Hyperemesis Gravidarum- My Experience


It's a condition you've probably seen plastered all over the news this week following the Duchess of Cambridge announcing her third pregnancy. For the third time, she is suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a condition I suffered with during my second pregnancy.

If you have seen it in the news, there's no doubt you've seen this condition referred to as "extreme morning sickness". I need to say now that this is a ridiculous expression and the condition is nowhere near comparable to morning sickness of any sort. It is a serious and dangerous condition that resulted me being on IV's and heavy medication in an attempt to keep my body from drying up completely from dehydration, that thousands of women suffer with in silence.

When I was pregnant with Isla, I did not throw up even once. Slap my back and applaud, I was kicking pregnancy's ass. My second pregnancy, with Archer however, was a different story.

It all began in the early weeks when our household was hit with norovirus. Everyone seemed to get better after 2-3 days and stop throwing up except for me. I assumed it was morning sickness, except it was all day, dozens of times an hour. I would throw up until I was choking on nothing as there was nothing to come out. I couldn't keep anything down, and even imagining being sick would lead me to run to the bathroom.

Smells would set me off- something common in pregnancy... but even thinking about a smell again would have me running to the bathroom. I would wake up feeling dry- my skin felt dry, my mouth was dry, my eyes burnt. I ended up being so so often that I had to have IV fluids to top myself up. I was taking sickness pills that left me in a zombie like state as a side effect, but I had no choice.

I couldn't look after myself from exhaustion, or look after Isla. I regularly had to leave work as a result of the sickness. I was told morning sickness generally staves off around 14 weeks, but this continued into the third trimester. I would faint from exhaustion, often in public places.

By 30 weeks pregnant, I had gained no weight. I was actually lighter than when I had fallen pregnant due to the excessive weight loss caused by throwing up! My bump continued to grow perfectly though thankfully.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is far from "extreme morning sickness". It is a lonely, crippling condition that I would not wish on anyone. It left me wishing away my pregnancy. Lots of people kept telling me it was normal and that I'd chosen to be pregnant so had to deal with it but this really isn't the case.

I hope that anyone suffering gets the help and support they need- ask relatives and friends if you need something, make sure the GP and midwives take you seriously, and don't let anyone brush it off as just a normal part of pregnancy. There are also some fantastic support groups you can find online and on Facebook and in most communities.

Did you or anyone you know suffer with HG? Share your story- I'd love to hear it.

Steph xo


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