Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The "Hyperemesis Diet"

If you can keep any of it down... Here is the suggested diet that was given to me by the hospital nutritionist while I was suffering from HG

Hyperemesis Diet
Nause and/or vomiting are common during the first 3 months of pregnancy. This is also known as "morning sickness" even though it can occure any time of the day. If vomiting becomes persisitent and severe, IV fluids & electrolyte replacement is necessary to prevent complications from dehydration.
Tips for relief:
  • Eat small meals or snacks every 2-3 hours
  • Avoid hunger, eat before getting out of bed in the morning
  • Dont skip meals
  • Select low fat protein foods: Lean meats, broiled or canned fish, poultry without skin, eggs, boiled beans
  • Select easily digested carbohydrates: Fruit, fruit juices, pasta, rice, potatoes, toast, crackers, dry cereals
  • Drink fluids between meals rather than with meals
  • Avoid fried foods or any other foods that cause stomach discomfort such as gassy or spicy foods
  • Cold foods can sometimes decrease the aroma or smells that can trigger nausea
  • Drink a small amount of 100% fruit juice (apple, grape, cranberry) every 1-2 hours
  • Avoid drinking beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol
  • Have a snack before going to bed
  • Try certain salty, high fat foods such as: potatoe chips and cheese curls
  • Also try cold, tart drinks such as : Lemonade

In some cases IV nutrition may be necessary to meet the nutrition needs of the mother and fetus.

I am posting this because maybe it will be helpful to some of you suffering from HG.

When I was really sick... nothing would help me and I eventually did require IV nutrition, but when I was beginning to hold some food down I literally lived on ice cream and baked potatoes for months!!

The cold of the ice cream seemed to calm my tummy and the potaoes were all I could (sometimes) keep down. Although I wouldnt recommend Ice Cream or Milkshakes when you are at your worst because nothing is worse that throwing up curdled milkshake, milk or ice cream... and good luck getting that smell out of your nose!!! which just adds to your nausea!

I also for a while ate salty ruffles potatoe chip which were more "comforting" than anything... just knowing I could keep a little handful down some days made me feel better.

Hang in there ladies... you will eventually feel good enough to eat and enjoy your pregnancies!

I remember the first time I went to a resturant I had been keeping food down for about a week, and my car sickness was subsiding, so I gave it a shot! (But...I took my bucket with me just in case) I had breakfast, an omlet and potatoes... and I can tell you it was the MOST WONDERFUL breakfast ever! LOL

I enjoyed every bite without "incident" LOL

"Hyperemesis of Pregnancy"

I was going through some of my old hospital papers and found one of my "discharge instructions" papers that they give you when you are released, mine described the following for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (from Tri City Medical Center in Oceanside, CA.):

Hyperemesis of pregnancy is a severe form of "morning sickness", where the vomiting is excessive and may cause dehydration and chemical imbalances in the body. it occures in about 1% of pregnancies and is usually worse during the 10th thru 12th week of pregnancy. It usually gets better by the 16th week. It's cause is not well understood. It can be a serious threat to the mother and the fetus if dehydration becomes severe. Therefore, follow the advice below carefully.

1) Activity

  • After awaking from sleep, remain in bed for 15 minutes before getting up.

2) Diet

  • Eat frequent small meals rather than 3 large meals
  • A diet high in Carbohydrates and Fiber is best avoid greasy and spicy foods
  • Drink fluids between meals rather than with them
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat and how they affect your symptoms, avoid foods that trigger your symptoms
  • Keep saltine crackers at bedside. If you are nauseated upon waking eat some crakers or dry toast before getting out of bed
  • If nausea and vomiting continue, rest your stomach by waiting 1-2 hours before trying to drink again.
  • Stay in bed or severely limit your activities if nausea continues

3) Medicine

  • In general it is best to avoid strong medicines during pregnancy, especially during the first three months. The effect on the growing baby is not always known and these could cause harm. Your doctor will recommend prescription medicine only when the symptoms you are having (vomiting and dehydration) are more dangerous to the baby than the small risk of using the medicine.
  • Taking Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), 10-25mg daily is safe and may be helpful to reduce nausea
  • Check with the doctor before taking any over the counter medicines during your pregnancy


With your doctor within the next few days or as instructed by this facility


Or contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

  • Unable to keep any clear liquids down over a 6 hour period
  • Worsening sickness, dizziness, or fainting occurs
  • No weight gain over a 2 week period
  • Severe, constant lower right abdominal pain
  • Fever, chills or frequent diarrhea

These were my discharge instructions from my October 2006 hospital stay, I was released 2 days before Halloween.... and that might all have been helpful if I could have kept anything down ;P

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I was looking at the funny posters on and they have a tool that you can make your own "motivational" posters... so here is mine :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Elaine Cho's HG Story

My name is Elaine Cho. I live in Bothell, WA and have been married to my best friend for the past five years. We have a great house, goodpaying jobs and two loyal dogs. We were very content with our life,but last year, the in-laws started pressuring us to start a family. I had never really been comfortable around children and wanted to makesure that we got pregnant on OUR terms, and not theirs. But fortuneately for them, after all of my friends started to get pregnant, I began to have baby envy. I decided that the time was right to start trying because we had been married almost five years, and I was approaching my thirties while he was in his mid thirties. Now, all we had to do was get pregnant... easy as that!

We started trying in January of 2007, but after months of not being able to conceive, I began to worry. I have friends who have been trying for years and have undergone fertility treatments with no success. I was afraid of being one of those women who spent her entire life trying not to get pregnant, only to find out that she was sterile after deciding that she wanted children. The irony!!!

