Before I freak anyone out–I’m fine, the baby is fine.
For the squeamish–I’m about to talk about throwing up. You’ve been warned.
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are sadly nothing new to me. I spent the majority of Elanor’s pregnancy (7 weeks straight through the actual delivery) throwing up. However, I didn’t have severe nausea with her after the first trimester.
With the current pregnancy, I’ve suffered from an overactive nose (EVERYTHING smells bad) and extreme nausea since the stick turned pink. I’ve been vomiting regularly since about 10-12 weeks….you know, when all the books talk about how you’re feeling better and all the first trimester symptoms are disappearing. Not that I’m bitter or anything (I will, however, confess to cursing out several tomes and flinging several against the wall for that very passage). Honestly, in a lot of ways, I’m finding the persistent nausea and oversensitive nose far more debilitating than just the vomiting with E.
During Elanor’s pregnancy, my OB put me on two drugs that kept things to a minimum (ie, I was only throwing up a few times a week, as opposed to a few times a day)…reglan and zofran.
When I got a positive pregnancy test, I didn’t wait for the nausea/vomiting to begin…I just asked the OB I was seeing at the time for the local equivalents proactively, so they would be on hand.
Which is when I ran up against one of the realities of life in Singapore versus the US. Not all drugs are available here. Not all drugs are available in the same dosages (for example, Ravi has to take 2-4 times the number of medications he used to in the US to recreate his blood pressure regimen). Worst of all, there is a sad lack of generic drug options in Singapore.
Overall, I would argue that most name brand drugs are cheaper in Singapore than in the US. However, there are exceptions. Zofran is one of them. Twenty of these precious miracle pills set me back $1000SGD ($810USD). For comparison, when I was in the US, I got sixty pills of the generic zofran for $200 USD. That is quite a difference, especially as my insurance has a cap for pregnancy related expenses and I’d like to not use it all on anti-nausea medication (obviously we can afford additional expenses, but why pay more per pill when I can get a generic cheaper in the US?).
However, the other issue I’ve run up against in recent weeks is that my old regimen of zofran and reglan haven’t been doing their jobs. The last 10 days have seen my symptoms get significantly worse (instead of better as all the books say…liars).
The reason I missed posting yesterday was that I was unable to keep anything beyond a glass of water down for 24 hours and was dehydrated, sick, and very weak.
My local OB gave me two options-the first was to be admitted for 24 hours to the hospital. I’m really not a fan of hospitals, so I declined (although in retrospect, it probably would have been the better decision). My second option was to come to her office and get fluids and a dose of a different anti-nausea drug that had been recommended to me by several friends/readers-Phenergan. I elected this option.
I went in and got the IV plus anti-nausea, which worked better than anything else I’ve encountered during this pregnancy for my nausea. (By the way–Dawn and Sandy–THANK YOU).
When Ravi tried to fill the prescription, we were unable to get a pill form of phenergan. Again, the realities of drugs in Singapore sometimes mean that you have to be more flexible. So I got the syrup version instead, which is vile tasting (worse than cough syrup) but more importantly, works! I’ve kept down 4 whole meals straight, which is a record at this point.
After my IV was through, my OB and I agreed that she should do a quick ultrasound just to confirm that the baby was looking okay, given that I’d been having a lot of pain and cramping (most likely a combination of normal 2nd trimester stuff and irritation from all the vomiting, which takes a toll on your stomach muscles as well). The baby was fine, and measuring on schedule.
As I was still a bit woozy (phenergan, at least at first is a very soporific drug), they waved off payment, saying I could just take care of it next time. They also wheeled me down and put me in a cab so that B could meet me and help me upstairs at home. Looking back, had I understood how tired the phenergan would make me (after getting home I slept another 5 hours after sleeping for most of the 2 hours it took to get the IV fluids) I probably would’ve elected the hospital stay, regardless that I really hate hospitals.
I have to admit, I have my doubts about medical care in Singapore. I’ve had doubts about giving birth here.
Yesterday my OB’s office really helped me out, and the help was much more personalized than I would have gotten in the US. In the US, I would’ve called my OB’s office and they would have sent me to the labor and delivery triage floor of the hospital. I would’ve gotten the IV there, and possibly a resident or the supervising doctor would have done an ultrasound. But other than a report, my OB wouldn’t have been able to be involved in my care as individual offices just aren’t set up for that sort of thing.
This, along with the long email my OB wrote explaining things I had questions about earlier this week, is the sort of thing that has me giving strong consideration to staying in Singapore for the birth. Obviously I’m in very good hands here.