Hyperemesis Gravidarium (HG), has made headlines over the past few years thanks to Princess Kate’s downright awful pregnancies. It took the power of the media and someone in the spotlight to experience and actually acknowledge and speak about the horrible condition that makes some pregnancies downright horrendous.
Basically, HG is severe morning sickness for pretty much the entire pregnancy. The nonstop nausea and vomiting consumes every aspect of your pregnancy leaving you dehydrated and basically the inability to function in your day-to-ddy activities.
My first pregnancy was ten years ago and there wasn’t much out there about HG. I was in a big OB office and saw different doctors and I felt like they didn’t believe me with how bad I was feeling. They had me questioning myself and had be thinking maybe it wasn’t as severe as I had made up in my mind. But I couldn’t keep anything down and stomach acids burned my throat daily. It was as if my body was trying to rid something from it. They told me morning sickness was normal and it would go away after the first trimester.
It never did. I was teaching at the time and found myself barely making it to work and more time spent in the hospital getting iv fluid. They started me on Zofran but at the time, my insurance wouldn’t cover it for pregnancy use and I had to battle with the insurance as we couldn’t afford the $500 7 day dose. By my third pregnancy, Diclegis was available and seemed to tame the nausea somewhat but left me extremely tired.
I went from being super active to barely being able to make it down the stairs. People said I looked green and I kept bags with me at all times as puking was nonstop. I had people recommend ginger and the BRAT diet, bananas, rice, applesauce and toast but nothing they said would work. I took suppositories of nausea meds and even ended up with a home nurse that ended up inserting the IV in incorrectly and had a leg full of fluid that had to be drained. To top it off, I had another condition called ptyalism, pronounced tie-ak-ism, which is excessive saliva. I still don’t understand how I could be so dehydrated and produce excessive salvia but it happened and made the vomiting that much worse.
When I try to explain it to people, I say imagine your worst hangover, or if you haven’t had one, think about having the flu, the worst possible flu you can have and have it everyday for 9 months. HG is absolutely miserable and I wish I could tell you I figured out how to ease the symptoms but all three of my pregnancies were miserable.
I tried to remind myself how lucky I was to be pregnant but there is no denying the shitiness of the situation. Each pregnancy got harder and harder as I has other children to take care of.
So what did I learn from having HG three times-ask for help, have no expectations and do whatever works. I literally ate popcorn for my entire second pregnancy. That was what would stay down and if it didn’t, it didn’t hurt coming back up. If you have other children and they are little, more tv time is ok and pb&j can be a meal for nine months. If your kids are bigger, let them help more and it’s ok to be angry and sad and whatever else you are feeling.
The moment I pushed each of my babies out, I instantly felt better. In fact I felt amazing. One hospital nurse said I was the easiest, happiest patient she had in a long time and my answer to her was “I feel like myself again!”
Again, I am so thankful for my babies and easy deliveries but living 27 months puking was absolutely terrible and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I can only hope more research can go into helping those with HG or at least open up dialogue for women to share their stories that they are not alone.
So whether it be HG you are battling or any of the other crazy symptoms or things that come with pregnancy, be your own advocate, speak up on how you feel and know that each and every pregnancy is different. You know you best so listen to your intuition and find what works for you and don’t forget to ask for help. I was also extremely lucky to have an extremely supportive family who helped me through each pregnancy and a husband who went above and beyond to help me even though it.
Have you experienced HG? What helped you get through the symptoms?