So, after six months with no luck, I decided to distract myself by looking for a new job. We decided that the timing was off, and that we could start trying again next year after I found my dream job. I had several interviews with exceptional companies all lined up, and was excited about the prospects of having a new career with a higher salary. I thought, we could finally afford that trip to Europe I hadbeen talking about!!!

No sooner did I start calling my references didI realized that I had missed my period. My periods have always been inconsistant, so I didn't think much about it. But my breasts had never been that big or tender. My husband laughed and said I was probably pregnant, but I knew that there was NO WAY I could be, because we didn't have sex until after my ovulation window. After a few days of telling myself that my period would start "any day now", I finally caved and bought a pregnancy test.

I took the first one and sat in awe as the plus sign started to come over the test strip.There was no way!!! I was grinning from ear to ear, but thought,"this test is wrong". So I pulled out the second test and tried again. Another PLUS sign!!! The first thing that came to mind was,"HOLY CRAP!!! WHO'S GOING TO HIRE ME NOW!!!". But after that passed, I was so excited. I had planned on making a special dinner with baby themed foods, like baby carrots and baby corn with small cornish hens etc., to surprise my husband.

I had purchased a onesie and a bib thatsaid "I love daddy" months before to present to him when we finally did get pregnant. It was a great plan, right? Well, I'm very impatient and easily exciteable, so I didn't get to surprise him the way I had planned. Instead, I got the onesie and bib which were already pre-wrapped and ready to go, and I woke him up from a deep slumber. I made him open the gift while he was still half asleep and took pictures of his reaction. He looked thoroughly confused and shocked. It was great!!! Once he finally got his barings, we celebrated with a little cry and a warm embrace. This was going to be a great time in our life.

So a week had passed and I was feeling wonderful!!! We decided that Iwould continue my pursuit of a new career without informing them of my pregnant state and we also decided to wait the obligitory three months before announcing the news to our friends and family. I was always hungry and my cravings were running rampid, but unlike my mom who claimed to be sick the entire 9 months of pregnancy with both my brother and I, I had no signs of morning sickness. This was GREAT!!! Or so I thought.

The Friday going into my sixth week, I started getting acid refluxafter dinner. I had never had that before, so I just assumed it was a symptom of being pregnant. No big deal. Saturday rolled around and I was extremely nauseous. I drove to the grocery store, making myself car sick, to pick up the pre-requisit morning sickness arsenal of soda crackers and ginger ale. My mom happened to call me while I was shopping and could hear the sickness in my voice. She immediately asked me if I was pregnant, to which I replied "NO".

I got home and drank the ginger ale and started to feel a lot better. My family was having a party for my uncle's 60th birthday that day, so I had to do everything I could to look normal in front of everyone. We stayed at the party for a couple hours, but the smell of the food started to bother me. I asked my husband to take me home so that I could try to sleep off the illness, but the car ride proved to be worse than the party.

I barely got back into the house when I threw up for the first time. To preface my story a bit, I have probably only thrown up five times my entire life before this pregnancy, and it was usually tequilla related, so to throw up that Saturday was a huge deal for me. After I puked, I felt much better and decided to go to bed early because my husband and I were going to drive 50 plus miles to visit his parents the next morning.

I didn't need an alarm to wake me up on Sunday, because I had projectile vomit spewing out of me in the wee, small hours of the morning. I was so sick, and depressed that I was experiencing morning sickness like this. I ran downstairs to the kitchen to get my soda crackers and ginger ale, but it didn't work. Nothing burns quite as much as ginger ale coming out your nose. I told my husband to go to his parents on his own, because there was no way I was putting myself in a car for that long a trip. Even though I felt like crap, I thought that there was no way that I could feel any worse and that it would go away in a few days. Boy was I wrong.

I had a doctor's appointment the following Monday with my primary care provider. She did some blood work to confirm my pregnancy and prescribed some B6, Unisom and Phenergan for the nausea. She printed out some information on morning sickness and warned me to take the Phenergan cautiously, as there was not enough information on the potential side effects on the baby. Basically, she made me scared to take the medication. I tried the B6 and Unisom combination but it did nothing. I took half of the Phenergan and fell asleep.

By this time, I hadn't eaten since Saturday afternoon, and had probably thrown up 8 or 10 times. My husband urged me to eat, but nothing looked, smelled or sounded any good. In fact, by this point, his smell started making me ill. The next morning I started vomitting bile and dry heaving every five minutes. My husband called the OBGYN to set my initial appointment and told them how bad my condition was. They told him to get me to the ER right away for hydration therapy.

I was bawling my eyes out because I didn't want to get in the car, but he was adamant that we go. Upon arriving at the ER, I found out that I had lost 8 pounds in the three days that I felt sick. They gave me a shot of Zofran and put four litters of IV in me. I slept the entire time and was so hungry by the time I woke up. The ER doctor gave my husband a print out on Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and told him that it was important to make sure that I was hydrated. They sent me home with a prescription of Zofran and set me up with an appointment at the OBGYN's office for that Thursday.

When I got home, I ate two crackers, threw them up, and tried to sleep. But the nausea robbed me of that as well. I just sat up crying all night thinking, "how am I going to do this?". My husband finally gave up and called my mom, hoping that she could get me to eat. She had no idea that I was pregnant, so she was both thrilled and worried when she got the news. She rushed to the house to be by my side, and force fed me a milkshake. She retold her pregnancy horror story and apologized forgiving me her genes. Having her there made me feel calm and relaxed and I was able to fall asleep in her arms. After she left though, it started all over again.

By Thursday, I had lost 14 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. The doctor seemed empathetic and started me on a higher dose of Zofran and Phenergan. I felt more at ease about taking the drugs because the specialist was prescribing it. She told me I could take it every eight hours, which was better than the once a day regimine I was on. However, I didn't feel any better so on Friday, I went to an acupuncturist.

