Hyperemesis Gravidarum – {More than Morning Sickness}

by Mama Bice on December 21, 2012

With the recent news that the beloved Duchess Kate was hospitalized recently in relation to HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum), I saw both an out pouring of love, and more often, ridicule. First – why on earth would we malign a soon-to-be mother for getting medical help? That in itself is mind boggling. Second – the absolute disregard of any information given on the subject was astounding to me. Having suffered from HG myself, I was sadly not surprised to see the general public basically laugh at this poor woman and tell her “suck it up”.

I wanted to help get the word out. HG has been hidden for years and is not well understood in the medical community. But real women – from myself to a future Queen of England – suffer from this horrific condition. Sharing my story is not always easy, as people are fast to dismiss or believe that I am exaggerating – but here it is.

My husband and I were over the moon about finally conceiving our first child. We immediately began to talk names and look at baby clothes. Our families were excited, our friends were overjoyed. Everything was rosy. Around 7 weeks I started to vomit a bit and have a lot of nausea. Par for the course in early pregnancy. We went to our first appointment and had an ultrasound (I was having pain that suggested an ectopic). Everything seemed normal and average.

Then a week later I began to vomit more…and more…and more. Within days of this new trend I was vomiting more than 15 times a day, and dry heaving constantly. The nausea was so horrible that literally just turning my head could trigger heaving. Nothing stayed down – no water, Gatorade, crackers, juice, rice, ginger, NOTHING. I began to feel weak and could not stand long enough to shower.

I called in sick to work several days in a row and got co-workers to cover some shifts. I called the OB office (where I was receiving care until we got insurance to cover our midwife) and was told that “as long as I could keep down a cup of water a day, I was okay.” They also gave me phenergan over the phone though I informed them that it did not work for me (from previous experience). They would not prescribe anything else in place of phenergan.

I spoke to family and friends and was assured that this was normal and a sign of a healthy pregnancy. No one seemed to understand that I was not exaggerating my vomiting episodes. My husband helped as much as he could, but he had to work since I was missing work.

My job (which I loved and had just started a few months prior) began to comment on how much I was missing, and that when I did drag myself to work that I was “in the bathroom too much”. There were other pregnant women in my area after all, and they were fine. After about three weeks of this they suggested I take FMLA (family medical leave – unpaid) so that I did not lose my job. I was given 30 days in which to “get better and rest”.

Only a few days after this I began to vomit blood. My esophagus was so torn and ragged from the acid (which by this point was all I was vomiting up) that it was like a big wound. I decided that this was NOT “normal” and that I had to go to the emergency room. My husband came home and we loaded up to go downtown.

Hours later, I was seen. They let a student paramedic do my IVs…he blew three veins before they got someone experienced in my cubicle. The nurses ignored my husband and myself, and I sat with empty IV bags for long periods (I ended up needing 3 1/2 bags). I was informed that my blood work showed I was almost at organ failure level, especially my potassium. No one offered to check on my baby. We were not admitted, even after 5 hours in our little ER bed. I was told I should have gone to the Women’s hospital instead.

The one good thing to come out of the trip was the discovery of Zofran. The Zofran did not totally cut the nausea but it made it much more livable and cut down my vomiting to a few times a day, though it was a long time before I could force myself to eat much. The mental damage of so much vomiting was hard to get past. I did not start to “mend” until about 24 weeks, and continued to need the Zofran all the way through pregnancy.

All said and done – I lost over 30lbs in about as many days. I was required to take Zofran every four hours around the clock or I would need a home IV line (I have a huge fear of needles, so I wanted to avoid that if I could). I lost my job, since after the 30 days I was not “better” and my midwife wrote a list of work restrictions that the company could not accommodate. We had to move in with my mother. My son was born “late pre-term” at 37 weeks. Premature birth is a risk of HG. My son was a little peanut as well.

To this day I do not think my family understands what I went through. I don’t think they understand my fears for future pregnancies. But talking to other HG moms, I am not alone. And I was lucky – women die of HG, women lose babies. And almost every HG mom will tell you – you start to lose yourself in the midst of the sickness. You feel alone, so alone. You worry you are killing your baby, and you blame yourself every day.

