Hyperemesis Gravidarum

This blog entry does not explain why we chose adoption. I felt the call to adopt before I even met my husband. On our first date, I told him about my dreams to adopt a child. My struggle with HG in my pregnancy with my son was merely a reason for us to choose adoption sooner than we had planned.

*Trigger warning: This blog entry contains detailed descriptions of my struggle with HG, and the possible results of HG on others. It mentions both the symptoms and side-effects of HG, and makes mention of pregnancy termination.*

HG is a silent monster that can cause malnutrition, depression, isolation, dehydration, kidney failure, fatigue, pica, underweight babies, ptyalism, and can even lead to the termination of a wanted pregnancy in some cases. In other words, it can be devastating.

For 36 out of 40 weeks, I suffered from HG. So what is it? What is this horrible illness that can lead some women to do the unthinkable- to end pregnancies that they tried for, prayed for, and dreamed of? It’s extreme morning sickness. How lame does that sound? That’s the tip of this mammoth iceberg.

The first morning I experienced HG was at 4 weeks into my pregnancy with Little. They didn’t even know for sure if I would have a viable pregnancy. I had no history of miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, but from the first day of conception, I’d been experiencing extreme pain in my lower right side, near my ovary. So my doctor wanted to do an ultrasound to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. She was certain based on my completely sporadic and irregular periods that I was 6 weeks along. I was certain I was not.

I woke up the morning of the scheduled ultrasound and felt dizzy. Brushing my teeth made me feel nauseated and I couldn’t walk without holding onto the wall in the hallway that led to our bathroom. I ran in and crouched on my knees and vomited in the toilet. Behind me, my husband said lightly, “Things must be moving along okay because otherwise I guess you wouldn’t be experiencing morning sickness…” I took it as a comforting sign as well. I ate some crackers and brought a Sprite with me to the doctor’s office.

However, I didn’t feel better as the day went on. In fact, I felt worse. And I continued to feel worse. My “morning sickness” felt more like food poisoning, and for any of you who’ve had food poisoning, you know it’s worse than any old hangover or stomach bug. But this was normal, right? This was the sign of a viable pregnancy.

At the doctor, they confirmed that it was not an ectopic pregnancy, but sent me home thinking my body had a miscarriage known as a “blighted ovum”. In other words, the embryo is lost so early after conception that your body reabsorbs it quickly. A gestational sac may be present in the uterus, but there is nothing else. They sent me home to wait. I was scheduled for another ultrasound four weeks later to make sure everything had “cleared out” as the nurse put it on the phone.

HG Rock Bottom

Two weeks later, we went out of town. I was starting to show ever so slightly, and had to keep my pants unbuttoned… but I “wasn’t pregnant”. At our hotel, I woke up feeling sick again. I threw up, hoping that would help. Before I could leave the bathroom, I was sick again. And again. And again. And again. For twelve hours, I lay on the bathroom floor of our hotel room, shaking and retching. I knew something was wrong. I called the doctor, who wouldn’t speak to me.

I begged her nurse for something to take that would help me keep from vomiting. The woman laughed at me. She told me I was being dramatic, and that I simply needed to leave the bathroom. She suggested perhaps it was the smell in the bathroom itself that was making me sick time after time, and if I simply got out of the room, I would feel better.

I tried. I didn’t make it to the bed.

I called again, this time more desperate. She sighed heavily and recommended I eat some
crackers and drink plenty of water. She suspected I was dehydrated at this point from “allowing” myself to get so sick.

So I tried to drink. With one sip of the water, my body rejected it. This time what I was throwing up was bright green and tasted bitter beyond anything I’d ever tasted.

I called again. I asked her about what I was now throwing up. I told her I thought it was bile. She sighed out of frustration and said, “It’s just what’s left in your tummy after you’ve thrown everything else up. If you would get something in there and quit calling me, and give it a chance to stay in there, you wouldn’t be throwing up bright green things!”

Fifteen minutes later, I passed out. My husband was very worried. We were in San Antonio, at a hotel near the Alamo downtown. He carried me out to the car, gently set me in and rushed to an emergency clinic in downtown. A nurse came out with a wheelchair for me. I slipped in and out of consciousness while waiting to be seen by a doctor. I remember them trying to get me to stand up to check my blood pressure, but I couldn’t. A kind nurse propped me up against her body while they looked me over. My blood pressure was dangerously low.

