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Topic : 04/12 Twin Tug of War

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Created on : Friday, April 06, 2007, 11:39:40 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Allison Quets made headlines around the world when she allegedly kidnapped her 17-month-old twins across the border into Canada this past Christmas. She had given them up for adoption, but did she do so under duress? She now says she suffered from a pregnancy disease called hyperemesis that left her malnourished and sleep deprived to the point of complete exhaustion. See an exclusive interview with Allison from behind bars where she awaits trial on two counts of international parental kidnapping, with a possible sentence of three years behind bars. Then, look inside the life of a woman who is only three-and-a-half months pregnant and so sick with hyperemesis she spends most of her day on the bathroom floor. Plus, find out what all women need to know about hyperemesis: How you get it, how to know you have it, and whether it could kill you or your unborn child. Join the discussion.

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April 10, 2007, 8:06 pm CDT

HG

 Dr. Phil,

 

I did not have what you would call a typical pregnancy. After finding out I was pregnant (@6 weeks) I began vomitting severly and was unable to keep any food or fluids down. I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with Hyperemesis, and was prescribed Zofran ODT , but since I was unable to keep anything down I was becoming dehydrated quite quickly and was admitted to the hospital for IV fluids. At that time I was given a Zofran pump, and started to slowly feel less nauseous. That feeling was quite short lived, however. I still was unable to eat, and could barely get down a glass of fluid in an entire day. I was losing weight, but at that time the baby was fine, his heartbeat was nice and stong. About two weeks after I recived the Zofran pump, I was hospitalized the second time for a total of 8 days. At this point, I had lost 20 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I had a PICC line placed and was placed on TPN for 18 hours a day, so I could at least get the proper nutrients and calories that I needed to provide for my baby. WIth the combination of the Zofran pump and the TPN I started to feel a little better, although I still threw up at minimum twice a day and could barely keep fluids down. And you could forget about food! 

 

On the day of my 20 week ultrasound appointment, the office had called me early in the morning to reschedule because the u/s tech was ill. I had a overwhelming feeling of dread and dissapointment, but rescheduled for the following week. That same day my home health nurse came out to change my PICC dressing and draw my bloodwork for the week so they could adjust the TPN if needed. During that visit, she was unable to locate his heartbeat, and called the doctors office who told me to come in immediately. At this point my DH was trying to reassure me that everything was going to be ok, and I was trying so hard to believe him. When I arrived at the office my doctor fired up the u/s machine and I heard the words I had been dreading." I'm so sorry. There is no heartbeat." I sobbed uncontrollably for what seemed like a lifetime and then was admitted to the hospital the following day to have labor induced. Our little angel, Jakob Allen was born still on Feb.21, 2007 at 11:29 A.M. weighing only 10 oz. and measuring 10.5 inches long. He was perfecly formed, and upon initial assessment gave no indication for his death.

It has been 7 weeks since delivery and we are still waiting on the results of the autopsy and fetal evaluation. I don't know if we will every find out what caused Jakob's death, but the reports can at least give us the closure we long for.

 

I feel it is of grave importance that we shed light on this debilitating disease. I had wonderful support from my family, doctors, and friends, but I do realize that some were not as lucky. One day I hope that this can be cured or at least well-managed enough so that no one has to know what it is like to spend most of your pregnancy an the bathroom floor; unable to eat, work, and live.

 

With great thanks,

Jenn

 
April 11, 2007, 7:52 am CDT

My story...

First of all, thank you Dr. Phil for bringing attention to this horrible condition, and hopefully this will be the start of some major attention on this issue.

 

I would like to start by thanking all those HG survivors, their husbands and family members and even doctors out there who have helped the women in their lives that have suffered and lived through HG. For without you, surviving this horrible ordeal would have truly been impossible.

For MY husband, family, doctors, caregivers, boss…and anyone else who supported me through this tough time, from the bottom of my heart, you will never know how much your understanding, devotion, and support was what made me never lose complete sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, although there were times when that light was 99.9% of the way out. What follows is the battle I went through with HG, some of the details, to this day I have not been able to share with anyone, not even those closest to me…

