In this episode, I chat with my friend Kenzie about having Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) while pregnant. I am so glad she reached out to me offering to share her story about this because it is not something that is widely known or talked about. Kenzie shares about how she lost nearly 35 pounds, was throwing up 15-20 times a day, constantly passing out, being put on Home Health, getting a feeding tube and being so sick and miserable that at some points, she just wished she could die.*

Kenzie met her husband when she was 9 years old. He was moving into the neighborhood as she was moving out. It wasn’t until after High School that they reconnected. Once they started dating, they knew they were meant to be together.

Her husband had been really sick as a child, so they were unsure if he was going to be able to have kids. They figured they would just need to adopt in order to have a family, so Kenzie started working full-time to save for the process. But also during this time, they thought “what is the harm in trying?” So they did. Two weeks later, Kenzie had a positive pregnancy test in her hands.

Just two days after getting the positive, Kenzie started feeling sick. She didn’t think anything much of it. She had heard of morning sickness before, but it was bad enough that her husband picked her up from work and took her to the hospital. That weekend, they went out of town for a softball tournament and Kenzie couldn’t stop throwing up. She went to the hospital again and they gave her some meds that knocked her out. “I couldn’t even open my eyes. But I wasn’t throwing up, so that was a plus! And it got us back home.”

The sickness never got better. Kenzie was throwing up 15-20 times a day and this was still in the beginning of her pregnancy. Once again, they went to the hospital and she was given the medication that would put her to sleep so she’d stop puking. Because of all of this, Kenzie was never able to return back to work.

Kenzie Draper - Quote 2

In the first month, Kenzie had lost about 20-25 pounds. Around this same time, Princess Kate had been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, and her mother-in-law had heard about it on the news. She mentioned it to Kenzie and her mom. Kenzie’s sister was able to get her into a doctor that could help her. This doctor scheduled her to have an IV (with fluids and meds) every other day. Each IV was four hours long. As I’m sure you could guess, Kenzie wasn’t able to keep it down.. Or anything else.

The doctor finally said no more IVs and Kenzie was on Home Health. Kenzie was having two IV bags a day from home. She had also lost 30-35 pounds at this time. The doctor decided that Kenzie was to get a PICC line and a feeding tube. “I swear everything that could go wrong, did.” Kenzie’s body had a bad reaction to the PICC line and it was eating away her arm. She decided to just go with it and the nurse would clean her arm every couple of days. The morning after she got the feeding tube, she actually threw it up.

Kenzie Draper - Quote 1

When the doctor let her go home, she was on strict orders to have an injection of Zofran every four hours. Which, if you have taken Zofran, you know it makes you constipated. So her husband and mom would have to help her go #2. This lasted the rest of the pregnancy.

Her husband was having to help her do everything during the week (her mom came up on weekends), including her injections, taking her to the bathroom, cleaning her up, etc. Kenzie would pass out a lot because she just had nothing in her. One of the times, she started turning black and blue because she wasn’t breathing. Her husband tried CPR three different times before she started to breathe again.

All of the sickness took a major toll on Kenzie. She was not herself and she was lashing out at her husband. It got to the point where she literally wanted to die.

About 6-7 months in, Kenzie was finally able to eat a little without it coming back up. At 8 months, she was able to get the PICC line out and just ate everything she could. They also moved back home to be closer to family for help. Kenzie shares intimate details of her birth and how she felt afterward.

Kenzie did end up having another child and was still sick with that baby, but because she had already been through it all once before, she knew what to do and what precautions to take, etc. However, she did fall into a deep depression because she was unable to take care of her first baby and was just so over being sick.

Listen to the full episode for all the details.

*Please note: this is the guest’s story. Their story is how they perceive it. It is not my judgement or responsibility to determine whether or not this story and the things said are true. Please be open minded when listening to/reading these stories.

Shailee’s episode
-Kenzie’s favorite baby product: PUJ tub
-Kenzie’s song recommendation: Old Town Road by Lil Nas X (I also mentioned Git Up by Blanco Brown.) (You can listen to both of these songs on the Hard Knocks guest list on Spotify.)
Kenzie’s Instagram
-My ending song recommendation: Everybody Hurts by Avril Lavigne (You can listen to this song on the Hard Knocks playlist on Spotify.)

“Feel the feeling, but don’t become the emotion. Witness it, allow it and release it.”

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