HG and Me -PART ONE

I’ve never felt so unlike myself.

 

The name hyperemisis gravidum makes me think of gravity, and that is exactly how I have felt, like I’m being pulled down into the earth, that my bones are like liquid and that unless I lay really still I’m going to turn inside out.

 

My first pregnancy was remarkable- in fact looking back it was text book, right down to the due date. I experienced all of the first trimester symptoms; nausea, extreme hunger, cravings, tiredness, irritability, mood swings but it was manageable- as long as I ate, kept active and slept I passed my 14th week and bloomed. I adored pregnancy and was looking forward to experiencing it again.  

 

This time I have been on my knees. Begging. Equally scared it will never end and equally scared that it could end too soon. I don’t want to wish away the time but at times I have never felt so alone. Only 1% of pregnant women will suffer with HG, it can result in repeated hospitalisation due to dehydration- because unlike normal pregnancy symptoms I am not hungry or thirsty and when I do eat or drink I throw up and when I don’t the pregnancy hormones gather and my stomach feels like a melting pot of acid. So I eat and then I throw up. I can also smell, like a hound, again I experienced a heightened sense of smell on my first but this is ridiculous- I can smell things no one else can and that in itself causes an episode of what I can only describe as spontaneous vomiting – it’s happening- regardless of where I am.

I completely empathise with women who have ( and are experiencing )  experienced this and those who will. The main issue is you can’t eat or drink – the automatic instinct is no longer there -so it’s extreme sickness and nausea which isn’t settled by eating and aside from constantly feeling seasick many HG sufferers will experience extreme headaches, migraines, extreme fatigue, stomach cramps, bowel problems and in some cases extreme weight loss. It doesn’t only affect you physically but mentally as well, so many women will suffer depression because of it, or it may trigger a relapse for those who have suffered in the past.

My main concern is that my treatment hasn’t been great, after being diagnosed I was given two types anti sickness medication ( plus a print out on pregnancy nausea and types of food to eat – not really applicable )  which I found didn’t help and when I asked how will I know if I need to go into hospital, I was told when I start waking up to be sick – so despite the fact that I couldn’t eat, drink and was throwing up every time I did eat or drink plus in between from the minute I woke until bed, this wasn’t a cause for concern? The lack of information and knowledge from my GP shocked me. For so many women I am sure they have experienced the same, the lack of information and support leaves you feeling completely helpless. What can be done about this?

 

Since I have been suffering I have found information, support groups and due to my line of work and running my own business many of my clients have suffered or known someone who has.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to talk about how I’ve felt or reschedule if I need too. I do wonder how women in employment manage – do they get the support they need in the workplace? HG is more than your typical first trimester nausea, it  is crippling.

 

I’ve reached 15 weeks and although I am still not returned to normal or feeling the pregnancy ‘glow’ I’ve learnt to manage my symptoms and am being sick less frequently . I have learnt that my main triggers for relapse are ; tiredness and driving. I have to rest, sleep and limit my time in the car. Certain foods will trigger vomiting/IBS so I have to avoid them as best I can. If you’re able to narrow down your triggers this may help you to manage your symptoms too.

 

If you are suffering please don’t feel you are alone.,The best support group I have found so far is the pregnancy sickness (hyperemisis) UK and they are constantly publishing great posts, articles and up to date information. They have a website as well a Facebook page.

 

I’d love to hear about your experience and how you coped with hyperemisis during your pregnancy. Part two coming soon.
Samala x