I thank God for my husband who offered emotional, spiritual and material support. He took good care of me and was always praying for me.

HG is a very horrendous condition that I would not wish even to my worst enemies. There are a few lessons I learnt during that moment;

Spiritual and emotional support is extremely key. HG can force you to lose the will to live easily.

HG treatment can be quite expensive. We were rendered broke. Insurance’s maternity covers have very low limits. Financial support does really help.

Due to its rarity, many people have a lot of misconception and superstitions. A mother struggling with this condition needs to be careful about the options thrown to her side.

-Joan

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Dear Mr. Right

April 5, 2016 3 comments

man-praying

Day and night I comfort myself with the words from Hebrews that the one I desire most will never leave nor forsake me1. Even at those moments when everyone seems to pair up, I encourage myself the He who knows my limited time here, has promised never to leave me. So, do not worry, whether you find me or not I am well in Him.

In our age, it is hard to be the traditional woman in this game. It is hard because we have to wait. But in all, I know this holds; that men are chooser and us women we are the chosen. Men get to choose from everyone. Women, choose from the men who’ve chosen them.

I have been branded gold-digger, freak, Miss Independent, the rebel, tom-boy, psycho, the good girl and many others. Sorry, that is just a branding. All I am is just a woman, not an angel or a saint. I agree with you, none of us was created to be alone. I too thrive in love.

I have had my taste of ducks too, in fact, geese. I too, have a story; I have been the wrong woman at the wrong time.  Sometimes, I wanted to please, and I ended up losing, anyway that’s past. But I will opt to tell you the truth even though we have not yet met. As a woman, I won’t appreciate when you tell me you love me with the same careless breath you use when referring to the newest auto or Arsenal /Man-u something (is it a political party or an elite club?)

Maybe, just maybe, we have met. Perhaps in a mat or in a mall, maybe you are my colleague, maybe you are my best friend…just maybe. And before I bow out, maybe we’ll have met. But I opt to wait for you, for you are there and I will not seek you in the wrong places, I will not be desperate or utter whine. I’m not of this world, and that’s how you’ll be able to pick me out.

As I wait for you, do not worry or rush, I am not lonely. I have learnt the art. I am learning to be intimate with Him who created me. Intimacy with Him is teaching me His heart. It is for your gain as it is to me for His glory; for I am learning that to be intimate with Him is helping me detect them who do not have his heart and the flattery.

Finally Mr. Right, I pray for you. I pray that you, despite your imperfections, you will be loyal, and a man with only one eye for his covenant wife. I pray you will keep your promises to God despite circumstances and you will be one who loves even when it hurts. I also pray that you will be a realist, one who will esteem me, not as an accomplishment but in loving each other we accomplish all . I pray we will honor our Creator as we love each other till death. Hold on my one, God will bring you to me at His own preferred time…I pray for you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 & 6

  1. Heb 13:5

3 EASTER LESSONS FOR MARRIAGES

March 28, 2016 1 comment

Love, what is love? Though timeless and universal no one experiences or shows love the same way. It is the lyrics of musicians, the rhyme of poets, the glittering sparkle in young lovers’ eyes, and the language of parents to their kids. It is a dream that confounds the wise and a foible to the fools.
No one has ever tasted the outer limits of love, for no mortal has ever demonstrated the extent of it. Yet in a unique way, this weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ; the only man who in his divine nature tasted and showed us the extent and horizons of love.
But as we go back to ‘normalcy’ this week, here are a few reflections we can get from the Easter story beneficial to our marriages.

1. DON’T TAKE SHORTCUTS
“…There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink.” Mathew 27:34 NIV
Wine mixed with the bitter liver secretion was given to convicts hanged on the cross to sedate and dull the pain that resulted from this kind of execution. In a show of love to man that will be crowned in suffering, Christ didn’t dare take this short cut to ransom us; yet, we see Him dreading the agony of the cross while He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

We may never experience the kind of pain that Christ endured on the cross in our marriages. But more often than not, couples experience tedious and protracted conflicts or misunderstandings. Options come in handy to avoid addressing the issues at hand. We bury ourselves in work, technology, kids or outright emotional cheating with others so as to sedate the agony in our marriages. For the sake of our beloved, what are we willing to lose? Do you play cat-and-mouse games by withholding love and refuse to meet your spouse’s need? If there are shortcuts you have opted explore them with your spouse ‘sensitively and supportively.