At 4 weeks after conception (Nov. 15) I took a home test which came back with positive results and I was ecstatic. I was so happy that nothing could bring me down, until week 8 hit. The first time I threw up I thought, you know, I can do this, its only going to be a few weeks of morning sickness, no big deal, bring it on. But things just went downhill from there. Usually doctors don't want to see you until 10 weeks gestation, but only at week 7 ½ things were getting bad. I called my doctor (Dec. 6) and she prescribed Zofran. I started taking that, and for a few days it seemed to work. I went on for the next week or so throwing up but doing ok, but then the vomiting became worse and more frequent until one weekend things just became unbearable and I wanted to go to the ER because I couldn't even function. It took 4 attempts to get a good IV started (mind you I am terrified of needles) because I was so dehydrated. Two days after that stay I was just as bad again, but this time my doctor sent me to an IV infusion therapy center and I was to receive 4 hours of fluids. Around this time I was supposed to go to get my first ultrasound, and was astounded when I was told to drink 16 oz of fluid. How was I supposed to keep that down when all I was doing was throwing up nonstop? Nevertheless, they were able to do the ultrasound by using a different method, other than on the belly. I saw my baby for the first time and for just those few moments nothing else seemed to matter, I was on my first high in days. A few days later I had to go back to IV therapy again. Again another two days had past and was feeling just as bad, so instead my doctor admitted me to the hospital.

On Dec. 19 I was admitted to the hospital and learned that I was going to be placed on a PICC line(peripheral intravenous central cathetar) and TPN (total perenteral nutrition) for 16 hours per day. During this stay, I was emotionally a wreck. All I did was cry. Of course family came to visit and tried to cheer me up, but all I wanted to do was cry. After countless hours of doing nothing but crying and watching tv and seeing all these food commercials, steaks, shrimp, pizza… each one looking just as delicious as the next, just the thought would make me puke. And of course it didn't help that hospital staff just kept bringing meals into the room until I finally had to yell at someone to get it out, and don't bring me anything. Staff just kept insisting I eat jello, or take a sip of this, take a sip of that. How many times do I have to tell you don't even bother, its just gonna come right back up…what do I have to do, throw up on you for you to get the picture? 4 days into my stay, bruised on both arms and hands from all the IVs the picc line finally came, and man, for being afraid of needles I was petrified of them inserting this line which goes in through your elbow, up your arm and into your heart. I cried and screamed for the whole process. The next few days, being hooked up to all these lines I barely got any sleep. By the time I was released, the day before Christmas, all I wanted to do was go home and get in bed and sleep…sleep for the next 7 months. The next day, Christmas came and my mom insisted that I come over and spend Christmas with family and not curled up in bed crying. So, TPN pump and all I went over there for the day and spend most curled up on the couch crying, thinking to myself everyone else is happy why did you have to bring me here so I could just sit around and watch everyone else be happy and bring them down? As the day progressed I became more and more bitter. By the time dinner was ready (turkey, stuffing, potatoes and all the fixins) I laid upstairs in my sisters bed (just sick at the smell of the food) and totally lost it. I cried the biggest and loudest tears I have ever cried in my life. My mom sat with me, my husband sat with me…but nothing helped except crying harder. At one point my mom tried some tough love " while you are getting TPN the rest of us have to eat to survive". The normal me, would have flipped my lid at that statement, but the sick me… it was all I could do to just try to comprehend what she just said. So I just cried some more. Looking back I think she was just frustrated that there was nothing she could do. What mother wouldn't get upset seeing her baby like that? So the next week came visits from the various home health nurses, which would follow twice a week for two weeks and then once a week. Because the throwing up all the time nonstop was so harsh(throwing up blood from the stomach, from the lining being so irritated from just throwing up) and I could take absolutely nothing by mouth…water, ice, food, medicines, you name it, I was also hooked up to a subcutaneous reglan pump. That entailed more pricks every three days in the leg to switch out the tubing. At one point we tried a zofran pump, but that was worse than the reglan pump so we decided to stay with the reglan through the pump, since it was helping somewhat. My health at this point was deteriorating so much that chunks of the skin on my lips were just peeling off, I got an infection at one of the old reglan pumps sites on my legs, which meant that I had to hook up to more iv bags filled with antibiotics, since I couldn't take them by mouth. I could only muster the strength and energy to get up and take a shower once every three days, and I couldn't even do that myself. I had to have help wrapping the picc line site with plastic wrap and keeping the other pump out of the water. Even getting in the shower meant more throwing up. Just the heat of the water made me sick. There were so many nights that my husband had to go sleep in our spare room because my tossing and turning and not getting a good nights sleep was keeping him from sleeping. I never told this to him, but I was actually relieved that he was sleeping in the other room because my sense of smell was so heightened that just with him sleeping next to me, I could smell his natural body scent and it would make me sick. Now, im not saying he stunk or anything like that, but everyone has their own scent/pheromones that they give off and that's what I was picking up on. This would happen even right after he got out of the shower. As much as I didn't want him next to me, I wanted him there because I felt that maybe we were growing apart because I was so sick and I was draining him physically to keep up with me, and emotionally because all I would do is cry and there was nothing he could do to make me feel better. This was rock bottom for us. I say us, because even though I was the one going through this problem, everyone felt the affects, and there was nothing they could do to help no matter how much they wanted to.

