Saturday, January 23, 2010

Living dead girl- Surviving HG

Yes, the blog title is a reference to the Rob Zombie song.  Whether that makes me awesome or a freak is up for debate.




There is a time in my life that I can't often bear to speak of.  If I do, it is usually to describe it as hell, which doesn't even come close to how I really feel about it.  If I can help even one person understand though, it will be worth it.

I'm terrified of becoming pregnant again.  I have beautiful, healthy, amazing daughters that I absoultey adore.  I have a husband that loves and supports us.  We used to talk about having four children.  Aside from the fact that it would be financially rather difficult for us at this time, I am deeply, profoundly fearful of being pregnant again. 

There aren't many people that can understand why I feel this way.  Not even the closest people in the world to me.  Perhaps just my mother, because she was even worse off than I was.  She nearly died in her pregnancy with me, and she also witnessed the living corpse I was for months.

I was 19 years old when we discovered that I was expecting our first child.  It wasn't planned, but we grasped eachother's hands tightly and dove into our future as parents.  Soon the sickness started.  It was unrelenting.  Morning sickness is a joke.  I was sick around the clock.  I worked at Starbucks and my manager would berate me for being so sick and weak.  I was constantly having to run to the dirty public restroom to throw up, with the humilation of customers often hearing me.  The big store manager even called me in to his office once to chastise me for not giving 110% to my job.  I told them I really needed to be able to eat every couple of hours, or the nausea and vomiting would overtake me.  They said it was against policy for me to have food behind the counter.  I was reduced to hopeless tears.  Even worse, I was on a shift where I was the only worker, with no one to relieve me for my law-required breaks every 2 hours. 

There were several times that I ended up throwing up right next to my car as I left for the day, but the worst was when it hit me once suddenly while driving.  There wasn't a few seconds of warning as usual, just sudden and violent vomiting all over myself and my car.  I nearly wrecked while trying to pull over to a safe place.  Then I had to drive home covered in it.  I was only on my lunch break, and my boss was a witch yet again when I had to call and say that myself and my car were covered in puke and there was no way I'd make it back in time. 

Eventually, they cut me down to just 8 hours of work a week, which was a relief to my body, but meant we were under even more financial strain.  Aside from the insensitive cow that I worked for, I LOVED my job, and hated going from the best at it, to the worst. 

People tended to write off how I felt.  "Oh, just eat some crackers".  Believe me, I tried everything.  Some people tried to suggest that it was in my head.  That I didn't want my baby.  She may not have been planned, but I have known for as long as I can remember that I wanted to be a mother above all else in life.  The emotional wounds just added to the ridiculousness of what I was going through.  I vomited 10-30 times a day for 7 months of that pregnancy.  One of my back teeth became infected and required emergency oral surgery.  Fortunately, I was able to hold down food.  In fact, the more I ate, the better.  I managed to gain plenty of weight, because eating a little bit every 2 hours was the only thing that would keep the sickness at bay sometimes.  I threw up a LOT, but kept down enough to function, although I was incredibly tired and weak.  Little did I know then, compared to my next pregnancy, this one was bliss.

Our second pregnancy was planned.  I had deluded myself into thinking that my previous sickness had just been stress-related, and it would surely be a thousand times better this time around.  I thought I was prepared.  How very wrong I was.

This time, the fatigue was all-consuming.  The nausea and vomiting hit me like a brick wall.  I tried all the "morning sickness" tricks and natural remedies that I'd read about and that others recommended.  This time, I could not even hold down a sip of water.  Often, I could not even make myself swallow.  A minuscule nibble of cracker would instantly come up, along with stomach acid.  Sometimes all that would come up was what looked like snot.  Sometimes I'd retch and retch for eternity, with nothing left in me to come up.

I would go days without a bite to eat.  Once or twice a week, I would be able to hold down maybe one meal worth of food.  I don't know how I could have lived otherwise.  My sense of smell was unbearably strong.  I could smell deodorant on people, the chemicals in a disposable diaper, clean laundry from across the room, dirty dishes in another room.  Things that were supposed to smell nice made me sick.  Gross smells made me even sicker.  Even just the clean smell on my husband after he got out of the shower would make me vomit.

My husband dragged me into urgent care several times, where all they'd do was basically say "yep, you're sick and dehydrated, eat, drink, and, it should be over soon".  They prescribed pills once, but they only made me throw up more.  When I got my past medical records for my midwife, I discovered that I had been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum in my previous pregnancy, and they had NEVER said a word about it to me. 

It wasn't long before I was almost completely confined to bed due to extreme weakness and dizziness.  If I tried to get up and use the restroom, I'd get the sensation of almost passing out, but not quite.  My vision would shrink down and go black, so I could only see a tiny blurry circle.  I'd lost almost all control of my muscles, but would manage to get to the floor before I fell.  My husband had to buy me a shower chair, and help me wash my hair and body because my arms were so weak.  My mom would come over and try to get foods and liquids into me.  She'd help out a little bit with my little girl, but ultimately, she was a busy career woman and she couldn't be my nurse around the clock.

When I had to get blood drawn, I warned them that I was dehydrated and dizzy.  The nurse just looked at me like I was a wimp and sat me on a high stool to take my blood.  The room slowly started to disappear.  I was still present in my thoughts, but I no longer had control.  When I was able to open my eyes, I was on the floor with people all around me.  One said "You passed out because you're dehydrated".  You think?  Another asked me if I had a fear of blood or needles.  Of course not, I had plenty of experience with those things from my first pregnancy.  I was even a blood donor.  She still looked at me like I was a wimp.

I spent an awful lot of time on my bathroom floor.  My little girl was 2 at that time, and she'd toddle in, pat me gently on the back or head, and say "Are you okay mommy?  I love you".  She'd put her little arms around me, and I'd try not to weep in front of her.  My husband was working 2 full-time jobs at this time, and my little girl and I were alone most of the day.  The house was filthy.  My precious little girl had to just play alone most of the day while I laid there and desperately longed to be the mommy she deserved.  I had to take breaks just walking to the fridge to get her food.  I couldn't change a diaper without a least one break to vomit.  I can hardly bear to think of how traumatic and confusing it must have been to her.  I wasn't even able to care for my own needs, let alone the house or my child, and my husband was so stressed that he would just come home and hide in his computer games to escape this sick reality.  We were both drained, in very different ways. 

Sometimes I wondered if our marriage would survive, despite how very committed I was/am to him.  He didn't understand what I was going through.  He couldn't bear the thought of me truly being as sick as I looked.  He preferred to think that I was being somewhat lazy and milking it.  I had been very sick before, but had managed to still be up and around and at least fake being a normal human being.  He couldn't see how this time was so different, and I didn't understand it either.  I felt betrayed by my own body, and let down by the one person I was counting on the most.  My own brothers would talk about how their wives had experienced morning sickness too, but had managed to lead normal lives.  They couldn't see how it could be so different for me.  My aunt was convinced that walking a mile a day would do me some good. 

No one knew how DESPERATELY I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy.  How could anyone think I was enjoying this?  I was in HELL.  I was trapped in bed.  I was starving and weak.  My whole body hurt so bad that I could not sleep.  I had this really odd and uncomfortable sensation constantly like my limbs did not have enough blood in them.  My lips were so dry and cracked that over 2 years later, they are still not the same.  I cried more in those months than I did in the rest of my life combined.  I felt trapped in my body.  I felt like I'd lose my mind.  Sometimes I wondered if I already had.  I WANTED to clean my house, and play with my little girl, and just be a normal human being.  I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy in the way I hadn't been able to before.  Instead, I felt like a corpse.  I felt like I'd die if something didn't change, and no one would see it coming because they were convinced it was just "morning sickness" that I was milking.  But of course even thinking like that meant I was being "dramatic", and I'd get further depressed over my inability to be happy.  What a sick cycle.

I lost over 10% of my body weight in one month.  At 4 months pregnant, I was the size I had been when I was 16.  Instead of growing into maternity clothes, even my skinny jeans were hanging off of me.  I looked like hell.  One of my brothers saw me once, and was so taken aback that he choked up and left my house.

My midwife was a doll.  My husband came home and found me on the bathroom floor, unable to respond to him with more than a quiet moan.  Debbie came and brought me preggie pops and a host of other things for me to try.  Some things seemed to work once, but would fail after that.  Even though she wasn't able to fix me, she was the only person that never doubted me.

I was humiliated once when a friend came in to my disaster of a house, and found me in nothing but a t-shirt on the bathroom floor, hair greasy, legs unshaven for weeks, and probably looking like a sunken-faced drug addict.  She took one look at me and gasped over how thin my legs were. She couldn't believe that I was pregnant.

I would BEG to be taken into the hospital again.  "Please, please, if they can just give me IV fluids, at least I won't hurt so much anymore".  My mom and husband brushed me off, and just tried to get me to eat Pedialyte popsicles, which are DISGUSTING, especially when your sense of taste and smell happen to be over-active at the time.  They just came right back up anyway. 

I was terribly depressed.  I was afraid of losing my baby.  I was afraid of losing my husband.  I was CRUSHED at the lack of understanding.  I didn't want to be babyed, I just wanted them to stop doubting me.  I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy.  In Hyperemesis Gravidarum forums, there are women who suffered so much that they resorted to aborting babies that they had desperately wanted and tried hard to conceive.  There are some that considered suicide, or even attempted it.  I must say, that if I didn't have some very important reasons to live, and a baby inside me counting on me, I would have wanted to die too.  Instead, I just sometimes fantasized about it, logically knowing it was wrong, but still wishing for escape nonetheless.

I can still only scratch the surface of sharing with you what it was like to have HG, but I hope that if someone you know is ever unfortunate enough to experience this, you will never invalidate them or suggest that it is all in their head.  You'd never doubt a cancer patient's pain, please dont minimize or doubt ours.  It is real.  Too real.  We would do ANYTHING to escape this suffering, no one would ever choose it.