Immediately I was rushed into a room and given an IV of fluids. I fell asleep, at last relieved to be taken care of and listened to. The doctor checked my keytones in my urine. They were exceptionally high. He was concerned and kept me for a few more hours. He explained to me that I was in the early stages of renal failure due to severe dehydration. He didn’t know what was wrong with me, but he did say it was “beyond morning sickness.” He checked my hormone levels and confirmed that they were right in line with a woman at 6 weeks pregnancy. I told him about the blighted ovum. He was stunned, and went to check the hormone levels again. He ran a pregnancy test which confirmed that I was -still- pregnant.

I called the nurse at my doctor again. She stated that “sometimes women want to be pregnant so badly, they trick their bodies into believing that they are. You could also be experiencing the last bit of hormones from your pregnancy. Your body jumped into pregnant mode but then there was no baby. Sometimes it can take a while for that to wear off.”

I told my emergency room doctor this. He told me to find a different doctor at home.

Dr. Devine, No Pun Intended

Back home two weeks later, I did. At my first visit with my new (amazing!) doctor, Dr. Devine (and she is) she took one look at me and said, “You are suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is a rare pregnancy related illness that causes excessive vomiting, nausea and dizziness during pregnancy.” She also found my son’s heartbeat.

She deduced that the first doctor (the one I cut ties with) didn’t see him on the ultrasound because I was only 4 weeks pregnant, NOT 6 as she had assumed. At 4 weeks, she explained, they wouldn’t be able to see a fetal pole without the most advanced ultrasound technology (which she had). There he was. Moving his arms and legs. His little heart was just pounding away.

I was so relieved to not only have confirmed what I knew, that I was indeed still pregnant, but also to have a diagnosis for my illness. In my heart, I knew that pregnancy shouldn’t feel like this. I knew something was different and wrong.

For the next seven months of my pregnancy, I relied on a closely monitored cocktail of prescription drugs to keep me from vomiting to the point of dehydration and malnutrition, and to keep me pooping. On a bad day, I would vomit up to 14 times a day. On good days, the dizziness and low blood pressure still kept me confined to my bed, but sometimes I could make it as far as the living room and then crash on the couch. Nearly once a week, I would have to go to the hospital for IV fluids. I tried my hardest to drink enough water and sports drink to keep up with my vomiting, but sometimes nothing could hit my tongue without initiating my gag reflexes, and it was then that I relied on the IVs.

My son was completely healthy, but his placenta was robbed of vital nutrients in the earliest weeks of my pregnancy due to the HG. As a result, he was starving in there. Every tiny thing I could eat (bland baked potatoes, toast, rice, sometimes a peanut butter sandwich) went straight to him, but it wasn’t enough. I tried everything I could to give him the nutrients he needed to survive. Since I couldn’t stomach a prenatal vitamin, I would take several children’s chewable vitamins a day. I would drink Carnation Instant Breakfast every morning with my bland toast. I would consume at least 1 (I could barely stomach more than that) Boost, a supplemental nutrition drink.

He was diagnosed as IUGR. Intra-Uterine-Growth-Restriction. I had to go in for ultrasounds and non-stress tests twice weekly…in a town 30 miles away. My mother used up nearly all of her vacation time being my chauffeur. Every Monday and Wednesday, my mother would drive 45 minutes to pick me up, then we would go to the doctor to make sure my son was growing as best he could, and she would take me back home. Some days I loved her for it, and other days I grew weary of the situation and became frustrated with her for it. She would grow frustrated too, but mostly she was a saint.

The Drugs

I relied very heavily on a drug called Zofran, which is mostly given to chemotherapy patients to deal with the side effect of nausea and vomiting. It triggers some kind of chemical in the brain which stops you from vomiting. It’s a powerful drug that can cause severe constipation. I was admitted to the hospital twice for long stays due to intestinal impactions as a drug side effect.