At week 12, I tried another approach. A friend of ours is a certified hypnotist, so I thought ok, he thinks he can help, what do I have to lose, give it a try. Well that did nothing to help either. I was willing to try anything and everything to just make all the bad feelings go away. My mom would come over during the day and clean and keep up with housework and whatnot and try to get me out of bed, but I had no interest at all. My family couldn't understand how I could lay around all day and not want to read or watch tv…they couldn't understand how all I could do was stare at the ceiling and lay in bed. When my husband would get home from work and come up to talk to me all I would do is cry. "Why cant I have just one good day" or "when is it going to be July" and "never again, this is it for us". I had no interest in anything…all I wanted to do is sleep, because at least when I was asleep, and sound asleep, I felt nothing, it seemed like the only way to get the time to pass. For the first few weeks after getting the picc line I would lay in bed and my stomach was just constantly grumbling because it was empty and had been empty for quite some time. This was the case all the time, I just kind of learned to ignore it hoping that the grumbling would go away.  Then came all the dreams, dreams of food, because somehow the grumbling just made me think of food, and when i would wake up from those dreams i would throw up because just the thought of food made me sick, and then my stomach would grumble some more.

Financially, we were beginning to hurt as I had not been to work since mid December and it was now a month later. I started dragging myself to work for an hour or two a day, because that's all I could take. So pumps and all I would have to get up, get dressed and go out in public like this, not to mention actually function like a normal person. I would carry around in my purse a throw up cup so that when I threw up at least I had a something to do it in. This went on for about another several weeks or so until around week 17 when one day I was determined to sit myself down at our kitchen table and eat and drink and eat and drink no matter how many times it came back up until something stayed down. After having no food or water or anything by mouth for 10 weeks I wasn't sure my stomach would even know what to do with something. So I gave it a shot, time and time again until not even my determination would prevail. Several days later it was like a switch had just flipped off, I started eating, very small bits, but they stayed down. I was on a high again. I could eat, and keep it down, even if only a tiny bit. I began to keep a log so next time I went in to my doctor I could show her all that I ate. As my picc line started becoming clogged and as I could keep more and more down, finally by week 19 I was able to have the picc line removed. WOOOOHOOOO! And the subcutaneous pump…GONE! No more needle pricks, no more tubes, no more throw up cup. I was free! I could shower myself. I could sleep again, without the stomach noises, without the throwing up, without smells bothering me. I was myself again! And I could take medicines by mouth. So I started the daily routine of reglan, zofran, and medrol. I began working full time again.