I was willing to try anything and everything to make myself feel better. While the acupuncturist was placing the needles in my ears, head, wrists, stomache and feet, I felt the sudden urge to vomit. But the woman twisted the needles slightly in place and the sensation went away. Hallalujah!!! I thought I had found the cure. For two whole hours after the session, I was on cloud nine. My husband and I went to McDonalds where I ordered a Fillet O' Fish and Seven-Up. It took me two hours to finish it, but I swear, it was like manna from heaven:)

That day was our five year anniversary and we had dinner reservations at a very exclussive restaraunt. I was so happy that I was feeling better and that we would be able to make it to dinner, when it all hit me again. Needless to say, we have yet to celebrate our fifth year. Anyway, I went to the acupuncturists dilligently, every day for a full week with only minimal benefit. I would be saved for a couple hours a day, but the rest of the day was committed to vomitting. I was now throwing up on average, upwards of forty times a day.

On my second visit to the OB's, they decided that I needed home IV treatment. They set me up with Matria for IV and subcutanious Zofran. But somehow the wires got crossed, and the started me on IV and Reglan. Well, the Reglan did nothing but cause me to become extremely anxious and nervous. My emetic episodes were more severe and now I couldn't even sleep. After 26 hours of straight vomitting, I called my doctor's office in hystarics. They told me to come in right away to get hospitalized. My husband drove me to the office looking like death. Neither one of us had slept, and his patience with me was waining.

When we walked into the office, they rushed me into a patient room and the doctor came in soon after. She discussed all treatment options including termination. At that moment, the idea of aborting the baby to feel normal sounded great. She said that I should be admitted to the hospital for observation that night, but I didn't want to. I just couldn't stop crying for some reason, so my husband made the decision for me and had me admitted.

One night became "just through the weekend" to maybe one more night, and the next thing you knew, I was there for a full week. My husband started the paperwork with my company to get me on short term disability and my doctor gave me the worst news I could've ever heard. She told me that I did in fact have hyperemesis, and that the majority of women suffering with the illness experienced it through at least the first five months. WHAT!!!

She said that she was not comfortable sending me home without an IV which meant that I would have to have a PICC line put into my arm. I was not happy about this at all, but what other option did I have. While in the hospital, they had me on a steady dose of Anzemet and Reglan, and I was able to eat several small meals throughout the day. I had put about four pounds back on thanks to the IV and was looking a lot less like death warmed over, so they were ready to send me home.

So that long drawn story took me to about week nine or ten. From there, I was successfully treated at home with the IV, Anzemet andReglan regiment. I was still throwing up about twenty times a day,but in the comfort of my own home. I couldn't more than two hours a day thanks to the Reglan, I couldn't watch TV because it was overstimulating, but I was slowly getting on the mend. At 19 weeks, I started to feel like a new woman. I was down to only five emetic episodes per day, and by week 20 the PICC line was removed. I am now at week 25 and still throwing up at least once a day, but I am completely off the meds and am sleeping a solid four to five hours aday. I can feel my baby girl move inside me, which has made this experience all worth while.

My husband and I had always said that we would like three kids, but sadly, I don't know if I could do this again. I just wouldn't feel right, allowing my daughter to see me in that state. How could I care for her when I can't care for myself, and would she have harsh feelings towards the baby that is making her mommy so sick? Anyway,that was my LONG story. I still have a ways to go, but now I know I can survive it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


To the wonderful people who have bought my book thank you!
My goal is to help other women and you will help me reach that goal.

I just wanted to personally thank you for making a difference in someone's life.

A portion of your purchase goes to help fund education and research efforts by the HER Foundation. Someday maybe we will know enough about this terrible disease to stop the suffering of 80,000 women every year!

You can also make a donation directly to the HER Foundation on their website:

When you are done reading the book, dont let it collect dust! why not donate it to a woman you think it can help or... to your local library, hospital, etc... the more people who know about HG the more women we can help!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Forums for HG Survivors!

Hi Everyone :)
I just wanted to pass on the following forum for HG survivors:

Ashli McCall has added a forum to her website : Beyond_Morning_Sickness

Ashli McCall battled severe hyperemesis gravidarum four times!!!
Read her HG Diary:

Thanks Ashli for sharing this with me! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Podcast: Episode 4 Book Reading

Episode 4 Book Reading

Today's reading from my book, Letters to Zane, included:
Page 34, A letter dated August 18, 2006
Page 35, A letter dated August 19, 2006 thru August 21, 2006

Also, the continuation of my adventures with HG : "How debilitating HG is and My Flight Home."

Also visit my activist page:
Sign my petition to encourage government funding of much needed HG research!

I am looking for women to share their HG Stories!
If you have suffered from HG and want to tell your story please email me :

Have A Happy Turkey Day!
Sorry for the not so great quality of this week's recording...still figuring out this mic!

Kimber MacGibbon on Today

Here is a video of the Her Foundation's founder Kimber MacGibbon, explaining what Hyperemesis Gravidarum is on the Today Show...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In the News...

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Avatars

Hi All...
Here are a few new avatars :)
Feel free to use them but please do not link directly to the pic!
Right Click and save to your computer.

Friday, November 16, 2007

HG Slideshow

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Episode 3 Podcast available...

Episode 3 is up! It includes:

Pages 27, A letter dated August 12, 2006
Pages 32, A letter dated August 16, 2006

Also, the continuation of my adventures with HG : "My hair falling out & resigning from my job."

Dont forget to visit my activist page:

Sign my petition to encourage government funding of much needed HG research!