We are fortunate in that our daughters were born without any complications other than being a little early (3 weeks, and 4 weeks).  I still worry about the impact of a stressful pregnancy on them, and I can only hope to counteract that as much as possible through lots of love, lots of mama milk, and peaceful childhoods.

So many moms like me are afraid to ever try for another baby.  Although we love our children dearly, there is a constant fear that another pregnancy will bring more hell with it, for mom and the entire family.  There's a strong possibility of experiencing HG even WORSE with future pregnancies, and that thought can be so terrifying, that people would rather adopt, use a surrogate, or stop trying, than even think about going through that again.  How can one even care for the children they have when they're trapped in bed, on the bathroom floor, or in the hospital?

To be at a time in your life when you should be able to be happy and glowing, and to instead find yourself facing death or even begging for it, can rip your soul right apart.  After it is all said and done, we have to pick up the pieces or our lives and our sanity, and raise the beautiful little gifts that literally sucked the life right out of us.  Yes, of course they were worth it all, but I can't bear the thought of enduring it again.  You, like many others, may think I'm just being melodramatic, but if you could have stepped into my shoes for even one hour, you'd understand.

I'm grateful that the Hyperemesis Education and Reseach Foundation exists, because they've shown me that I'm not alone in my experiences and feelings.  Some of these women express things I still can't bring myself to say.

The Voices of HG from Around the World
All around the globe, HG women are speaking out

"I weighed 96 lbs at one point and looked like walking death. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."

"I made it only to the 7th week, then I ended it.  I was violently ill. like nothing I had ever experienced before, I had very low blood pressure, 59/39 at one point, a uterine hemorrhage, and a kidney infection, and vomiting 15-20 times a day.  I was on 6 different anti-nausea drugs, and they did nothing.  I still can't believe how sick I was."

"My muscles have broken down from being unable to walk without vomiting, I fractured a rib, tore my esophagus, damaged my eyes and need ten root canals."

"I was in pain from the dehydration and bawling and pleading for some relief. I went 4 weeks without eating one bite of food."

"I lived on my bathroom floor with my down comforter over me or in the hospital getting an IV...  My life turned upside down...  I went from a vibrant, happy, loving, spontaneous, career driver type A personality to essentially - nothing." CR - Mill Valley, CA

"[She] has been bedridden in darkness - with no TV, no ability to read, barely able to talk, for the last 7 weeks.  A steady and heartbreaking moan can be heard coming from her room. she hangs on, because she knows if she terminates, she will never have the courage/strength to try again." Gail, NJ

"I felt that during my pregnancy my body had betrayed me and that I would never have the family I dreamed of." C. H., Colorado Springs, CO

"Some family members and friends. said that I had an eating disorder because I could not control the sickness." Kristie R. "I now have arthritis and some "minor" bone density loss. I have lost most of my hair during pregnancies due to malnutrition. This is with nutritional IV treatments." C. H., Colorado Springs, CO

"I would sleep on the floor of the bathroom most nights. My husband didn't understand what was happening at all and got very irritated with me. I would just cry all by myself and other times I was too sick to even react to anything at all. I have never felt so alone in my entire life." M

"I'm on short term disability but I'm waiting to be fired at any moment. This of course just adds to the stress. Friends and family try to understand but they think I have just a case of morning sickness" "I wanted this baby but it's been so long since I felt that because I've been so sick that I can't even bond with it."

"There just wasn't any point in trying anymore. No one could comprehend the sheer hell I was going through. I felt so guilty because I actually wanted a miscarriage even though this child was planned and wanted. This condition is very expensive and my insurance company actually called me at my home on several occasions to ask me when I would be getting better, as if I knew!"

"With no family or support, we reluctantly put our daughter into daycare because I was unable to care for her." Danielle O., Knoxville, TN

"I went through several different emotions... I hated myself, the pregnancy, my life. I had panic/anxiety attacks because I felt so trapped in my own body. I felt like I was going to lose my mind." Danielle O., Knoxville, TN

"People stop calling, they stop coming around, they just don't understand and that's when depression sinks in." LJ, Australia


"I speak with my husband and think about having another child everyday... Others say often, "it's only 9 ½ months" but if they could have seen me, or what those surrounding me went through then, maybe just maybe they would understand. The experience is so raw and scary and yes the outcome is glorious but the journey almost killed me." CR - Mill Valley, CA


"My best friend (24 years old) died from what I believe was HG. She died over a year ago and her condition went 7 months undiagnosed before she died. Serpil

"I was constantly worried about the baby. Why wasn't my doctor prescribing IV fluids. I hadn't gained a pound. the resentment of my ob/gyn fueled me to change doctors, throw away the useless prescriptions and aggressively take my health and my baby's health into my own hands. However, it was too late. I suffered a 20 week loss of my son. I think we desperately need to expose this issue, so that suffers aren't misdiagnosed and mistreated by family and friends, doctors are more informed and more remedies are developed to help the women who endure this illness.." Cynthia T., Baltimore, MD

"My 19 year old daughter died on March 19 2002. She was 13 weeks pregnant. and had been to the hospital twice the week before and diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum."



More information on HG from the H.E.R Foundation:  http://www.hyperemesis.org/



 

86 comments:

Lu said...

I dont even know where to start with writing a comment.... I am crying. SO HARD. I was there. I did that. ur stories are so similar, I think thats why Im so upset. I wasnt diagnosed int he first pregnancy but wasnt as bad - they said severe morning sickness. With my second I was diagnosed with HG and by 7 weeks I was in hospital on a drip and in and out ofhospital bed to my bed at home for the whole pregnancy. They gave me fuids, I couldnt eat. I lost weight, I ignored my 2 year old cos I couldnt even care for him. We were in a new city, knew barely anyone. I was a state. Only my brother in law saw me and the state of my house. It really is how you descirbe - a nightmare. We are waiting for vasectomy results as we were told not to do pregnancy again. HG is horrible and Im glad you spoke out about it.

Sorry to take up your comments box. I was so shocked to read it. I still struggle with the guilt of that 9 months where my oldest child was just so unsure and ignored..... :( :( :(

People do not understand and do not see it as real.

Emlynsmommy said...

How did I never know this? And furthermore, how did I never know ABOUT this? I'm in tears...I pray that I never see anyone struggling with this, and that if I do, I recognize it and have the strength to be the support they need. Oh. My. Gosh. *hugs*

Heather L. said...

Wow. Other than the fact that my second pregnancy was far better than my first, instead of the other way around, I could have written this. No joke. THe nausea was somewhat bearable my second pregnancy and I felt better all around, but my first one...also unplanned but VERY wanted...wow...I too wanted to be a mom my whole life; I was planning a natural birth, wanting to do all I could to do what was best for my little baby...that Christmas my husband bought me some expensive perfume I had smelled in a magazine and loved, but a week after Christmas the nausea began and for my whole pregnancy I couldnt STAND the smell, and it hurt his feelings that I never wore it. It took me til 6 months postpartum to be able to like it again. In both pregnancies, i could smell ANYTHING. STuff in the next room even. Stuff that shouldn't have a "smell". My well meaning mother also had said that "women these days are just spoiled" in her effor to explain why me and 2 of my sisters in law all were very sick during our pregnancies, while my mother felt better than any other time in her life during her pregnancies. She didn't get it. I was sick all day, and I can totally relate to dealing with it at work. I too was called into the office and told I wasn't giving 100%, i cried, they didnt care, they wouldnt give me my breaks...The only thing that made it end was my son leaving my body.I was never hospitalized, and I gained weight if I ate often enough and ate a lot but I still vomited several times a day. During my 2nd pregnancy i felt extremely guilty, as my son would watch me vomit so much that he started spitting into the toilet like mommy. I secretly feared I might be creating a toddler bulimic. *sigh*. I get it. I wish all women understood and could be gracious, and I wish they could find a true cure.

Anonymous said...

My HG baby is now 5 years old. I also go through the swings of desperately wanting another baby and being scared to death of possibly getting pregnant again. I lost 12% of ym body weight, threw up 30-40 times a day for the first 22 weeks. All while everyone treated me like I was milking it and I couldn't possibly be that sick. No help, no support.

Later, while being diagnosed with celiac disease, I went through another year of hyperemesis-like sickness even though I wasn't pregnant. It was Hell on earth. I now worry if I ever get pregnant again, I won't live through it.

Mandi said...

Even though I don't have HG myself, I'd like to comment and say how touching this post was.

A woman to another is a wolf, we say in Finland. It is weird how people don't understand that everyone is different because they base it on their own experience. Especially during my teenage years, I had hellish menstrual times (fever, vomiting, terrible pain, fainting... etc), well that was NOTHING compared to your experience, but no one believed me that I could not go to school for the first day when I had periods. The worst feeling was that my own mother just forced me out of the bed, not knowing, how hard it was to walk back home in the middle of the day anyway in high fever, fainting, vomiting on the side of the road, cramping from pain in below zero Fahrenheit temperature.

But my father understood. When he saw me in menstrual pain for the first time, he asked if he should call the ambulance or the hearse. It was because he had never experienced it himself. But women had and said "Hey if I can then..." Well, some men still base their opinion, because their mother/wife never...

If people could just have understanding, trust and love for each other rather than doubt.

I am so sorry for your experiences, and for not getting the big family you wanted. I'm sorry for butting in even though I don't have the HG.

Mary Siever said...

Rachel

Oh I am so so sorry you have had to go through this and I can understand your fear. I take it you tried everything that could possibly help? Acupuncture and Accupressure as well? There has to be something that could offer relief (besides giving birth). :( I wish there was something I could do for you.

Danielle Arnold-McKenny said...

I can't imagine...... I've known a few women with HG... but no where near as severe as what you and so many of these women have lived through. Thank you for posting this. at 37.5 weeks pregnant, I had a horrible night last night- couldn't sleep, uncomfortable, heart burn, sore throat.... Thinking thoughts of going to my consulting OB this morning and saying "just do it" to the scheduled C/S that he wants me to have... instead of sticking to my plans for a VBAC. You have given me a harsh dose of reality, and the strength to stick it out. Sometimes a good dose of shame is what a person needs.
Thank you.

mystic_eye_cda said...