And then week 26 came. Working full time was dwindled back down to working one or two hours a day. We had to take out a second mortgage to be able to pay the bills that we never were able to catch up on from the first 10 weeks of me being sick. I remember driving home one day thinking to myself I'd rather be back in the hospital then having to drag myself in and out of work. The switch that miraculously flipped off, flipped back on. My husband and I now like to refer to it as the eject button. You know the little button inside of all HG sufferers that the baby loves to play with. The one he or she pushes to make everything come back up because it cramps their space. Well once again, came the IV therapy sessions and the IV sticks and another week long hospital stay that I wished I had not wished for a day couple of days ago. Another picc line, more TPN, more throwing up, more crying, more being miserable. Just one huge horrible blow. Just when I started to believe things would be ok. The only difference this time was that I could take medicine by mouth and somehow that managed to stay down. How? I will never know because everything else came back up…but the medicine stayed down. Thanks goodness though because I really did hate that 3 day routine of getting pricked in my leg and being hooked up to another pump. Then came the depression. After having gone through all of this before and knowing what I was up against again I was even more miserable. My husband finally realized that I needed more than just the physical help, that I needed some kind of mental help and suggested to my doctor that she put me on antidepressants. So I added Zoloft to my collection of medicines, and it helped. After a week or two I started not to cry as much, although you better believe I still had my fair share of crying. I even decided that I hated the grumbling feeling so much that I was just going to eat and drink no matter that it would still come up. Weeks past and every day I would eat at meal times and promptly throw it back up. The good part about this was I could eat and eat and eat and eat whatever I wanted, how much I wanted, whatever I was craving and not have to worry about gaining weight during the pregnancy because it would come back up. Eventually I chose to eat things that didn't bother me coming back up. The way I saw it was, if it came back up bad I would avoid it. AVOID CHOCOLATE AT ALL COSTS! At dinner time I would sit down with everyone else and eat and run to the bathroom, and come back for seconds…and run to the bathroom….and come back for dessert. As the weeks progressed and I got closer to my due date it became harder and harder to throw up because the pressure from the baby and the pressure from throwing up…if I had anything in my bladder, it wouldn't stay there, so I had to be very careful about how I threw up, so I wouldn't "spring a leak". Since the second hospital admission my doctor decided enough was enough, that she would induce at 37 weeks. Well, as I was nearing week 34 or 35 and seeming to be in ok spirits, she decided to wait one more week. I was pushing so hard for week 37, but she wanted to be safe and give my son one more week. I was upset with this because one more week, when you are going through HG is A LONG TIME!! Around week 36 I had a sonogram where my amniotic fluid was starting to go low, so I scheduled another for a week later and was advised that if I felt decreased movement to go to the hospital right away. A few days later I wasn't feeling my son kicking so we went to the hospital. I was having very mild contractions, and his movement was a little decreased but nothing to keep me there for, so I was sent home. Two days after that was my sonogram and I was told the fluid was too low and the placenta was not capable of sustaining the baby so I was sent to the hospital that night to be induced. Week 37 at last! I got what I wished for day in and day out, no waiting one more week, the baby would be out and I would be all better, at least I prayed. So at 4am I was given pitocin and labor began very rapidly. By 5am I was screaming for the epidural and because I was dehydrated from not getting the TPN the night before they wouldn't give it to me until I had IV fluids. Well my picc line decided to fail so they had to give me yet another IV and the nurse was fooling around with trying to get the picc line working. I was begging for the epidural and statol and all she would do was mess with my picc line. Forget that stupid thing, give me something. So finally around 9am I got the epidural, was fully dilated and ready to go. By 10:22 a.m I had delivered a HEALTHY 6lb 8oz baby boy. I was blessed with a fast labor after all I had suffered through. The best part was around 11:00 when they brought in lunch. I ate every bite, and every bite stayed down. Then dinner, and dinner stayed down. Then breakfast and lunch the next day and those stayed down, so out came the picc line. The baby was out and couldn't hit the eject button anymore!!!!!! I felt so good, better than any day while pregnant, that I was even released the day after giving birth, instead of the second day after.

Now its 9 months later and everyone is doing great! For as much medications as I was on, I have a super healthy baby, the happiest and cutest baby in the world. I read somewhere that HG SURVIVORS are blessed with some of the cutest and greatest disposition babies, and that's definitely the case with my son. Looking back, I wouldn't trade a second of what I went through for any little change may not make my son the way he is today. As much as I said I will never do it again, I LOOK FORWARD to doing it again. Nine months of sickness is nothing compared to the joy and love that your child will bring you…

To my husband… first and foremost thank you for the best son in the world. Thank you for the countless nights you spent hooking me up to all the lines and bags and helping me just do the normal stuff most get to take for granted like taking a shower. Thank you for realizing when I needed help when I couldn't ask for it myself and taking it upon yourself to get me that help even if that meant you thought I would get mad at you. Thank you for showing me what "in sickness and in health" truly means!

To my mom and family and friends… thanks for all the support and encouragement and all the entertainment, it helped make things just a little easier at times. To my mom, thanks for all the times you helped us get through with the nursing stuff or cleaning around the house, or just making me get out of bed. Thanks for all the dinners you made, and just because I threw them up, doesn't mean they weren't good.

To my Doctor, thank you for doing all you could to help me, and for not just blowing me off as I've heard about from so many others. Your total understanding and willingness to ask other Doctors for their opinions or recommendations is total professionalism!  To my boss, thanks for not letting me go even when things were hard for you to maintain business. Thanks for letting me come and go as I was able, not many employers at all would do that. Thanks for the great health insurance that covered 100% of everything, otherwise I would be working every hour of every day to pay off everything.

 
April 11, 2007, 1:06 pm CDT

HG survivor

 I had Hg with all three of my pregnancies. It was the worse time of my life. I am finding out that I was one of the lucky ones. I was sick for about 4 months each time then it would just stop. I was in and out of the hospital at least 15 times. I would throw-up every five minutes. I Would go to the ER and get fluids. I would feel a little better for a couple of hours then it would start again. With my last pregnancy I stayed in the hospital for 5 days. I went 7 days without eating or drinking. While in the hospital, I had to be nourished through an I.V. I had two children that I could not take care of. I was lucky to have a great husband and mother who helped me do everything.There were days I just cried all day. At times I just wanted to die.  I would just lie in a dark room for days.I could'nt go to sleep. I would just lie there and throw-up constsntly. I thought of having an abortion several times and that is something I would never do. You just get so sick and you can't function. You just want it to stop.I have read about women who did terminate there pregnancies and I can totally understand. I am convinced that it takes alot of support and understanding from your husband and family. My sickness ended after about 4 months and I had healthy babies. I would just like to tell women who are going through this that it will end. When its over and you hold your baby, its all worth it. You never forget what you went through, but it will make you stronger.

