Hyperemesis Gravidarum My Story

Hyperemesis Gravidarum, pregnancy, lifestyle,, janine renee, what renee made
When the doctor first told me that I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) my first thought was "what that thing Kate Middleton had?" I'd only heard of the condition when it was splashed across the Daily Mail during Kate's pregnancies. At the time I flippantly thought ooh that seems awful hope it doesn't happen to me. Fast forward a few years and here I am expecting our first baby and I find myself living through the harsh reality of my very flippant thought. I always had this vision of a radiant pregnancy filled with baby shopping and lovingly rubbing my bump. The brutal truth is this has been an endurance test. A test of my physical, emotion and mental strength. 

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is extreme pregnancy sickness. When talking about pregnancy sickness most people think of morning sickness and assume that you wake up feeling a bit peaky, have a morning vomit and are on your merry way. If that's you, then your lucky as I've not had that experience. I'm by no means undermining morning sickness and it's effects, but HG is not like that. 
It's the most intense vomiting and nausea that I've ever experienced. If you imagine the worst tummy bug you've ever had and combine it with a horrendous hang over, you're in the right ball park. 

For me HG kicked in at around 6 weeks. We got a positive test at week 4 and I was walking on cloud nine. I started out feeling fine, even went out for a curry on my birthday. That was last last time I remember feeling like myself. The next day we had a family meal and I started feeling unwell very quickly and having to slink off to the bathroom with the urge to be sick. I thought it was just a bit of sickness. For the first week I felt very neaseus but wasn't being sick, the neusea quickly intensified to full on vomiting. At first it was once a day but again things intensified rapidly to me vomiting multiple times daily. 

Knowing full well that I needed to eat I would try to have a meal but quite often it would come back up almost as soon as I'd eaten it. What I could eat was very limited, my diet consisted of toast, pears and ice lollies. They were the only thing I could stomach but even then it would still come back up. The bleak cycle went on for weeks util one day I finally called the GP for help. I was loosing weight rapidly and couldn't cope at work. I was constantly running off the the ladies to be sick my colleagues (who were in the dark about the pregnancy) were beginning to smell a rat! My GP was pretty helpful and signed me off work initially for a week and prescribed me some anti sickness tablets. One week turned into two and before I knew it I was signed off work for over a month. 

It was a pretty miserable time I lost over a stone and became so dehydrated my skin was grey and craking from the dryness. At my lowest point I was admitted into hospital with dehydration. I hadn't been able to keep any fluids down for some time so being hooked up to a drip for 24 hours was a God send. I really could feel vitality returning to me. It was pretty lonely being away from Lee for that night, I remember wishing he could stay over. 

I'm now 28 weeks and for the most part the vomiting has gone, I still feel nauseous and there are a few triggers that make it almost unbearable the smell of cigarets, strong perfume or aftershave I try to avoid these but it's very difficult. The vomiting has calmed down but I do still have bad days. The thing I didn't expect was the emotional toll it would take on me. Constantly feeling nauseous, repeatedly vomiting and generally feeling like crap got me down, add to that the pregnancy hormones and I was (still am at times) a complete mess. 

Generally speaking I'm not an overly emotional woman I'm more of a steady eddy for the most part my mood is positive and driven but HG has robbed that from me.  I've felt like the woman I was and worked so hard to become had faded away, that sense of self had so quickly diminished - it scared me. I hated feeling so weak and vulnerable but didn't know what to do. I called my GP and explained how I was feeling he said it was the baby blues just hormones. Maybe it was but, I felt dismissed by him like a silly little woman who was getting all emotional over nothing. In the end after weeks of feeling low, it became to much and my long suffering husband bore the brunt of my emotional volcano. Everything came bubbling over to the surface. I cried for what felt like hours and poured my heart out to him. I told him I felt lonely being at home sick all the time, missed my social life and my friends. I felt rubbish about the fact I was incapable of doing my job because I was too unwell and when I was there my head was in such a muddle I had no idea what I was doing. I told him the worst most terrible thing.......... I hated being pregnant! I want the baby - our baby so much. I love this little person that I've never met with all my heart but do I want to be pregnant anymore? No bloody way! Does it make me a terrible person? I don't know I'm still trying to figure that one out. So many women would give their right arm to be in my position. I wasn't trying to be ungrateful but by this stage I've been feeling unwell for the best part of 6 months with little or no letup and my mental well being was really beginning to deteriorate. If I'm honest I would say I was feeling depressed but talking about things really did help. I'm still not back to my old self I'm  not sure when that will happen but things have got better and opening up has really helped. 

Now I'm fully aware that my experience in comparison to other women is slight but I'm not writing this to try and one up anybody else. I'm fully aware that everyone has very different experiences of pregnancy. I'm writing this for the women out there that like me have had HG really effect their pregnancies, so you know you are not alone, a special case or weird. I know it can be very dark at times and feels like no one really understands but there are people out there who have or are going through it and do understand. A great resource is Pregnancy Sickness Support I came across it and has really helped to be able to reach out. The website is a great resource for advice and tip. There is also a forum where you can talk to other mum's to be and get support. 

Things are starting to look up for me as I mentioned the vomiting has died down its just dealing with the the nausea now. I've still got a little over 3 months left to go so with out wanting to sound cliche the rest of my story is still unwritten...

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