The lack of treatment is the problem, and a lack of awareness. But doctors *are* aware, they just do not seem to care. I don't know how you can look at someone who is chronically dehydrated and say "meh, just tough it out"

I know for a fact that there are IVs that can be worn during every day life. I have seen them on people with various acute problems. I know that they are risky -infection mainly but I am sure there is also some risk of air embolism. But keeping hydrated and electrolytes in balance would at least be a start. It would ease it somewhat.

But its pretty clear that this is hormone related, and its time that serious research is done. There are two problems I see: 1) the treatment is probably just hormones which aren't profitable 2) Experimenting on pregnant women is considered "wrong". This is an area that really needs to be addressed, there needs to be a way to track drug use in pregnant women.

Some of the women in the blurbs were on many drugs, and I am sure most of them were not really researched in pregnant women. Every woman -every single one- that is given a prescription during pregnancy should be entered (anonymously) in a database, her pregnancy outcome should be reported, and there should be follow up at 1 and 5 years after the baby is born. This way complications will be found, and even if some drugs never get used enough to have statistically relevant information it must at least be hopeful to hear "Well 132 women have used it and there had been 1 case of this, and one of that but we believe those to be co-incidence as the rate is less than the general population, but we are keeping an eye on it".

I wish there were an answer but the only one that seems available at this time is surrogacy. Which is expensive, but presumably not as expensive as HG.

PS if you lived near me you'd be welcome to leave your kids with me anytime and I would probably come clean your house even though I can't keep mine clean ;-) I'd shovel a driveway for a neighbour before I'd get around to mine =))

Heather Carson said...

I read an article in Mothering magazine a few years ago about a woman who had similar symptoms. The only thing that finally helped her was marijuana. I say this not to be controversial, however, it really helped. She was able to eat and keep down her food. The marijuana helped with the nausea so much. Her second child weighed more and was healthier than her first child after her first pregnancy with HG. Just something to think about.

Diana J. said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this article. I am going to post it every place I can find it. I had "mild" HG with my first that was the most miserable experience of my life. With my second, we were able to control it with drugs, so I didn't end up with HG again - just super-yucky NVP. I started a morning sickness blog just to get awareness OUT THERE because there are so many people who say all the things you have recorded - "Just deal with it," "Stop being a baby," "Just go take a brisk walk," etc. etc. etc. Thank you!!!

Erynne said...

If it's possible to send a hug through the 1s and 0s of the internet, I'm sending you a big one.

It makes my own pregnancy (confined to a wheelchair because of a growing cyst on my spine making walking incredibly painful) seem like a daydream. At least I was able to eat (although the crux is that i would up quite round from lots of food and no walking).

I'm so sorry you went through this. Have they never figured out what causes HG? Have you ever considered doing something really radical, like switching to a completely raw diet two or three months before trying to conceive? I don't know what to suggest or say.... maybe I'll just stick with the 1s and 0s hugs.

- E

Rebekah Costello said...

Thank you for sharing this. Reading all those comments brought tears to my eyes.

Growing up, there was a woman in my congregation who would get pregnant and then disappear. We'd see her maybe three times total until she had the baby and then she'd be back, terribly thin. I admit that as a teenager I just couldn't understand how anyone could be THAT sick while pregnant. We were kind of friends as I looked up to her. In fact, my 2nd child and her 4th were born a few days apart. She heard that my daughter was born at home without an attendant and she called me to hear that one first hand, lol. We got to talking and she described for me what you are describing, here. She told me about crawling up the stairs in her home, collapsing at the top and begging Yaweh to just take her life and be done with it. I remembered her first pregnancy and her second and suddenly I *understood*.

As an aspiring midwife, I've looked into this and the old tricks for this are no longer legal except in places like CA. It is a very great shame to me because I have seen this particular treatment work well for another friend I have who was previously hospitalized due to HG. I don't know if it would work for everyone but I do know it's one of the oldest remedies for excessive nausea in the book and the stigma of it now would keep most women from even considering it.


ANYWAY, sorry, sidetracked. Thanks for sharing your heart on this. I think this is one of those issues that people need to be better educated about. It's not as uncommon as people think. I think it's a "shameful secret" kind of illness that people dont' like to talk about because they *know* that other people's first reaction is to reject the notion that a person can actually be that sick.

Camille said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I will never think of pregnancy sickness the same again.

Toni said...

Thank you for opening up and sharing your experience. More people do need to know that HG can be a horrific condition. I am so sorry that you and so many others have had to live through that nightmare.

I do reiki... if I can send some distance healing to you let me know. I realize this is in the past, but as you said, you are still dealing with the trauma and after effects. You can contact me on FB if you want.

Maggie said...

I cannot show enough how so very thankful I am for this post! I had tears in my eyes reading it. I am so so thankful that someone said something, that someone gets it!

I have 5 little girls (one set of twins). I kept telling myself it wouldn't happen again. My first I was 17 so they (my doctor and her staff) told me to "suck it up" and "this is what it is to be pregnant" before they realized I had dropped over 20lbs in 4 weeks. I was hospitalized. My second baby was even worse we were close to terminating for my own life with her. My third I could actually lift my head off the pillow and stumble into the bathroom to pee (the rarity that was) and I actually managed to gain weight so I look on that pregnancy as a blessing. And then the twins- at my heaviest with them I had only gained about 10lbs from my pre pregnancy weight. I had lost almost 30lbs after I gave birth to them from my pre pregnancy weight. Twins. My first two at my heaviest with them I was still about 5lbs in the negative from my pre pregnancy weight meaning when I was the heaviest with each I still weighed less than I did pre pregnancy.

I keep getting compliments for how much weight I have lost and how good I look. I know I should be happy about this but it does hurt. My body has been beaten up. I still feel weak. I wish I had gained weight. I wish I had been able to be active and happy and not in so much pain during any of my pregnancies. I wish I didn't still have issues from it.

I remember that first time trying to walk after so long of not being able to and what your legs feel like. I still struggle to carry around my 5 month old twins without huffing and puffing and needing to rest.

I got my tubes tied this last time and I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted. Still I panic sometimes thinking "what if it fails? What if I get pregnant again?" My husband has decided to get a vasectomy as well to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Anywho all of that to share a bit of my story and to say thank you thank you THANK YOU!

-Maggie Phillips

Sausage Mama said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm so sorry you had such a rough time. I have to admit I want to get pregnant, but realising this made me realise that I too am scared of next time and I'm perhaps in denial of my pregnancy with SB.

I don't know if I had a mild form of HG or not. It didn't start until seven weeks, but if I didn't eat every hour or so I would be so nauseus, desperate to throw up to give me relief. But relief rarely came.

I HAD to nap at least once a day. NO ONE understood why I couldn't live as normal, just as everyone around me continued, working up until their 8th or 9th month. I over did it to meet their expectations - I didn't know there way another choice. That was until I reached 6 months and I had to use a wheelchair if going out (and be pushed, I didn't have the strength to roll it). I felt EVERYTHING happening in my pelvis, and my OBGYN didn't take me seriously.

I found out afterwards that I had SPD and it was nice to have a reason for the agony which didn't let me sit properly for the last 3 months, where I had to sit on one ass cheek because it felt like his head was already hanging out.

Vegetables, even organic ones, tasted like chemicals or nail polish remover. One of the only things I could keep down was chocolate. I put on roughly 30 kilos and this didn't help the pressure on my pelvis.

I ate it in excess, also because it was a stress reliever too, this pregnancy put a hell of a strain on my relationship. Had I not been pregnant and had suffered this we would have broken up.

I am really worried now. Thanks for bringing me back to earth that perhaps next time won't be different. I won't work or study this time around. Man, it's almost a year of hell huh. What an investment.

I wonder too, if the stress and depression and diet made the baby suffer. My mum said something that really helped, when my cat - who was my first baby - was killed when I was 7 months pregnant. I was devastated because my cat was the only thing who didn't judge me. My mother said that the baby would know I was upset, but not at him. That was a huge help to me. Even if it wasn't true.

I would like to think that AP has helped us restore what he missed out on in the pregnancy. Perhaps it made him extra attached to me
? I don't know, I've never seen a reall attached baby before...

Thanks again.

Amy said...

:'( I am literally bawling...I had no idea this even existed! You are one of the strongest women I know...to go through that and continue for your baby. I know what that kind of throwing up is like, I had pancreatitis from gallbladder complications. It only made me throw up snot/bile for a few hours I can't imagine doing that for nine months.

Tiny Footprints said...

It is a terrible thing! I never experienced it, but I know from studying the Bronte sisters in college that Charlotte Bronte died from it in the 1800's. The books I read said that they could have helped her today... but it sounds like maybe not so much. I am so sorry for the trial that your pregnancies have been. And even sorrier that people who should have supported you were less than helpful. I have terrible pregnancies for other reasons ( cerclage and 17-P shots and bedrest after several lost babies) but I had people around me who were very helpful.

Confessions of a Girl said...

This really hit home with me. I was never diagnosed with HG, probably bc of the stupid hospital i went to. But that's exactly how i was with my son! i was soooo nauseas during the entire pregnancy. at home,work,school. it didnt matter. i dropped down to about 90lbs bc i couldn't even keep white bread and water down. my job thought i was over reacting, however when i hit the 4 mon marker they tried to guilt me into staying a f/t employee bc i requested my hrs be cut due to stress. telling me id loose my benifits, however THEY didnt provide me them anyways. I was constantly sick, my husband worked somuch i found myself driving alone to the hospital for my weekly/if not more IVs. i had my son a wk early, weighing with me weighing barely 120 lbs. i saw on tv girl making themselves sick to stay sm!it sickens me and it makes us out to look like weak, image crazy bulimics/annorexics!

Anonymous said...