 
April 11, 2007, 8:36 pm CDT

What about the Kids?

Quote From: teddi_

I am fortunate to have been able to attend the taping of this show. Words really can't describe how closely Allison's story hits home, or how badly I feel that so many people failed a sick and suffering mom of twins. What hits me the most is that when Allison started on the road to becoming a mom- she never, ever could have forseen the tragedy that has happened.

 

I am a mom blessed with three children- a 7 year old son and 2 year told twins girls. I survived Hyperemesis twice, in both my pregnancies, from about week 6 til birth. Unless you have been thru the hell, it's not something you can comprehend. Nausea, dehydration, malnutrtion, dehydration, exhuastion, weakness, muscle atrophy, and depression. That becomes your world while you battle this terrible disease. What should be a happy and hopefully healthy time for expecting moms becomes sometimes a sheer battle to survive.

 

With my twins, I had very serious complications- and like Allison I finished my twin pregnancy completely and totally physically incapable of caring for my twins. I carried them nearly full term, and my most frequent source of nutrition was my PICC line (a semi-permanent IV line) for which I used to do daily IV fluids and vitamins. I combatted the constant illness with many different medications... and then at the end of my pregnancy needed an emergency c/s because I my blood pressure was high, and my blood was breaking down.

 

Mentally, I was no better off. For anyone to be so sick for so long- it affects their spirits and their ability to cope. Postpartum, I was left to spend the first year of my twins life in a dark hole of Post Partum Depression (for which HG can leave a mom very vulnerable to) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (directly from the trauma of the HG illness and traumatic delivery). At times, I found myself ruminating on suicide, death, or simply just running away. The post partum health complications I had (anemia, heart issues) left me terrified. Three times I did pass out, once when I was alone with my twinfant daughters. During the taping of the show, Allison's sister conveyed how Allsion didn't feel she could PHYSICALLY care for her twins. In the shape she was in- she had reason to be scared!

 

"There but for the grace of god go I".... unlike Allison I had a husband and family close by who were able to provide just enough support that I didn't completely lose my mind. But I know the weakness she felt. I know the hopeless she felt- that she may never recover and never be healthy and vital again. Enduring such a horrible pregnancy, and still being physically exhuasted and spent (Allison almost died during her c/s delivery and needed blood transfusions) can leave you paralyzed for fear. I do not for a moment DOUBT that Allison both wanted and loved her twins. But she had spent the past many months in a terrible state of mind- and probably (and rightly so) feared that something bad would happen if her twins remained in her care. I remember being so weak that my 5 lb babies were just too much to hold. That's where the Hyperemesis left me. I "gained" 2 lb by the end of my pregnancy, and left the hospital with about a 15 lb weight loss. I carried my twins to just under 37 weeks. They were born small for their gestational age, and had to be in the NICU. HG is a vicious beast, and while there is treatment for the disease there is not a "cure".  

 

I remember  being unable to grocery shop, or cook, or do much of anything other than try to recover from surgery, 8 months of vomiting, and being mentally fragmented. Were I in Allison's shoes... 48, not 28.... unmarried.... no family close by to help....   it really is not an exaggeration to say something terrible would have happened to either me or my babies.

 

There should have been a support system in place for Allison. Where was it? Where was the social worker? Where was the extra support from the doctors who provided Allison and her babies with care? Where was an adoption professional, who would be inpartial, and able to make sure all is on the "up and up" with an adoption?

 

Allison was in a state of crisis. She needed help. She did NOT need or DESERVE to have to lose her children after enduring all she did- NEARING losing her life- just to bring them into the world. I pray justice, true justice will in the end prevail for Allison AND her son and daughter.

I am very sorry to read about how devastating this disease can be, however, has anyone taken a brief moment to realize that these children are human beings with feelings, who know their adoptive parents as their parents and that changing their custody at this late date could carry with it lifelong detrimental effects?  I am sorry that there was no support system in place for this mom, but that is not the fault of these children.  We have had a situation, not once, but three times in my family where a child has been taken away from the only home they know by a person who thought they had the "right" to raise them.  Beautiful, loving children, taken from the only parents and home that they knew and loved.  I can tell you that this is emotionally devastating to the child. Two of these children are now adults, addicts and people-users who are severly detached and paranoid. Who cannot truly love. Who, no matter what anyone says or does, cannot feel that they "belong." The other is 9 years old and has been placed with my family as a foster child - her father being one of the other two children mentioned above.  She attends counseling weekly.  How could a mother wish a life of detachment and paranoya on her children - that is what she is doing if she thinks she can take children this age from their home to hers without collateral damage.  I have a grandaughter 18 months old and see her often. She knows me and my home well. We have tons of "stuff" her for her - everything she needs. But if her mother is gone for more than a few minutes, she is looking for her. A bit longer and she begins to panic and cry.  A child this age is VERY attached to the people she recognizes as her parents. Why would Allison want to do this to her own children?  I do feel sorry for her situation, but it is too late to change things without hurting the kids. When in doubt, always refer to Soloman. Sorry, Kids First - Moms come in a distant second. Thanks for allowing a different opinion.
 