I would take the Zofran first thing in the morning, often around 5:30, to be sure I had it in my system before I was officially “up” for the day. It dissolved in my mouth, and at first taking it would trigger me and I would end up extremely sick. However, somehow my body adjusted and while I still couldn’t stomach most foods, I could handle the sick taste and chalky feel of the medicine that gave me some semblance of normal. I would take it every four hours for the rest of the day and into the night.

Without it even for one hour, and I would vomit uncontrollably.

Each bottle, which lasted me anywhere from 4 days to a week, cost $40. I remember not getting my prescription refilled once, and having to call my mother to pick it up for me. My mother in law also was called once to get me my medicine.
I also took Reglan (which I would never recommend), Phenergan, Colace, Pepcid, Miralax, Vitamin B6, Unisom, Ambien, Milk of Magnesia, Fleet enemas, and a variety of probiotics off and on during the entire pregnancy.

Psychological Effects

Unable to go anywhere or do anything, I was left extremely isolated. The isolation led to depression. The depression led to dark thoughts. With HG, it’s nearly impossible to form a bond with the baby growing inside of you. That baby is foreign, distant, and the cause of your illness. Dehydration messes with your mind in ways little else does. You can have vivid dreams, even hallucinations without water in your body. I hallucinated often in moments of dehydration. I saw visions of people breaking into my house, creatures in the night, horrible things. I lived for eight months as a traveler lost in the desert with no water and no food and the worst case of food poisoning you could ever imagine.
Some women are led to believing that the only way out of this hell is through termination. I know wonderful Christian pro-life women who suffered at the hands of HG and couldn’t take it. They couldn’t find relief with the drugs or the experimental medicines. They knew they were dying, and their only way out was through termination. It’s a haunting reality.

Let me say this. I just want it to be clear that I am very pro-life, but it needs to be said that HGers sometimes feel that the only way through this hell is down the path of termination. This fact just shows how awful this illness truly is. Our son was planned, we prayed for a baby, and I’m a pro-life Christian…And yet…The depression from being sick doesn’t help. Even In my darkest moments, I wrestled with the idea. Either I wanted to die (I thought about it at night) or I wanted a miscarriage. I can’t say I ever really thought about termination in an active sense, but I thought about how relieved I would be if I miscarried.

Isolation and Family

The isolation from not being able to move doesn’t help either. And dehydration with malnutrition causes us to make blurry decisions. But perhaps worst of all fr me was the lack of understanding from family and friends. I had some friends and family who would call me and ask me why I couldn’t just try getting up. “You haven’t been out of bed in weeks,” they’d say. “Perhaps if you just got up and tried to go about your regular routine, you would see that you do feel better…”

Well meaning family called all day and night, trying to cheer me up and trying to encourage me to just get up. Some thought that if only I could just start the day off right, and not live in fear of getting sick, then I could somehow conquer this. But the phone itself was a trigger. It caused anxiety when it would ring, which would lead to nausea. Talking on the phone somehow messed with my vertigo and made me sick as well. It was a double-whammy, so I wouldn’t turn it on.

I also had family and friends show up at my door to try and make me feel better. I think some thought it as in my head. I could barely get out of bed on most days, so hearing the doorbell ring when my husband wasn’t home was like a death-march for me. I’d sit up, throw up in a trash can by the bed, make my way down the hall usually stopping twice to get sick again, and then run to get sick one more time before opening the door. But, the doubters were probably right, I was just torturing myself to be silly…

My husband was an absolute saint. I resented the hell out of him for being healthy. I would see him eat and hate him for bringing that food with it’s smells into our house. The smell alone was often a trigger for me. I was often times verbally abusive to him, taking out my rage and sickness and exhaustion and anger on him. This was OUR baby, that we equally wanted and tried for, and yet I was being punished for it while he endured NOTHING. Well, not nothing. I made sure of that…It was horrible for us both.

My mom and mother in law were life savers. My mother in law would cook for us, and we would freeze the food to eat on for the rest of the week. Most  of the time I couldn’t keep it down (or handle the look or smell of it), but it was a life saver for my husband, who is not a total oaf in the kitchen, but wasn’t able to create a menu for nine months.