You know, I have always wondered why HG and MS are almost completely unresearched. It's a little black secret that no one in the medical industry wants to shed light on...very suspicious if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

I am so sad for you. :( I watched a friend of mine suffer through this twice. Luckily, with her third, she didn't really have HG. I think she said it was bad morning sickness but not like the first two. It may be because she had remarried and it was a different father, I don't know. I am so sorry your husband didn't believe you. It seems fairly common with men. They act like complete babies with a sniffle yet when we go through pregnancies and childbirth they just don't get it. My heart breaks for you. I was scared to get pregnant after my 2nd because I had post partum anxiety (not depression). I was scared all the time and it took awhile to get past it, but his was a fairly traumatic birth for me. Thankfully the 2 after were better. My last was a homebirth and we are considering one more and that was by far the best. Sending big hugs for what you went through.

Kristen

choice_spirit said...

I am just crying at your pain! I just wanted to comment that although I never experienced even Morning Sickness with either of my pregnancies, I suffer from Non-Epileptic Seizures. They are also known as Pseudo Seizures, and because of that unfortunate name many believe that it's all in my head, or I am faking it, or that I am just lazy. I am on Social Security Disability for them... I have a DP parking tag and I get evil glares frequently when using it... "You don't look disabled!". My heart stopped during one of them while I was in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital, it took them nearly 5 minutes to revive me, and STILL the doctor believed it was all an act... My parents and sisters believed I was faking... The ONLY person who never doubted me was and still is my husband, who is scarred from watching me have my throat seize to the point of not being able to breathe while still conscious... unable to breathe and trying to claw my throat open for air, panicking, and then finally passing out from lack of oxygen and watching as my throat continued to seize for another minute or so... it is terrifying! And yes, I even tried to commit suicide because of them.

I also have a son who will be 3 next month. I worry frequently about how my seizures will affect him. I do my best to be a peaceful attached parent, and hopefully that will mitigate some of the damage. He is so loving and caring, he has learned to run for Daddy whenever he sees me start seizing or can't get a response out of me when I have an absent seizure... He tries to comfort me by rubbing my arms, and then when I come out of it he snuggles up to me and tries to comfort me and himself... I miss the times when he would nurse right after one, as it always seemed to make him feel better, but he weaned himself 6 months ago...

You aren't alone in your feelings.

Raine said...

Wow, thanks for posting this.

I was also diagnosed with HG, but I'd never heard of it before I got pregnant, and also had trouble with people at work and family members not understanding.

I passed out at work on a concrete floor [in a prison kitchen], and was written up for being inattentive because I was unconscious, and was literally cussed out by my boss a few weeks later because another supervisor overrode him and sent me home, after a coworker reported I'd been throwing up all day and was having trouble standing [I developed hypoglycemia because I couldn't keep any food down]. I was the main breadwinner [making about $10k/year more than my husband], but ended up losing my job over it because I couldn't stay on my feet without food for 10+ hour shifts each day, and they refused to make any accommodations. I found out later that my boss was talking trash about me while I was out because of this, telling everyone I was just "spoiled", and that he has been giving me bad references now that I'm trying to look for another job, saying that I was fired for laziness & poor performance [a lie - I officially resigned for medical reasons].

The thing I hate in all this is if a woman is having problems with her pregnancy, it's looked at as weakness or a personal failing, and nobody seems to even care if there is a legitimate problem or cause. Even my first doctor this this way - I had HG for 2 months untreated, before an emergency room physician suggested I find another OB/Gyn that would take it seriously.

EarthybirthySurro said...

Thank you for speaking up for all of us who have had HG. HG is the worst thing i've ever experienced in my life. With my first it almost killed me and after numerous hospital stays up until the day i delivered, i tried to convince my OB to tie my tubes. She refused, i was too young at 23. Somehow dh talked me into another pregnancy and I counted my stars that it only lasted 14 weeks. I foolishly convinced myself my body was growing use to pregnancy hormones and became a surrogate where i had minimal morning sickness. I came out thinking maybe eventually, we could add 2 more children to our own family since i had clearly overcome HG. And now as i am 22 weeks i am fighting it again and miserable. DH has forbid us from ever getting pregnant again because of how sick i am and i have fallen into a deep depression. When your 6 year old says, "Mommy, i wish the baby would come out now so you weren't so sick", it breaks you in so many ways. We still want a fourth, but we have decided to start putting away for adoption. I cannot do this to my children or myself ever again. Thank you for sharing with the world that this DOES exist and it is NOT simply in our heads (how many times have i heard that from friends?!)

Cristina said...

So sorry you had to go through this. It should have been one of the funnest times, and yet no one understood. I hope that by the time you decide to try again, there's more awarness and more help out there for mommmas going through HG.

bcbmommie said...

like heather said my son would pretend to throw up like i was. i had hg with both my boys also. the second time was a tiny bit better than the first but just as hard. i really understand what you are going through. my mom had hg also and we fear my baby sister will have it as well.

Jennifer said...

I am so in tears now because I have been there and am currently there now. I am 11 weeks pregnant with my 4th child.
During my 3rd pregnancy at about 7 weeks I was diagnosed with HG. Thankfully the medication Zofran worked. I was hospitalized twice for dehydration before those idiots that call themselves doctors realized I was truly sick and I couldn't help it.
Now I have no relief. I don't vomit as much but I dry heave constantly and I feel as if I cannot do anything lest it aggravate my nausea.
Even my nearly 3 year old daughter realizes something is wrong. Its not unusual for her to come into the bathroom when Im on a puking bender to hold back my hair and rub my back. I feel like absolute crap because , as this is likely my last pregnancy, I so desperately want to enjoy it. I want to clean my house and I want to be able to do things with my children without fear of embarassing them or puking on them. I just want to be a normal happy pregnant chicky instead of the bitchy whiney one I am now.

Make money from Home said...

I don't have HG, but did have and survive cancer. So, I have an incling (however small) of what you went through. I was told that I couldn't be feeling the things I felt by my family - my mom is the worst about it. Sad thing is, she still does it. I cried while reading this blog post and wonder how many women are out there with this condition (not sure what else to call it) and being hated by their doctors. Now I know what to watch for in my friends and any future pregnancies I might have. My pregnancy wasn't all that great, but it was heaven compared to what you've been through. I did change doctors about halfway through my pregnancy as the morning sickness meds they put me on had me sleeping 2 hours after I took them. I then found herbal remedies from a friend (untrained midwife) and had her work with me through it.

Thank you for posting this. It needs a voice, and strong women to be it. You're brave and a wonderful mom and friend. Keep it up.

Veronica said...

I did live in that hell, though not for a very long period of time. The first 14 weeks of my first pregnancy I was in bed. Anytime I tried to stand up I would throw up. It was awful. However I was fortunate in my second pregnancy that it wasn't as bad and that an anti-nausea med worked.

Kelly said...

Trying so hard not to lose it right now. We just lost our baby 2 1/2 weeks ago, at 9 weeks because of the HG. My boyfriend was very supportive while I was pregnant. I hated the stress it gave him to see how sick I was. When I found out during one of the ER visits that they could not find a heartbeat, he had thought I made it up just to get out of being pregnant. I will never condemn the women that feel they have to terminate their pregnancies for any reason, but I could not help but be bitter and jealous when I went to a clinic to have my baby removed from my body (it was New year's and I was visiting family in a small town of less than 2000, and their small hospital was not set up to handle the process if my body didn't start the process of getting rid of my dead baby)... thinking how many of them would have had a normal pregnancy...

I now have a Mirena iud, with the plan that we will try again in a year or two. This pregnancy was not planned but the baby was very much wanted. I am hoping to get my body into better shape to handle the HG. I had HG also with my son, who will be 13 next month, but it was fine once I was prescribed Reglan. With this pregnancy, nothing helped, not Reglan or Zofran... and the Zofran left me painfully constipated, not able to have a BM for as long as 8 days.

It still hurts to look at him sometimes, because all I can see is the little baby I'd pictured to look just like him, with the crazy hair he had as a kid that stuck up... I'm so heart broken and depressed, but I just don't think that anyone wants to hear it anymore...

KR - east bay

Sherwood V Dunlop said...

All I can say is that I understand, and I have the deepest compassion for all of you who experienced HG.

In the first month of my pregnancy, I had ONE DAY that I woke-up with a headache like I have NEVER experienced in my life, I crawled to the bathroom to vomit for about a half an hour and then laid down on the floor next to the toilet for twenty minutes+ before I had charged-up enough strength to draw a bath, I crawled into the tub and tried to feel better, about two and a half hours and lots of bile and dry heaving later; I felt the tiniest bit better. Adam was bugging me to get ready because we had to go to a wedding that afternoon. I managed to put on the new dress I had bought specifically for the occasion and get into the car- he had no sympathy. The ride was making me car sick and we were arguing about my "behavior". We made it half-way there (about 35 mins.) before I broke down and told him to just drive me home; I couldn't do it. I couldn't do anything that day and that is why I have so much sympathy for you. My friend (whose wedding I RSVP for, then blew-off) and I have had a strained relationship since, because "morning sickness" is such a lame excuse I guess. She mentioned later that one of her bridesmaids was due around the same time as I was- further reinforcing my inadequacy as a friend. I know what you went through- but cannot imagine what I would have done had it persisted the way that it did for you.

I hope that more people become aware of this condition and sufferers are, at the very least, recognized as having a legitimate medical problem- and given protection from undue treatment under the law!

Once again, thank you for speaking out!

OurSentiments said...

While reading this post I could not help to think this is another great example, just like your other entry, of how babies feel in a CIO thing. How do you all get over the fact your husbands turned their back on you? I am fighting resentment with my husband, but for different reasons.

I also feel another connection to you. The fear of getting pregnant again. Again, for another reason.

Thank you for writing about this, I did not get as horribly sick, but I was sick and nauseous all the time. I could not really eat anything, except strawberries and B-day cake. I was told I was starving HIS baby... Hummm.