I was able to speak with other mothers in the BWF Fans Support group about how HG effected their lives.

“After my daughter was born and my midwife looked at my placenta, it was thoroughly calcified and only a very small part of it was providing nutrition to my baby. We are very lucky to have her here with us. HG is emotionally and physically wearing, and I would wish it on no one. I just wish people were more educated about it rather than just tell you to suck it up and deal with morning sickness. Its so much more than that.” – Alyssa

“I was unable to shower by myself, did not have the energy to wash my own hair or body. I had to quit one of my jobs at just 10 weeks pregnant with my son. My husband had to continue working to support us but he felt terrible leaving me home alone every day. I sank further and further into depression and became very anxious that I was starving my baby and that it and I would not live to see the day I held the baby in my arms.” – Jade

“Both my pregnancies I had HG. I was barely able to care for myself or get out of bed most of the pregnancy. I waited 10 years between TTC my sons & stopped at 2, because I can’t care for my kids for 9 months at a time.” – Vee

“My HG nightmare began at 6 weeks. By 10 weeks I had to quit my job because I was in and out of hospital for IV hydration and vomiting blood. Some days I couldn’t even walk across the hall to the bathroom to vomit and I needed to sit on a chair in the shower because I would faint if I stood for more than a minute. By 15 weeks the strain became too much for my partner having to work full time while running our household and nursing me and we had to move in with my parents. People – some of them Doctors – told me mind over matter, take a walk, get some fresh air, have some ginger, eat a cracker. They told me if I really cared about my baby I would just drink some water and I was desperate to do so but knew if I did I would just vomit till my throat bled again. Formerly close friends accused me of being weak, selfish and melodramatic and stopped talking to me. Every day for the first two trimesters I cried wondering if my baby and I could possibly survive this. HG is not morning sickness – HG is a chronic, all consuming, life threatening, misunderstood illness that I would not wish on my worst enemy.” – Johanna

“I was hep-locked for weeks and went twice daily for IV meds and fluids. It is very debilitating. For the first several months I threw up constantly.” – Brittany

Another mother you may know who has suffered from HG is Jessica from The Leaky Boob who wrote a post “celebrating” her new common trait with the Duchess. She has written several posts speaking about her personal journey though HG.

A truly amazing resource (and one I did not find until after I had my son) is Help HER – a hyperemesis awareness and research group. They help fund a research project with UCLA into the genetics of HG. There are forums on this site dedicated to the women, fathers, and families who suffer this illness. Pages of testimony exist on their site, wanting to be heard. They even helped create a day on our calenders to recognize this illness – May 15th is HG Awareness Day.

This blog writer posted some time ago about the “ABCs of HG” – it moved me to tears.

This is NOT something you can ever understand until you have walked that mile. Morning sickness is not the same, and I don’t want to hear about how “bad” it was to vomit a couple times a day over a month or so. I don’t want to hear about only “being able to eat crackers”. I would have given my right hand to keep down crackers most days. These are things I am not supposed to admit in polite conversation – but HG is not a polite illness. It is callous and horrible and takes women and babies from our lives.

This is NOT morning sickness. This is not a pregnant woman being a drama queen or lazy. This is not something a few crackers before getting out of bed can fix. Or ginger. Or what ever else is in the normal bag of tricks for morning sickness – I tried them all. This is a truly debilitating illness in every possible way. I hope that next time the world hears of a mother suffering from HG their advice will not be “suck it up.”

***I have now been through another HG pregnancy, which you can read about here (from my husband’s perspective).

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Autumn December 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

I had HG with my son I was so sick I would throw up an ice chip. The worst part was throwing up zofran. I knew I would have to wait 4 more hours to try again. Unfortunately I didn’t have the option to quit my job. I was a house keeper for a property management company and worked alone. I got to know the bushes quite well after burying my face behind them several times a day/week. My son was born 36 weeks but was healthy (I regret having not asked to see the placenta) I believe HG compromised my bodies ability to heal and suffered from frostbite before knowing I was pregnant. I got a terrible infection under my toenails and had to visit 4 different doctors before getting one that would remove them in order to get rid of the infection. Within days of toenail removal I started to feel better but still threw up at least once a week until he was born. I would never wish that on my worst enemy. When I found out I pregnant just a year later I cried for days thinking I was going to be so sick again. Luckily with my daughter I only had one 24 hour period that I couldn’t hold anything down. I also started taking zofran at the first sign of morning sickness. I was over the sickness by about 16 weeks and had a healthy full term pregnancy.

