**Trigger Warning** To my HG sisters currently suffering, I will warn you, this post will talk about food and show a picture of food. Ugly food. So, proceed with caution.
Some who suffer from HG are blessed enough to regain some control of their lives before their babies are born. However some of us, like me, are thrown straight from madness into motherhood. The transition from no sleep and constant nausea to no sleep and constant baby colic was cruel irony of Shakespearean proportions.
I wanted to dive into cooking and cleaning right after my son was born. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a pretty good cook. I know what I’m doing in a kitchen, and I love to do it. The night we brought LB home from the hospital, I was bound and determined to fall right back into my Queen of Cooking role. Bad things happened. Terrible, unspeakable food things happened in that kitchen.
This happened in that kitchen:
Eat your heart out, Pioneer Woman.
“Why, Kat? Why would you show such an unholy mess of badness?” Well, because. This meal (which honestly, I don’t remember what in the world it was supposed to be) is a physical representation of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
This is the first meal I attempted after HG. I had high ambitions. I had great hopes. I definitely cried after this came out of the oven.
The effects of HG are like ripples in a stream. Drop the rock in the water, and hear the splash. Plunk. That’s HG itself. But walk down the river bank and you continue to see the ripples far beyond where that rock landed. That is life after the HG is over.
I felt the ripples trying to walk around the mall showing off my sweet baby in a stroller. I got overheated, overexerted and sick.
I felt the ripples when I tried to handle those midnight feedings. I didn’t have the energy I thought I would magically have.
I felt the ripples when I tried to eat meals that made my mouth water when I realized my stomach had shrunk.
I felt the ripples when I continued to suffer from constipation and acid reflux long after the worst effects of HG left. As my amazing doctor put it, “You can’t expect to put your insides through all hell for nine months and then be fine a week after the war.”
I learned that getting your life back after HG is like riding a bike. I continued to cook little by little, and eventually got my skills back. I steadily caught up on sleep so I had the energy to care for my son. I rebuilt my muscles and was soon enjoying shopping trips with him like I imagined I would. In other words, I got my life back.
I truly hope for any who are suffering from HG right now that you get your groove back early on. I hope you put your own skin back on quickly and fall easily back into being YOU. But if you don’t, rest assured this is normal. You may feel exhausted, dejected, weak, sick, even depressed. This is all normal. You are normal. Well, normal for HG. It’s an exclusive club, and we can’t be compared to the bubbly energetic moms who had healthy pregnancies.
Rest assured that life after HG will come back. You will be you again, and you will rock at it. HG forces us to put our personal lives and sense of self on the back burner, but you can and will pick up your old self again. With a little practice and confidence, you can get yourself back. HG can’t take that from us.
What were your experiences? Did you immediately get back in the saddle again, or did it take some time to remember how you used to curl your hair, or how to cook eggs? I’d love to hear from you!
Ps. Sorry about the gross food. It was a bad time in my life.