Also! I am looking for women to share their HG Stories!
If you have suffered from HG and want to tell your story on my podcast please email me :

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Letters to Zane Now Available on & Barnes and!

That's right! Letters to Zane is now available on & it's affiliate!

Update: November 13, 2007 ~ Also available online from Barnes and Noble!!

It is pretty cool to think I really made this happen! It was alot of hard work, and alot to go buy the book :) you will be helping other women who have suffered and are suffering from this terrible disease.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Podcast Episode 2 is up!

I dont know what was wrong with the file, but it is up and ready for your listening pleasure :)
I started a new little thing with my podcast, "Raynie's adventures with HG" where I tell you little stories about my experiences that are not in the book.

Raynie's trip to Walmart for a prescription, is my first story in the series it is just what it sounds like...the horrible trip to get my medication, medication that did absolutely nothing to help me!!! LOL

Monday, October 29, 2007


Ok I have worked on my podcast 2 days now...and am having technical difficulties!
As soon as tech support fixes the problem I will publish the next episode :)
Hang in there with me...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Podcast Resumes...

Hi all!
I havent done a new podcast lately because I have been glued to my TV, cell phone and messenger waiting anxiously for word from family and friends in So Cal.

Thankfully most were safe and out of harms way, but I have some friends who have lost everything...

My love and prayers go out to them and their families, as well as all those in So Cal effected by these fires.

I thank those on the front lines who do what they can, putting themselves in harms way... and the Governator for his quick response.

For the latest updates and ways you can help the fire victims check the fireblog:

The Letters to Zane podcast will resume this Sunday night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Theories, Theories everywhere...

But no cure yet for us...

Here are some theories of where HG may come from:

What causes hyperemesis gravidarum remains unknown despite active research.
The more popular theories are categorized into 3 areas:

Elevated levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or a component of this hormone may play a role in inducing vomiting. This hormone has been shown to be in women with hyperemesis gravidarum.

Thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyroidism is also believed to be associated with hyperemesis gravidarum. A portion of the hCG hormone, called beta-hCG, is thought to stimulate an increase in serum thyroid hormones, which are associated with hyperemesis in pregnant women. It is not known whether this is a cause or effect of hyperemesis.

Another hormone thought to be the involved is serotonin. This is a brain chemical that affects both the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These effects are believed to induce vomiting. During pregnancy, the upper GI tract may slow down and thus contribute to increased nausea and vomiting. Several studies have shown that this slowdown in the GI tract is increased in pregnant women with severe vomiting.

Helicobacter pylori bacteria that live in the intestinal tract may cause the development of peptic ulcer disease. These bacteria are found in a greater percentage among pregnant women and greater still in those with hyperemesis gravidarum. Antibiotics are used to treat all these conditions.

Although the idea is controversial, some researchers think the condition may be a woman's psychological reaction against the pregnancy and might arise from conflict within the family and her home environment. In these cases, counseling has been used.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

HG Sufferers Needed...

If you are currently suffering from HG, the HER Foundation is looking for women to talk on camera, to give a face to HG suffering...

Go to their site

Help spread awareness, contact them ASAP!

Share Your Story...

Hello All...

As you know I have started my podcast, It is available from iTunes.

I would like to have guests share their HG Stories. If you are currently suffering from HG, are an HG Survivor, or have cared for someone suffering from HG... Share your Story!

Together we can raise awareness and help other women...
email me for details:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HG worse with female fetus??

According to an article I read today, HG is worse when a woman is pregnant with a female fetus...

"Women carrying female fetuses admitted with hyperemesis gravidarum are associated with some well recognized markers of starvation and dehydration and hence with more severe hyperemesis gravidarum," Dr. P. C. Tan from the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, told Reuters Health.

It was a small study only 166 women who were hospitalized with HG. According to their findings 60% had female babies. Also these women had severe ketonuria and high urea, however none of them required TPN.

Obviously more research is needed to find the real significance...

Especially since I had what is considered severe HG, requiring TPN, and I gave birth to a boy!

Here is the Article:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New... (updated 10/19)

Hi all...
I just published the next episode in my podcast. :)
Jenifer just let me know that she couldn't find it in the iTunes store.
It is there, but it is under Artist: Raynie

or you can use the link on the left...

or go to

Thanks for tuning in :)

***Update: I fixed the problem in my podcast account :)
you can now find the podcast by searching for Raynie Andrewsen in your iTunes!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Got Spit?

Ok it's real easy to participate in the HG study I mentioned earlier...

I did it and all it took was answering a few questions, a medical diagnoses of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (med records) and some spit! Actually it took quite a bit of spit, but it was so worth it. They need 1000 women who have had or currently are suffering from HG to participate in a study of possible genetic factors.

I know when I was sick with HG I suffered from Ptyalism, which is excessive salivation. I was constantly spitting in my throw up bucket because if I swallowed it I would instantly throw up. Just one of the many lovely side effects of HG.

My fellow HG ladies, I know you may be having the same problem if you are currently suffering... so put that spit to good use!

Please contact Marlena Schoenberg Fejzo, PhD at or 310-210-0802 to will be helping many more women :)

I Sold One!

I would like to personally thank you...

I dont know your name or where you are from, but you bought my book! Thank you so much.

I hope you like our story, but mostly I hope if you had or have HG that it will help you, inspire you, give you hope. If you know someone with HG please pass it along to them. Your purchase helps women with HG, 30% goes to The HER Foundation to help fund education and research.

I am happy to share my story with you, please help me spread the word about HG. We can help so many women if we just pass it on...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Letters to Zane Podcast on iTunes...

That's right! You can subscribe for free to my podcast of Letters to Zane on iTunes. I have some good stuff in the works... I will be reading from the book, inviting other HG survivors to share their stories, possibly do some interviews, and whatever else I can think of. The good thing is... I will be reaching more people to raise awareness for HG!


