If you asked me if it was worth it, I would tell you it absolutely, without a doubt, 100% was. Every single minute of pain I endured for the entire 9 months was worth it.
I can tell you this sitting here today for a fact because I have survived Hyperemesis not only once, but twice.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is defined as persistent severe vomiting leading to weight loss and dehydration, as a condition occurring during pregnancy. This occurs in approximately two percent of pregnant woman.
Hyperemesis wasn’t my choice by any means, and that resulted in pregnancy being nothing but miserable for me. Have you ever had a picture in your head of how something is going to go, and it turns out the complete opposite? It’s a feeling that just doesn’t disappear right away.
The first time I was hit with HG was the day of my 6-week appointment with my firstborn. I started puking and it didn’t stop for 27 weeks.
Even when 27 weeks hit, I was still getting sick—just not from sun up to sun down like before—and I was able to halfway function to get through the work day. I guess for me that’s considered “stopping.” HA.
I was getting ready to move from Arizona to Colorado when the surprise of a baby came along; life was a hot mess. I literally left my 2nd OBGYN appointment and 1st ultrasound and headed north for Colorado. I puked so much on the drive up there it took like two entire days to make the 10-hour trip. My mom was baby wiping me off at the rest areas and we stopped every other mile because I couldn’t get the vomiting under control.
To this day that has been the worst car ride of my life.
People were telling me I had elevation sickness; they were shoving ginger and crackers down my throat. NOTHING WAS WORKING. I couldn’t keep any medicine the doctor had prescribed down long enough for it to even think about working.
Ten to twelve hours of my days were spent in the bathroom of my one-bedroom apartment dry heaving while my boyfriend worked 48-72 hour shifts in the oil fields.
Not the most glamorous pregnancy to say the least. I have thrown up in so many parking lots that people staring at me like I’m a drunk doesn’t even phase me anymore.
The craziest part was, we had just gotten a brand new puppy a couple of months prior to finding out we were expecting. I couldn’t even manage to walk her around the block. I seriously couldn’t even walk my poor dog, let alone make it to work at the bank! The financial burden from being unable to work is just another dark cloud hovering over you that won’t go away. It can cause just unbearable stress and anxiety.
I was lucky enough to have employers who worked with me through my HG; others do not get so lucky. I can’t imagine having to lose a job over this, but people do all the time.
Oh how pathetic I felt. I was so sick and miserable and felt embarrassed of all things. My poor puppy needed to be at the dog park, but there she was stuck laying on the bed with me for hours when I could hardly move. From my pre-pregnancy weight, I was down over 15 pounds and things were not looking up. I ended up being admitted to the pediatric unit after multiple Emergency Room and doctor visits that didn’t go so well.
My weight fluctuated so horribly I would argue with my doctor on a regular basis. “Oh, you’ve lost too much weight,” “Oh, you’ve gained too much weight.” There was no pleasing her. It was to the point where they quit doing ultrasounds, quit checking on the baby and were just focusing on keeping me alive. That was scary, so scary.
This was when my Mom started to realize this wasn’t just morning sickness. She ended up making several trips from Iowa out to Colorado to check on me. My veins were just dehydrated junk. I had emergency IV teams in my hospital room at 2AM trying to find a vein to keep the fluids pumping in.
This was the furthest thing from the pregnancy experience I had envisioned for myself.
I would sit there and think WHY IS NOBODY TALKING ABOUT THIS? WHY DID I THINK THIS WASN’T EVEN POSSIBLE? WHY DID I NOT KNOW THIS COULD HAPPEN?
It felt like I had gotten really drunk at some college party and the hangover was permanent. I cannot even put into words how miserable I felt and the worst part about that is there are mamas out there right now who are battling this and have it 100% worse than I ever did.
I was so embarrassed. It wasn’t all like I thought it was going to be. Imagine feeling like you are legitimately dying and being embarrassed about it!
You think HG is over once the baby pops out, WRONG. The PTSD that can follow, post-partum, the anxiety and depression, makes you want to crawl in a hole sometimes. Will it happen again? If it does, how bad is it going to be this time?
After going through everything you have for 9 months, plus being drained mentally and physically, it takes a lot of support and surrounding yourself with positivity to snap back to being somewhat of yourself again.
IT TAKES TIME, and just when you thought you have had about enough time to get back to somewhat yourself again. BOOM, BABY #2!!!!! What about going through all the pain and suffering again? Can you really prepare for it? You think to yourself, is this worth it?
There is no real way to prepare for something like this, and women choose to terminate every day due to their Hyperemesis being so bad.
But what I can tell you is that you learn to eventually go with the flow and take advantage of your fluffy days to the best of your ability. Everyone is different. Once I found out I was pregnant with my little Loucie girl, my second child, I immediately started trying to remember how I got my HG to become tolerable. I needed a schedule, my eating habits, my sleeping habits, my medicine regime, etc.
The thing I was worried about most was being so sick and having my first born to take care of. I barely kept myself alive while pregnant with him, how could I possibly be there for him like he needed me to be?
The strength that you weren’t aware you possessed comes out at the perfect times and somehow you manage to make it, always.
As soon as the HG came on, after praying it wouldn’t, I booked my first appointment as soon as possible. Shortly after my appointment followed many IV fluids and med combos to try and ease the vomiting as much as I possibly could. Unfortunately, I knew there was only so much I could do.
Hyperemesis is literally out of your control. I’ve spent more hours then I care to admit laying in urgent care hooked up to an IV. Not getting admitted to the hospital was a goal I crushed the second pregnancy, although I did throw up until the moment I pushed my second ten pound baby out.
I will not drink alcohol anymore. I cringe at the thought of getting sick or even taking the risk. The flu to me is like reliving my worst nightmare. HG flat out sucks and can haunt you forever. I cannot get myself to go to the dentist because my teeth are ruined from the acidity and it turns into an argument about whether or not I am bulimic. The memories are forever embedded but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat for my happy healthy babes.
I wouldn’t wish Hyperemesis Gravidarum upon my worst enemy. No mama deserves to suffer through anything like this.
I feel like doctors have a lack of knowledge and understanding of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. People out there just are not funding research for this and it’s resulting a ton of pregnant woman severely suffering. Awareness for this needs to be raised.
If you or you know someone who is currently battling or has previously battled Hyperemesis Gravidarum help and additional resources may be found here.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out, help is literally a click away!
Featured Image Credit: Hyperemesis Mama