When women are pregnant, they typically gain weight. But that wasn’t the case for one Edmonton mother, who was so ill during her pregnancy she had to spend five months of it in the hospital.
Just two months into her pregnancy, Julieta Foronda knew something was off.
“I just couldn’t stand up. I was throwing up lots… lots. Sometimes 15 times a day.”
She was diagnosed with the same condition Kate Middleton had during her pregnancies, hyperemesis.
“Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is, as many of us know, very common. It happens in about 80 per cent of the cases we see,” explained clinical nurse educator, Kristy Prodorutti.
Only two per cent of expectant mothers have hyperemisis. Foronda’s mother and sister also struggled with the complication but her case was especially extreme. The nausea and stomachaches were relentless.
“There’s nothing left to throw up, because you can’t eat or drink or anything.”
After seven trips to the hospital, 15 weeks into her pregnancy, doctors told Foronda they couldn’t let her go home. She says they were worried she would die of malnutrition.
Normally a pregnant woman will gain about 30 pounds but Foronda was steadily losing weight. She went from weighing 105 pounds down to just 80.
“One of the doctors said: ‘You know it’s a hard pregnancy. You might want to think of, you know, getting rid of him?’ I was crying and I said, ‘no.'”
Foronda decided to try and push past the nausea. She was admitted to hospital Dec. 14 and stayed there until May 2.
“We had to give her nutrients that she needed through feeding tubes and through IVs,” Prodorutti said.
On April 26, Baby Ian was born prematurely, at 34 weeks. He weighed four pounds and six ounces.
“He was a miracle baby,” Foronda said.
Staff were so excited for Ian’s arrival, they organized a special baby shower.
“To my surprise, when I came into the room, it was like, ‘Woah!’ Lots of food, lots of presents for him. I wasn’t even expecting it at all.”
Foronda says she’ll always be grateful for the staff from the Grey Nuns and how much they helped her.
“The best care ever. I couldn’t make it without them.”
The nursing team developed a strong bond with Foronda too.
“We are so happy that she’s home and she’s healthy and she’s with a healthy baby boy but we are going to miss her because she really became one of us, being with us for about five months,” Prodorutti said.
Immediately following her pregnancy, the new mother opted to ensure she won’t have another risky pregnancy in the future.
“What I’ve been through is really tough. To have another one, with this little one yet, it’s probably not a good one. So we decided to have tubal litigation at the same time I had my C-section. The doctor said, ‘Oh yes, I’m so happy to take it out!'” she laughed.
The family is all home now and with Ian in her arms, Foronda is happy she persevered.
“I wouldn’t change anything.
“I know it was tough but then, at the end of the day, it got better,” she said.
Foronda and baby Ian are both healthy now.