I had all these ideas about how I was going to announce this pregnancy. Yes – I’m pregnant (9 weeks to be exact). Unfortunately, all those ideas went out the window when severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) hit. If you noticed my “social media silence” it’s because the last 3 weeks have been probably the worst in my entire life. Four ER visits, a week in the hospital, loss of 14 lbs in two weeks, countless IV bags, PICC line placement, and more. We were forced to reveal to our friends and family that I was pregnant weeks sooner than we wanted to and no exciting pregnancy announcement surprises that I had eagerly looked forward to.

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The worst thing of all is … this was my rainbow baby. The baby that doctors at one time told me I couldn’t have. The baby I WANTED sooooo much. And then to have HG literally suck the joy out of me was beyond excruciating and even shameful. I want to share more about our journey to this pregnancy which was challenging in itself but I’m going to do that in a separate post as it’s a long one!

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Today was a better day so I wanted to take some time to update all of you who follow my sTORI. My dear friend and photographer, Candace, snapped a few photos of me when she visited today. You want to see truth? This is the truth of HG on a GOOD day. No makeup, hair unwashed, lying in bed all day on an IV. But the purpose of me showing these is to educate others on what HG is and to maybe help others with HG know what their options are and that you are NOT alone.

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is essentially severe morning sickness. Don’t let that fool you. What it actually means is it feels like you have the flu AND food poisoning ENDLESSLY. Unending vomiting, dehydration, body aches, breathlessness, excruciating heart burn, esophagus spasms, heart arrhythmia, weakness, it just doesn’t end. HG effects and estimated 1-2% of women and the cause isn’t exactly known. Many cases of HG end up in miscarriage or women terminating their very much wanted pregnancies to end their suffering.

I’d actually had HG with Luke but NOTHING like this. This was exponentially worse. After two weeks of being sick and 3 ER visits I woke up one morning confused and having a hard time breathing. I knew then that I had to finally give in and get checked in to the hospital.

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Thank goodness I did. I was so dehydrated that my body was Ketonic (basically acidic) and all the electrolytes that your body needs (Potassium, Magnesium, etc) were totally depleted. I had Pancreatitis. I’d lost 10 lbs. in a week and was getting an average blood pressure of 80s/40s. Sometimes dipping in to the 70s. My body was literally eating it’s own fat to survive. The baby was doing great. The baby was taking everything and there was nothing left for me.

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So the doctors hooked me up to endless IVs for 5 days full of all kinds of things my body was missing and began trying to figure out how I was going to make it through this pregnancy. Long story short we knew there was only one medication that worked – Zofran – and only via IV (the pills did nothing).

We tried for a Zofran pump which would have been the least invasive. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the insurance to cover it and it was going to cost us over $10,000 PER MONTH! So my doctor elected to put a PICC line in. As you can see it’s in my right arm (I would have preferred it in my left but my pacemaker is on that side so they couldn’t). It runs in through my arm, up the main artery and then in through my chest. The doctor also set up home healthcare for me so nurses come to my house to care and monitor me.

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So my days right now pretty much consist of hooking up to my IV and giving myself my Zofran. I’m trying to also start working from bed. Doctor Daddy Russ is such a huge help and frequently does all my medical care not to mention washing my hair, getting me drinks and food, etc.

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I’ll be honest – today was my first good day in a long time. I really really hope that I’m going to have lots more good days and pray that the HG might go away by my 2nd trimester.

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In the meantime, I want to say a big thank you to some special people.

Daddy Russ: Thank you for being Doctor Daddy and juggling work, Luke, our household and having to care for me. Thank you for putting up with me on my dark days and letting me cry a lot. I’d have given up if it wasn’t for you. Thank you for reminding me what really matters. I love you.

My Family: Particularly my mom and stepfather who spent an entire week with me when Daddy Russ was out of town. I literally don’t know if I would have survived. My mom has taken off tons of work and really tried to nurse me through one of the worst weeks. To Pawpaw – thank you for taking care of Luke and helping out wherever you could.

My Friends: Thank you so much for all the flowers, get well cards, dinners and those who have visited me. You truly lifted my spirit when I was at rock bottom. Special thanks to all my San Antonio Blogger friends as well! All of your notes have meant so much to me!

My HG Angel, Jamie: Jamie was a stranger brought miraculously in to my life. She previously suffered HG with her pregnancies and has answered my endless questions, cried with me on the phone during my bad times, helped me pull myself together for my PICC line procedure and just offered such incredible support to me. I’ve never even met her in person but I’m incredibly grateful for her.