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Autumn December 21, 2012 at 9:51 am

Oh I forgot to mention how much I bleed. I bleed for my entire pregnancy. Ultra sound showed that everything was normal and I got put on bed rest. (due to the fact I needed my job I over worked myself anyway) I have compassion for mothers who suffer from HG it is harder than labor!

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Elanna December 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

This is a very real reality, and it’s true, most people don’t understand. Praying the research goes well and women’s pregnancies are changed as a result, and no one has to live in this horrible situation. God bless all you mommas!

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Kendra Mitchell December 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

Thank you for this post. I was blessed with pretty ok pregnancies, but I do have some close experience with HG. In college, I worked for a woman (she is also a good friend) with HG. For 5 months, I spent the days with her, caring for her 2 year old and doing some housework, cooking, etc. until her husband came home from work. After several hospitalizations, she was able to make it through on huge doses of phenergan but that meant that she essentially slept for 6 months. I know she felt great guilt about missing so much of her older daughter’s life and felt weak and helpless. It was hard enough to watch and I can’t even imagine dealing with it first hand! I hope that some causation can be found, some way of helping women with this, I know how debilitating it is. God Bless you all who have made it through such an unimaginable trial!

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Katie Roller December 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I am so sorry that you and other mom’s go through this! Thank you for sharing your experience, I knew it got really bad for some, but I have never heard if HG. I hope that Kate Middleton’s experience can open some understanding to the general public – obviously the medical community needs it too! No one should be made to feel like less of a person because what they go through isn’t well-known.

And as to the “you’re okay as long as you get 1/2C of water down a day” comment – what the heck?!! I’ve had the flu for 4 days and was told on day 2 that if I couldn’t get a litre down in the next 6 hours that they would admit me and give me IV. While I’m not sure that was 100% necessary, I am astonished that 1/2 C could ever be seen as enough, even if you weren’t trying to grow a little human! sheesh!

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nicola atkinson December 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Thank you sooo much for this, I can relate sooo much, mine started at just days before five weeks, only a wekk after i found out I was pregnant. I lost 13 kgs in the next 8weeks. I was given meds fr my hg as well as I couldn’t keep even water down until evenings and some days nt at all, so I couldn’t get the meds to stay either so I gave up to the fact I was just a freak. This helps knowing others still had it even worse than me! We are looking to try fr #2 in the new year and its scares the crap out of me as i couldn’t move off the couch at all with miss 2yrs so how do I care fr an active tddler in this situation? I had a very traumatic birth also resulting in emerg cs, a few blood transfusions and a chest infection :-(

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Svea Boyda-Vikander December 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Oh Mama B! Powerful post. <3

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Susi December 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Thanks for that post. I also had HG and one of the worst things for me was how much it has damaged my teeth. The constant vomiting and not being able to brush my teeth for long periods together with high sugar food/drinks created a very acid environment and has pretty much stripped off my entire layer of the protective enamel. I am now high risk for tooth decay for the rest of my life.

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Sarah December 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Thank you for spreading the word about the horrible reality of HG. I am a three time survivor and will not be having any more children because of it. I hope that the public and medical professionals are taking this opportunity to educate themselves about this torturous life-altering condition. There needs to be better understanding, treatment, research and a cure. If you are going through the hell of Hyperemesis please know you’re not alone. It WILL end and you will be holding your precious baby!

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Amy Gooder December 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thank you. Thank you for saying all the things I wanted to say but couldn’t explain. Thank you for being blunt about not wanting to hear about being able to eat crackers. And thank you for mentioning the depression, anxiety & loneliness that comes with this horrible nightmare.

Even I didn’t understand how sick I was. But I distinctly remember laying on the bathroom floor with a pillow, blanket & towel to wipe my mouth. My husband begged me to come to bed as I cried because I was so scared to even move for fear that I would vomit.

I lived on Zofran…when insurce would cover it. But like you, the Zofran just reduced everything a little. I still got sick. I still was terrified to eat…and when I did all I could stomach were Wendy’s frosties.