Hugs to you all for going through this. Again, thanks for promoting awareness!

Olivia said...

I just relived 2 of my 3 pregnancies. No one understood. I also didn't know that so many people experienced this. I know why women died years ago. I survived, but sometimes it felt like just barely. My son ate Cheerios and water 3 meals a day when my Army hubby wasn't home. To try to lift my mood my husband would ask what kind of food I wanted to rent that day. I don't wish this on anyone. It is so draining and taxing. The day my second child was born I laughed through labor. My midwife wanted to know what was so great and my response was "this is easy, at least I don't have to puke all day tomorrow!" My 3rd pregnancy was much better--I only threw up for 6 months! Thank you for the links to resources. I will pass them on to my doula clients and add them to my website.

Anonymous said...

What can be done for women suffering from HG? I have often heard of women smoking marijuana for reliefe...is there anything else less controversial that actually works?!?

Maegan said...

I am not a regular reader of your blog, but I thought I'd just mention that your previous midwife may not have been legally allowed to tell you, that you had HG. I haven't read enough to know where you are, but I know my midwife wasn't allowed to diagnose any medical condition

Woman Uncensored said...

Thank you Meagan :-)

Unfortunately, I didnt have a midwife with my first one. My OBGYN never said a word about it to me. Told me to try ginger, but never warned me that it was something more than morning sickness, and that it could get far more serious.

Dorothy said...

I have literally felt your pain... I just recently got over the HELL of HG... I am 27weeks pregnant... I have yet to gain any weight and by some miracle, my baby, 3 older girls, my house and marriage have somehow managed to survive. I can only blame that survival on my husband who was able to recognize me being pregnant with his only son was causing the misery and if he wanted any of us to survive, he needed to take over the brunt of life... He cooked, cleaned, cared for me and the kids...

Lisette said...

Hun, thanks for sharing that. It must be hard to relive it. I didn't throw up much - only all day nausea, and that was crippling enough. But I do understand thinking you couldn't go through the pain of another pregnancy again. I had PSD for my 3rd and 4th - and the 3rd was bad enough, didn't realise how much worse the 4th would get. I was in agony every time I moved, but at least I was ok when I didn't. That's got to be better than what you went through. {{hugs}}

Jennifer said...

Anonymous there are a variety of treatments available but there is no guarantee they will work. I started out with 4mg of Zofran and am now up to 8mg along with something called Omeprazole which is a medication that is supposed to lessen my stomach acid. A friend of mine who is due a few weeks before me is on the same dosage of Zofran but is taking Reglan as well. There is also Phenergan and Diclectin which are anti nausea meds.
The issue is not that there isn't treatment available but rather that there is no guarantee that these treatments will work and also that there has been little to no testing done to confirm whether these treatments are safe for pregnancy.

Jen said...

Thank you for giving a voice to this.

I suffered through HG with both of my pregnancies, though I was only officially diagnosed with it during my second (no one believed that things were *that* bad during my first.) I vividly remember days where I did nothing but vomit from the time my husband left in the morning until he came home at night, only to greet him with, "I want to die - I can't do this anymore." And I meant it. My two year old would walk around the apartment making puking noises, mostly because that's all the interaction she'd had all day.

I was given Zofran for the nausea at one point, which worked beautifully for about 48 hours only for the nausea to return, unabated. Like you, I tried everything I was offered by both my physician, my midwife and my naturopath. Nothing worked.

After two pregnancies I weigh less than I do in High School. Most women would be ecstatic to have shed their baby weight so quickly - mine came at a horrific cost. I echo your sentiment of living in terror of pregnancy - I've had so many people tell me, "every pregnancy is different, maybe the next one won't be so bad?" My first thought is always, "yes, but there's always the chance it could be WORSE... maybe this time would actually kill me." I know it sounds dramatic, but since you've been there, I know you understand.

I should also note that my husband lives in terror of pregnancy as I do, so the experiences haven't affected just me - whenever I see a newborn and get that "aw, I want another one" moment of delusion, he has a mini freak-out session remembering what the first two were like. Sheer terror, I tell you.

Anyway, I've taken up way too much space. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for writing this and giving us all a voice.

Heart Rockin Mama said...

My first question whenever I find out someone is pregnant is "How is she feeling?". I, too, had HG for all three of my pregnancies. And it was worse for each one.

Thankfully my doctors did recognize it. I had a few trips for fluids to the hospital before they put me on home IV. I will always remember my oldest (at 2 years old) rubbing my back and pretending to vomit as I did.

I, too, have put to rest my desire to have more children. How can I do that to the ones I already have?

Thankfully, my husband was nothing but amazing to me at all times. He truly saw what I was going through. My mother also had HG, so she understood.

But others were full of unhelpful comments like my MIL: "maybe if you thought positive it would help." Oh, ok then. Or a friend whose wife was pregnant. When I asked how she was feeling he said "Oh, she's good. But, she goes to the gym and really takes care of herself." Like that's what I needed.

Thanks for your story. It is nice to be understood.

angela said...

Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal and difficult. I was never diagnosed with, nor have I ever heard of HG before just now; but your description of it really has me wondering. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I was so terribly ill, and I spent more time on the cool floor in front of the toilet than anywhere else, very often praying for death, just for the sake of some pain relief. I was very sick before my pregnancy with complications from crohn's disease so I always chalked it up to that. Either way, know that there are others of us who can relate to and validate the 'hell' that you suffered, and can also identify with the paralyzing fear at the thought of going through it again. I'd love to have another child, but neither me nor my husband can fathom putting ourselves, or our children through that again. We are lifelong unschoolers, and we actually put my oldest daughter in public school during that time because it seemed like a better option than her being ignored and watching her mother dying every day. My heart goes out to you and your child who saw you suffer that way, but even such a challenging experience brings hidden blessings, even if it's just the ability to empathize with the suffering of another, or a reminder to never invalidate others the way that we were invalidated. Much Love and Healing Hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

I was never diagnosed but reading your blog made me re-live my first pregnancy so vividly. Luckily the second one was better. But the first was just like yours. I was so sick every day - even the day he was born, I was throwing up in the labour ward. I used to walk to work and be sick three or four times on the way. The girl who sat across from me got good at catching the phone as I would throw it to her on my desperate dash for the loo. Often only had seconds warning. Left work at 8 months still wearing a skirt with a proper waistband and zip in the same size I was when I fell. Luckily I put on some weight in the last month and finally felt pregnant. I was so traumatised by this and by my son's horrendous birth that I terminated my next pregnancy out of absolute terror and would have done so when I fell again with my second son except I had a wonderful midwife who talked me through it to a triumphant moment of his birth. So glad I can put a name to this now -it WASN'T just in my head. Thanks so sharing this.

Dj Julia Marie said...

This is by far the best description of what I am going through. Thank you for sharing your story.

Heather P. said...

Thank you for posting this. This is so close to what I went through during my first pregnancy. Nobody seemed to understand that I was throwing up everything. That it didn't just go away after the first trimester. I looked like death itself. At 5'11 I was a sickly 125lbs.

My husband was mostly supportive but he lost patience with me occasionally. He yelled at me because the house was a mess and didn't understand that his attempt at apartment composting was cruel to the extreme in someone who can tell you what water smells like.

Women were the worst. Especially pregnant women. Anyone who knew who I was pregnant too (I didn't look pregnant until I was about 32 weeks along or so) would look at me with a cruel, hateful glare and without reservation say "You're so thin, I hate you" I wished that I could have gained weight with the rest of them. Instead I was condemned to life with the toilet seat glued to my forehead. A fraile and weak facsimile of the person I used to be.

My OB finally listened to my pleas at for help at 15 weeks after I was unable to keep down food or water for 4 days. Over the phone he called in Zofran for me. I was grateful that it worked. For the four full weeks that I had the supply of Zofran I was only throwing up around four times a day and my weight loss turned into a slow gain of about a pound a month.

After my supply of Zofran ran out my vomiting picked up in full force again. I must have been keeping at least some of it down though because now I was still slowly gaining weight. But I was still miserable.

I had a positive birthing experience at 38+4 weeks. Amazingly, my baby weighed 8lbs, 2oz. She gained more weight than I did. After my baby was born I ate two huge trays of food without the slightest twinge of nausea.

I was brave enough to try it a second time. My second pregnancy I had no nausea whatsoever. I also lost that baby at 13 weeks and nearly died from the blood loss.

My third pregnancy started out just as bad as the first. I was fully prepared to be vomiting and miserable the whole time again, but thankfully the pregnancy goddess spared me this time and it did get better the second trimester. But I will never doubt a woman who is sick during her pregnancy. NVP and HG are very real, and to be labeled "morning sickness" makes it seem trivial, when it can be life threatening.

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was a few months old I remember I told someone I'd rather be waterboarded for 5 minutes than go through another 8-9 months of pregnancy. I adore my children and loved having a big belly, feeling the baby move, etc. but, for the most part, pregnancy was HELL!!! I could never do it, again.

Carrie said...

REALLY glad that word is getting out about our illness. I wish more people could understand what we've gone through. It's NOT in our heads!!!!

Moira said...

Thank you for writing - so eloquently yet as bluntly as required - what the rest of us who suffered hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) have been unable to do. I know myself I was one of the luckier ones because I could keep some water down (as long as it was ice cold) even when I could keep nothing else down, but I didn't feel lucky. And the hypersalivation that came with my HG was one of the worst symptoms - not only because it made me feel like vomting ALL THE TIME, but also because even my best friends made me feel like a leper!! They could cope with me vomiting up to 30 times a day and "felt sorry for me" but spitting once grossed THEM out! They could not comprehend how needing to spit constantly or being unable to hold even a 2 minute conversation with someone, made ME feel ... and I was the one going through it.

I am also very grateful to the women who supported me through it from the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation and will always be. They are some of the strongest, most amazing women I know and I am in contact with most of them still, 3 years after having my little girl.

