For Moms

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is not morning sickness

Let’s talk about Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This is my third baby and by far the hardest pregnancy. I had very little morning sickness with Charlie, just extreme food aversions. With Jude, my morning sickness was really bad, throwing up every day for a few weeks BUT meds helped (Unisom+B6) and by week 12, it was gone. With this baby girl though, it’s a different story.

hypermesis gravidarum morning sickness pregnancy

What’s Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are treated with dietary changes, rest, and antacids. More severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line (IV).

For me, it started at 6 weeks. My alarm went off, I opened my eyes, and within a minute I had to run to the bathroom. I thought I’d be able to avoid morning sickness this time around, I had no idea how wrong I was. A few hours later, same thing. And again. Ah… pregnancy is glamourous. After a week of this routine, I had lost 3 pounds. It may not seem like much but my pre-pregnancy weight is 107lbs, so I don’t have much to spare.

When it’s more than just morning sickness

I can honestly say that after two weeks of this, I felt like I was in hell. On my worst days, I’d throw up even a sip of water. It was incredibly hard to stay hydrated. I tried Unisom + B6 since that helped with Jude, and then Diceglis but nope, didn’t help. I ended up getting a prescription for Zofran, which did nothing to help either. And then, I got a Reglan prescription, you guessed it, didn’t help either. At my worst, I got down to 99lbs.

Week 14, I started to feel better. I thought that was it, but the relief was brief. It’s week 15, and I’m throwing up again. I can’t seem to gain weight.


What helps Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Not crackers, not ginger. I promise you, there’s nothing you can suggest I haven’t tried.

Crackers, ginger ale, peppermint, sea bands, Sprite, preggo pops… Not helpful. I wish.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) isn’t like your regular morning sickness, this is a debilitating pregnancy complication that can lead to severe consequences. My case isn’t as severe as some, who end up hospitalized for it. For that, I’m thankful.

A few days ago, I gently complained about HG on my Instagram stories, after throwing up again at 15 weeks. Some people took offense to me complaining because they’re struggling with infertility. Suffering isn’t a competition. My suffering doesn’t take away from other people’s struggles.

It’s possible to be genuinely grateful for your pregnancy, yet not enjoy it.

Go ahead, read that again.

Some people leap to judgment, in defense of any women who might have unrealized goals or unresolved pain surrounding pregnancy — usually their own.

I *am* thankful for this future baby girl, and the health, thus far, of my pregnancy, despite it being high-risk. That said, I can’t say I actually enjoy the state of being pregnant. It’s not all bad. I have my eye on the prize — I know why I’m doing this.

But, yeah. There, I said it. I don’t enjoy throwing up all the time, still, 4 months into it. I didn’t enjoy the first 3 months when keeping food and water down was about the highest goal I could strive for. I don’t like losing weight, when, as much as I try, I don’t have spare weight to lose. And, you know, in general, I think it’s safe to say I don’t enjoy hyperthyroidism, weekly antibodies infusions, heart arrhythmia, and other persistent & varied aches.

What I do enjoy is my growing bump. The first kicks. And knowing that at the end of it, my daughter will be born.

The world can’t unreasonably bend to soften everyone’s exposure to their personal brand of it. Pain isn’t a competition. And motherhood’s not, either. We all struggle. Some more than others. But who’s to say someone’s “minor trauma” actually hurt them less than somebody else’s major event?

Everyone deserves to vent, share, and seek support.

Being grateful for a pregnancy, yet not enjoying it, are not incompatible, wrong, or mutually exclusive states of being. It’s just another complicated day being human.

HG resources:

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