As I spoke about in my post A Problematic Pregnancy I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a condition that causes severe nausea and extreme vomiting to the point of weight loss in pregnant women. It is not morning sickness, it’s not like the movies where the gorgeous main character runs to the bathroom to throw up and as she wipes her mouth in the mirror she realises *gasp* “I must be pregnant!”. It’s not just vomiting, it can’t be helped by eating dry crackers or ginger. It doesn’t care about old wives tales that puking means you’re having a girl or that it means the baby is thriving.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum stripped me of what should have been some of the most precious moments of my life, it ruined my pregnancy, made me hate my body, and as ashamed as I am to admit it, it made me wish I was never pregnant.
I hadn’t even made it to my 12 week scan before the severe nausea started, I couldn’t eat, sleep or even drink water. My mouth was watering constantly, always on the verge of throwing up but here’s the thing – I have an aversion to puking. I hadn’t been able to “naturally” throw up since I was a child, any time I’d drank too much the only way I could throw up was to stick my hand down my throat even then it didn’t always work.
But HG eventually overcame that barrier and by 4 months I was vomiting upwards of 10 times some days, whenever I would try to eat I would vomit and choke on undigested food. I used to sit on the floor, head in a bucket, crying to Adam that I was drowning because my mind tried so hard not to let me puke when it’s all my body would let me do.
I was hospitalised twice, I was dangerously close to having liver damage because my keytones were so high from not being able to eat or drink. I wasn’t gaining any weight, I was terrified of losing the baby.
I had to leave work when I was 4 months pregnant, missing out on much needed wages because I physically couldn’t function. It affected my mental health, why was this happening to me?
I wished away everyday of my pregnancy, not to see my baby but to just feel normal again!
Here are a few things that I hated hearing
- “Have you tried ginger/dry crackers/sickness bands?” Shove your ginger up your hole, and the rest
- “Oh I had morning sickness too” yeah, not the same thing, comparing the two is like comparing stubbing your toe to ramming your foot against a wall with toothpicks under each nail
- “You haven’t gained any baby weight!” I’ve actually lost a few kgs and I could have lost my life
- “Eating that isn’t good for the baby” eating nothing isn’t good for the baby either
- “It means the baby is thriving!” No it doesn’t, women with HG still lose their babies and in some cases their own lives
Yes it was worth it in the end but going through it was one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me, it tarred my whole pregnancy and even my labour. It has put me off ever getting pregnant again, the thought of going through it again terrifies me.