When my wife and I found out we were pregnant amid the COVID-19 crisis, we were full of joy, excitement, and gratitude for this next stage of our journey together. We couldn’t keep the secret to ourselves and immediately shared with our family the good news that we would be parents.
At first, we welcomed the common symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, irritability, fatigue. But our pregnancy bliss didn’t last long. Within the first month, my wife’s health rapidly deteriorated. She was in tremendous pain, had difficulty eating, and vomited up anything that went down, leaving her (and the baby) dehydrated and malnourished. She was soon diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), a rare and serious condition that can leave women with severe pregnancy complications.
Although some women can mitigate the symptoms of HG at home, my wife was so dehydrated that she needed to go to the hospital for an IV. Our doctor prescribed Zofran, an anti-nausea drug commonly prescribed to cancer patients with extreme side-effects such as vision loss, trouble breathing, shivering, and slow heart rate. She spent months on bed rest with a nurse visiting our house twice per week to administer fluids and medication.
We were living our worst nightmare. Day by day, I saw my beautiful bride withering away. At a time when her belly was supposed to expand with life, she was declining into deathly illness.
Of course, my first thought was, could Cannabis help with this? I know it can, but is it completely safe? I’ve been in the Cannabis industry as a documentary filmmaker since 2009 and I know for a fact that research on pregnancy and cannabis is inconclusive. But I decided to do my due diligence anyway and return to a recent project I had been working on with Dr. Michelle Sexton specifically on the topic, Green Women’s Guide.
Dr. Sexton has been helping women heal through naturopathic medicine, first as a midwife and childbirth educator, since 1993. She is the creator of The Green Women’s Guide to Cannabis Health, a video course that shares her research on the medicinal benefits of cannabis throughout a woman’s life cycle, from the early reproductive years through pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause. In addition to her decades of first-hand experience helping families like mine, she suffered with HG herself, through all five of her own pregnancies.
Although Green Women’s Guide laid out all the research we needed to make an informed decision together, we discussed our options and still felt lost. What would people think? Would Child Protective Services take our baby if they found out? Would our family support our decision? I was brought back to my teenage years of being told weed is bad, wrong, and harmful for you and your baby. Even though we learned through Green Women’s Guide that’s not necessarily true and that Zofran could have even more harmful side-effects, our concerns were very real.
I called up Dr. Sexton myself and discussed the pros and cons of integrating cannabis as a medicine for my wife. Dr. Sexton gave us a few natural protocols to try and helped us feel safe to weigh out all of our options.
Finally, my wife and I had enough of the suffering. Her quality of life had completely deteriorated and the “side-effects” of Cannabis as a medication (improved appetite, anti-nausea, pain relief) just made sense.
We decided to try an edible and unsurprisingly, it worked. The color returned to my wife’s face, she weaned off the prescription medication, and we have a beautiful, healthy baby girl today. Despite all of the inconclusive evidence of scientific studies, here was yet another anecdote that Cannabis works.
I’m not saying Cannabis is the answer for you and your family. I’m saying gather all the facts from a reputable source like Green Women’s Guide. It’s important to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are options.
If you’re a father or husband and want to support your wife and child during a difficult pregnancy or other phases of her wellness journey, you don’t have to feel helpless. There are so many options beyond the ones that might typically be presented to you by your standard health care team, and ones that could truly save your family, as they did mine. With a resource like Green Women’s Guide, you can discover natural remedies for the challenges of postpartum, how cannabis can play a supportive role in reproductive health, and other transformative wellness practices for the women in your life.
Sure, based on the very limited studies out there, the evidence is inconclusive of whether or not Cannabis is safe for pregnancy. But when you’re faced with a debilitating disease that steals your life and joy away from a time that’s supposed to be celebratory, you’re going to have to make a commonsense decision that’s right for you and your family.
I’m grateful my wife and I took the risk. This plant is such a powerful ally and disease disruptor. We’re told it’s unsafe, we’re told not to use it. But so far, the studies and my experience tell me it’s not true. We were in the throes of hell and Cannabis was the magic pill that brought my wife back to life. The “side-effects” of cannabis directly treated pretty much everything that was plaguing her. She went from wasting away and dying to thriving. And we have a happy, healthy, strong, baby we now have the honor of raising. It’s hard for me to imagine a better outcome. I will forever be grateful I trusted my gut and turned to this plant ally. Yes, we need more research, every article and study out there already says this. But when push comes to shove and your wife’s health and happiness are on the line, what would you do? For me, common sense wins out.
To find out more about medicinal options and medical research of Cannabis to support the women in your life through pregnancy, postpartum, reproductive and menopausal health, visit GreenWomensGuide.com
Feature Photo Credit: Robert Staley
Sammi Sadicario is a Health Renaissance Visionary, Self-Development Writer, and Creative Director for impact-driven brands. She calls herself “a spiritual healer disguised as a savvy word wizard.” When she’s not writing about empowerment, leading women’s DV groups, or guiding visionaries to monetize their movement, she can be found singing with her band and hiking in the mountains. Follow @sammithestorysiren to keep up with her nomadic journey & latest creative projects.