Fossil Creek Complete Emergency Care: After a TERRIBLE visit to a hospital ER I went to this urgent care center 3 times. I never waited and the doctors there not only provided me the best medical care they could but they also gave me compassion and spent much more time with me than any other doctor. On the day I woke up at my worst my mom called and they told her they’d be happy to take the responsibility of admitting me to the hospital. While waiting for the ambulance they ran tests so that when I arrived at the hospital, not only did I go straight in to my own room, but my hospital doctors knew exactly how to start treating me. I adored all their nurses and staff who did everything they could to make my family and I comfortable. I highly recommend this urgent care center.

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I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to blog but I’ll try to keep my sTORIbook going when I can!

If you or someone else you know is suffering with HG please visit the HER Foundation (click here).

This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Tori

25 Responses

  1. Jennifer

    You have been in my thoughts and prayer Tori!! All is going to get better soon and this baby is going to be another bundle of joy just like Luke!! Love you!

  2. Michelle Cantu

    I love you Tori. You are one of the strongest women I have ever met. I’m so glad you shared your journey. I pray for better days for you all. See you very soon my dear.

  3. AngieK

    Oh Tori! Congratulations on the rainbow baby. I do hope you fight through this quickly so you can enjoy more moments of this little miracle happening. Always thinking of you and Russ.

  4. Brittany N.

    It’s so good to see you having a better day, Tori. Praying for you! You are so strong.

  5. Christina

    Glad you are having a “good” day love. Call me if I can help.

  6. Laura Aplin

    Thank you for sharing, many people wouldn’t have been so open as you have been, and that takes courage in of itself. Your perseverance is what’s going to get your through this struggle and your grace under fire is inspiring. I pray that things will only get better for you.

  7. Laura Aplin

    Your grace under fire is inspiring. It’s truly amazing what the human body and spirit can do for the love of a child. I pray that the worst is over for you and you can begin to enjoy your rainbow.

  8. Gita

    SO glad to hear from you. Thinking about you and sending good vibes your way!

  9. Fran Stephenson

    OH, sweet Tori! My sis-in-law had these years ago, but they didnt’ know what it was at first. So scary and challenging. Keep doing what you are doing and you will overcome.

  10. gmaj

    To read this straight forward message just brings tears to my eyes! I am so sorry you are having such a bad time.I pray God’s blessings over you and the baby, and that this problem has “run it’s course” now. May His big rainbow be over you and your little rainbow”! I love you very much!

  11. Pam@over50feeling40

    Tori…you are such an amazing woman…mom, wife, career woman…such an inspiration to so many…I am sure posting about your journey will help someone….be of good cheer and have hope…know there are prayer warriors lifting you up daily. And again…please let me know if I can help you in any way.

  12. Sara P. (@SensiblySara)

    I’ve been praying for you! (And now I need to sign up for a meal!) I want to (gently) hug your neck and tell you it’ll all be okay. You have my number, if you need anything at all, I am a message away. Do not hesitate.

  13. melanie

    Congratulations Tori on your baby, I really hope that you start feeling better so you can enjoy your pregnancy.

  14. Kathy Moses

    Tori, I am so happy you are at home and doing better. My thoughts and prayers have been with you. We miss you and can’t wait to see your smiling very fashionable and flawless face at the Ioma counter!!!

  15. Candy O.

    Oh Tori! I had no idea. I was wondering why I hadn’t seen your beautiful face in my feed! I’ll be praying for you doll! I wish I was close by to help out. If I can do anything, I’m here for you! 🙂


    It so great to see you blog about HG as you live it. I wish I would of fully did this and didn’t try to hide it. i FELT LIKE AN ALIEN thank you for sharing you story. I am writting an HG book If you like to share your story let me know. KEEP FIGHTING I KNOW IT HARD TO SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

    • tori@torijohnsonpr.com

      Hi Starr – Thank you for your sweet comment! I’ll shoot you an email as I’d love to learn more about your upcoming book!

      • robert strong

        Such a strong women fighting HG , i was my wifes nurse hg sucks the joy of pregnancy thank u for sharing .

      • tori@torijohnsonpr.com

        I can only imagine how difficult it is on husbands! Thank you for being by her side!

      • Starr Andrews

        Hi, wanted to see if you like to still share your story of HG with me for my HG book ? My book is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum before during and the aftermath, the rare side of pregnancy you haven’t seen. I like to know how your pregnancy went and in the aftermath are you still sick at all? What about your child. I left my book website its still a work in progress .

        Hope to hear from you .

        Kindest Regards,

        Starr Andrews Strong

        HG before during and the aftermath

  17. Foster’s Modern Baby Boy Nursery | Handmade Mood

    […] and Tori Johnson PR found out she was expecting her second baby boy we were elated for her! Tori had a really rough start to her pregnancy, suffering from severe HG. When she reached out to see if we’d help design a nursery, source things that could be […]


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