Subscribe today! Dont miss out on the good stuff coming... (LOL)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Research Participants Needed!

Hi Everyone!
I am participating in a study of possible genetic factors for Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I have been asked to pass the word around. They need 1000 women to participate.

If you have suffered from HG or know anyone who has please contact : Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Current 2007 Study: Genetics of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)
HG Researchers need your help! This study is designed to identify individuals affected with HG, to study epidemiologic factors via an online survey, to collect DNA samples from saliva through the mail at no cost or travel for you, and to search for genes and risk factors that may be potentially associated with this condition. To be eligible, you must have suffered from HG and had treatment for your HG that includes I.V. Hydration, TPN or other form of non-oral feeding (ie nasogastric feeding), OR both, and are able to recruit a friend with at least 2 pregnancies who has NOT suffered from HG to serve as a control. If you live in the United States and are interested, please contact Marlena Schoenberg Fejzo, PhD at or 310-210-0802.

Identification of genes and risk factors that contribute to HG will lead to a better understanding of the causes of severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, and should be a first step toward the development of more effective treatments or a cure for this devastating disease.

More info can be found at :

0a. How did you hear about the study?

0b. Are you currently living in the US?

1. Did you have severe nausea and vomiting in a singleton (not twins or multiples) pregnancy?

2. Were you treated with IV and/or TPN (total parenteral nutrition) or other form of feeding tube (ie nasogastric feeding tube) in this pregnancy due to nausea and vomiting?

3. Did your HG pregnancy have an abnormal outcome such as molar pregnancy, Down Syndrome, or any other chromosomal abnormalities or malformations?
If yes, please explain.

4. Do you think you will be able to identify an unaffected friend of the same race/ethnicity (not a family member) with at least 2 pregnancies that went beyond 27 weeks to participate in the study as a control?

5. To the best of your knowledge, are any of your relatives enrolled in this study?

6. Are you between the age of 18-50?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sony E Book Optimized!

Letters to Zane is now optimized for Sony ebook Reader. Sony® Reader owners will be able to download the eBook and read it wherever they go! I will be loading it to my website soon :) Stay tuned!

Friday, October 5, 2007


Now that was some fun!!!
I think I need a better mic, but my first test podcast sure was fun to make...
I have to admit I had a little stage fright, and got a little tongue tied...LOL
I cant wait to do the next one :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Coming soon to a podcast near you!

I am working on making a podcast of Letters to Zane. Along with a virtual book tour, complete with readings from the book.

I just started this today... Kind of a spur of the moment idea.
The address is:

I am also working on submitting it to the iTunes music store, although I am not too sure what it takes as I am working on that and this blog at the same time!
What can I say... I'm multi-talented at multi-tasking (hee hee)

I also created a website, although I mostly use my blog!
You can find it here:

Thats whats new!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Getting Excited...

I am testing the waters looking for reviews and making my "Hit list" for my marketing campaign. There's been some interest, but I wont say who or where...I dont want to jinx things (LOL) I'm not really superstitious, I just dont want to "count my chickens before they have hatched"!

I will be donating a portion of the sales of my book to the HER Foundation to support their ongoing research efforts. The HER Foundation is a 501c3 Non Profit Organization and donations are Tax Deductible! To learn more about Hyperemesis Gravidarum you can visit their site by clicking the banner below:

They will be adding my book to their site as well in the next week or so. Thank You! Kimber :)

The majority of my marketing effort will be when the book hits Amazon, etc... But so far I feel pretty good about the response I have recieved! Here's to hoping... :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Press Release

Raynie Andrewsen Aims to Raise Awareness of Deadly Pregnancy Disease: Hyperemesis Gravidarum with Release of New Book, Letters to Zane.

RENO, NV.—SEPTEMBER 22, 2007— Raynie Andrewsen leads readers through her struggles with Hyperemesis Gravidarum in a book written for her unborn child, Letters to Zane.
Letters to Zane is a heartfelt story of a woman who finds herself about to become a single mother and unknowingly about to fight for her life and the life of her unborn child. She learns she has Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and must face her own mortality. The disease although rare is very debilitating for women who must go through it. Some women abort or lose their child, others lose their lives. Letters to Zane describes the disease, treatment, and the daily struggles she faced trying to bring her child into the world.

Raynie Andrewsen originally wrote Letters to Zane as a journal to her unborn son, so that he would know how much he was wanted and loved. She quickly realized that her story could help other mothers struggling with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. She believes that it will give them hope when there seems to be none. Letters to Zane is available for purchase at

“I never thought bringing my child into this world would be so hard. I wanted to publish my story so other women suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum will have access to information in a market where there is very little written about the disease. There is little information available about this disease which afflicts approximately 50,000 women each year. If my story gives just one woman hope, then I have done my job.” said Raynie Andrewsen.

Link to Publication*:

Author’s Blog*:


Raynie Andrewsen is a Single Mother, Master Herbalist, and Author. This is her first published work. She spends her days in Southern California with her son. She also volunteers her time reaching out to support other women who are suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Published through, winner of the 2007 Web 2.0 Award for best websites (, top ranked self publishing site, one of the largest online worldwide creative communities, and a premiere global marketplace for new digital content on the Internet.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Raynie Andrewsen,, 760-586-1360.

Let's Celebrate!

I did it! I finally published my book. In a few weeks our story will be out in the world for all to see. With a little luck it will reach a woman who is in desperate need of some HOPE!