My husband & close friends were supportive. My midwife was amazing. But I still feel/know the reason I developed Gestational Diabetes was because of the HG. My other family did not understand at all.

Again, thank you. By sharing your story you are giving many of us a chance to process and share our stories.

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Johanna December 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story! HG is one of the most horrid experiences I’ve gone through. I have so much empathy for Kate and wish that people would be more sympathetic. HG is so rare though that most people really don’t understand what it’s like to go through it and assume that we are just being wimpy about morning sickness.

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Morgaine December 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I was diagnosed with HG in the beginning of my pregnancy and spent a lot of time in the IV clinic getting Zofran and fluids.

Recently though, I switched antidepressants, meaning that I had to wean off of one. For a month, no negative test could convince me that I was not pregnant, as the nausea was very familiar, although I did not puke as much. I realized that I had stopped all of my vices cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant (alcohol, massive amounts of caffeine, antidepressants, and antianxiety meds), and I was probably experiencing withdrawals and not hg, especially since the sickness stopped around month 6.

Still sucked though.

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Lauren December 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I read my local newspaper online every day and when I read the article about Kate Middleton suffering and being hospitalized from HG I was absolutely amazed and saddened at all the comments from people saying exactly what you said. “Suck it up” “all women get morning sickness” “she’s pregnant, what did she expect?”
I have never suffered from HG, but I am aware of it and know it is not just morning sickness. Even after I commented that what she had was NOT just morning sickness and I directed them to links about what is actually is people STILL said she was just whining and gave me a ton of thumbs down on my comment. I was blown away that people could be so callous and mean, even after they had read what HG actually is.

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Christina December 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I suffered from HG this pregnancy. I was in and out of the ER and L&D many times. We had several things that I was trying just to keep anything down. I ended up on 7 medications. Phenargen, Zofran, B6, Unisom, Benadryl, Reglan, 2 others that I can’t remember the names of. We had to switch my prenatal a couple of times due to the increase of the symptoms. Finally by week 15 I was able to sip Gatorade and suck on hard candy or preggie pops but still not able to eat much if at all. Even now at 39 weeks I still struggle to be able to eat most of the time. I have increase to be able to include Sprite and juices. My OB has been by my side helping me battle this. Even with everything that I have gone through with this pregnancy my son is estimated to be bigger then his brother was at birth. I have been also sharing my story as much as possible because this is a scary thing to go through with everything that your body goes through already.

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Jillian December 27, 2012 at 2:15 am

Thank you for sharing. I had HG, and it was an experience that is hard to put into words. I would cry myself to sleep at night after spending the day having one violent vomiting session after another. It was so bad that my coworkers were traumatized by it. (I worked in a small office, and it was loud.) I was so sick and could not get help from my doctor, and because I was so sick, I couldn’t advocate for myself. I finally got Zofran from a nurse midwife at around 20 weeks, and I had lost quite a bit of weight by that point. It ruined my teeth, and unfortunately, my daughter has had too many dental procedures for a six year old.

It is time that doctors stop ignoring HG, and treat women with respect and dignity. Sometimes even hydration therapy and an antiemetic can make all the difference in the world.

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Lindsey December 27, 2012 at 9:10 am

I’d be interested to hear how your diet was prior to pregnancy. I’m working with a lot of women on health issues before conception. I’ve had a few that have had HG and want to do all they can before getting pregnant.

Also, did you ever try milk thistle?

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tigeriza December 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

there used to be a very good yahoo support group in Yahoo groups for this haven’t looked for about 10 years though… I had very bad morning sickness but absolutely not on the same scale as this debilitating condition.

