A scrapbook image of two pregnant women, struggling with debilitating sickness

HG: So Much More Than “Just” Morning Sickness – This Is Family

That Feeling of guilt, that you can’t even make it to the toilet to vomit cleanly and that your kids have to watch, that you physically can’t get yourself up off the floor to make your kids a sandwich to eat for lunch so you end up giving them a 3rd pack of chips for the morning while they watch their 2nd movie.

Jo, mum of three, shares her story of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, to spread awareness and make others in a similar situation feel less alone. Read on to find out her story.

Trigger Warning: This blog contains themes that may be triggering for others. If you need urgent help, please contact 999.  There are also charities that you can call (PANDAS and MumsAid just to list a couple). They specialise in specifically helping parents suffering mentally. 

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) …oh, that’s morning sickness right? 

NO. Please NO. It is SO much more than ‘just a bit of morning sickness’.  To raise awareness about Hyperemesis Gravidarum, here’s some insight into my recent brush with it.

A Potentially Life-Threatening Pregnancy Disease

HG is debilitating. It is a potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease that can cause malnutrition, dehydration and debility due to severe nausea and vomiting, and may cause long-term health issues for mum and baby. 

HG is cruel in so many ways. It can take away the joy in being pregnant, it takes away from a beautiful pregnancy announcement to friends and family as you reach the second-trimester milestone (I haven’t been able to hide any of my pregnancies beyond 7 weeks yet).  It taints the little moments you think you’ll have, like being able to take pleasure in ‘eating for two’ and seeing that little baby bump growing.  But mostly, for me at least, it takes away the bond you make with the baby growing in you. 

Feelings Of Guilt

In those first weeks, when you are emotionally charged with newfound pregnancy hormones, the vomiting and nausea are unrelenting and you’ve lost so much weight that you worry for your unborn child’s health. It’s easy to find yourself in a dark place mentally, wondering why you are putting your family through this (again). 

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That Feeling of guilt, that you can’t even make it to the toilet to vomit cleanly and that your kids have to watch, that you physically can’t get yourself up off the floor to make your kids a sandwich to eat for lunch. So you end up giving them a 3rd pack of chips for the morning while they watch their 2nd movie. Feeling guilty that you are not even being a decent mum to the kids you already have.

You end up thinking to yourself, how on earth is it a good idea to even be considering bringing another one into the world? Feeling guilty for not being able to keep it together like so many other people manage to.  Ended up in the hospital needing IV fluids and multiple medications but feeling guilty about the time spent away from family. So coming home and vomiting some more even though you really should have stayed in hospital to recover just a little bit more. 

It sucks. And it doesn’t necessarily stop when you hit the magical second trimester. If you’re lucky you may get it under control with a concoction of medications and pick yourself up enough to get through with a smile. But the sheer exhaustion takes it toll. Physically. Emotionally. 

Spreading Awareness About Hyperemesis Gravidarum

The more people accept that HG is a severe medical condition that should be treated early and without judgment, the better off a woman’s mental and physical health is likely to be. The more people are aware of it, the less likely people are to hear of our symptoms and say “Have you tried ginger?” or “I found that eating regularly helped keep my nausea at bay.” Because, without wanting to sound rude, that’s not helpful. If the 3 different drugs I’m taking from the hospital aren’t helping curb the vomiting, I’m not sure what the heck ginger is supposed to do for me (if I could even keep it down to begin with).  

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Maybe if medical professionals were taught more about it and ways of managing it I wouldn’t have to hear things like “Well you just need to eat something,” from a nurse treating you in a hospital, when I’m at my most vulnerable. 

Support Is A Lifeline

And lastly, support. Be that village for the brave mummas suffering with HG who don’t want to ask for help, because they already feel like they’re failing.  Ask how they are and what you can do to help. Or bring round some dinner (for the rest of the family to enjoy).  

I’m so lucky that I have some incredible support around me. But I know that there are so many others that are suffering in silence. Let’s create the village it takes to raise these beautiful, tiny humans.

Would You Like To Share YOUR Story?

We’d love to hear from you. This Is Family is all about sharing family stories – especially from families who feel like their voices are not often heard. Every family has a unique story to tell. We’d love to hear yours. Find out how you can feature on our blog and get involved. So that other parents can feel less alone.

Want To Get Out And About, Have Fun With Your Baby Or Toddler, And Meet Other Parents?

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Read More From This Is Family:

Finally Going Outside After A Traumatic Birth Left Me Housebound – This Is Family

How 9 Mamma’s Saved My Life – This Is Family

Experiencing Anxiety As A New Mum- This Is Family

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Guest Author

This blog was written by a guest author. That means it was either created by an industry expert, medical professional, or someone from within the parenting community. You will be able to find out more information about them within the blog. Thank you so much for popping in to give it your support!