It is available right now from the publisher:
Letters to Zane

Print Version is $19.95, Downloadable Version is $10.00

To order from your favorite bookstore or library when it becomes available, use these numbers:

Library of Congress Number: 2007906640

ISBN Number: 978-1-4303-2756-1

This is a big day for Zane and I! I just want to thank all the people who helped me through it all, you are truly a blessing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Chapter...

I decided to add a chapter to my book, this chapter is going to have the clinical stuff! All the different ways I was treated for my HG. I am thinking it may help some women who may not have medical care familiar with treating this debilitating disease. I dont think it will delay the book at all. I am thinking it will be published this month and released by Christmas. At least that's the goal! Wish me luck!

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Proof is Here!

Today was pretty exciting for me! My Proof book came in the mail today. I had drove down to the mailbox and was dissapointed that the mail was not there. Of course when I got back to the house the mail man drove up...LOL

I used the binoculars to see if it was worth driving the 1/3 mile back down to the mailbox, sure enough there was a box! I started jumping up and down saying "My Book is Here" It was somewhat reminicent of that scene from The Jerk... You know the one...'The new phone book's here, The new phone book's here!' LOL

I went back down and there it was. My book. My heartfelt words to my son, my tears, fears, and my joys. In Print. I wanted to cry I was so happy. I feel so accomplished.

I just finished proof reading it. There are a few things that need to be fixed, minor type-o's, but other than that I am pretty happy with it. I'll be publishing it in the next week and then setting up distribution.

My friends and family are excited.... So am I !

Monday, September 10, 2007


"You were unrecognizable... I just cried because I wanted my friend back!"

That is what my Pamie Dear told me today. It was a very touching and emotional discussion. We were talking about my book and how close I am to having it released. She is excited to read it. She said that she could not believe how sick I was and actually neither could I. It still gets to me when I think about it, or read other women's stories.

It's hard to believe that women, in a time that should be their greatest joy, are stricken so hard. We are litterally beaten down by the disease. Women do die from this, and those who dont die certainly are knocking on the door.

Women terminate their pregnancies, or suffer for fear that they will never be able to go through it again and realize their dream of motherhood. This has changed my life. It has become kind of a mission to tell as many people as I can about Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

I am seriously traumatized. I honestly feel I could never have another child because I am terrified I will be as sick or worse. I dont think I could go through that again. I dont think my body could take it, and my recovery thus far has been slow although I think somedays I have come very far.

Although I have read limited research stating that the chances are about 50% that women experience HG in subsequent pregnancies, from the women I have found, it seems that number is not correct. I would say the number is more like 90%. The women I have found seem to suffer in each pregnancy, and if they carry to term many have same or worse severeity.

I cant believe that there is so little research done on something that is considered one of the major reasons (besides pre-eclampsia) that women are hospitalized. I cant believe that there are some women who cant get proper medical care for HG and end up terminating their baby or worse...dying.

It just bothers me. Just venting.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Library of Congress

It's here! My Library of Congress PCN Number!
I'm Just a few short weeks from realizing one of my dreams!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Book Update!

Things are running pretty smooth so far! I have just ordered my review copy to double check the editing and see what the finished copy will look like. I'm still waiting for my control number from the Library of Congress, should be another week. After my final review I will be ready for my ISBN and Distribution! It's pretty cool what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. Plus... it has given me a taste of what I need to do for my next project!

Friday, August 31, 2007

WANTED: HG Survivors for a Calendar Project

I am thinking of creating a "Faces of HG" Calendar. What do you think? I need to work out the tiny details... I am getting excited. If you are interested in participating as a "Model" let me know! I am thinking it would be a great idea for raising money for our cause! It would be a Mommy and Baby picture, and a brief blurb of your experience... at least that is my thought right now. Anyhooo...more on that subject to come...

Here is "Miss September" LOL, just cuz Sept is my bday!

OK...How long does it take???

I am so excited about letting my baby out into the world... My Baby = My Book
I want to share what I have gone through, and raise awareness about this horrible HG! I am waiting for my Library of Congress number to add to my copyright page, editing almost done... I'm getting pretty excited to see the final product!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Survived HG Avatars

Feel Free to copy these for your own use! I will be making more when I have time.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a rare pregnancy complication, afflicting only about 2% of pregnant women. ¹ “HG is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the newborn(s).” ²

I was diagnosed with HG at a Reno emergency room on August 16, 2006. It began as just severe nausea and vomiting leading to dehydration, which they treated with antiemetics and IV fluids. However, the condition worsened. I went to the ER in Reno twice before resigning from my job and flying home to Southern California. I was so weak I could not care for myself. I didn’t want Scotty to have to take care of me although he tried very hard to do so. My Mom said to come home and I did. I had to be in a wheelchair at the airport, and when they brought me down to where my sister was waiting for me, she didn’t even recognize me! My niece had said I looked like my father when he was going through chemotherapy.

The day after I got home, I was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. My muscles were cramping up and I was very weak. I was admitted and this time in addition to IV fluids, I also needed potassium.

My potassium was very low, so low that they ordered an EKG to make sure my heart was okay. They also kept me on the floor with heart patients to be monitored over night. I believe I had tried just about every anti-nausea medicine that has been made by the time this story is through. After I was released, I was still unable to keep anything down.

The simplest things we do everyday, things we take for granted, I was unable to do. I could not shower without help, I could not even brush my own hair! I needed help walking to the bathroom! I couldn’t drive, I could not keep food or drink down. I was miserable.

This went on for months. I was so very frustrated and depressed and so many days I just cried and cried. I really did not know how much more I could take. I had lost over 20% of my pre-pregnancy body weight in a matter of months, I had been rushed to the emergency room twice by ambulance and once by a Della and my Mom. I was scared not only for my child, but for my own health that was rapidly deteriorating.

