Woman brings awareness to 'morning sickness on steroids' - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Woman brings awareness to 'morning sickness on steroids'

WILMINGTON,NC (WECT) - Most pregnant women know there is a chance they will have morning sickness, especially during the early stages of pregnancy. Melissa Burdett, however, became worried when she started vomiting a lot.

"I was vomiting probably 20 times a day, maybe more," said Burdett. "I thought my baby was going to die. I thought I was going to die."

Burdett had no idea being pregnant was going to be so frightening.

"I thought it was going to be a joyful thing I wanted to know what to expect," she explained. "You know a couple morning sicknesses get thru it being able to go out and enjoy your belly and people asking how far along and stuff instead I was in hospitals for weeks at a time."

Burdett had something called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a rare condition that many describe as morning sickness on steroids, just out of control vomiting.

"A complete intolerance of anything by mouth either fluid or food they just cannot simply, I mean almost vomiting immediately," said Dr. G. Daniel Robison, Glen Meade Center for Women's Health. 

"I just basically sat in my bed most of the time and would get sick and hardly ate I lost so much weight," said Burdett.

Even HG goes away after the first trimester for most women but not Melissa.

"Only about 20% or less will continue to have nausea and vomiting after week 22 or so," said Robison.

But Burdett saw no relief. She was admitted into the hospital and had to get nutrition and fluids thru IVs.

"Basically we get treated like a chemo patient," said Burdett.

"These ladies can't tolerate anything orally and so they are literally fed either thru a tube that goes in thru their nose and down thru their intestine or they're fed thru their veins," said Robison.

Burdett's first daughter Skyelan is 3 years old now. She was born three weeks early but otherwise healthy.

Even though she knew she'd have the same problems, Burdett got pregnant again and Rosilyn was born. Now that her daughters are older Burdett is sharing her story so other woman know how to tell when morning sickness gets out of control.

"I want to help other women out, because I feel that a lot of women don't get the support they need from friends and family, they don't get it if they've never been thru it," said Burdett.

Burdett is part of a support group called the Her Foundation. They offer support and are trying to press lawmakers and the medical community to do more for HG sufferers.

Burdett's biggest frustration was getting doctors in New Jersey to realize her condition had gone beyond normal morning sickness. Doctor Robison says good communication with your physician is really important and keeping a journal might help.

"Even just keeping like a record, personal record this is how many times I'm getting sick during the day, this is how many calories I'm able to take in, this is how much fluid I'm able to take in daily and so just document and good communication," said Robison.

May 15, 2012 is the first annual Hyperemesis Gravidarum World Awareness Day.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly