To hell and back… my journey with the life-threatening, pregnancy joy killer, Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
Everyone knows what morning sickness is right? Well, this isn’t it. Not even close. Like a paper cut to a broken femur. It was an extremely depressing journey for me but I wrote a few times as I went through it. I didn’t have it as bad as some, but I want people to know there are many degrees.
I didn’t think I was going to make it out of this experience alive. I received awful medical care so my experience was probably worse than it should have been. Don’t let this happen to you.
What is HG?
What exactly is it you ask? HG for short. It is severe morning sickness. No. That’s not even close, that it an insult to those with HG.
Food poisoning, flu, hangover, all at the same time…Yes, yes, yes…and hell yes. For months, with no second of relief.
HG is short for Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Pronounced High-per-reh-me-sis Graw-vuh-dar-rum. Hyperemesis meaning excessive vomiting, and gravidarum is latin meaning to do with pregnant women.
Vomiting to an extreme requiring medication (multiples at times), being hospitalized for dehydration constantly, losing tons of weight, so weak you can hardly stand, crumbling of your teeth, Zofran pumps, PICC lines, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, blood coming from your throat, eyes, lips. *breaths*
Some random HG Facts:
- It is said that about 50-90 percent of pregnant women have nausea and vomiting. About .5-2 percent of pregnant women end up with HG.
- If you have it in one pregnancy your odds of having it again are high.
- 1 in 3 pregnant woman with HG die.
That is why I had to make this post, the isolation, depression, and anxiety were making me suicidal. I would never actually do it, but I would daydream about it pretty consistently during this time.
Thinking about taking a Xanax to ease the anxiety and maybe a hit of weed to ease the nausea. I didn’t do it though, I wouldn’t even paint my nail while I was pregnant unless it was chemical-free polish.
Though, there is a lot of research coming out about how marijuana is better for mothers with HG than being pumped full of the medications they prescribe us.
What not to do with someone with HG:
If you know someone suffering from this there is really nothing you can do to understand it but you can make them more slightly more comfortable. Here are some tips to help someone with HG.
- Never tell them to eat crackers and sip water. Like they enjoy being sick and dehydrated and it’s some kind of choice.
- Do not bring ginger near them or say the word ginger. It’s disgusting, it burns your throat, your stomach, your mouth. It actually makes the vomiting much worse.
- Never call them a slug, or treat them as they enjoy being weak and lying there 24/7 with no life. If they weren’t a slug before why would they choose to be one now?
- Never talk about how you hate vomiting so you hold it in and try everything not to vomit. Oh thank you for the tip, I love puking until I see blood coming from my eyes.
- If they need to take leave from work, school, etc. support them. No one wants to go broke, or kill their future willingly. People act as if I finally got the excuse I needed to do nothing…I’m 29 years old I could have just quit if I wanted to before. I have never lied around in my life why would I suddenly now.
- If they tell you they are dehydrated don’t tell them to suck it up and sip water. Take them to the hospital to get fluids. The vomiting actually gets worse when you are dehydrated. At this point they cannot get what they need even if they “sipped” water!
- Comfort them, give in to their cravings. If they can keep anything down that’s great! This is a very hard time for them and is very serious. 1 in 3 hyperemesis pregnancies is lost. It is very serious, and can be life threatening for both mother and baby.
Obviously, I’m a little sour, all these things have been pushed on me by people who I literally wanted to punch in the face when they spoke, but was too weak. They meant well, but they just could not understand.
My doctor recommended Ensure, and of course didn’t take me seriously enough. I couldn’t keep prenatals down but a lot later in my pregnancy I managed to keep a few sips of Ensure down. So ask if they are willing to try it and buy them the EXACT flavor they ask for.
“I am pleased to announce that I am doing 1000x better. I had two fluffy days (fluffy means a day where you only puke a few times or not at all and are able to be kind of normal) in a row. Threw up some thick ass bile this morning that I choked on. And sitting here on the verge as we speak but overall I do not look like something out of Dawn of the Dead!! Nor do I feel like it!!”
-A thought I had during one of my HG days.
I was almost a statistic and I received the WORST medical care. It took multiple ER visits and switching doctors 3x to finally get some mediocre care. I nursed myself back to health with the help of IV’s (which I had to fight hospital to get almost every time), a new doctor that prescribed me better medications, Ensure and Pedialyte.
So I switch doctors offices, and I just realized I forgot to sign release. Lol! Pregnancy brain is really kicking my ass. They still haven’t got my blood yet and they think it’s because I’m so dehydrated but dehydration or not you can’t do it!
My veins are blown from all the IV’s every week. I’ll let them do it again and then I guess I will switch doctors until I find someone that will do my damn blood tests. I have gone in right after getting IV hydration at the hospital and they still could not get blood.
I ended up breaking down in tears on the phone. I’m embarrassed. I just called because they haven’t been able to get my blood yet. They tried about 6 times and I guess they want different tests than what the hospital has got. The hospital is the only place that can get my blood. They get it with an ultrasound but if I get an IV it’s always with an ultrasound because my veins are teeny. Plus, now I’m dehydrated so there’s no way to get one.
Day 147: I actually got my first blood test at 21 weeks pregnant, and was finally at 20 weeks able to go to OB triage!! Of course, they didn’t include half my tests in the blood order once again. But it was more than before so I took it and ran! So I still didn’t get full blood done until after my pregnancy.
Day 150: I know it’s so wrong of me but I’m still very afraid of getting too big. I know I don’t have to worry about that right now but as soon as I get an appetite it’s all over. It happened with my first and this time I’m on better medications so it will probably happen sooner. I just don’t want to get too big. I am so hungry right now but everything seems gross, just typing that right now I got a lump in my throat. I only want mashed potatoes. Home made mashed potatoes only. But I am way to weak to stand to even take a shower let alone cook over a stove.
Day 153: So today I was really stupid. I hadn’t vomited in a few days. So I was like I don’t have to take my meds anymore. I hate putting anything into my baby. It’s bad enough already, with all the meds I have to take. So that was huge mistake. I vomited about 8x by noon. I dehydrated myself and now I’m weak again. Like that flipping quick!! Ughhh! ?
Day 160: So the doctor checked me out and everything seems good. He upped my medications because I was throwing up in the exam. Christ. I just can’t escape this crap. And I see all these people look so damn good during HG they talk about how skinny they are, and how horrible they feel and I’m not downplaying anyone else, BUT WHY DO I LOOK LIKE A WALKING CORPSE?!!? Maybe I just always look like shit so now it really shows. I actually took a picture today and realize my arms are like even more stickley than ever and my pre pregnancy pants are falling off. The only thing happening is my lack of a waist.
Day 170: I finally got a bump! Wait. Now that I look down I realize it’s not quite a bump at all. I am not a B shape. I am a P with an itty bitty ~ yay for me. Ugh. I don’t want to be cute and round for only 2 months again! I hear all these woman talk about people rubbing their bellies and getting upset about it. Well, I don’t think they would be so upset if no one even noticed they were pregnant… I just look like a tweaker. An emotional sunken eyed tweaker with a gut. I’m trying my hardest to stick mine out so people even see it and they still don’t…. Someone that hasn’t seen me in awhile said, “Wow, you don’t look pregnant at all. I thought you would by now.” ?
Day 176: You can see the baby kicking through my stomach and feel it but where and what is doing it I wonder?!?! Did I have just open space in there for a growing uterus to shape into?? So unfair!! Why does every aspect of this pregnancy have to be this way for me? ?
Day 178: I guess I’m stubborn and I’m thinking if i lose over 12 pounds then I’ll opt for home care. I have been way thinner than I am now. I have been 95 pounds, right now I’m 120. I’m 5’ 10, and I am always underweight, I’m stubborn right now. I don’t want to eat or drink and I feel sick but I’m going to force myself. My arms, face, and legs have gotten thinner but my stomach and boobs get bigger everyday. That’s what matters right?
I live on someone’s couch, they already think I’m a lazy piece of shit. So adding home care to their home will be probably impossible unless I’m in a coma dying and it’s my last resort. Well, everyone said it would get better at 12 weeks, 14 weeks, 16 weeks, now I’m counting past 20 weeks!!!! When?!? I had it with my first until 32 weeks. And then I still vomited after that but not life threatening.
My Hyperemesis Gravidarum fun! PicTure 1: This was the final attempt. Success! Picture 2: my new best friend. Picture 3: The many failed attempts even with ultrasound machine. This was after cleaning up, my blood was pouring out of me like the floor was made of crack rocks. Got on my blanket, my railing, my gown, up my arm. We made the joke, well that proves that there is blood in there! Because besides the fact I’m talking, and breathing there would be so sign blood flowed through me. Oh and do you like my lovely tattoo? Since I just spent a ton of times in the hospital almost dying in March, I couldn’t wait to come back, but that’s another story.
I’ve always been a damn pin cushion, but these pins are more like knitting needles. I still can’t straighten my left arm.
I cursed myself, and I have 1 rule that I tell everyone. Do not say anything about me looking or feeling better. Then I thought it and I thought it for 2 whole days after getting out of hospital. And oh how I paid for it dearly the last 4 days….?
I told her I’m weak and I’m sick of it. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t do 4 more months of lying on this couch. I am practically homeless and the person I’m living with doesn’t understand and calls me lazy. They expect me to help around the house while they are at work. And I try, I try so much but it is not good enough. I don’t understand why people think I choose this. I can’t stand TV, I watch very few movies. I am a rave dance for hours, concerts, yoga/gym, cruise in my car, take my kid to chuck e cheese, dye my hair crazy colors, go, go, go kind of person. WHY WOULD I EVER CHOOSE TO LIE ON A COUCH, while my car gets repossessed, all my bills lapse, and I don’t shower for a month at time. Let me throw my life away by choice. God I finally got the excuse to be homeless, broke, jobless, drop out of college when I’m almost done that I needed!!
It’s like seriously???? This is not a choice!
How I feel today…. The only way I won’t kill myself is if I write.
I’m a stump of a human being. My arms and legs ripped from their sockets. The popping of my bones, and ripping of my flesh echo’s through my head. My eyes are closed and this is my minds image of the sadness that has consumed me. Stereotypical murky skies above me, full of a blanket of gray clouds and an orange tint of where the sun is setting in the distance. It is always setting. I try to grab for it, to beg it to stay. But the arms that once would have reached, no longer exist.
The dead trees surround me but my practically lifeless wriggling body lies in a clearing in the center. I am pustule of a worm, more grotesque than anything with a name. Life leaves my body as the robotic ringing of people’s voices jump through my head. It makes me sicker to my stomach than I already am. The blood pouring from my wounds of stringy flesh is my only relief. The skies bellow with the harsh words that no one ever wants to hear. “There is no escape.” I will die here and that’s ok. It is an alleviation of the pain I constantly felt. I’ve lost my battle, I have given in to solemnity of this world and I am on to the next. Good bye.
I am about to fall asleep, since sleeping, puking, and complaining is what I do best these days. You can always find me doing at least 1 of the 3 at all times. I’m starving, but so disgusted with everything. My mouth is dry and my throat is sandpaper, I’m actually having chest pains. Probably from the anemia, it can’t be the anxiety, no not at all.
The world passes me by, in a haze, and frankly not fast enough. When I think of the events I’m missing I realize the time that has passed. When I look how far along I am and how much farther I have to go in this pregnancy, I look for the closest wall to run my head into. That doesn’t work, unfortunately… It just brings the 3 day migraine back like it never left.
At this point I wish I had some human interaction. Even if it was the Internet and it was a few words. God, I would even appreciate someone trolling me right now. I tried to search my blog on Google to no avail, but even Tumblr thinks it’s too worthless to show on their site. I must be really bad, because Harry Styles fan fiction trumped me by the thousands. I mean are they still a band? Ya know, the band The Styles or whatever. Kidding! Now I must prepare for death threats from directioners. God, I hope. ?
I deleted all social media, besides Tumblr, because I couldn’t stand to see people leading their happy friggin lives. I was jealous, and I realize it put me into severe depression so why trigger myself? Maybe I deserve isolation. It’s my bad choices that have put me here, so now I must suffer.
God damn, I’m not this much of a poor me or a depressed pile of sludge. These hormones are kicking my ass to the point I can’t even tell what’s hormones and what’s real anymore. I’m in the Matrix, no one knows what it really is? I figured it out, it’s called pregnancy. Where’s the pill that makes it 40 weeks already…. So I apologize to anyone that somehow accidentally stumbles on this blog. It really is pathetic. Morpheus, where for art thou Morpheus.
My bump isn’t a bump I look like I either have to poop (well, yeah) or I ate too much… Here’s why I hate having no damn bump!
I am at a family celebration party thing and I know probably a total of 2 people there. I’m at the kitchen bar that’s covered in food, with a plate full of chips slathered in dip and hot dogs hanging out of my mouth. I don’t feel like eating most of the time but I’m so starved that once I taste food, a food I don’t hurl at the sight of, its all over. I’m at this counter smashing food into my mouth and I feel guilty because I’m a plus one at this get-together. I’m apologizing as I’m chowing down, and this guy says, “Don’t be sorry, you’re like this big!” As he holds up his pinkie finger. I usually eat like a bird so I’m very embarrassed. So with my mouth full I say, “I’m pregnant…” As I smile with pieces of sausage in my teeth very sexy like. ? His eyes go wide in shock, I don’t think so, you need to check that baby! I’m like Ha, ha, ha…freaking HA…. Haven’t heard that 100 times.
Don’t worry I payed for downing that food like it was my last meal. And by pay I don’t mean I left a tip. Ughhh… Gross….. I REGRET NOTHING!
It’s my daughter all over again. I remember telling people I was pregnant and they were twice my size telling me how it’s been a magical 4 months. I’m like I’m a miserable 6 ½… I cringe. Here it comes. As they start scrambling over my belly. Is the baby alive?? Are you ok?? Have you been checked??? ? Of course… Don’t worry I blew up like a balloon at 8 months. A BALLOON. I mean I lost 12 pounds and then gained 20 so I was told I would have small baby, but she was 7.7! And it was alllllll belly. So there!