My mother was my savior. She sat with me for hours, she cleaned up my vomit, she scrubbed a stain in the grout of our tile in the bathroom that just wouldn’t come up. She spent more than half of her vacation days taking me in for doctor visits three times a week. She brought me food or fruit smoothies when it occasionally sounded good. She took off work to clean out my coffee maker one day when my husband forgot to turn it off. I called her crying because the smell wafting down the hall to our bedroom was more than I could handle. She came in, cleaned it out, and left. She gave back rubs and allowed me to talk or cry for hours in my darkest moments. She also is the one who found Ashli and the Help HER foundation.

Worth It


My story sounds bad, but it is mild compared to some. I know of women who can’t keep any food down whatsoever, and a PICC line in their body is their only source of nutrition and hope for survival.

All in all, I gained only 7 pounds in my pregnancy. I began at a petite 117 pounds, and weighed 124 the day before my scheduled c-section.

My son was born full term at 39 weeks and 4 days weighing only 4 pounds, 12 oz. He was 19 inches long. All the nurses thought he was a preemie and were very surprised that he was allowed to sleep in my room instead of NICU. I grew tired of having to tell them all that he wasn’t preemie and was absolutely healthy. He latched onto the breast like a champ, and nursed until he was 15 months old. He quickly gained in weight and has had no ill-effects resulting from his earliest weeks and months of life.

Although I never bonded with my son during my pregnancy, I’ve never loved anything or anyone so much in my entire life. My husband I quickly became friends again (after some time of trial and error trying to get me back in control of our household again). I’ve found that’s very common for women with HG. They can’t bond with the object that makes them sick, but once they’re here, they love their children fiercely. Perhaps the suffering makes us love and appreciate them more than if we never had to suffer to get them here.

The night before my c-section, I couldn’t sleep from excitement. My husband was thrilled at the idea of becoming a daddy, and I was thrilled at the idea of my illness being cured. I had grown to think of my pregnancy as some kind of disease, and March 2 was my liberation day. I was dreaming of all I could do the next day. All the food I could eat. All the places I could go. Grocery shopping again. Cooking again. Reading again. I couldn’t wait. In the recovery room, tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought about lunch. And then they brought my sweet baby to me. I actually asked my husband, “This is for me?” As though he was a special bonus gift. I guess I’d forgotten that I was getting an amazing, beautiful baby out of this deal.

I’ve had hateful women who don’t understand what I went through, what WE went through, tell me, “I’ve experienced miscarriages, and I would give anything to have any pregnancy, even yours…” But I’ll say this: I don’t envy anyone’s experience. I’m not bitter about what I went through. I always ALWAYS knew in my heart that God was calling me to adoption. I didn’t know why. After my son, I knew the “why”. So please don’t take me as some bitter person who is angry at thhe world of healthy pregnancies. Please don’t sit back and think, “That ungrateful woman! At least she got to have a baby.” Because I know. I know I got to have a baby. I have a beautiful baby. I suffered for him. I prayed for him, worried over him, and am grateful for him more than anything else in my life.

And the baby we adopt will be beautiful too. He or she will come to us through suffering as well. And prayer. And worry. And doubt. And temptation to end the entire process. But I know that perseverance has beautiful, wonderful rewards. And that will then become another chapter, just like Little’s, in our big book of how we all became a family.

Choosing Adoption


I feel like an alien sometimes talking to adoptive parents and agents. So many of them have carried the pain of infertility, and I can’t quite relate. I didn’t experience infertility. But I still can’t have anymore babies. My reproductive system is fine. But my body can’t handle pregnancy, and my mind couldn’t possibly handle it. Sure, I could go back on the cocktail of drugs, stay in bed for nine months, lose weight and my hair, have the ashen skin, the red eyes, and have to send my sweet son into daycare because I can’t care for him…All so he can have a sibling…a biological sibling. Given that, it’s safe to say “I can’t have anymore children.”

Don’t get me wrong. Many survivors of HG choose to go through the process again for another child. This is a very personal choice, and one that I don’t judge. I just want to put my story out there in the hopes that others who have gone through this terrible storm and think that they couldn’t possibly do it again may get some hope from reading my experience as an HG mother going through adoption.

