My experience with medicinal marijuana.

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My experience with medicinal marijuana.

Postby JessicaMay » Nov 16, 2010 10:00 pm

Hi everyone :)

First off, I had better introduce myself. My name is Jessica, and I am 39 weeks pregnant with my first baby.
I joined this site at the begining of my pregnancy, but I lost my job because of my hyperemesis, couldn't pay the internet bill (and most others ultimately), and had to return to New Zealand from Australia where my husband and I had lived for the past 2 years.
With only 1 income, a very high rent, zofran not being covered by medicare and us not being citizens entitled to any social security, we just could not afford to stay in Australia any longer.
We are now living at my Mothers house in New Zealand, and are getting back on our feet. my husband has found a good job, and we hope to be in our own place not long after bubs is born.

I went to a conference for work earlier on this year. Whilst at the conference I attended a dinner with some people that were quite influential in my industry.

After the dinner, I had 2 cocktails. Half way through the second, I started to feel very unwell. My head was swimming, and I flt hot and flushed. I could smell one of my colleauges perfume so strongly, I thought I was going to vomit. I decided that it was time to politely excuse myself and return to my room at the hotel, where my husband was busy watching the game on T.V.

When I returned to the room, I made a mad dash for the toilet bowl, and next thing, there were my cocktails and my dinner, in front of me. My husband and I laughed it off... "too many cocktails". The next morning I felt very hungover, or so I thought.

After a return flight of nausea and vomiting, I decided to go to the local 24 hour pharmacy when we got home, to get some hydralite, becuase I was feeling quite dehydrated. I also had thrush.

On the way to the pharmacy, it occured to me that vomiting and thrush could be pregnancy symptoms, and my period was a week late. I thought this was impossible though, as my husband and I had been told our chances of conception were very low due to me having blocked tubes. I had just come off the pill the month before to undergo further fertility investigation. Nevertheless, I decided to buy a pregnancy test, and give it a go.

I was over the moon. My greatest dream had come true. I called my Mum straight away. Me and my husband couldn't have been happier.

I decided to keep my news from my work as long as I could. I had just recently received a promotion, and I had a very important project to complete in the next three months. I geuss I jsut didn't want anyone thinking I couldn't handle the new role. My workplace was very cold and competitive.

Unfortunately, it was impossible to keep my pregnancy a secret. I would usually have vomitted at least 5 times before even arriving at the door in the morining, and anything I ingested throughout the day came back up. I was constantly retching in the bathroom, and I had vomited more than once behind a potplant.

At 10 weeks, I was in a meeting. Next thing I know, the door is opened, and a cart of savories and pies is wheeled in. As the cover is removed, the smell overwhelms me immediately, and I vomit unconrolably all over the boardroom table. Not only do I vomit, but I lose control of my bladder too, and pee all over the floor. I ran out crying, and took a train home, covered in vomit.

I of course told my work about my pregnancy at this stage, and after being reassured by many that my 'mornins sickness' would pass soon, I felt confident that I could get through the next few weeks untill things settled down. I was feeling dreadfull, was awfully dehydrated, exhausted and was losing phenominal ammounts of weight.

I was only able to work 3 days a week, the other 2, I was usually receiving I.V fluids at the hospital. At 17 weeks, my doctor put me off work with the diagnosis of 'Hyperemesis Gravidarum'. Unfortunately, my work was not willing to let me have a few weeks off, and I was basically fired. I was so sick I didn't care.

By this stage, my doctor had me on a cocktail of stematil, maxolin and phenergen. I was going to my local hospital for fluids every few days. The meds DID NOT WORK. I was still losing weight, and my ketone tests were always positive. I was getting very frightend for my baby.

I went to my doctor constantly asking for help, I knew this wasn't normal. Vomiting 20 times a day is not 'morning sickness'. I think because I was overweight to begin with, I wasn't taken seriously in those early days.

I had heard of this drug called 'zofran'. I wanted it, but my doctor just said 'that is a very strong drug, not just for morning sickness'. I was infuriated, and defeated, and nearly gave up.

