YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Colleen Murray's beautiful baby girl is two months old, but the perfect bundle of joy named Reese didn't come easy.
"We consider her our miracle," said Murray. "During my pregnancy, I lost about 25 pounds, I was hospitalized three different times, and between weeks six and 10 of my pregnancy, I was vomiting anywhere from five to 10 times a day."
Colleen was diagnosed with hyperemesis; an extreme form of morning sickness.
"When people get it, it's usually related to the levels of HCG, which is a pregnancy hormone," explained Dr. Thomas Zarlingo. "The higher the hormone level is, the more nausea and vomitting people have. They ususally have to betreated with intravenous fluids and with medication to suppress the nausea and vomitting."
That's exactly how Colleen's doctors treated her symptoms. Still, the mom-to-be was bedridden until her 26th week of pregnancy. During that time, she stumbled upon a website called www.beyondmorningsickness.com.
"For the first time, it felt like validation, that someone else had this," Murray said.
Colleen got in touch with the website's creator who, in turn, encouraged her to reach out to moms-to-be who are dealing with the same debilitating diagnosis.
"Contacting women who are suffering is the biggest help I can lend," Murray said. "I let them know that it will pass eventually."
Women who experience hyperemesis during one pregnancy are more likely to experience it with subsequent pregnancies.