I know that I could "probably" go through HG again PHYSICALLY ... but I would NEVER survive another HG pregnancy PSYCHOLOGICALLY. I have no doubts about that whatsoever. I constantly thought about death with that pregnancy, and actually wished for it at times ... or that it would "just be over." If anything had actually happened to her, I would never have forgiven myself because I didn't really mean it - she was planned and very much wanted - but it was how I felt at the time, from being so sick. I don't regret having her in any way, but I doubt she would be here today if I had any inkling as to what I was about to go through. And I know there is absolutely no way I could do it again.

Thank you again for writing this - you get respect not only for going through HG (twice!) but also for posting so publicly what you went for. xx

Anonymous said...

Your story hit home, except the only people that understood me well was my husband. My mom was a "fluffy" woman and told me to get fresh air, start cleaning etc. I am a HG survivor 4 times. The first two went undiagnoised by my 3rd child which was 7 years after my last one they told me I had Hyperemesis Gravidum, My husband went home and looked it up for me. When I got home after a 7 day stay at the hospital I looked it up and read stories, and cried and cried. Cried that other women have to deal with this but cried that maybe someone would "get" me.

I have made some amazing bonds with women that have had this. I am so glad you wrote this. If I didn't almost come close to dying I would do it again in a heart beat!

Stephanie said...

So sorry you had to go through that... twice. Thanks for sharing your story. I really didn't know a whole lot about HG but now I know how serious it is. I will be sure to take "morning" sickness much more serious now that I know it could be something more. I was blessed to not have any but I know most women aren't so lucky.

talkbirth said...

What an amazing post. Wow. I'm stunned--at a loss for words, but couldn't let it go without commenting.

My doula had HG with her pregnancies. The third time--when she was hospitalized with complete loss of vision--they decided to end that pregnancy, but she ended up having a miscarriage instead. This was my first "exposure" to HG and it made a HUGE impact on me.

Ez said...

This is so hard for me to read. My own mother suffered from HG. She has told me the stories of crawling to the bathroom on her hands and knees. Of numerous admissions to hospital for IV fluids. She's told me of being unsure if she would make it to the end of the pregnancies, and of being unable to care for me when she was pregnant with my younger brother. After he was born, my mum's OB advised her get her tubes tied because another pregnancy could kill her. Despite wanting 3 children, she agreed, but I know she has always wondered if she could have done it one more time.

Quite honestly, I dodged a HUGE bullet. When I got pregnant I was terrified of HG, as I was aware of the genetic component (my Nana and Aunty both had it too). Somehow, I managed to escape with just a mild case of morning sickness.

I agree there is not enough awareness of HG. I probably wouldn't have known what it was if not for my family's history.

QuirkyBaby said...

I haven't had time to read through all the comments, but have you seen the recent research studies linking HG to infection with the H. pylori bug (the same one linked to ulcers and other GI issues)? Google it, there's all sorts of stuff out there -- it could be that early antibiotic treatment for H. pylori could get rid of HG for many women!

(And how does it not surprise me that HG has gotten treated as a "women's issue," i.e. "it's all in your head," "it's just something pregnant women have to endure," etc. -- except OOOOOPS hey maybe there's a real disease process going on here, who knew??!!!)

Anonymous said...

I also suffered from HG during both my pgs, with the second one being worse than the first. My husband is a doctor, and thankfully recognised this wasn't in my head or some ploy for sympathy. Care providers chastised my for missing an appointment when I either threw up on the way there, or just couldn't drag myself out of bed from the unrelenting nausea. In the second pregnancy, they gave me Zofran, which I threw up. At around $50+ a pill, you actually pause for a moment after throwing one up to decide if it is worth it to fish the damn pill out or not. There was no safe food for me, nothing that helped aside from being in the bathtub, and only sometimes on that. My midwife told me to be more active, and eat my food separate from my drink. I threw up in public places, in the kitchen sink, on the side of the road, and the ever popular commode. Sticking your head in a public toilet to vomit up two bites of banana can just not be described, as so many of you all know. Since there was no way we'd do another pg, we adopted our third baby. I loved giving birth, but being pg was hell. I still wonder why the use of Marinol in HG is not explored. It is the component of marijuana that helps with nausea, pharmasutically exstacted and purified. It is used in the hospital for nausea and vomitting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I didn't have HG the entire pregnancy, but my first half was awful, and almost no one understood it. I was working as a file clerk at the time, and I couldn't get to see my midwife before I started getting violently ill, and despite telling my boss that I was pregnant and needed to have a stool or something to sit on (and have breaks to eat, etc), she refused until I went to the midwife, which was still 3 weeks away. I ended up in the ER later that week for an IV, and, haha, confirmation that I was pregnant so she'd give me the damn stool; despite submitting the appropriate paperwork in my office, including the printouts the ER doc had given me describing my condition, she still came by my work station saying she needed more "jump time" from me. I would throw up half the night, then wake up and throw up several times before going to work, at least once on the way there, after I got there, etc...I was losing weight and looking gaunt, but couldn't quit because I carried the benefits. My co-worker was amazingly cruel to me during this time, as well, I won't get into that, but needless to say, the first half of my pregnancy was probably the worst time I had in my entire life. Thankfully, around 18-20 weeks, the Zofran started working, and I was able to eventually wean off of it around 25 weeks; I can't imagine a whole pregnancy feeling that way. I am still very angry at most of the people in my life at that time who didn't believe me, even as I threw up in front of them. My biggest supporter was my husband and I am eternally grateful for him. I, too, am terrified to become pregnant again. I would like another child, but it is very scary to think of feeling that way again, only now, with my beautiful son to witness it and to suffer neglect when i'm unable to take care of him.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana cures this completely. Check the Mothering Magazine archives for an article with research to back it up. There is NO science proving that it can damage mother or baby.

Marsha said...

I will never say i fully understand the suffering you all went through, but I do have a bit of an idea. My first 2 pregnancies went fine, little morning sickness and such. With my third, that all changed, and top that off with getting an intestinal virus. I was the worse thing i could ever have physically experienced in my pregnancies. By the second week, after being prescribed Zofran for the vomited, I was almost bedridden. I could keep nothing in and had everything i took in come out of both ends; crackers, bananas, simple water with my meds, you name it. I had my 2 little girls at the time, one of them just beginning her cancer treatment, with my husband being in the Navy on temporary shore duty til his ship came back into port. 2.5 weeks later, i ended up in the ER and was attached to and IV, receiving 2 bags of fluid with intravenous Zofran and pain meds. While most of the nausea remained after getting discharged, i did get better, but i was still afraid for my baby. Like i said, i will never fully comprehend what you all have gone through, but i do empathize with you, and I'm truly sorry for all that you all have lost.

Dana Seilhan said...

God, I'd frigging die. You are so strong to have gotten through that but I bet you don't ever want to be "tested for strength" in that way again...

With me my 1st pregnancy was a dream except a couple of times when I got overheated and then nauseated. The 2nd pregnancy was interesting, shall we say. I wound up with this weird inflammatory response that made every joint in my body hurt and my knees swell up like inner-tubes. I had to go up and down stairs sideways--and this is Ohio, most houses are multi-story. Thank God it only lasted for a few weeks, not that it wasn't bad enough during that time.

Also thank God I didn't have a job at the time. I would have lost it. I was amazed I didn't get accused by my housemates of malingering as it was.

One other thing they do dismiss, though, is changes in mental status. I got that both pregnancies and it was worse the second time. They think you're doing it on purpose. My ex and I wound up breaking up over it and he kicked me out, yes while pregnant, to live on my own on about five hundred a month. We're friends now, but he wonders why we don't totally reconcile.

I am not saying this to attack you, or to suggest anything you could have done differently while it was going on but we are so lied to in this culture about how to take care of ourselves, and about what we should eat worst of all. I came to find out later that I'd been very short on dietary fat, especially animal fat, and I was short on fat-soluble vitamin intake as well (A--real A, not beta carotene--D, E, and K2 from animal or bacterial sources). No one tells you this. They tell you eat a low-fat diet and eat lots of plants. My body can't deal with that. I didn't know. I think my mental status would have been way better and I wouldn't have suffered had I been eating right.

The reason our mothers and grandmothers look at us like WTF when we have these weird problems is they were better nourished than we've been. Not perfectly, they still had problems, but it has a collective effect passed down through the generations. Generation A eats sorta badly but not all the way badly, and has a few problems. Generation B has a few more problems and eats worse so is in worse condition. Generation C is a fucking basket case and needs a gestation tank to have kids at all. It's not in the DNA code but in how the genes express, and the nutritional shortfalls in utero and in childhood sure don't help either.

I will say one thing, don't go "well I can't do this so I need a surrogate or an adoption"--don't do that. Don't look at using another woman's body or at taking another woman's child. That's not fair. There are so many ways to have family and to make a difference in the world without adding to another person's suffering. Kids have a right to know where they come from, and everybody has a right to the family they've got. It breaks my heart every time someone speaks of adoption like they're going to go puppy-shopping. This needs to go away just like circumcision and discouragement of breastfeeding. Women are not rent-a-uterus machines, and adoption is for finding homes for kids who DO NOT HAVE THEM, not kids for homes who could use a few more.

Rene' said...

My HG baby is about to turn 5. I was on Short-Term Disability because I couldn't stand up. My DH & I separated bc he thought I was just being a wimp & screamed at me to stop looking for attention.

I went thru many anti-nausea drugs and finally found a tiny bit of relief with phenergan suppositories (couldn't keep anything down that was taken orally). Then I could keep down a snack here and there (or more like, half of it).

I got to be an expert at throwing up on the freeway after I went back to work. TIP: use newspaper bags. They are really long and therefore don't splashback!

It made me crazy when people would suggest Preggie Pops or crackers. I would just say, "I'm so far beyond that it's not even funny..."

But the up side is, I just had regular morning sickness for my 2nd pregnancy (yeah, that one was an accident). So there is a small glimmer of hope for those of you debating about another. HG isn't a sure thing.

Hugs to all my HG sisters!

