A Real Mom’s Experience
This post is to inform expectant moms and their loved ones about Hyperemesis Gravidarum from the prospective of a mom who has experienced it themselves. This is in no way shape or form giving medical advice. Please contact your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns with Hyperemesis gravidarum. This blog post is of my own person experiences and may differ from yours! But most of all its to let other moms know they are not alone. I want to encourage you that even though it’s a long hard journey, its defiantly worth it.
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What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
To Put It Simply
For many people who haven’t experienced this themselves, its hard to wrap your head around. To put it simple, HG is extreme morning sickness…except it’s not just in the morning and it lasts the whole pregnancy. There’s not many studies on HG and many doctors don’t recognize it, so many women go undiagnosed and without treatment. HG is associated with weight loss during pregnancy and many doctors will not diagnose a women with HG if she has not lost a significant amount of weight! Because of this many studies say its very rare, but I think it might be a little more common then what we think.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to lose weight to have hyperemesis gravidarum. Actually there is some women who lose very little or no weight at all. In fact, my body does the opposite! It goes into a state of starvation and holds onto everything I have. Once I am Able to eat some, my body gains because it does not know when and if I’ll be able to eat again and keep it down. My last pregnancy I lost about 6 pounds the first couple weeks. I gained 10 pounds back in the second trimester and about 2 ponds in the third.
How do you Pronounce Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Telling people why you are so sick can be frustrating when the word is so dang hard to remember. Especially when you’ve only heard it a few times and you were probably so sick to even comprehend what the ER doctor was even saying in the first place. I remember with my first pregnancy, I always struggled to remember what it was called. When explaining to the ER nurse that I needed IV fluids from being pregnant. By my second pregnancy I have it down! I made sure I knew exactly how pronounce hyperemesis Gravidarum just incase I had it again. Just so you know, I did have it again.
Some times hyperemesis gravidarum is referred to as HG, but some doctors and nurses don’t even know the real word. For this reason, it’s good to know both. There’s probably many ways it’s pronounced, but this is how I have heard it and say it myself. Hy·per·eme·sis gravi·darum
What It’s Really like having Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Since I was a small girl, I have always wanted to be a mom. When I finally fell pregnant I was filled with so much joy and anxiety all at the same time. I hurried and thought of a cute little way to tell our parents. Literally just DAYS after telling my family (haven’t even been to the doctor to confirm it yet) the HG hit me like a ton of bricks! When finally going to get my test done, the door thought I was upset about the news! In reality, I was trying no to throw up all over the floor.
The Hyperemesis Gravidarum Hospital Visits
A day or so later I was back in the doctors office, sick as could be, couldn’t keep anything at all down! She ordered me 2 bags of IV fluids. I get to the out patient room where I’d be receiving my IV’s, and sat down barely able to hold my head up at this point. It took several nurses trying several pokes each to finally have the Fluids running throw my veins. I found my self at the hospital or ER a least once a week getting IV fluids to get my HG under control. This went on from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.
Towards my 12th week of pregnancy, I had tore my esophagus from constantly being sick. It hurt so much to eat or drink. Anything I did get down came right back up. Those first few weeks were the longest weeks of my life!
Medications and Missing Out
The doctor prescribed me medications. One was a medication most doctors recommend for morning sickness and HG and considered safe. It was a combination of a sleeping medication and vitamin B6. The next thing she prescribed was an antinausea medication which also make you extremely drowsy. I took those and just slept. I was so medicated that I slept 20 hours a day. When I was awake, I was so sick I just wanted to go back to sleep. I missed out on so many family functions and activities simply because I couldn’t get out of bed. With my second pregnancy I could not just sleep all the time, because I had a 14month old at the time. I got prescribed a medication that is given to cancer patients when chemo treatment makes them so sick!
Luckily I was already Staying home to be a house wife so I didn’t have an obligation to go to work. I was however a college student. That semester I had 3 online classes and one in person botany class. I tried my hardest to keep up but after just 2 weeks I decided to drop my classes. It took everything out of me to get ready in the mornings to show up to my class 30 miles away. Car rides were terrible, mornings where horrific and running out of class every 5 minutes was not fun.
The disappointment of having Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Having HG is really hard during any pregnancy, but especially during your first pregnancy. Let me elaborate. During your first pregnancy you are so excited. There’s so much planning to do, a nursery to decorate, a baby shower to register for and attend and the last thing you want to do when you are throwing your guts up is think about that stuff! It almost made me sick to even think about my baby! Found myself wishing that I wasn’t pregnant, and THAT alone made me so sad and angry at my situation.