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Charlie December 27, 2012 at 9:22 am

I had HG with number one and it was like a constant gastro bug for weeks, truly horrific. In the end our local hospital offered me acupuncture from a chinese midwife, something that was required before they would prescribe the meds I wanted! It was miraculous from that to 100% normal, with symptoms only returning if I missed a session (weekly). Worth a try for anyone suffering x

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Angela December 27, 2012 at 11:50 am

I also have had HG. I am 6 wks with my 5th pregnancy. I have carried 3 to term and and already feeling to effects of HG. I know it is coming but am trying to stay optimistic. With my first I honestly thought I was dying. I lost 17 lbs in 10 days. My husband thought I was over reacting. I would wake up and it literally took me forever to get out the door. I drove 45 mins to work which ended up taking me hours thanks to the constant puking and the added peeing from the extreme heaving. I would have to turn around and go change and ended up to work hours late with all the co workers looking at me like I was crazy and making it all up. I constantly was told, “it will get better,it cant be that bad, its part of it, I LOVED BEING PREGNANT AND NEVER WAS SICK.” I eventually also had to take family leave and then lost my job as it was impossible to keep under the circumstances. Another blow to my already strained relationship with my husband. Even my MIL thought I was crazy-she is a RN. I hated her input and lack of support-certainly she should have seen this and understand but no. It was incredibly hard as my husband worked with many woman who happened to be walking around fine pregnant. They even suggested I see a psychologist and that I must be exaggerating. I have never felt so alone, sick, miserable in my life. I saw my Dr and unfortunitly thanks to insurance had to go through this crazy processes just to get the zofran. First pills of other meds-which I could not keep down. Then the god awful suppositories which well thanks to the puking and heaving would not stay in place long enough to work. (sorry for the obvious mental image) There was a point where I looked at my Dr and said I think I am dying and she responded with “you are.” “Your baby is fine and will suck what it needs from where it can get it- your bones, fat, muscle-any where it can- but dont worry your baby will be fine. You on the other hand are in bad shape.” I was diagnosed -I need to point this out that she made sure my hubby was there when she did, I loved her immediately for it-she knew how bad it was. I was put on a liquid pump of fenergan, then regland, then finally zofran. I was finally able to shower and eat a small amount of food. I lived from that point on toasted bread, avocado and turkey-and coke-canned only and a small sip at a time-for some reason I could hold it down. This continued all 9 months. Finally my son was born. He was super healthy and perfect. I weighed 15 lbs less than before I got pregnant. HG is no joke and it is miserable. I have had four pregnancies caring three to term all with HG. Now I am 6 wks and am terrified with a 7 yr old, 5 yr old and 1.5 yr old that I will have it again. I cant thank you enough for the post on your blog about it. I am scared but because of having gone through it four previous times my husband is now supportive and regrets all the past where he wasnt. Knowing I am not alone helps. I hate that anyone else has to go through it but knowing there are others and places like this to identify emotions helps in more ways than you know. Thank you for bringing this up.

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Elizabeth December 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hi… Oh my gosh..a friend added this link…. oh now I understand what was wrong with me!!!! I had this with my first pregnancy and IT was HELL. I could not eat, drink and even sight of food just made me puke. I was losing weight too. for 4 straight months I puked and puked. I couldn’t do anything. Thank god I was put on bedrest and so I had to stop going to school. I was a young mother.. a unforunate circumstance that I will not elaborate here. I was 15 yrs old. I was so sick. My brother could not bear watching me, one day I tried to eat with my mother and brother, but I kept heaving and I couldn’t even sit there without heaving for at least 1 minute…. I forced myself to eat…. because I knew I had to eat… I didn’t want to hurt my baby….. and my brother got upset (he was not mad at all just could not stand to see his little sister sick)… he said please don’t force yourself and please go to the bathroom. He understood I was suffering and did not want me to suffer and force myself right there. So I walked to the bathroom… and it was just so stupid… I barely could get to the toilet…. what a mess…right at the door of the bathroom… oops I went there. I couldn’t even clean it up… my mum had to. I look back and I always wondered why… with my second pregnancy I was so afraid but I made it… I only threw up like maybe 3 times throughout the pregnancy thank goodness. This second pregnancy was 3 years later, when I was 19 but I did have to go on bedrest again because of my health problems. The sad thing is both pregnancies I lost weight for the first 4 months, and it was a rough time through the pregnancy. I decided that was it. No more… and had tubes tied then later on a full hystercomy. I wish I knew of this before when I was a teenager. No one was mean to me about throwing up. They thought I had the severe morning sickness. I was not given anything to take to calm down the sickness, at the time I don’t know if they had the medicine but I heard someone at my church.. his wife was taking zofran during pregnancy. I asked why and he told me she had severe morning sickness. I could relate big time. It is difficult. I did have to take zofran but not for morning sickness or the pregnancy.. it was about 2 or 3 years ago I got so sick and gravol was sort of working but not 100 percent, so they tried many other medication but nothing worked…. including Zofran. However I also tried Zofran and Maxaran same time… it seemed to help a bit. Now I am back on gravol. For some reason I have a senstive stomach… and I can’t go without it now. It sucks! probably a byproduct of taking so many medications. I would never never ever wish this on anyone pregnant or not. Now I understand about what I had when I was 15 yrs old and pregnant. Now I can tell my mother and friends that remembered about the time I went through. UGH!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so grateful I finally found out and that I am not alone that suffered this. It was a nightmare and it was scary. I thought I was hurting my baby and myself. I thought I was being punished for being pregnant at a young age… it was not on purpose and I didn’t even have a choice at the time. But…. the experience changed me and I grew up faster. I am glad that I now understand. OK I will shut up now.. but to anyone that suffers this…. we understand… we care…and don’t give up. It is not something you can purposely do, it is beyond your control (our)….Just share and tell them about HG and talk to your dr if he or she is being rude….. tell them about HG and if they still don’t listen.. go see another dr. UNTIL you find the right dr that understands…. and if ER nurses/drs are like that…. tell the head nurses or drs and report them because THIS is the most terrifying thing for mothers all around and it is not fair to us to suffer in silent and being told we are being unfair, selfish and so on. Hell with them, they should know better they are nurses and drs, supposed to care for us and not “harm us” in any way shape or form!!! It should be made more for the public, the nurses and doctors so they recongize this and help us all who suffer in this horrible condition/disease. We can’t help it.