I want this blog, and my journey to show other women with HG who have made the decisions that I have to not feel alone. I want to be here to say that if you want more children, but you can’t put yourself through that hell again, that’s okay, and you aren’t alone, or any less of a parent. You can love an adopted child as much as biological child, and an HG pregnancy is very comparable to the pain of the adoption journey. I hope this blog will be an encouragement to many HG warriors out there. Thank you for joining me in this journey…

Kat

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18 Comments

Filed under Hyperemesis Gravidarum

18 responses to “Hyperemesis Gravidarum

  1. kellyknits

    Thank you for your story. I’m currently going through my second HG pregnancy. I agree with you to call it severe morning sickness does no way near describe the pain and suffering that you go through! I’m so sorry you had to suffer through the doctors and nurses that you did. I think they should eat the crackers! For my 1st I was sick for 5 full months and right now i’m at 15 weeks. Earlier this week I was feeling great, but today I feel like i’m deep in the throws of it again. The meds do help me but I do spend many days in bed. I wish you all the luck and happiness of your son and your new adopted child. You will truly be able to teach them of the love behind having kids – in the many forms they arrive. God Bless you and yours!

    • Thank you for your support and encouragement. I’m so sorry that you’re going through it again. Sometimes I felt like the worst part of the HG journey was that some days I would feel like me again, and other days I would feel like death. I’m a planner, so I desperately wanted to know that I was going to fell ok every day…but it can’t be predicted like that. I’m sorry yesterday was a “teaser” day. I wish you all the best. God bless.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so thankful you survived the horrible ordeal have a beautiful little man who will always be your symbol of victory. I also have a special place in my heart for adoptive parents. Yours will be a lively household filled with incredible joy.

    I am also an HG survivor. I have great treasure to show for it.

    • Thanks for coming by. I love that fellow HGers are stopping by to visit. Our children really are treasures, aren’t they? Especially when they came at such a high price. HG is a very rough price to pay, but I believe it was worth it. But only once! Lol.
      Kat

  3. Just coming over from Knocked Up Knocked Over’s blog…

    What part of the adoption process are you in? We have had our information meeting but are slow on the formal application. We were planning on adopting from Bulgaria, but are having some fears of leaving our children and traveling half a world away. “What if somthing happened and we couldn’t get home? What if we made orphans of our own children?” are just 2 of the thoughts we are struggling with right now. We are praying for God wisdom before we take the next step.

    I’ve been thinking about starting a blog to serve as our adoption diary…..
    I will be following your journey.

    Blessings,
    Janet

    • Janet, thanks for stopping by! We are only just starting out. We haven’t even started our homestudy yet. I wanted to start this blog before we start the adoption process so everyone can walk this journey with me.

      I understand your concerns about adopting internationally. We considered it, but found it to be far too expensive. And, like you, I just can’t see myself leaving our son at home for so long, and most countries require at least 2 weeks in country. Prayer is always the best step when you don’t know what to do. We’re just praying praying praying through the whole process. He’ll guide your steps, even if you don’t know where those steps are leading!

      God bless,
      Kat

  4. “I’ve had hateful women who don’t understand what I went through, what WE went through, tell me, “I’ve experienced miscarriages, and I would give anything to have any pregnancy, even yours…””
    I’ve had both and I’d say that whenever I’ve been experiencing one I’ve always thought the other was preferable. The length of HG makes it harder but not getting a baby at the end of it makes a miscarriage harder.

    • Susan, I’m so sorry you had to experience both awful circumstances. Thank you so much for stopping by to share your thoughts. I think it’s in our human nature to look around when we’re suffering and say, “I’d rather have that than this. Truth is, we shouldn’t wish for either situation, because we get ourselves into trouble when we do that. It seems to only magnify our grief, and divide us from other women who have suffered. Both are horrible. Both cause grief. Both can result in PTSD. I think it’s fair for ALL of us to say (whether we’ve suffered miscarriages or HG), “I wish I could have a healthy, normal pregnancy.” And let that be it.