That’s right I said it. It is not glorious, or magical. It is awful. AWFUL! I rather have a beard full of bee’s. And I hate bee’s. A lot. I HATE BEING PREGNANT!
I know I should appreciate it, because so many can’t have children. And I do! I really do! I just don’t enjoy the severe symptoms. Should I? Should I enjoy feeling like I have cancer for 8 months? No.
I am miserable… I see pregnant woman that are working 12 hour days and telling me how exhausted they are. Suck it up and you do what you have to do, they tell me. I worked with my first, after my HG toned down, I know what tired is. But this pregnancy I am not tired… I am one step above comatose.
I have lost weight and can’t eat so I am taking anti-vomiting medicine, which is turn causes severe constipation. I mean severe dignity losing constipation…. Stool softeners? A joke. Laxatives? Ha! Like I could keep those down. Let’s just say I have to glove myself everytime I have to go…. ??? I officially have no dignity remaining.
I have no color in my face, I’m sunken in, and was the pregnancy glow they speak of purple because I have plenty of that under my eyes. My hair is greasy, comes out in clumps. I have permanent cotton mouth because of dehydration. Yet I don’t understand how someone so dehydrated could pee 40 times a day, though by pee I mean a drop. I can’t concentrate or remember anything. My boobs have grown 2 sizes and are like raw open wounds attached to my chest, if you bump them I will be in a ball on the floor in matter of a second. Plus, my lower back hurts and I’m not even showing…
Not to mention the joys of wondering how much more stretch marks I could get this pregnancy! ? I will punch someone in the tit, or balls if they tell me I should have rubbed cocoa butter on my belly. ? I rubbed cocoa butter, bio oil, coconut oil, and belly butter on my belly 8x a day when I was pregnant with my first. It was literally 2 shades darker than the rest of my body, and I smelled like a giant cocoa bean with brown grease stains on my shirt. And yet my stomach still looks like Freddie Krueger’s face!!
Anyone out there feel the same? You are not alone and that’s ok. Because guess what? I found out those that have troubling pregnancies have easy labor (not always, and for those I am truly sympathetic! ?). My labor was 2 hours and I pushed for 45 minutes but that’s because I was doing kegel’s and not trying to poop. I didn’t even realize I was having contractions I thought I just had to poop and I walked around for 3 weeks 5cm dilated before I gave birth. ? So my teeth are crumbling and I shrunk an inch from the lack of nutrition from HG but the baby just popped out. So we give or take in life, because once again I had the fussiest baby known to man, and toddler, and 8 year old. So maybe She’ll have good teenage years???? We shall see.
If anyone has any questions or wants me to put more details I will. Let me know. I have about a terabyte of pictures to sort through. But I will find them, eventually.
Yes, I am still pregnant, and yes I’m still sick.
I have the flu now. How I feel is what nightmares are made of. Hold on, let me grab a tums, I feel like I’m a dragon and I could breathe fire at any second. I always have heartburn but sometimes I feel as though I literally am burning alive from the inside.
So here I am almost 41 weeks according to original due date of 6/6. Or almost 40 with my new one. I have a jaw infection from the stacking teeth issues due to excessive vomiting. I can’t take care of them since I need to be sedated to go to dentist. Extreme phobia. The infection has reached my jaw, it hurts but it could hurt worse I have to admit. Now with the flu, I feel like I won a trip to a whole new level of hell. If I don’t sit in a hot bath I can’t open my eyes, I can’t breathe, and I literally can’t eat or drink. My eyes are swollen shut while I try to cry but the dehydration made my tear ducts burn.
I’m 4cm dilated, almost fully effaced. I have had 2 membrane sweeps, bloody show last Fri, Sat, and Sun. I lost plug for weeks, and I had a failed induction Thurs. I won’t even get started on that shit storm.
I keep wondering what I did in a past life to deserve this. Or even this life?
Someone I hadn’t seen for a month see’s me today and tells me how much better I look. I realize at even 20 weeks I looked so bad. Not as bad as I did but still pretty bad. She says that she was actually scared for me seeing me before. I feel a little better than I did but still have my bad days. More good than bad, but still plenty of bad, bedridden days.
I am so worried about delivering my baby with the awful care I received, but they deliver babies daily. That is something the doctors should know right? But how can you put trust of something so important in people who never took you seriously?
The depression and isolation of HG Is still lingering. I was so far down a hole that even half way up it’s still darkness. I’m lonely as hell. All day I sit alone. No one to talk to. I’m a lonely, friendless, miserable person. That is why I write.
I’m still working on compiling my journal entries from this time and getting the pictures together.
For more resources check out: Helpher.org
Also, Facebook group called Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Before, During, and the Aftermath. This group saved my life. Without Starr Andrews Strong the creator, my baby and I would probably be dead.
If you have HG or know someone struggling with it please comment or email me. I am always happy to help or answer any questions.