2. DON’T FORGET THE PROMISE
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘’The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’’’ Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:6-8 NIV

During moments of despair and hopelessness it is easy for us to forget the promises that God has for our lives and marriages. Just like the 3 women had forgotten the assurance that Christ will resurrect, hurting moments in our marriages can fog the promises of God that he is a redeemer and restorer, forgiver and healer; nothing is too hard for him.
As you reflect on God’s promises with your spouse today, write down a few words that together you discern what God is saying about your marriage. If going through a hard time, as a couple, reflect the circumstances that have veiled the beautiful attitude and view you had as you were starting the pilgrimage of marriage together. Is it debt, health, trust, kids or joblessness?

3. THERE IS HOPE FOR TOMORROW
Figure this; to the disciples and close relatives of Christ especially his mother, Good Friday had nothing good with it. All their hopes were dashed and the sky was literally dark. But as they responded to this event humanly, they forgot that God is not dead! The Cross is beautiful and a symbol of triumph when looked at from the promise of Easter.
When we go through a stressful and painful time in our marriages it is important for us to put our hope in the one who ‘sees past our immediate circumstances’ and into a hopeful, redeemed, wonderful, restored and healed Easter. Just as the painful death of Christ led to justify us before God, a difficult time in our marriages could glorify God and ultimately be for our own good for he does not waste our sufferings and he uses them for something beautiful and enduring.
Blessings.

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Do You Appreciate Your Spouse is Different?

September 17, 2015 Leave a comment

To my married and singles friends, unity in marriage is an important aspect of a thriving and successful marriage. Unity isn’t  just working towards being  ‘same’ , it means celebrating the individual diversity to achieve mutually agreed thoughts and perspectives.

The picture we currently see in some marriages is not one that displays unity. It’s is a harrowing clip of edited self-centred episodes. It’s a hopeless entity.

The picture of a ship, as someone put it, is something that can stir many marriages towards unity/oneness if adapted by both. In a turbulent sea, we see a ship as one whole entity. It is however made of different parts all doing something different. If any of this single parts opted to navigate alone, it will sink, the propeller has to be connected to a chamber (or something). The towering mast cannot float if its alone. The propeller, with its weight will sink. But when all these diverse parts are connected to each other, the ship floats bringing with it the beauty of the lonely sea.

Only when the parts ‘celebrate’ the works of the  other do we see the magnificence of the ship-winning the battles of the sea, it prows the luminous lightening-stricken tides with hope.

In marriage, we can never succeed the vagaries of life and tokens of hardships, pain, lack and ill-health without being one and celebrating each others uniqueness.

So, do you appreciate it that your spouse is different? How would you show them that you appreciate their uniqueness?

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Let’s Kill Our Marriage; the life we lead

June 3, 2015 1 comment

 

Tonight we will kill our marriage. We will force cyanide down our marriage’s nostrils and we will sit and enjoy the agony as it’s beauty fades to oblivion. We will weep not, we will mourn not, and only the scars of how beautiful it used to be will be engraved in our hearts.

Who will kill it first? I will. Lately I have found a companion worthy of my time. I remove her to my friends who relish her classy look; she even has a name-Betty. She comforts me when I want. She informs me about everything I want. I wipe her curvy shoulders when she is sweaty, blow a warm kiss when she is misty, she isn’t petty. Like any other relationship she annoys me too, especially when she blinks battery low…5% remaining.

I have excluded my wife from the real me with password akin to the Milky Way geometric portrait-no beginning, no end. She accompanies me to the loo and bathroom, classroom to boardroom, TV room to the bedroom, never is she out of sight.  Because I have no time to interact with my wife, intimacy has dwindled. But hey, Betty hooks me up with a variety from the internet. My appetite of the groin is ‘’satisfied’ by a myriad of Blondes and Caucasians, Brunettes and Africans. In the pretty Betty I have treasured secrets.

Who will kill it first? I will. He rarely talks to me, he has changed. My 5 megapixel Prince indulges my time. I can Whatsapp my friends how he snores nowadays, like a chorus of moody frogs singing to the silvery moon in double bass, aargghh. I, however, keep tabs with my ex-lover who still pursues me. I admire my friend’s wedding photos for he denied me a chance to witness it because Sylv, who snobs me was in the line-up, he is such a sissy. We barely have anything to say to each other anymore, but hey, Instagram, Kilimani mums, hashtags keep me afloat. This “I am listening” is not working anymore for me.

