Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a lot of things. Debilitating, Energy Robbing, Soul-Sucking. It challenges every fibre of your body, every ounce of your mental well-being, the severe wrenching causes you to wet yourself. Causes the blood vessels in your eyes to burst. Your oesophagus to tear and bleed. The need for food yet the complete revulsion at it simultaneously makes you cry, precious fluid your body needs desperately. You want to hide as day by day the weight drops off you. Getting up to go to the toilet is an athletic sport. You have to hide away from cooking smells, perfume, in fact, any smell, as everything makes nausea worse. You can’t look after your kids as you are completely unable to get out of bed.
Your skin hurts to touch. You can’t get up but you can sleep either. Locked in a permanent wish to stay slumbering and wake up when you feel better. When you do finally sleep and wake there is a split second you feel normal, in that instant you forget the hell Hyperemesis Gravidarum brings before it comes slamming into you like a wrecking ball at 100 miles an hour, bringing you crashing back to the hellish reality of near-constant sickness.
Oral medication does nothing. And you long for an IV or injection to pierce your skin, as you know that it will work better. It will take the edge off the incessant sickness, pain and fear that this time you may actually die.
The watching your urine get darker and darker, your skin drier and drier, the guessing if it’s time yet to relent and go to the hospital for re-hydration. The emetic episodes 10 or more every hour, the sick bowl at your bed and the fact you haven’t showered for over a week.
The anger you feel at everyone, that no one really understands what it’s like to be trapped, hostage to another being, slowly leeching the life from you.
The look the male doctor gives you when you plead for a different medication to help just get you through the day. The way they ‘calculate’ the risk, to see if you are at breaking point before they will give you anything stronger.
The liver failure. The UTI’s. The dehydration. The Keytones so high there isn’t a darker enough colour on the testing stick! Losing a pound in weight a day. Going weeks without a morsel of food in your stomach. The watching your husband feel helpless, the resentment build as he has to take over every household chore you once did effortlessly. The guilt that even your own kids make you feel sick. The fact you haven’t been to work in weeks.
And if that doesn’t get you, you WILL consider what it would be like to die. To be free of feeling like this. You may even consider if you actually wanted this and if it would be better to NOT be pregnant.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is ALOT of things. It’s NOT severe morning sickness!
All I keep reading from the British media when referring to Duchess Kate Middleton’s Hyperemesis Gravidarum is ‘severe morning sickness’ I would emphatically like to state. It’s NOT! Don’t do her or any other of the 1-2% of women who are diagnosed with this debilitating condition such an injustice. Morning sickness is bad. Hyperemesis Gravidarum can be life-threatening! And not enough is known about it, treatment is sketchy and in 2017 GP’s STILL treat you like a leper, like it’s something you can pull your together and get over!
For further details and help on Hyperemesis Gravidarum visit- https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk
Great book to read on Hyperemesis Gravidarum – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hyperemesis-Gravidarum-Definitive-Caitlin-Dean