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Andrea December 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

24 years ago I was hospitalized quite a bit due to vomiting and dehydration during my pregnancy. I was told that if I wouldn’t start eating, they were going to put a feeding tube in. I would have loved to be able to eat if only I could keep it down. I was literally skin and bones. Back then, there was no zofran. Doctors wanted to admit me to a mental hospital because it was “all in my head”. I’m so glad that there is actually a name for what I was going through. My daughter quit growing near the end of my pregnancy, so I was induced. She ended up being very healthy, but tiny. When she was pregnant with her first child, she had HG the whole 9 months! She lived on zofran. Now I am wondering if this is genetic. I would hate to see my other daughter go through this as well.

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courtney December 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

:( I had HG with my first pregnancy, it lasted MONTHS. It was awful. I was optimistic that next time, it would be different.

But sadly it isn’t :( I’m bed ridden, and again on dyclectin which is helping me keep food and water down..but I’m still too sick to care for my son or even myself, my family doesn’t seem to get it.

It is a horrible thing to go through, and this article summed up the emotions attached to it perfectly.

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Jenni July 10, 2013 at 3:48 am

I am with you Courtney we should call each other. Our families sound the same! Not long to go for you. Sending you my best wishes and warmest thoughts. Jen xx

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Meghan January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm

A therapist that my husband knows said it was in my head, and if I just crossed my arms and tapped my opposite shoulders, I wouldn’t vomit. I decided once to try it, though I knew it wouldn’t work and was offended at the suggestion, just so that he could tell her exactly how well it DIDN”T work. I got about four taps in before I puked everywhere. If people don’t get it, I would rather they kept their mouths shut.

4 hg pregnancies- 2 kids, one miscarriage and one of the way.

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Carrie January 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I too had HG and lost 15 pounds in the first trimester with my son! Thankfully I had a good support and when I went to the hospital (I too had 3 blown veins due to dehydration, they had to spend a specialist to start an IV). The ER doc was very supportive and told me to next time come in right away because I could have lost the baby and was surprised I didn’t. I went home with the diagnosis of HG, which I had never heard of before! I had to go to the ER one other time and the nurses and doctor rolled their eyes at me but I received an IV anyway to rehydrate. Thankfully with my 2nd pregnancy I had midwives that knew a lot about the condition and took it very seriously. I only lost 6 pounds my first trimester with my second. Not only was I on three anti-nausea medications, my midwives told me to NEVER drink water. My body would reject it. I instead attempted to drink gatorade (I had been pregnant in winter and my husband and I can now laugh about the red and blue snow – because I would heave to and from the car), but I would also drink soda and lemon water. Makes me contemplate whether I want a third and put myself through that again. The end result has been wonderful each time, but getting there has been tough since I am literally in bed for the first 4 months and now with two little ones to care for not sure I can do it. People still assume it was morning sickness, but was very thankful for a supportive husband and employer throughout my first pregnancy!