April 11, 2007, 9:15 pm CDT

04/12 Twin Tug of War

Quote From: camera1

I am very sorry to read about how devastating this disease can be, however, has anyone taken a brief moment to realize that these children are human beings with feelings, who know their adoptive parents as their parents and that changing their custody at this late date could carry with it lifelong detrimental effects?  I am sorry that there was no support system in place for this mom, but that is not the fault of these children.  We have had a situation, not once, but three times in my family where a child has been taken away from the only home they know by a person who thought they had the "right" to raise them.  Beautiful, loving children, taken from the only parents and home that they knew and loved.  I can tell you that this is emotionally devastating to the child. Two of these children are now adults, addicts and people-users who are severly detached and paranoid. Who cannot truly love. Who, no matter what anyone says or does, cannot feel that they "belong." The other is 9 years old and has been placed with my family as a foster child - her father being one of the other two children mentioned above.  She attends counseling weekly.  How could a mother wish a life of detachment and paranoya on her children - that is what she is doing if she thinks she can take children this age from their home to hers without collateral damage.  I have a grandaughter 18 months old and see her often. She knows me and my home well. We have tons of "stuff" her for her - everything she needs. But if her mother is gone for more than a few minutes, she is looking for her. A bit longer and she begins to panic and cry.  A child this age is VERY attached to the people she recognizes as her parents. Why would Allison want to do this to her own children?  I do feel sorry for her situation, but it is too late to change things without hurting the kids. When in doubt, always refer to Soloman. Sorry, Kids First - Moms come in a distant second. Thanks for allowing a different opinion.

I would agree that the children's well-being matters and is tantamount.

 

There are a few things I'd like to point out

 

* The children know Allison, she had a "open" adoption and has had visitation rights. In fact, she still retains her parental rights. She maintains and there's evidence that her children do in fact have a relationship with her.

 

* Yes, the transition would be hard. But the BIG question about the kids is: how long or how old will they be before they come to resent... perhaps HATE their adoptive parents? Children have a right to the relationship with their blood parents. Sometimes that can't happen (for many reasons like death of a parent, parent who just does not make a safe, responsible parent). I truly believe, no matter what the circumstances, a child will likely have lost right they are due if they can't be with their parents, or have them in their life. If I found out the circumstances when I was older- as her son and daughter will some day- I'd be ANGRY and resentful. Such anger and resentment ISN"T going to do those children any good. I might even say I'd feel like my "parents" stole me. What kind of environment or childhood will that give THEM?

 

* Children are at risk for detachment issues simply BY being out of their biological parents care. Wouldn't they already be at risk for this? And isn't that largely the adoptive parents are responsible for having given THEM?

 

* Allison nearly immediately changed her mind and revoked the adoption. If the adoptive parents were truly ... well... in sync with my sense of morality... they would not have kept the children.

 

* How will the kids know, that the only reason they don't have THEIR mom is because Florida has really questionable adoption law? And that their mother was temporarily ill? And that she's in (or was in) jail? Are those reasons why the children's natural rights to their relationship with their mother should be disregarded?

 
April 11, 2007, 10:06 pm CDT

04/12 Twin Tug of War

Quote From: camera1

I am very sorry to read about how devastating this disease can be, however, has anyone taken a brief moment to realize that these children are human beings with feelings, who know their adoptive parents as their parents and that changing their custody at this late date could carry with it lifelong detrimental effects?  I am sorry that there was no support system in place for this mom, but that is not the fault of these children.  We have had a situation, not once, but three times in my family where a child has been taken away from the only home they know by a person who thought they had the "right" to raise them.  Beautiful, loving children, taken from the only parents and home that they knew and loved.  I can tell you that this is emotionally devastating to the child. Two of these children are now adults, addicts and people-users who are severly detached and paranoid. Who cannot truly love. Who, no matter what anyone says or does, cannot feel that they "belong." The other is 9 years old and has been placed with my family as a foster child - her father being one of the other two children mentioned above.  She attends counseling weekly.  How could a mother wish a life of detachment and paranoya on her children - that is what she is doing if she thinks she can take children this age from their home to hers without collateral damage.  I have a grandaughter 18 months old and see her often. She knows me and my home well. We have tons of "stuff" her for her - everything she needs. But if her mother is gone for more than a few minutes, she is looking for her. A bit longer and she begins to panic and cry.  A child this age is VERY attached to the people she recognizes as her parents. Why would Allison want to do this to her own children?  I do feel sorry for her situation, but it is too late to change things without hurting the kids. When in doubt, always refer to Soloman. Sorry, Kids First - Moms come in a distant second. Thanks for allowing a different opinion.