  5. I had goosepimples reading your account of HG, it just ruins everything!!! I’ll be 26w on Monday and it seems like forever until this illness MAY be gone. My first child I had no HG so definitely didn’t expect anything like this to fight with… my arms scarred from IVs and blood samples and my tummy hungry for something which will only make me sick.. Zofran [and what little willpower I have left] is the only thing stopping me from starving…
    Thank you

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this mess of an illness. It truly does ruin everything! We couldn’t feel excited, or hold a baby shower, or do any of the normal things expectant families get to do. For a long time, I felt resentful of that, and any time I would see on facebook that someone I went to college with was expecting a baby in a happy, healthy pregnancy, it would make me feel depressed. So I got rid of facebook. Bless your heart…hang in there. It will get better, and you’re so strong, you’ve come this far…it’ll be over soon. We’re talking weeks and days, not eternity. I pray that you continue to be strong.

  6. Thanks for writing this. I feel compelled to write about my two runs of HG but am finding it really difficult. And I didn’t have it as bad as you. Anyway, thank you. I had one great pregnancy, two with HG and then we adopted a darling baby last year. We had the most complicated adoption that our lawyers had ever seen (and the lawyers they consulted all around the country) and I would rather do that 10 times than have another go around with HG.

    • Bean,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my experience. I’m sorry you also suffered from HG. About you writing about it all- I would say yes yes yes! I don’t think it matters if you feel yours was not as difficult as my battle. It’s your story, and it adds to the story of how you came to your sweet adopted baby. I’m also THRILLED to meet someone who suffered HG and chose adoption. There are so few out there, I thought I was alone! Thank you again, your words have encouraged me today.

  7. kathleen

    I just started my fourth preganancy with hg i am only 6 weeks. my other children our 5, 3, and 2. we always wanted at least five kids but i can’t do this again. my last pregnancy i had a picc line in from about 9 weeks until 30. i truly don’t know how i am going to get through this again. we have no family around us and we just moved to a small town where we don’t know anyone. i am hoping my husband is going to be helpful but it’s only been a week of me being sick and i can already see his patience with me and our kids going away. we will consider adoption after this if we still want more children. hg is the worst thing i have ever been through.

    • {Another Kathleen!}
      Kathleen, Bless your heart! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through such a difficult time and feel so alone. Do you have a doctor who knows how to handle HG properly? I would recommend you find one ASAP if you don’t feel like you’re getting the medical support you need. Beyond that, please surround yourself online with the support you don’t have physically around you. There are so many online {myself included!} who delight in helping other HGers make it through their journey. If you need to talk, please feel free to email me at lovemakesafamily@yahoo.com.

      I would also highly encourage you to consider adoption in the future if you and your husband would still like more children. I think it’s unfortunate it’s not a more common choice for HG moms, and I wanted to talk about our decision publicly to encourage other HGers from putting their bodies through such hell when there are beautiful babies out there who need love and homes.

      Hang in there, girl. You are NOT alone! What you’re doing is so incredibly brave. You’ll be in my prayers. You absolutely can do this. You can.
      God bless you.

  8. berkley4651

    I was just recently told that I also have HG. And I am miserable. The depression seems like it will take me over some days. The worst part…I’m getting married in 5 days. All I wanted was to be able to have this one day in my life where everything was perfect and I got to feel like a princess and, now, I can barely get out of the bed. I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last week and I’m so hungry, but I know that no matter what I eat, it’ll just come right back up. The Zofram gives me temporary relief some days…some days it does nothing. Thank you for writing you experience. I have been feeling so guilty because I’ve been wishing for a miscarriage. To make my guilt even worse, I’ve already had two of them. I thought that they pain of miscarriage was the worst thing I’d ever felt but, at this point, I just want to be myself again. I’ve gone from worrying about the health of my fetus to REALLY worrying about my own health. It makes me feel better to know that my sometimes negative thoughts and the disconnect that I have with this child is normal. I go to the doctor in 2 days for an 8 week ultrasound and all I can seem to think is that, at this point, another blighted ovum might be a life saver. Which makes me feel like a terrible person… 😦

