The title of this post states, today is Hyperemesis Gravardium awareness.
For those of you who followed me during my pregnancy a year ago will know that HG isn’t “just morning sickness”.
I hate HG, I hate it with a passion. A thief, an attacker. No matter what security, what alarms you have to prepare. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you for the effects, it has on you and your family.
Attacking your body, your emotions. Stealing a pregnancy, a bond, happiness.
It eats you alive.
This may sound incredibly dramatic, but if I am honest, there really are no decent words to fully describe Hyperemesis and to give the listener an understanding.
I’ve had it five times. Five pregnancies (my miscarried babies, didn’t get cosy enough for HG to kick in). Each different in severity, different I length too. With my first babies not being as hard as my most recent.
I’d never heard of it until I walked into the doctor’s surgery 11 years ago. I’d been sick in several public places, including outside the Post Office, and had sprayed our newly painted bathroom wall. It was manageable. Finally leaving about 24 weeks. I’d still be sick on and off, but I was OK.
Next baby,8 years ago, again it only lasted a short time,18 weeks this time.
When I remarried, we made the decision to have children together. I was expecting to have Hyperemesis. After two miscarriages, we conceived our baby. Ropey start but she got cosy, and so did the HG, after crashing my car, it kicked in. Could no longer do my agency job. The isolation began.
The boredom in friends, the expectations to still be normal, were high. The assumptions of hiding the vomiting were even higher. Because that was easy, right?!
The bond in the pregnancy, wasn’t strong it was difficult, antenatal depression hit. The pregnancy began to go wrong.
26+6weeks she was born due to HELLP syndrome a complication/variant of pre-eclampsia.
However, at five weeks old she passed away. Find Melody’s journey here.
We made the decision to have another baby, it was terrifying, not only due to her being a baby after a death, but the HG to contend with too. I desperately wanted to take a baby home to my husband.
Once again I spent my time alone, terrified of everything going wrong again and sick. Listening to people telling me I was damaging my older children. Guilt, because I couldn’t just have a normal pregnancy, after all we had been through HG still tormented us. Because HG didn’t mean a baby at the end of it. I could manage an outing a week with a friend, a weekly trip to the hospital, were my limits. It was just that, limiting.
Terror of staying in the hospital overnight, flashbacks.
The pregnancy was stressful, I refused ante emetics, I know I should have accepted, but the professionals I spoke to were always unsure whether they were safe.
I didn’t want to bury another baby.
38 weeks she was born screaming via c-section.
It was over, never to endure the sick again. Heartburn remained for months afterwards, certain foods caused me pain or upset stomach, like white bread.
But the stress was over. I could move on from the HG, people wanted to know again, I wasn’t so lonely.
Then it happened.
Two little lines appeared on that white plastic stick. A stick that looks so cheap, changed me in an instant.
My most recent (and final) pregnancy.
HG didn’t appear for a good few weeks, I’d obviously tested very early. 6 or 7 weeks, it began to creep in. The sickness bands begun to fail. The need for medication became more.
Trying Avonomine first. I agreed to try the medication this time, something felt different, there was an intensity about the way I felt.
The Avonomine made me ill, I couldn’t move, I felt suffocated.
Leading me to my first trip to the antenatal ward for six litres of fluid and meds. They suspected either molar or twin because I was so poorly.
It wasn’t. Just one.
Her story is on this site – Under Construction.
Aside from the death of our daughter, this was the most challenging thing I’d done.
It broke me more.
I could barely lift my head from the pillow, standing was hard. It sapped the life out of me, I couldn’t even cry about it, crying made me vomit.
The thief,it stole from me. It stole friendship,9 months with my children, social things.
I had a couple assist with school runs, but only one person bothered to see me week in week out.
It attacked my confidence, my heart, making me more sensitive.
Once again I couldn’t bond with my baby, once again I was terrified she’d die too.
Scans(12 of them) were hard because I couldn’t sit still, or bare the car journey. I gave up driving for 7 months.
Two to three sickness medications a day, Clexane, aspirin, reflux medication ,vitamin supplements, shakes juices and regular midwife/hospital visits kept me…alive.
I’m not exaggerating ,although I believe anyone who suggests morning sickness or ginger to a HG sufferer, probably think they all exaggerate.
37 weeks ,due to our history and the HG,37 was agreed the best option to end the pain and actually the HG suffering.
She was too born screaming, loudly. Perfection.
I was sterilized at point of section. I couldn’t do it again.
It didn’t disappear on birth this time, it stayed for days,the nausea remained. I could barely eat.
Baby was an image of our lost girl. I could barely look at her.
She screamed. I spent moments in the bathroom sobbing every time she cried. I felt weak, scared.
There was no let up on her crying, a sling with her saved my sanity. But she wouldn’t go with anyone else.
It was suggested to change my diet go dairy free for her. The screaming, my crying calmed.
It is thought it may have all stemmed from the HG.
I’m still getting the odd flashbacks. Form of PTSD. When poorly it makes me realise how terrified of vomit I now am.
A bit personal, but sex scares me, although I’ve had my tubes tied and cut, I’m more than terrified of the prospect of a surprise pregnancy. It would be a disaster.
I still can’t eat certain foods, our daughter can’t either, awaiting dietician this month.
I hate HG so much, it ruined my relationship with our daughter. We’re getting there, I love her to bits but it’s been bloody hard.
Hyperemesis is cruel, cruel disease. Should never be spoken of lightly. A lot more research is needed.
More HG friendly HCPs are needed.
Most importantly support is required.
Never assume it is just morning sickness or that the woman should hide it.
That woman is doing her best, to be a mother and protect her unborn child under the most impossible circumstances.
Rather than judge offer to help.
For more information or support here.
Thank you if you’ve gotten this far.