The doctors decided that if my child and I were going to survive we needed nutrition. Since I could not keep anything down, it would have to be intravenous. The procedure to install a PICC line was a big to-do, but once it was in and my home care established I could go home!

A catheter was carefully placed in my arm leading to a major blood vessel. The procedure did not hurt, but the care would be specific. I had a home nurse and TPN. TPN is Total Parental Nutrition, it is a complex mix of nutrition and vitamins specific to your body. It looks like milk in an IV bag, and actually smells like sour milk! I was relieved, but they still told me to try to eat, because this wasn’t a “cure” just a “bandaid” for now. I was going to be slowly weaned from the TPN over a period of time in hopes that I would be able to eat by then. My mother was taught how to care for the PICC line when the nurse was not there.

I had the PICC line for about a week when one morning I woke and my neck was swollen, I wasn’t sure if I just wrenched it somehow or what so I tried ice which seemed to help the swelling but once I removed it the swelling returned and was spreading. I knew something was not right and woke my Mother. She looked at my neck then called my nurse.

The nurse felt this was a life threatening situation and called an ambulance. I was back in the ER and they said I most likely developed a clot and they removed the PICC line.

After numerous tests and an ultrsound of my veins the results were in. I had numerous clots in the area of the PICC line which extended from my neck to half way to my elbow.

The treatment was going to be hospitalization and blood thinners. The only blood thinners they could prescribe me that would not pass to the baby was Lovenox. The Lovenox had to be injected subcutaneously… in my stomach!; Everyday for the next 3-6 months. Not to mention that I now no longer had a PICC line, so the only nutrition I was going to be able to give myself and my child was going to be whatever my body could force itself to keep down which wasn’t much. I was released only because I agreed to give myself the shots. I would have had to stay in the hospital if I could not give the shots myself. It was very painful, I never got it on the first try. I always had to poke myself more than once and one day it took me 6 tries! My stomach was so bruised I was running out of places to stick myself.

My trips to the emergency room were not over, however. I was rushed via ambulance one more time because in addition to all my other troubles, I began having fainting spells. The ER doctor told me that my symptoms could be indicative of the clot breaking off and traveling to my lungs. This too was life threatening, depending on the size of the clot, a pulmonary embolism would be treated by either medication or surgery, But… it could cause my death.

The doctor told me I would have to make a choice, because the test he would have to do to be sure, would harm my baby. I said I don’t want to do it. I was going to take a chance. I was admitted again. He did other tests and said that the blood thinners I was on may have prevented the clot from breaking off.

I lived.

I was told by my doctor that I may have to choose between my life and my child’s. I was not willing to choose. He sent one of his colleagues, a female, to talk with me the next morning and see how commited I was to having this baby. She too said there may come a time where I would have to choose because of all I had been through already physically and emotionally. I said I want this baby, this baby was meant to be. She said “then we will do everything we can to help you bring this child into the world.”

By Thanksgiving I was starting to keep some food down, although I had bouts of vomiting here and there, it was no where near what I had experienced up to that point. I had another ultrasound of my veins to see how the medication was doing. I had read that I would have further complications if my condition was not resolved by my third trimester. If the clot remained the stress of childbirth could cause it to break off and a pulmonary embolism, the blood thinners could cause bleeding complications, and should I require an epidural, if I was still on Lovenox there was a risk of permanent paralasis. Just when you think you cannot take anymore, or that it cannot get any worse…well, it can.

The results were that “there were no obvious blood clots, but there was still inflammation”. I finished out my prescription and had my last shot the day after Christmas. What a wonderful gift! I began my third trimester in January. By February I had finally gained weight… too much weight actually. I was showing early warning signs of pre-eclampsia. I was like, great what now? I had rapid weight gain, water retention, and my blood pressure was slightly elevated.

I had to be on a low sodium diet, get more rest, drink more water, and reduce stress. The doctor said that I needed to get it under control or he may have to do an emergency C section, as there would be great risk to the lives of both me and my baby. After about a week I lost 2 pounds so the low sodium diet must have been working. I shed a few more pounds over the following weeks which made my doctor happy.

Although I continued to have general weakness and occasional nausea and vomiting, I could finally drive and shower on my own, but I needed to rest afterward as something as simple as taking a shower made me quite weak.

I seemed to get a little more energy each day. I was able to enjoy my pregnancy, my family and my friends. I was apart of the world again, and I was really happy to have made it so far. As the days grew closer to my due date, I would think back on the days that I cried, that were so hard I wanted to give up.

And I think to myself…

I am so glad I didn’t. I swore to God if one more person told me I would have to make a choice, I would be very, very tempted to give in and give up. I started praying harder than I have ever prayed in my life to just take away this horrible disease so that I wouldn’t have to give up my child.

My prayer was answered. I got better slowly, but it was just enough to keep me going… to get me to the end. There was a light at the end of that tunnel after all. His name is Zane, and he is worth everything I had to go through, everything WE had to go through.

He wanted to live, and I wanted to be his Mother. I am so thankful for this gift.

¹;²Kimber MacGibbon,


Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

Saturday, August 25, 2007


The book is in the final editing process! I am very excited. This whole experience has changed my life! Who would have ever thought that bringing my child into this world would be so hard. I still feel as though my body is damaged, perhaps it is slowly recovering.

I just want to thank the people who helped me through everyday. It is so important to have a support group during those times when you want to give up and it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

This is a life threatening disease, and the more research I do and the more stories I read from others, the more it really sinks in...

My life, AND my child's life was in danger. It is still unfathomable... sometimes I really can't believe it, how close I was. It certainly puts things in perspective!

Friday, July 13, 2007

US Pharmacist Info on HG

WOW! I found this in my travels online...