PS
A friend of mine drove into oncoming traffic when she was 4 mos pregnant with her 1st child. She had HG. She was killed & so was the other driver. We'll never know for sure but I suspect she was getting sick. This is a serious issue, folks.

Brittanie said...

I can't even read your entire post as it's reducing me to tears. I am remembering the trauma of my 3 pregnancies. What you are describing reminds me of my first one most, and that pregnancy ended in stillbirth. People don't understand how truly traumatic is really is.

I mention being a little baby hungry to people and they're always "so, are you going to have another one soon??" to which I answer NO! not any time soon. I do want another...possibly two, but the idea of dealing with another 9 months of puking is so hard. I've had 5 crowns done and uncountable fillings, along with now having GERD. It's traumatizing to think about.

Anonymous said...

OMG OMG OMG. tears. If only had of on known there was a name for it. The first pregnancy wasnt as bad and the following two. the last pregnancy was pure hell. I too am in so much fear that if i was to fall pregnant again i would suffer even more the next time round.
i remember sitting on the bathroom floor for most of the last pregnancy, but this stage i had two young children to look after. They would come in pat my back and ask if i was ok. while in the middle of throwing up nothing. I felt like i was death warmed up, only cold.

My teeth are in hell from all the throwing up, i need to spend hundreds on getting them into some sort of order. I too tried every thing i could to stop throwing up. (i would rather die than throw up) nothing worked. people thought i was crazy.

In some small way it is good to know there is a name for it. Also in some small way, it is comforting to know i am not crazy nor the only one that has been through this.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Oh your post made me cry. I actually have two friends who each had this. They both only have one child and will never have another. When I think about how agonizing my simple morning sickness was for me, I can't even begin to imagine what sort of hell you had to be going through. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

oh my, something else we have in common. i too experienced this death sickness with all of my pregnancies. i could barely keep water down for MANY MONTHS, losing weight and laying still and near the bathroom, horrific and depressing for my toddler the last time. I never knew there was an actual name of this, and didnt know other women out there were also this ill with pregnancy. thank you.

mjv said...

Thanks for this post.
I thought I was a malingering freak. I was managed with Zofran 8mg throughout, plus regular Vitamin K and B12 injections, and saline IV when nec. Bub born 34.5 weeks @ 2kg (4.5lb), after prolonged hospitalisation. I came out 15kg (33lb) lighter than before I was pg, endured prenantal depression and lost my permanent librarian job (was asked to resign and couldn't fight).
My boy is beautiful and it was all worth it.
I am interested to see the suggestions for causes and treatments; and encouraged that many of you have been brave enough to try again, and some have not experienced it in subsequent pregnancies.
Hmmmm....

Lauren W. said...

Yes. Yes Yes. I wasn't HG but I was constantly sick for 17 weeks with both of my pregnancies. I have always wanted 3 children but I don't think it will happen because I hate being pregnant and can't imagine having 2 kids and functioning while sick... it was bad enough feeling like a horrible mother the second time around when my toddler daughter wanted so badly to play and I could barely get off the couch.

mariahswind said...

Oh my! There are no words to express what I am feeling for you! To suffer from HG is bad enough but to have little support or understanding and no medical care is horrific! In Australia you would have been hospitalized as long as you were suffering. I can somewhat imagine how you were feeling and feel about further pregnancies. I've had two and I won't do it again. I have severe nausea 24/7 but do not vomit and hate the sight of food. For me it's 7 mos. I cannot function and couldn't do it again. I said when still going through it the second time that I don't want to do it again and to not let me forget it! We are happy with two. Best Wishes and enjoy those precious girls of yours, to think of what you suffered to have them!

Colleen said...

I can't tell you how much this means to me. I almost died as well. My doctors compared me to women in concentration camps who were starved, and tried to reassure me that even they had healthy babies if they could stay hydrated. I lost 42 pounds, it was the worst part of my life. But my son is now 3 and perfect.

I have a group on Facebook called 'I survived Hyperemesis Gravida' if anyone needs to chat, network, get more info, or needs support. And there are always a few women who need support, too, so please join me.

Thank you for shedding light on this subject.


Another point of note-- there is a research study on HG going on now that needs more 'control group' people. If you had healthy pregnancies and can spare a half an hour, it would help so many women if you could complete the survey! www.hyperemesis.org

Renae said...

This has bought back so many memories and like another lady said, it's like this was written by me. I now have a 3 year old and 3 month old and suffered HG for both pregnancies. My recent pregnancy I dropped to 43kg at 4 mths pregnant and spent most of the first 4-5 mths in hospital on a drip and taking Zofran. I couldn't eat a single thing. I contemplated abortion, suicide and hoped for a miscarriage, even though we tried for months to conceive. I would love a third child but I will be getting my tubes tied so that I can't forget the pain I suffered and believe for half a second that I can do it again, because I know I can't. It did make me angry that people just thought I had morning sickness and would try to tell me to eat crackers, etc. No one can possibly understand how sick we get, unless they've suffered HG themselves.

Gina said...

I had HG with all 4 pregnancies and it's SO BAD that even though I desperately TTC baby #4, when I was in the throes of HG I fantasized about miscarriage just because I was so desperate to feel relief from symptoms. Obviously that's NOT normal morning sickness.

Anonymous said...

This makes me so sad! My first pregnancy I got an abortion because I could not keep down anything not even water! I struggled with the decision for a month with no one to turn to. I still regret it SOOO much to this day. I thought it was due to ovarian cysts because that is what the hospital said I had when I went in there along with telling me I was 8 weeks pregnant. I tried the pills and natural rememdies did not work at all. AFter loosing 20lbs in a month I decided to terminate because I was young anyways and my family did not accept my boyfriend and it was making me so sick and misearable I had to quit my job.
Now I have twin boys. I kept eating ALL the time throughout this pregnancy and had moderate "morning sickness" but it was not nearly as bad as the first time. Please forgive me I have not forgiven myself yet...

Haley said...

It's so comforting to read about other woman who suffer from HG, especially when several medical sites I've checked out state that many doctors believe it is a psychological disorder. My two boys are 9 and 7 now but I suffered from HG during both pregnancies. I was only 19 during my first pregnancy and I became so ill so quickly. I tried everything to stop the violent heaving but it only got worse and worse until I could no longer take a sip of water without throwing up bile. It was once so powerful that I feared I would suffocate before it stopped. My muscles ached and i could barely move at all. I developed sores all over the inside of my mouth from all the acid and every time I threw up it burned so badly and my hair began to fall out. In a 2 week period I lost over 30 lbs. My doctor had not seen me before this happened so he had no idea just how different I was now (when he saw me for my check up after delivery he passed me in the hall and did not recognize me!). I was 19 and had been full of life and always took care of myself never left the house without make-up type and now I was on death's doorstep. I was staying at my sister's house on her couch and hadn't kept anything down for weeks or used the bathroom for 3 days. I asked her to call our mom and get her to fly from Florida to Oklahoma were we lived. I knew I was going to die if she didn't come. My mom was a nurse and when she saw me she was shocked to find that I looked very much like the cancer patients she helped during their last stages of life. She fought to get me into the hospital and watched carefully as specialist after specialist came in and could not diagnose my problem. She was the one who finally put things together and pointed the doctors in the right direction. They put me on Zofran and things slowly began to turn around. I had to take at least one everyday for 6 mo. to keep anything down and by my 7th mo. of pregnancy my pre-pregnancy jeans were still falling off of me (not a problem anymore, btw). Getting better was even more painful than being sick. I had to fight everyday to rebuild the muscle that had deteriorated during that time and I still did not feel good. I had to use a different bathroom in the house because the smell of that room where I had been so sick would make me wretch. I lost all my friends during that time and it put a serious strain on my relationship with my husband. He was trying so hard but there was nothing he could do and it was so stressful for us both. I've never been the same person. It was the same the 2nd time. The boys are amazing and perfectly healthy. It's been a few years now and we have a wonderful life and had been talking about whether or not we wanted more children. I really felt like it might be ok until one night I thought there was a small possibility that I could be pregnant. That was the most scared I have felt in my life since the first time I was sick. I began to cry uncontrollably and hyperventilate at just the thought of being sick again. It completely takes over your life and could potentially end it. I did not realize how afraid I was and what an affect HG still has on my life. I rarely talk about it with women I know because they really cannot understand. My current friends know that I had difficult pregnancies but they don't know the extent. It was such a humiliating experience that there are things I would never share but I know those of you who have been through it know what I went through and that is a huge comfort to me. I feel so blessed and we have decided to take life for what it is...an adventure. We're taking it one day at a time.

dohiyi mama said...

my heart breaks for you and all others who have suffered like this. screw those who didn't believe you, ladies.

Pam B said...

I do not understand why they can not/ will not admit pregnant women with this condition to the hospital and give them IV fluids and TPN for nutrients. It is available. Why would any medical professional allow a pregnany woman to starve from hyperemesis??

Stassja said...

My heart is breaking and I'm crying reading this. I've heard of HG before, and never doubted it's reality. I cannot understand the lack of sympathy for pregnant women, planned or unplanned, like we brought whatever discomfort on ourselves and we should just suck it up and suffer in silence. I was blessed with normal pregnancies, but I hated with my first how the doctors would brush off any ache or pain as just "normal", even when I was bringing up hip problems that existed BEFORE I was pregnant.

Will be passing this on, more people need to be aware of HG and help these women survive and perhaps feel less alone and abandoned. Just heartbreaking. :(

Melissa Neece said...

I've had friends who have had this. I feel for you all. My husband has Cluster headaches (100x worse than most migraines) and has come across those types of attitudes ("oh it can't be that bad, you can still work, blah, blah). People who don't go through that type of pain, or don't see their loved ones go through it, have no clue.

I am curious to know (I've been doing research) of how many people who have HG also have gluten intolerance, and if they are connected in any way?

Anonymous said...