At 20 weeks, I spent the night on the bathroom floor, lying on a bedding of towels. I had been vomiting so much that all of my bladder muscles had weakend, and each time I retched, I would leak urine. It was just easier to be in the bathroom on tiles, and closer to the toilet bowl.

My husband was desperate by this stage, and so was I. My family were in another country, and his didn't understand. why would they? 'Morning Sickness' is something everyone has to go through.....

The next morning, lying there on the bathroom floor, all I wanted was a break. A break from the nausea, the retching, the bile, the blood.... everything. My head was so hazey, and my mouth and body dry. My husband and I used to smoke the odd joint in the weekends, as we are not drinkers, and this was our little vice. By no means were we stoners or anyhthing like that. Since becomming pregnant, I had totally stayed away from the stuff, scared that I could harm my baby. But that morning, on the bathroom floor, I needed releif. I was desperate for something to help numb me.

I sent my husband out to buy some weed from a freind of his that grew it on his property, so I knew it was completely safe stuff. I really jsut wanted a puff to help me stop thinking about the reality of the situation I was in. He go home, and rolled up a joint. I had 2 puffs. 2 little puffs, and instantly, my nausea was gone.

I felt great, I felt hungry, starving infact. I was scared to eat though, my throat was raw, and I had become so accustomed to vomiting up all I ate, I didn't beleive that I could really be better. I ate though... I ate alot. I was sure it would come back up. An hour passed, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4.... and still, the food stayed down, and I had no more nausea!

I decided that I was going to use marijuana to alleviate my symptoms untill my return to New Zealand, where I was sure I would get correct medical advice, as my doctor is married to the local obstetrician, and they have been family friends of ours since I was a child.

My husband an I returned to New Zealand at 28 weeks. 1 week before we returned, I decided not to continue smoking marijuana, as I had confided in a cousin of my husbands, who had told everyone in his family, and I was too concerned about their opinions at the time. I became very unwell again, needing to receive fluids and I.V meds the day before the plane trip home.

The day after we returned to New Zealand, I saw my obstetrician. He admitted me to the maternity ward straight away for fluids, vitamins and minerals, vit B12, and also started an agressive course of Zofran via I.V. I was entering the first stages of kidney failure. The zofran stopped the vomiting, I thought it was great! I was released from the hospital.

At home, I couldn't keep the zofran down, and I was back in again, hooked up to an I.V. Things improved again, and I was released. This time I was not taking chances. I was going to continue with marijuana. Besides, the zofran gave me terrible constipation, made me anxious, and I was going to have to be hospitilized for the duration of my pregnancy if I decided to take the regualr medical root.

I am now 39 weeks pregnant, gained all of my weight back plus some, and baby is doing well according to ultrasound. All of my blood tests are normal again, and I can eat and drink with a hearty appetite. Every few days I will not smoke, just to see if the hyperemesis is still there, each time, I am vomiting and retching by the afternoon, and as soon as I have a couple of puffs, it stops.

I know some people may not approve of my choice, but I am totally happy with it. I feel I am using something natural to alleviate my severe symptoms. I have tried conventional medicine, and it just didn't work for me. I am happy to answer any questions or speak with anyone about dosage and usage.

All my love,

Jessica
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Postby PallasAthena » Nov 16, 2010 10:53 pm

This is something I am considering asing my dr about. Medical MJ is legal where I live. I wouldn't smoke it because of the cancer risks, but they do make it into lollipops and stuff here. There is also a drug form called Marinol.
My HG Blog: Knocked Up - Knocked Over

Gabriela Sofia: born 11/5/2007, moderate HG 1st and 3rd tri
DD#2 - So Far: Intense HG during the 1st tri, but with very aggressive & early treatment it cleared up in the 2nd tri. NVP returned at 28 wks, taking 8 mg Zofran+20 mg Nexium at night. Protocol on my blog & in the HG prep folder.
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Postby JessicaMay » Nov 16, 2010 11:47 pm