Camera I do appreciate that you have a dissenting opinion, however your words sound cruel and steeped in anger over what has happened in your own family.

 

Perhaps, as the PP mentioned, the adoptive parents should have taken a moment to question their choice to ignore Allison's desperate attemps to revoke the adoption...an adoption that she signed in a moment of deep despair and that she IMMEDIATELY tried to revoke. 

 

This case is a lot different than a mother whose children are removed from the home, and then she wants them back because she got her life together finally.  It is a lot different from even the mother who planned and chose adoption all through pregnancy and then month after the birth changed her mind.   And in many states, both of those above scenarios is completely plausible, if not actually common.  In Florida, the laws are archaic at best...and just do NOT have the children's interest in mind as you say is tanamount.

 

Lastly, I do agree that an 18 month old has developed strong bonds, however I also know that there is strong evidence in the general adoption psychology literature that proves new bond formed even as toddlers can be as strong and healthy as those formed wtih parents who have had children since infancy.  Many international adoptions are actually OF kids who are in that age range and I'd bet their adoptive families would be offended at the notion that they don't have a bond with the child.  I also would argue that the children themselves would not recall the situations that happened in their life at around 18 mos to 2 yrs of age, so without any proof of long-term issues in children whose home/parent situation has changed as a toddler, I can't support your position that Allison is HARMING her babies in any way.

 

If you can share some documentation of detachment and paranoia in a large sample size of children moved from one home to another at 18 mos, then I will stand corrected.  If not, then I don't think your own situation is representative of what would happen to the Quets twins.

 

And why in the world would their own mother not have the "right" (as you put it) to raise her children?  She has attemtped to change custody starting right after she was talked into signing adoption papers.  Was taking them to Canada smart?  No way.  But I still support her desire to regain rightful custody of her own babies--custody that really, in the end, was only stripped of her because of very backward adoption laws...laws that most certainly do NOT follow Soloman.

 
April 12, 2007, 2:49 am CDT

04/12 Twin Tug of War

Quote From: mammaclare

Dr. Phil--

Thank you so very much for being the first nationally recognized personality to acknowledge and address the horror and sadness that is Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

As I write this, my husband is sitting on the couch with a bag of frozen peas in the most private of places. His "frozen peas and jock strap" weekend has come after 2 hyperemesis pregnancies...but sadly it also has come BEFORE the conception and birth of the 3rd child we had planned and already loved when we were first married.

Many of us lose jobs--some lose careers. Many of us lose close relationships--some lose marriages. Many of us lose our health--some lose their lives. And all in the face of what is meant to be the most glorious time in our lives--pregnancy and the expected birth of a child loved so deeply that it hurts.

As I write this, my 2 month old HG#2 baby is cooing and kicking and showing off his new-found belly laugh (directed at mommy, of course!). My 3 1/2 year old HG#1 baby is upstairs in his room, reading books to himself and actually getting the simple 3-letter words correct.

They are both so amazing, which only makes the fact that HG has completely dictated even our family size all the more difficult to accept. What is even more difficult to accept, and beyond difficult to say aloud, is that there were moments in both pregnancies that I actually prayed for a loss, planned in my head a termination, wished for my own death.

These were PLANNED babies. LOVED babies. WANTED babies. Can you and your viewers can even begin imagine how one can be so sick and so terrified as to want, plan or even follow through with the termination of a planned, loved, wanted baby? Most can't. Most who haven't lived the hell can't even look us in the eyes if we are open about our own thoughts. There are days I can't look myself in the eyes 4 years later when I think of the night, at 10 weeks pregnant, I sat on my front porch in 10 degree February weather sobbing.

As my tears froze on my cheeks, and I puked over the side of the bench, I waited for my husband to come home from teaching. I waited there in the cold because I didn't deserve the heat. I waited there sobbing because I was going to tell him that I saw only one way out...to terminate the pregnancy. I was terrified, sick, dehydrated (which drastically impacts your emotional stability and thinking process, by the way) and beaten down. I was a shadow of myself and just wanted it all to end. My husband looked at me with horror and disgust when I told him what I was thinking about and said if I followed through, he would walk out of our 4 month old marriage and never look back. Thank God for his resolve, his own fury...if not for that, my Rory would not be a part of our lives or this world.

