This is a guest post by the lovely Laura from Beauty by the Green Blog.
It has been some time since I wrote a new blog post, and for this one I decided to share a little of my fairly recent experience as a Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) sufferer. Why? Because I truly believe not enough people completely understand this awful condition and to be quite honest, that in itself can be really quite damaging to the sufferer. To feel so alone and isolated in your own body as the world passes you by is not something you desire or need on top of your pregnancy. Even now, I feel very misunderstood by others. Nobody actually ‘gets’ it. This is why more awareness is needed!
HG occurs in around 1% of pregnancies. So the chances of suffering with it are really very low! I never even knew it existed, except for the media coverage of Kate Middleton suffering with it. But I didn’t think much of that at the time. The fact that my nausea then increased in strength quite rapidly, became 24-7, and the fact that I started to vomit over 10-15 times a day made me realise that things weren’t totally normal on the sickness front. I had no energy anyway, which is normal in early pregnancy as your body works super hard growing your teeny bean of a little one and to create the placenta- which is a whole new organ for your body to produce! Amazing and tiring work and the hormones are all over the place. But when I say no energy, I mean literally NO energy. To hardly be able to even move because you feel THAT nauseated. It lasted for weeks, and I had a month out of work. I was in and out of the doctors surgery, sick as a dog, excruciating headaches from the dehydration and being put on different medications to try and combat the nausea and vomiting. But honestly, none of the tablets I tried in desperate hope particularly worked for me and I must have tried about 4 or 5 different meds. The meds were anti-emetics that are the type used in chemotherapy patients to combat the nausea. I hoped that if they are given to such poorly patients, they just might make me feel better too. But alas, no improvement. It is hormone doing their thing and you cant change that!
Luckily, I managed to narrowly escape hospital admission only due to sipping on tiny amounts of Lucozade day in, day out. For some reason it just about worked! The doctor said to just keep doing whatever I was doing! ( I am now paying for it with my ongoing dental treatment….). But there are some sufferers who will tell you they ended up surviving on a drip, in and out of hospital. This can happen if you get totally de-hydrated. At the time I was unwell, one of the doctors was especially very good as she was experienced with antenatal care and had seen this in women a lot, but in general, this is a condition that is pretty overlooked. Nobody really ‘gets’ it and that’s the worst part. I felt so guilty at the time not even able to cook or clean. No lust for life. My mother in law would come up to help on some weekends to hoover and do some laundry and bathroom cleaning whilst I ran back and forth to the loo and trying to sleep. But even now after having my baby and I mention this experience of sickness, everyone dismisses as it as just ‘ahh yes- morning sickness’. And that they had it too, that it’s normal and that eating little and often helped and all this that and the other. Nobody really understands it. It makes me look like I am exaggerating and that’s really frustrating. Even at the time I felt like people were thinking how I was a wimp and treating it as an illness when that’s not me at all. If you have been a HG sufferer or are suffering with it right now, you will know precisely what I mean.
Part Two on helpful hints and tips next week.