I think Marinol is a great breakthrough. I wish it had been availible here :(
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Postby PallasAthena » Nov 17, 2010 12:39 am

Me too. (((hugs))) But you know, I hear it doesn't work as well as the leafy stuff anyway. :(
My HG Blog: Knocked Up - Knocked Over

Gabriela Sofia: born 11/5/2007, moderate HG 1st and 3rd tri
DD#2 - So Far: Intense HG during the 1st tri, but with very aggressive & early treatment it cleared up in the 2nd tri. NVP returned at 28 wks, taking 8 mg Zofran+20 mg Nexium at night. Protocol on my blog & in the HG prep folder.
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Postby samarpana » Nov 18, 2010 11:49 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience. I have heard several "miracle" stories about marijuana use for HG. It sounds more effective than pharmaceuticals, just based on the majority of what I've read on these boards. It's probably safer too, because there is far more research on Marijuana use during pregnancy. Personally, based on the studies I've read, I think it is safe. The studies that claim it is "harmful" are actually not very conclusive at all. Many others show little to no effects. Anyhow....You can also use a vaporizer if you don't want the smoke in your lungs. I wish I had the courage to get pregnant again and try this as my course of treatment. But I just can't get over the Post-traumatic stress disorder the HG left me with. I'm too scared. Best of luck to you though!
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Postby PallasAthena » Nov 19, 2010 5:42 pm

Okay, yeah. I am definitely going to ask my doctor about this.

How do you handle medical marijuana at work though? Can they fire you for taking it? Even if it is an Rx?

ETA: And how do you find a reputable dispensary?
My HG Blog: Knocked Up - Knocked Over

Gabriela Sofia: born 11/5/2007, moderate HG 1st and 3rd tri
DD#2 - So Far: Intense HG during the 1st tri, but with very aggressive & early treatment it cleared up in the 2nd tri. NVP returned at 28 wks, taking 8 mg Zofran+20 mg Nexium at night. Protocol on my blog & in the HG prep folder.
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Postby samarpana » Nov 19, 2010 10:23 pm

I would be very interested to know if you find a doctor in CA who will prescribe this in pregnancy? I thought that they would not do it due to liability issues. But I don't really know. As far as dispensary goes..... maybe you can find one that does local growing? That might be your best bet. We have several of those here and I understand the product is very clean and high quality. Does your work drug test you? Would they even have to know? Again, not sure, but I don't think you can get fired if it is a prescription and it is not interfering with your work duties
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Postby JessicaMay » Nov 21, 2010 2:02 am

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to use a dispensary, due to it not being legalized here yet. Fortunately though, I know a few growers personally, so I have been able to come across some good quality safe stuff. It's just bush (aka, grown outside in the ground, the natural way).
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Postby IslandDreamer » Dec 25, 2010 11:07 am

So glad it worked for you, Jessica!

For me, the safety of the plant was always in question around here. Knowing the growers and getting organic is key, as Jessica states. Now several states have dispensaries. Where I live, I could get a grower card if I had a clue how to pursue it and how to grow. Then I could provide care for five patients through the dispensary, again, where is that? :roll: It's doable where the medical marijuana is legal. It's harder to get safe, quality weed in other locations.
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Postby julianadg » Dec 30, 2010 11:22 am

My question about the safety of the plant...since it is not legal here. what could people possibly be putting in it that makes it not safe. They aren't going to cut it with more expensive drugs
Sienna ( 1/9/05- Fluffy)
Sawyer (9/27/08- Severe HG from 6wks- 36 weeks)
Angel Baby Scarlett (loss at 8 weeks because I was so scared of what awaited. Moderate HG at 6 weeks.)
My Blog about my story with HG- WARNING it's triggering
http://islandofgriefmountainofjoy.wordpress.com/
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Postby samarpana » Dec 31, 2010 7:49 pm