    • Berkley,

      You are not a terrible person. When I was pregnant with LB, they told me it might be a blighted ovum. I went in for the first ultrasound and they didn’t see anything that was supposed to be there. So they sent me home to miscarry. I was devastated. However, I continued experiencing pregnancy symptoms and was just convinced they were wrong. That perhaps their technology wasn’t great, or maybe they were doing an ultrasound far too early to see anything. When the HG hit a few weeks later, I was almost wishing for the blighted ovum. But they scheduled another ultrasound and there he was. I did feel slightly more connected after seeing him wiggling around in there, but I couldn’t ever make the connection between pregnancy and baby. I couldn’t comprehend where my illness fit into all of that, if that makes sense. I knew I was so sick I could very realistically die, and I knew people around me talked often about a new baby, but I didn’t make the connection. My c-section date wasn’t his birthday in my mind, it was my freedom day. When I came out of surgery and they handed me this perfect tiny person, I almost couldn’t believe he was mine. Its kind of shocking thinking how incredibly disconnected I was from the actual pregnancy.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Stay up on your fluids as much as you possibly can, because dehydration can add to the vomiting cycle. If you can’t keep water down, call your doc and get admitted to L&D for IVs. If you think you need a PICC line, talk to your doc about it. Don’t be afraid to ask for what your body needs. We have to become our own advocates with HG. You aren’t a terrible person at all. You’re going through a loss. You’re mourning the wedding day you dreamed of, and now you’re mourning your pregnancy that you always dreamed of. I don’t think people take that into account enough when discussing HG related depression. It’s not just that we feel terrible and inadvertently resent the baby for making us so sick, we also feel incredibly disappointed that we won’t be the glowing, happy, active pregnant women all of our friends seemed to be with their pregnancies. It’s a loss, and a major disappointment. Depression makes sense.

      You aren’t terrible. Stay strong and keep connected to other HG survivors. If you need to talk, please send me an email.

  9. kimkrabach

    Thank you for writing your story! I was googling hyperemesis and came across this blog. I have one son, who just turned 6 this week, and I am now pregnant with our second child (11 weeks along).
    My first pregnancy was dreadful, I was sick all day every day until about the first month of my third trimester. I found the same responses as you did – eat saltines (ugh!!!), drink fluids, etc. I had a similar experience with my first midwife, she was annoyed that I was calling her and wanting a prescription. I was diagnosed with HG in the ER. I found a new midwife that was much more understanding. I could hardly keep anything down – anything I did was truly a blessing from the Lord. I agree, it was difficult to “bond” with my baby while I was so ill, and there would be times I’d be on the bathroom floor begging God to spare me from this.
    This pregnancy started out on a better note – I was able to “stay on top” of the constant nausea and I wasn’t getting sick like I did last time… About a week and a half ago, I started getting sick about 1-2 times a day. Again, not bad, and a huge improvement from last time. Yesterday & today, I began my days waking up dry heaving, and unable to keep down any fluids until about 1pm (getting sick about every 1/2 hr. or so). Today I even threw up green bile, which was unpleasant. I have my next midwife appt. on Tuesday, and I am going to advocate for myself to get medicine.
    It’s so good to read an honest blog, and from a Christian perspective too. HG puts you in a dark place, and it’s tough finding people around you who understand and can relate to what you’re going through. It’s nice to be reassured that I’m not alone.

    • Kim, you are absolutely NOT alone! There is a whole community of women who have been through HG. Have you visited the Help HER website? http://www.helpher.org. There’s a forum there and all kinds of support and information. I know it’s hard. Believe me I know. It’s dreadful. And I had some DARK thoughts. Praying for the Lord to take me in the night, praying for the Lord to allow me to miscarry. But I adore my son unlike anyone I’ve ever known, and I know that God has amazing plans in store for him. That’s why he worked so hard to get him here. Same with your sweet little ones. You are stronger than you realize because the Lord will carry you when you feel like you can’t go on. I’m sorry that you’re feeling alone. If you ever need to talk or just need a word of encouragement, please email me. I love chatting with and lifting up other HG mamas. You’re a braver woman than me because we decided to pursue adoption after my battle with HG. I will be praying for you and your baby (and your whole family- HG doesn’t just hit mom, it hits everyone caring for her too). Stay strong. The prize at the end is totally worth it. Thanks for sharing your story with me. I’m glad I could bring you some comfort 🙂

      God bless,
      Kat

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