Being Diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Pregnancy with HG from a 23 year old Mumma
Pregnancy is not a walk in the park. I don't know who said that Pregnancy is easy, because it's not. One of the first symptoms most women will get during their first trimester is the dreaded "Morning Sickness" but for people like me, it's more like all day sickness, 24/7 sickness.
During my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with HG, or scientifically known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This is known as a chronic form of "morning sickness" which can occur all day, all night, and is equipped with vomiting, nausea, you know, the works. It can make finding the joy in pregnancy incredibly difficult. I have been lucky enough to not have been admitted to hospital as a result of my Hyperemesis, but it doesn't make life any easier. I wake up every morning and the first thing i need to do is vomit. And trust me, it is incredibly unpleasant. I've had my days where I am stuck in bed, because i cannot keep anything down. I have had my days where i just can't handle the smell or sight of any food because it makes everything gross! Needless to say i haven't found much luck to escape Hyperemesis in my second pregnancy either. So you could say, I've had my fair share of morning sickness.
Debunking Pregnancy 'Morning Sickness Myths'
There's always a number of wives tales or myths that come with being pregnant, and there's actually quite a few that people believe about "Morning sickness," so I'm going to debunk a few, so that way if you haven't experienced morning sickness before, or haven't been pregnant before you can understand what is true and what is 100% false from my viewpoint.
1. Mornings sickness is JUST a morning thing
Yeah, No it's not. There's nothing more irritating than hearing, oh it only happens in the morning its easy to deal with. If you have HG or even severe Pregnancy Sickness,, it does not always sit within the morning time frame. Sometimes it occurs all day, and well into the night. And i am incredibly jealous of those mummas who only get nausea and vomiting in the morning. For me personally my pregnancy sickness will last all day, night and as soon as i wake up if i don't find the right cure for it, my days can feel long and gross and you'd be surprised to see me up and about.
2. Morning Sickness ONLY lasts the first trimester
This particular myth had me super convinced that my severe nausea and vomiting would go away after 13 weeks. Well it didn't. My first pregnancy, my nausea and vomited occurred every single day, right up to and including the day of my labor, and i actually vomited during my labor. SUper gross i know, but you can't imagine how frustrating it was to hear, oh it will only last the first trimester, oh it will go away after 16 weeks, 20 weeks and no further. All lies, for a woman with HG generally, nausea and vomiting will last the entire pregnancy and will not just go away unfortunately. And unfortunately being currently 27 weeks pregnant with my second baby, i still have morning sickness each and every day with this one too.
3. Morning Sickness indicates a gender
This particular myth kind of annoys me. Because how on earth could morning sickness indicate boy or girl? I have had so many people tell me, "oh you're still sick, must be a girl!" but both times, I've been pregnant with a boy. I've also read plenty of Facebook threads in mum's pages where people have said, "You're having a girl" because they're so sick. I am yet to see one that indicates morning sickness having a boy, but i have read about that also, and they end up a with a girl. Morning Sickness, the duration of your sickness and the severity of your sickness does not indicate whether you're having a boy or a girl, and please don't let anyone tell you otherwise because if you really want a girl, and someone has told you because you are sick, you will definitely get a girl, it won't always be the case. Gender is always 50/50, remember that!
Important thing to know about Morning Sickness Remedies
Many websites and health articles will give you some safe pregnancy remedies to try for morning sickness and there are a few things that i think are important to know. Firstly, eating smaller meals as they say will not always help. For me it only made my morning sickness worse because i hated eating when i was sick, plus it only made me super hungry all day long which did not help either.
Dry crackers or toast first thing when you wake up is one of the worst remedies they recommend. When you have HG or severe morning sickness, dry carbs are incredibly difficult to throw back up and when you are sick, it's very hard to keep it down. Toast and dry crackers become clumpy and stick in your throat which for me was a massive choking hazard, and i hated it. Plus it did not settle my stomach in the slightest.
Ginger anything is not helpful. It may be for some people, but for me it was not helpful in the slightest. In fact it actually made my morning sickness worse, and it burns when you vomit up ginger beer or ginger biscuits. Same goes for Fruit Tingles, as they become frothy and sour when vomiting which honestly makes for an extremely foul taste. Those people who recommend those Ginger morning sickness tablets are nuts, because those things are devil pills.
There is only one piece of helpful information i have received for Morning Sickness, and that came from my sister who also suffered from HG. And that was, that when your morning sickness is at its peak, and you feel at your worst, food will probably not help. And she was right. She suggested chewing on ice, which i never had. Or only drinking water for as long as you can until your stomach starts to settle on its own. This is the only tip i ever agreed with. I found food so hard to bring back up, and the easiest thing that doesn't cause discomfort, is water. So continuously i would drink water after a vomiting episode and it was the easiest thing to vomit that didn't burn, curdle or thicken coming back up.
At the end of the day the one and only remedy that helped me was medication prescribed from my doctor, and that is it. Without nausea medication i would be in bed all day everyday, and it is usually the first thing i suggest to a new mum dealing with HG or chronic nausea/vomiting. You can try those remedies if you think they will be more helpful, and sometimes they can be for some mums, but if you need something that you know will more than likely have guaranteed success, SEE YOUR GP!! I cannot recommend this enough! And also, don't be afraid of the nausea tablets, i know it can seem scary, especially if you have been Trying to Conceive for some time and you don't want anything to affect your unborn baby (I was in that boat with my first pregnancy), Doctors will tell you that they are 100% safe, and honestly they can be a real life saver when you just can no longer function due to the nausea and vomiting.
Extra Tips From Myself to You
One thing i found helpful for sure was avoiding smelling, cooking and handling any meat, if you have some good support around you, delegating the nightly cooking to your hubby, partner or family members, can be incredibly helpful for HG. Not having to prepare your own meals, especially that with meat takes such a weight off of you and also helps to decrease the urge to vomit in my opinion.
Secondly, limit the amount of movement you do from the minute you wake up. I found taking my time to do things like getting dressed, or going to the bathroom, really helped the nausea i was feeling, and it also helps your body to wake up in its own time, which for me made me feel alert and ready for the day a bit easier. Once you're awake and you aren't taking it too rough on yourself, you might find the nausea will dampen slightly and honestly that's as much help as any really.
Lastly I think it's super important to keep up with your vegetables as much as you can. I for one, am not one of those pregnant women who sticks to the healthiest diet at all times, but i think if you can incorporate as much vegetables into your diet daily it can help you in so many ways. Not only does it just make you feel better, i found it helped me to keep away colds and flues that were going around. Sometimes you can't always get the good stuff in, juice can help, if you can hold it down. Sipping slowly always helped me to get drinks down, and eating at my own pace helped me to keep my food down as well. I found that even though i was starving, the only way to keep myself from throwing it back up was to slow it right down, and distract myself by watching videos or TV at the same time. Distraction is not a remedy that everyone believes in, but i do, because if i can keep my mind of the sick feeling, i generally won't vomit and that is probably the most helpful non-medicated solution of all.
Pregnancy is not easy, but finding the right ways to deal with what comes at you is so helpful, and you have no idea how helpful small things can be when you have HG.