Thats a good one to look into (safety of the plant). Like you, I can't see the point of it being mixed with anything. Personally, I would just want to find a local source (rather than something smuggled in from another country). That way I would feel confident about who has been handling it and what strain of Marijuana it is, exactly. There are many different types of hybridized marijuanas to create various effects. For example, there is Indica, Sativa and various blends. All have slightly different effects. It is important to know which type of plant you are getting, especially where nausea / vomiting is concerned. In the extensive article about HG and Marijuana (by Wenifer Lin Curry), she and others found that pure Sativa Marijuana was more effective for HG Than Indica. I encourage everyone to read Mrs. Curry's articles on the Marijuana / HG issue. She has the most compelling info. about it I've found.
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Postby mamaarnoux » Jan 02, 2011 11:33 am

thank you all so much for discussing this topic. it helps to know im not alone in my choice of medication to treat HG, my only concern is brestfeeding after birth, i confided in my midwife about using medical marajuana and she was surprisingly understanding, however she did advise me since i do plan on breastfeeding, that if i test positive for MJ in the hospital they wont allow me to breast feed my baby. these are the options ive been considering
1. im at 34 weeks, stop smoking now and likely relapse , and end up in hospital, however, be clean when i give birth so i can breast feed.
2. change my birthing plan to a natural birthing center with more options and less restristions about the issue. (i have a family member who went through this birthing center, she delivered baby at home and smoking as not an issue)
3. continue to use mj to treat my vomiting, and as a result be unable to breastfeed in the hospital, though i know how nutritious mamas first milk can be for baby. have to face judgements and dissapointment from family, since grandma has her heart set on me breastfeeding.

what are your expierences with breastfeeding after choosing this treatment? what are the effects on baby if baby feeds from mother using MJ? how importnant is it really to breastfeed baby in the hospital? any advise for preparing for a relapse?
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Postby Shyonelisa » Jan 03, 2011 1:57 am

Although marijuana made me sick during my pregnancy (the smell made me puke more) I did try to smoke a bit. I did extensive research on the topic and found that almost all professionals believe that it is still more beneficial for a mother to breast feed while smoking mj, so I'm really surprised they don't allow it. Anyway, you could simply pump every 2 hours, so your milk comes in on time (the baby probably won't get more than 1/2 to 1 oz. from those first feedings anyway) and when you get home, feed as normal. You could try lowering your mj intake, and maybe abstaining like a week prior to delivery (and drinking loads of water if you're able to, as this will help flush you). Or you could even continue to smoke, and abstain a few days prior to your due date, and go get fluids. My sister, who has successfully used mj during 2 HG pregnancies, told me that the IV fluids cleanse the body, so perhaps if you get fluids close enough to delivery, they won't detect anything.

HUGS, I hope you are able to both continue with the treatment, and bf the little one.
DD-NVP 2 weeks (1996)
DS-Severe HG (2006)
Flapjack aka DD-Severe HG (2010)

One day at a time!
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Postby saratxu » Jan 23, 2011 5:38 am

Thank you for sharing your storie with us.

This my third pregnancy with HG and what most helps me is the acupunture and from time to time, a spliff of mariajuana... I do have to keep it in secret, of course, here is Spain, doctors look to you as if you were an bad alien mother if you say that you get best results with acupunture than with HG medicines and that a spliff helps me with the sickness...but... what hurts more the baby? and what helps more the mum?

Big hugh for all of you
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Postby JessicaMay » Mar 22, 2011 8:56 pm

Hi All,

I hope you beautiful ladies are all well. I jsut thought I would give you all an update. I gave birth to my son, Cruz, on November 26th 2010. He was full term +2 days.

Cruz was totally healthy and cried immediately after birth. He was 6lb 7oz (a little small, but me and his Dad were small babies). He is gaining weight very well now that I have put him on a bottle. I breastfed for 3 months, and then really had nothing left to give. After the hyperemesis, I think i was kidding myself if I was going to exclusivly breastfeed for 6 months.

Aside from the breastfeeding issue, all is fine. Cruz has reached all of his developmental milestones for his age, early infact. He is a smiley cuddly happy little boy.