Who will kill it first? We will. We have worried more of bundles than to cuddle.  Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Viber and Candy Crush cannot replace our human relations. Let’s crush this addiction of Candy Crush like candy in our house. I will make our relationship a priority. We don’t have eternity my darling, so let’s spend our time in the most important things; our marriage, our kids. Technology won’t cut into our time.

Who will save it at last? God will. If we desire Him more and more He will let us know when we are drifting. The more of His light we seek as a couple, the more our dark secrets will be illuminated with His grace. Let’s not forget the promises we said when God was our witness. For His glory, let’s live out our marriages like children of light.

Come my darling, let put away these distractions and collect the falling cherry to make it blossom again.

Jeremiah 6:16 “…Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said we will not walk in it…”

 

 

 

Image copyrighted and adopted from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9714616/Mobile-phone-addiction-ruining-relationships.html

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The Big3 Reflections #Day1of30

I celebrated my 30th birthday yesterday. I serialize 30 postings in 30 days of events, people or circumstances that as I reflect back, have contributed largely to who I am today.

It’s slightly over a decade since I got saved. I remember that day well as the pastor led me through prayers to commit my life to Christ. I thought that as mortals connect to incorporeal realities of eternity something magnificence and glorious happens. As I walked out of that church that sunny afternoon, nothing major had changed; friends were the same, challenges constant, temptations doubled and no heavenly claps or the sun remaining static to affirm my decision.

I was terribly afraid to share my new turn to my buddies for fear of rejection and general wrath. I doubted if I was sincere with my commitment. Yet, something meaningful had happened deep within. God was working to mend where I was broken and hope was being restored.

Years later I must say that God has been gracious to me. The journey hasn’t been an easy one. Many times I have deviated off track to pools of sins and rebellion, yet his streams of mercy have never run dry. The abundance of His grace has sustained and kept me alive, and though sin’s grip a times has been firm, His mighty arm has ransomed me dispelling the constant darkness of my soul and endless despair.

Salvation changes the story of a sinner like I am from a script of mere existence to a triumph episode of purposeful and joyful living in Him and for His glory; not one without hardships and trials, lack and ill-health, mockery and pain but one where joy is renewed and restored, hope in Christ is the assurance of a never ceasing joy.

Titus 3:3-8 ‘’For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’’-ESV

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LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER #modestyisthebetterchoice

November 27, 2014 1 comment

blog pic

Dear Little One,

Just the other day you joined us in this land of mortals. Frail, fragile and delicate your tiny hands were. No glossy lips, no gaiety hips yet you were the most renowned beauty-pure in mind and precious in thought. Nothing has changed, your smile for ages will be as refined as it were  seconds after your first breath, you are a glorious and inspiring sight. Honored and uplifted will be those around you.

In that eternal assurance of your beauty, we are glad that one day you’ll leave our doorstep and you will live in a world most depraved. I hope and pray that you will not sing to “their” song and dance to “their” rhythm. There will be many who will argue about the length of the slit, the depth of the neck line, tightness and fissures. Little one, I would care less how you would respond but listen to the words of your father, that you may not sway and fall into their abyss of perversion.

You will be dissuaded from the sound principles and eternal truths. Do not doubt you God that we have all submitted to. Listen to Him and he will help you rise beyond the set standards that exalt beautiful girls like you to a pedestal of lust. You may ask, “what is modesty?” Rise up my little one, rise up when they start exalting  modesty and translating it to how young men-of flesh and blood, will turn eyes to your frame than your heart.

They will say, “its those men’s own fault”, that if tempted they should stare to the street walls. You will not have much influence to what they perceive of you, but let your intentions be clear and  I  pray that you will not deliberately awaken the canal flesh of your dear brothers.  Work on the undying internal beauty and not external as they would want you to.

My little one, you can be modest without sacrificing fashion. You are marvelous before your Creator’s eyes. He is proud of you! I encourage modesty to you my little one, not just covering up your body because you are hiding yourself but because modesty reveals your dignity.

And if it is to attract them, be careful my little one, your peers will tell you that you must make them drool with lust for you know how to hit ‘em hard-wait, you will see it from them. You may attract ducks. As we pray for you for a godly man submitted to His will may you know that when that time comes, such a man is not attracted by latest fashions and trends but by the inner jewels of Christ-given holiness and beauty to bear fruits for His glory.

Little one, Modesty is the better choice

 

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