THAT is what HG is...a robber, a thief, a murderer.

I am lucky. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of women every year feel that there is no other option than to terminate a pregnancy that has ripped their lives and minds and bodies to shreds. Many more actually have no choice--it is either the baby's life or their own.

My husband is now a stay at home daddy. After the horror of the first HG pregnancy, I couldn't bear the idea of anyone else watching our miracle grow up. After all, I had considered seriously the procedure that would have taken his very existence.

It took all the guts I could muster to have a second. The heartache in even making that choice is hard to put into words. It is one thing to be blindsided with your first HG pregnancy--another entirely to knowingly walk right into the world of IVs, ER visits, home health nurses, Ketostix, sleeping on the bathroom floor, weeks without bathing, carrying a bucket everywhere, worry about paying for medication that is upwards of $20 a pill and often not covered, and for the sickest there are semi-permanent central lines and feeding tubes as well.

I did it, but can't do a third. This letter, these words from my heart, the tears in my eyes as I write them...they are all for our little Liam or Moira, who because of HG will always be just an angel in my heart.

Thank you for doing this show, for allowing some of us to tell our stories and for helping us bring a face to a disease that most of the world has never heard of, and that too many doctors refuse to recognize and treat aggressively. Thank you--from my two gorgeous boys, Kieran and Rory, and thank you from my angel as well.

Warmest Regards,

Clare
HER Foundation Member
HER Forums Moderator
Two Time HG Survivor

Dearest Clare,

 

I haven't been in your shoes. I don't know how it is to have been so sick. But I think you should maybe consider adoption to complete your family. You sound like you have such a loving heart and could give a child a much needed and loving home. I hope you think about it. This maybe God's way of saying to help a child in desperate need of a love only you can provide.

Misty

 
April 12, 2007, 4:35 am CDT

I had HG also...

I had HG also with both of my pregnancies.  During my 2nd pregnancy (I miscarried an earlier pregnancy), I had to be hooked up to a reglan pump for 24 hours.  Besides being hooked up to that, I developed massive infections from the sites where I had to put the IV in.  My skin was so dry when I had to go to the hospital for IV fluids, the nurses felt bad for sticking me with needles.  They commented how my skin resembled Tephlon because it was so tough and dry from being dehydrated.  I would also vomit and pass out.  But thankfully, my symptoms stopped when I was about 5 months pregnant.  Thankfully, my daughter was born healthy.  My 3rd pregnancy, however, was different.  The doctor treating me said that I didn't have HG and it was all in my head.  The good thing was, she went on vacation and I got sick one night and the doc covering her patient rotation told me to get my butt to the hospital.  He believed me when I told him about the symptoms.  I had the symptoms so severely, I would vomit and pass out.  I passed out one day while I was in the bathroom and hit my head on a metal stacking shelf where we kept all of our toiletries.  My oldest daughter was there and even though she was 3, she grabbed the phone and waited until I came around so I could call my mother.  I was on Zophran and it didn't really help much.  The worst time of me vomiting and passing out was in front of my daughter and husband.  He said that I started shaking violently on the floor and he didn't know what to do.  Thankfully, it only lasted a minute and I came around.  I gave birth to my 2nd daughter and she was fine.  I decided to get my tubes tied because I didn't want to go through the HG again.  I wanted more children, but the chances of me getting HG for a 3rd time were greater.  So, I made the choice of not having more children.  I just hope with more education, HG will be greatly understood and maybe someone will find an effective treatment for it.
 
April 12, 2007, 6:46 am CDT

Impulse control...

Hyperemesis gravidium would cause her to lose vital electrolytes thru vomiting.  That combined with vomiting around the clock might just put a big fat dent in her judgment.  If she felt pressured to give those twins up, i'd imagine she'd feel very threatened. 

 

When you feel threatened and youre not 100% clear in the judgment department, you'd probably be apt to act on impulse.  I think it's the same thing as someone with PPD (which she also might have had, poor woman), wanting to kill her baby.  I think she needs psychiatric help and I think putting her in a jail cell isn't going to help her with her physical and psychiatric problems.

 
April 12, 2007, 6:53 am CDT

Spelling error...

Sorry, I meant Hyperemesis Gravidarum(spelling error).   (HG) is excessive nausea and vomiting during pregnancy caused by sharp increases in Estrogen and HcG hormones during the first trimester of pregnancy.  I found a pretty good site for more info...

 

http://www.pennhealth.com/health_info/pregnancy/000198.htm

 
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