In my opinion Marijuana saved me and my babies life. I stopped smoking immediately after birth, and will not touch the stuff in the future, untill my next pregnancy. I have a friend who suffered through a late term abortion and brain damage due to hyperemesis, and I feel I made the right decision. I beleive that I had a pretty sever case of hyperemesis, and if a little puff of a natural plant can combat what I had, I'm sure it can work for others. It was honestly a miricle cure for me.

I plan on having another baby in the next few years. Of course, if the hperemesis comes back, I will try the traditional medical route, but if it does not work, I will be using Marijuana again. I personally feel safer using marijuana than Zofran.
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Postby Hayleyn » Mar 22, 2011 9:23 pm

Hey I say if it works, more power to you. I am definitely giving it thought for my next pregnancy along with steroids. There is no way I am going 22+ weeks with no nutrients what so ever. SO happy your baby is doing good. (hugs) :)
Hayley

2x HG Survivor


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Postby zoe-down-under » Apr 23, 2011 10:34 pm

Great topic! Thanks to Jessica and other mums for speaking out about their experiences.

I've had so many traumas with HG, and wish I'd known of this option years ago. I think I would have tried it. And it may have changed my life.

Again, great topic.
Zoe from Australia
DD '98 - Moderate HG
Foster DD joined us in 2004 - No HG! ;)
Angel loved and lost Jan 07 - Severe HG
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Postby faithlove » Jun 11, 2011 2:00 pm

I am very interested to know if anyone else has tried this herbal remedy? It can be easily grown anywhere with a few seeds from what I remember from my teen years...

Bump if anyone has tried this herb, please share!!!
Loss at 16 wks in Oct 2012. Now pregnant again! :)
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Postby mrsmom » Jun 14, 2011 11:29 pm

My daughter with hg used medical marijuana in her last pregnancy. It was very, very helpful for her, particularly with letting her have enough of an appetite to eat. This pregnancy she hasn't smoked so far ( the much easier method ).. but has had a lollipop from a bakery, and some tea. She said the lollipop didn't help very much, and the tea was too strong and made her really anxious. So I guess it is like with any medication -- you need to find the right dosage and delivery method. If you live in an area with dispensaries it can be helpful to ask for the strains that have the least intoxicating effects, with the best results for naseua and vomiting. I know that the bakery in our neighborhood also makes ginger cookies - so that might be helpful for some people ( she hates ginger so hasn't tried those ).
I don't know how hard or easy it is to get a prescription for medical marijuana when it is "just" for the hyperemesis ( my daughter had other conditions that she already had the prescription for and the dr. added the hg ). I would think it would depend on your area ... but in a state where it is allowed it would seem to be an extremely valid use. Even though it is just a small fine to use marijuana in California without a prescription it would probably be worth going to a clinic and getting the prescription if you are worried about the reactions of doctors/ hospital staff/ social services.
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Postby slterwil » Jun 15, 2011 6:47 am

I am so glad to see folks sharing their stories on here about this. I wish I lived in a state where I didn't face jail time if I tried it. I'm so annoyed that there is a treatment option out there that I can't try for fear of losing my kids, but that I can put all kinds of other harmful prescribed chemicals in my body...just nothing natural that we really know the side-effects for. Damn HG. I'm so glad it saved you and your baby. I hope more women are able to try it and see if it works for their HG. I was sterilized after my second HG pregnancy for fear of what a third bout of HG would be like on me and the baby. I feel jipped sometimes because I always thought I would have at least three (and I will by golly, but I'll be adopting). HG took that dream away. If more women can try this and have it work and have the family of their dreams, well then it's totally worth it.
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Angel baby 5/2006
Angel baby 10/2006
Angel baby 9/2007
My sweet Erin 10/2008 5 lbs 10 ounces: untreated/undiagnosed HG from 6 -37 weeks (delivery)
Baby Riley 12/2010 6 lbs 9 ounces: HG from 6 weeks to delivery at 37 weeks (actually treated--PICC, IVs, subQ pump, Zofran, evil phenergan, benadryl, antacids--and *almost* got to be fluffy in the third tri)
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