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.