When Does Hyperemesis Gravidarum End? Will it Ever End?
Many women and loved ones wonder if the illness will ever end. Rest assured that, for most people, Hyperemesis Gravidarum will end when the baby is born. As soon as I deliver my little ones, I always feel 100X better almost instantly. Some women do find some relief somewhere in between 20 weeks and 30 weeks. I always start feeling some what normal by 24 weeks with the help of medications.
As time goes on I can wean myself off the stronger medications and as long as I keep taking my daily medications I’m okay. But if I miss even one dose or take it a little later then its down hill from there! Talk to your midwife about some of these options that ill be talking about later!
Some women aren’t so lucky though. Sadly, there is a few women that report still having nausea, and puking almost daily, months and even years after a Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancy. Don’t stress out yet though! Like I said, this is a very small percentage of women and the majority of people feel back to 100% when baby is born.
Side Effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
It comes as no surprise that after all the illness and troubles of HG that you can have some lasting side effects from it. Here is a quick list of a few side effects i have come across either in my own experience or friends experiences.
Rather it is under eating or over eating, HG can make you have a bad relationship with food after its all said and done.
This can happen in any pregnancy and post partum but I have no doubt HG could contribute to it
Pregnancy alone can do a number on your oral health, add being sick all the time on top of it doesn’t help. For lots of women, even brushing their teeth is hard and can result in them getting sick even more if they try.
Eventually the numerous times your body forcefully ejects food you’ll end up with a torn or raw esophagus .
HG can negatively impact all your relationships. My husband had to take on so much stress when I was pregnant. From making sure I was okay throughout the day, multiple hospital visits, all the cooking and cleaning. He was not used to all the responsibility that all of a sudden came upon him. Those where my responsibilities.
Feeling disconnected with your child
During the pregnancy and right after birth it was hard for me to feel connected to my baby after HG
Now my toddler was not neglected when I was pregnant with number 2, but I felt terrible only being able to survive those first few month. There was a lot of junk food and tv time in those days.
HG is hard. It’s hard to get up and do anything! The house becomes a reck things get left undone and we are in a state of survival mode. And then the baby comes, more chaos and you still have the mess and clutter from the past 9 months laying around. On top of that You have to figure out how to relearn how to manage real life but now its with a new person in the mix!
Things that may help HG
There is a few things that MIGHT help, but they also might not. Every person is different so keep that in mind. Join Facebook groups for more recommendations and community with real moms who understand.
- IV fluids – fluids that I didn’t have to keep down were a life saver. I always felt way better after fluids and could finally eat a meal after who knows how long I’d been without.
- Prescriptions from your doctor- although I hate to take medications, they were a must. Natural remedies and ginger does not do the job with HG. I do think being healthy and staying healthy before pregnancy could potentially help though!
- All the vitamin B’s! I took Young livings super B tablets and believe it helped some. As Americans we lack this vitamin severely.
- Reliefband- This uses pulses on your wrist. Many women have claimed it did wonders for hg. Sadly for me it didn’t work all that great.
- Protein- pregnant women need to try to get 100g of protein a day
- A good Prenatal- Earthley wellness has some good options for all kinds of things.
- Nutrient dense Bone broth- when I was pregnant and couldn’t keep anything down, bone broth was my go to. I wish I had someone who could’ve made me a real nutrient dense one but I had to be okay with a packaged one.
Progesterone and Hormones
There has been some suggestion that Thyroid issues and progesterone Levels being out of wack could play a role in HG. Now be careful if you are already pregnant and be sure to work with your doctor or a midwife, but if you are not pregnant then get your hormones into shape now! After my first pregnancy, I got serious about my hormones. I started taking Young Living Progessence Plus Serum and a roller bottle for my thyroid. I felt great and energized.
Progessence Plus is a natural for of progesterone that can help your body regulate your levels rather then adding or taking away anything! When I got pregnant just 13 months after my first, I stopped using my oils because I wasn’t sure if they were okay while pregnant. I later found out it was safe to use in the first trimester only. I also heard of some women using it throughout their pregnancy and it really helped their morning sickness and some HG mommas. Even though I had stopped using it, my second HG pregnancy was slightly better then my first and I believe its because I was a lot healthier starting out.
Remember This Is Not Medical Advice Please seek a Naturopath or medical provider Regarding anything in this post!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You are not alone beautiful momma’s! I know this feels like an eternity and nothing anyone says will make its seem any better. But these little angels are so worth all the hardships. I’d do it a 100 times over just to have these precious babies. Even though I say I wont do it again, I still do! If you know anyone with HG, bring their family some food and help clean up for them. They really need the help!