It is a page by the US Pharmacist online publication. The page is on Hyperemesis Gravidarum and it's really informative. In particular it had information on treatment and the different drugs used in HG!

You may be interested to see as well:

Saturday, April 7, 2007

April 7, 2007

Hi Honey!

Guess what? Tomorrow is supposed to be your birthday.

I have a lot of pressure down in my pelvis. The last couple of days I have had pain in my back off and on. Today I had some back pain and two cramps, but it went away. I don’t know if you will be born tomorrow or not, but you have been pretty active today. I feel occasional tightening in my belly…must be those Braxton Hicks contractions I read about…although I have no idea!

I am excited! I hope you will be born tomorrow, I cant wait to meet you. I want to see you and see what you look like. I want to hold you and tell you how much I love you. I want to hold you so bad, just want to snuggle and love you.

My sweet little love bug. I keep hoping my water will break or that labor would start. Everyone is so excited, they’ve been calling me a lot. I haven’t had any regular intervals of tightening or cramping.

I know I say it everyday but I am so excited…I cant wait!

I want to be your Mommy so bad. I hope tomorrow is the day!

We shall see…
Love You So Much!
Love Mommy

Friday, March 30, 2007

March 30, 2007

Hello My Sweet Love,

How are you today? I just got out of the shower, it always wipes me out. Something as simple as taking a shower can make me so exhausted. I believe it has to do with the HG that I had.

I was a little nauseated the past two days as well. It said on the website that recovery is long for HG women, to expect at least two months for every month you were sick.

I was horribly sick for 5 months, now some days are really good… I feel good and have energy… but lately I have been very low energy, taking lots of naps, and when I shower I need to just lay down and rest a few moments before I get dressed and finish my “beauty routine”.

It’s hot today...

This is an excerpt from the book I Wrote: Letters to Zane
Available September 2007

Saturday, March 3, 2007

March 3, 2007

Hi Sweetheart,

Today was your baby shower, and I must tell you I have the most wonderful friends. The baby shower was very nice.

We had Rubios Mexican Food Catering, and a yummy chocolate fountain with fresh fruit. We played some fun games and you got some very nice gifts.

I am so excited, you will be here very soon!

I Love You.
Love Mommy

Thursday, February 22, 2007

February 22, 2007

Hello My Sweet Love!

Tonight a funny thing happened and although I had been told about it and read about it, I was still somehow unprepared and a little shocked! *Laugh*

My left nipple leaked! I guess it knows I’ll be feeding you very soon. Just a few drops but it was still sooo weird!

I also threw up this morning, and haven’t felt all that great all day. It just creeps up on me sometimes. I am really glad I didn’t have cereal this morning because milk is HORRIBLE coming up. (The second time around) I had an apple and an English muffin and I was really bummed because it was Yummy!

I may have just waited too long to eat… I didn’t eat until 12pm, but I didn’t even wake up until 10am. I am supposed to be getting more rest.

I wish I had the energy to go for a walk, I really want to go walk on the beach… but it has been raining. I love the rain, but...

This is an excerpt from the book I Wrote: Letters to Zane
Available September 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 18, 2007

Hi Sweetie!

How do I love thee?

Only six more weeks until your birthday! I am so excited.

I started doing “kick counts” today to check how active you are. You were very active this afternoon and a little during my nap. It’s almost 7pm so you should be waking up soon. So I will...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

February 13, 2007

Hi Sweetie!

Mommy had a doctor appointment today.

He said I have the warning signs of yet another complication… I am retaining water, gaining too much weight, and have slight swelling in my legs. The doctor said I need to do a low sodium diet and watch what I eat.

These are warning signs of pre-eclampsia, and if I don’t get it under control, he might have to do an emergency C-Section.

I love you so much my sweet baby boy. I will...

This is an excerpt from the book I Wrote: Letters to Zane
Available September 2007

Saturday, February 3, 2007

February 3, 2007

Hello Sweetheart,

I am not feeling all that great today. Not really sick… just kinda blah! Feeling.

Tomorrow we are going to auntie Jess’s house. We are going down there for a visit, and a little break from all the never ending list of crap I need to finish before your birthday.

Hey!! You’re kickin’ me! …

Sunday, January 28, 2007

January 28, 2007

Hi Baby Zane,

It is about 3:00 am, and I am up! It seems I get up around 2:00-3:00 am everyday now. My body must be getting me ready for you.

I was hungry too, so I ate half of a banana. I am really tempted to eat some of the chocolate cake I have… maybe just a bite!

I haven’t been feeling too good these past 4 days. I threw up 3 days, including yesterday. I just feel low energy, and just blah in general. I don’t know why.

I am supposed to take pictures today… we will see if I am feeling up to it.

I am also trying to get our room fixed up. I finished your name; I made a cool decoupage on wooden letters…

This is an excerpt from the book I Wrote: Letters to Zane
Available September 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

January 23, 2007

Feeling sick today.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

January 6, 2007

Sweet Baby Zane,

Mommy Loves You!

I don’t have much to say today… kind of tired, but I wanted you to know I am thinking about you… and feel very blessed that I will get to be your Mommy.

You mean the world to me, you truly do.

I love you sooo much, my sweet little love.
Love Mommy

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

January 2, 2007

Hi Sweet Baby Zane!

WOW! It’s the New Year. Time sure does go FAST…

It makes you appreciate life. When you think about how fast it goes and that your life is but a blink of an eye in the grander scheme of things.

I read on my baby website that you are now approximately 14 inches long and about 2 pounds. I am sooo excited! Your birthday is coming in like 96 days.

I can’t believe it.

Everything we have gone through thus far…

This is an excerpt from the book I Wrote: Letters to Zane
Available September 2007