Until reading this I had almost forgotten/blocked out these painful memories. I didn't have diagnosed HG, but I could barely get off of the floor for 4 months. I passed out in class, had to get off the bus to throw up in garbage cans on busy streets. Even threw up on the bus once. My ex would come home and get mad at me for not cleaning up his mess from the night before and not washing his laundry. It was the absolute worst time of my life. Finally at 14 weeks pregnant I dropped out of school and left him and moved back hme with my mom. I got a job but was fired for being to weak and sick to work. All I can hope is that if I do have another baby, it will be easier sice I will not be dealing with the stress of an abusive partner on top of the sickness.

Amber said...

THANK YOU for writing this. I am currently 16 weeks pregnant with my first child and it is so nice to know I am not alone. I made it 11 weeks at work (where I was a 50-hour a week salaried manager... fun to puke all day at that job!) before I cracked and refused to go back. Everyone kept telling me to wait for my 2nd trimester and it would get easier... but for me it got worse. Luckily, I have recently been blessed with a new OBGYN who specializs in Hyperemesis and actually had it with two of her pregnancies... so I'm feeling hope.

Thank you, again, for writing this. I was going through my pregnancy books and looking for mention of this issue and all it gets is a little blurb. I didn't even know this was possible when I got pregnant.

Amber

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why people don't believe women about this. I haven't experienced HG but my sister in law did and I remember she had to go to the hospital multiple times for iv fluids just to survive basically. The only thing she "eats" for the first half of pregnancy is ensure shakes.

Cara Leopard said...

I sit here reading all of this and I don't even know where to start. I feel its my duty to ad another untold tale of this horrible condition. So here I go...I feel so passionate about victims of HG needing to be HEARD. I've always felt that no one listens. Maybe if It was Chemotherapy someone would listen. We suffer from a pregnancy induced involuntary form of anorexia and bulimia! Only we DESPERATELY want to eat. We are starving to death and our babies are starving. Some of us are snuffed out of the family that we wish for by the fear and anxiety that we might actually become pregnant and sick again. Or even worse, give birth to a baby with severe medical conditions or brain-damaged because we couldn't eat-ultimately making us failures at reproduction. I sit here 11 weeks pregnant with my second child, feeling worse than before, and I expect the worst and pray for the best. I suffered 9 months of severe HG with my first child and after 4 years of trying to abolish my fear of HG I decided to give hope a chance. Now I sit here, having lost too much weight, with my daughter neglected. I'm suffering with depression wishing there was something that could be done.

I feel like we all wish we could stand up and do something about this horrible HG problem but fear we will be ignored, laughed off the stage or the eyes of the lucky mothers and doubtful men will roll. I feel SO emotional about this sickness that I don't even speak of pregnancy when I'm NOT pregnant. I read about those with HG who miscarried and even though I feel sadness for such a loss, a huge part of me is jealous, and thinks "why can't that be me".

I want OPTIONS for us ladies, I want good health care that RECOGNIZES this as a SERIOUS health problem. I want us to give birth to healthy babies. I want us to be able to shop for and actually wear maternity clothing instead of living in our towels and bathrobes on our bathroom floors. I want to decorate a nursery BEFORE my baby is born (if I survive that is). There is one controversial herb that I have yet to try because its illegal. However I urge everyone that is in fear of their life or the life of their baby to watch this video and read this article and make a difference. FIGHT HG! Don't except it and let it kill you and your dreams for a family!

Video of research done on cannabis use during pregnancy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9WorIM0RhA

One mothers struggle with HG and how she coped, no thanks to doctors.

http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth/medical-marijuana-a-surprising-solution-to-severe-morning-sickness

If you are suffering and reading this PLEASE keep your head up and know you are NOT alone! You are brave and strong and you CAN live through this!

greyminerva said...

Reading your story is very upsetting - and very grateful to the doctor I had when I was pregnant.
It started out as a lack of apetite, and a slight feeling of queasiness. After about 7 weeks, when the X-mas holidays were over, I was on 50% medical leave from work, and two weeks later my doctor put me on full medical leave, telling me to consentrate on caring for my baby. After that, there's a month or two of complete and utter hell, where we were between apartments and I had to go live with my parents because I couldn't live with my husband in a one-room rental: He couldn't make himself anything to eat without me throwing up...
I spent about 5-6 weeks sitting on a couch in my parents' basemet, trying not to throw up all the time. And mostly failing.
Fortunately, a few weeks into the second trimester my doctor stated that this obviously wasn't going away at the 12 week mark and I couldn't go on like this, and prescribed anti-nausea medication - which WORKED!
I ended up taking medication until I was about 7 months pregnant, when the nausea subsided and I was able to function without it.
Up until then I had been able to "function" while on medication, eating food, moving, leaving the house and meeting the everyday smells of the city without throwing up all over the place - but I was never comfortable, and skipping a pill meant throwing up my toenails from the inside out a few hours later.
Coupled with the other pregnancy-related problems I suffered (low bloodpressure = fainting, loosening of the pelvic joint (ended up on crutches), pregnancy-related diabetes etc.), I really fear another pregnancy.
At present I'm a divorced single mother of a wonderful three year old boy. I would really like him to have a sibling, but I know that I have to find a new partner who is willing to step in and be a full time parent for Jr. if I am to get pregnant again - because I certainly won't be up to the task. :(
Especially since I have a new doctor now, and I don't KNOW his take on the HG-diagnosis and its treatment - too many women just get a pat on the head and get told to "just rest and have a cracker". GRRRRR!

However, I believe that there is a BIT more respect for the diagnosis and the condition here in Norway than there is in your country - as well as the fact that ALL pregnancy-related healthcare is completely free (as is healthcare for children under 12) - I had LOTS of extra check-ups with both my doctor and my midwife.

Andrea von Schoening said...

I cannot imagine going through a pregnancy with HG. I cannot imagine being so sick that you want to die, or that you would terminate a wanted baby! It is beyond my comprehension, because I have never experienced anything like this. I am SO SAD about the women who have had to go through this. AND without understanding or support from those around them ... it is just unbelievable. Huge hugs to all of you who have had to live through this!

I want to share that I have learned that for some women with HG, marijuana was the ONLY thing that worked, and it worked very well. Some women felt better IMMEDIATELY and started to keep food down! It changed thier lives! You don't have to smoke it. Some women made tea. You also don't have to use a whole lot, so don't worry about being very impaired, or maybe not impaired at all. This is something that a doctor will probably not tell you (although some doctors know about it, and SOME doctors supported the women using it!) partly because of the legal angle and partly because they have been brainwashed by Big Pharma. In many places on earth, marajuana is used as a healing herb. If you have HG, I would encourage you to consider tryng it ... Here are some links with more information on it ...

1) http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/ganga-babies-do-better-more-suppressed-marijuana-research/
2) http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth/medical-marijuana-a-surprising-solution-to-severe-morning-sickness
3) http://blogs.babble.com/being-pregnant/2010/11/02/smoking-pot-for-morning-sickness/

Wishing all you Mamas all the best!

JeanMarie said...

I was an LPN and I NEVER even heard of HG! I am so tearful at this moment that I can barely see the keyboard! It just makes me angry that people are so judgmental of others, especially where pain is concerned. Having born the judgment of people reacting to my infertility issues, it is devastating to learn that even those who CAN conceive are judged by unfair standards and practices.
Thank you for sharing your horrific experience, you have brought to light a multi-faceted issue that until now, I had no idea existed.

island of Grief Mountain of Joy said...

I just found your blog. There are no words really. The HG world is opening up so much more for me> I know the actual percentage of women who suffer from this is small, but it seems bigger because I have found a lot of people in the online community who understand and get it.

I have a sad HG story. It can be read about it on my blog. Thanks for brigging this issue to others. I hope to do the same.

island of Grief Mountain of Joy said...

I just found your blog. There are no words really. The HG world is opening up so much more for me> I know the actual percentage of women who suffer from this is small, but it seems bigger because I have found a lot of people in the online community who understand and get it.

I have a sad HG story. It can be read about it on my blog. Thanks for brigging this issue to others. I hope to do the same.

Mariah said...

It feels wrong to say I'm glad you shared this, because it almost feels like I'm saying I am glad you had HG too when I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. This made me cry, my 3 year old would do the same thing and rub my back, pat my arms or head and tell me it was okay. I had almost forgotten(or, I suppose, have intentionally blocked) how unbearable and frightening it was. I, as an overweight pregnant woman, was completely ignored no matter how much weight I lost ... my OB even made a comment about being PROUD of me for not gaining. I remember being scared to death to brush my teeth because the brush touching any part of my mouth was enough to set me off on another uncontrollable vomiting episode. I lost my job, too, for being away from my desk for an 'unreasonable' amount of time when I had to put clients on hold for 15+ minutes while I was crying, then vomiting, then crying some more in the bathroom. I feel every bit of your pain and I thank you for sharing it, I hope a few of the people who judged me read this or something like it an realize how wrong they were and how serious it really is.

Beth said...

I had HG from 4 weeks on. From four weeks to nine weeks I was unable to keep anything down, even water. I would collapse on the floor at the end of the hall when I tried to go out to the living room to spend time with my grandparents and sister. At my nine week OB appointment I nearly lost consciousness after I was weighed. My OB sent me to the hospital. I had lost twenty-six pounds and my potassium level was less than half a normal level. My grandma cried driving me to the hospital because she was so sure I was going to die. That day was my 19th birthday. Everyone was apologizing that I had to be hospitalized on my birthday but it was the best present I could have gotten. I felt better with the fluids! I wasn't weak or achey and the next day I could actually eat. I stayed for a week and the anti-nausea meds that I was given worked most of the time, which I am so grateful for. I was hospitalized a second time 10 weeks later, because like I said the pills didn't always work. I was 35 weeks pregnant before I had reached my pre-pregnancy weight and somehow I miraculously gained 20 pounds in that last month. I delivered my healthy 8 pound son one day before his EDD. I love my little boy and I want more babies but I am terrified that this will happen again, and that I won't make it a second time. ):

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