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Kyleen January 16, 2013 at 12:13 am

After months of infusions at the clinic, weeks of hospitalization, a PICC line, special IV bags from the pharmacy, and every medication/intervention known to man (including TPN and steroids, among others), I am finally at a point in my pregnancy where I can take most of my meds orally and keep some food and fluids in. I’m 30 weeks and still nauseous constantly, with almost daily vomiting still, even on the meds. I am also on tocolytic medication to stop the preterm labor that started at 24 weeks as a result of my malnutrition. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from someone to suck it up, or had women share their stories of 20 weeks of morning sickness or only being able to eat xyz for 12 weeks… I hope and pray for opportunities once I survive this to share the ugly reality of this illness.

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Sally J. January 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

Medical marijuana. Dramatic results. Two puffs a day gives 24 hours of complete relief for the few that are brave enough to go out of the mainstream medical world and try it. Women and doctors cringe in horror at the idea but what are the long term consequences of Zoloft, chronic dehydration, malnutrition and preterm labor?

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Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama January 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I have never had HG (thankfully) but know it is very real. I have had friends who have had it. 9 months of vomiting after every single meal and more…. I cannot imagine.

What I have read is that magnesium and B vitamin deficiency are correlated with morning sickness strongly, including HG. I have talked to women who did have HG and who, after supplementing magnesium prior to getting pregnant again, did NOT have HG. In my own experience, I had “worse” morning sickness in my third pregnancy when I was magnesium deficient (nothing like HG though) and in my fourth pregnancy after supplementing it was basically non-existent.

It is worth a try…anything is worth a try, to avoid that. :( HG is definitely not normal.

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Annalyn January 22, 2013 at 12:11 am

I really feel for you. I don’t understand how they can tell you to just suck it up. I did not have HG, but my morning sickness was still pretty bad. I threw up 5 or 6 times a day and would dry heave on an empty stomach for half an hour or more after I would throw up. I felt like I was living in the bathroom. Any bad smell would make me vomit almost instantly and I did end up quitting my job too. This wasn’t even close to as severe as some of these women have experienced. You can’t just suck it up when your whole life is vomiting! Being pregnant is hard enough. The last thing women who are suffering need is more judgment. Stay strong mommies!

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kuuipo February 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I am preggo with my third baby and have had hg with all three. I lost 30lbs w/1st, 20lbs w/my 2nd & 3rd. I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid and once i was able to keep meds down my vomiting has slowed down so much. i also noticed coffee helps me not throw up and milk products without hormones. i literally vomit 10 – 15 times a day the first trimester and 5 – 6 times a day during the second and third trimester. Oh and coconut water not the milk helps me way better than gaterade. I cant even smell that stuff. This worked for me zofran did nothing for me…

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Brit February 11, 2013 at 10:35 pm

This story hits so close to home. I too had HG. I lost 25 lbs in about that many weeks and had Braxton hicks contractions from 17 weeks until I gave birth to my daughter. I was so severely dehydrated. Many many hospital stays. I was so worried about my baby and felt that my body was hurting her. It didn’t help when the nurses would just say, “Oh, don’t worry. They’re just like little parasites.” Umm, no. My baby is not a parasite. I was on zofran, phenergan and compazine around the clock for my entire pregnancy and even for a few months after. I’m so thankful I had a healthy baby but I’m terrified to go through another pregnancy. During the pregnancy I did very little and the only way I could cope was to sleep through it as much as I could. I thought I was depressed because I felt so horrible. I ended up with very very severe PPD. So bad my husband moved us 3,000 mile across the country to live with my parents so we would have full time help with the baby. He worked a job he didn’t particularly enjoy so me and our baby would be okay. HG is so so so real. And whenever I hear about a mama with morning/all day sickness mild or severe I make sure to let them know I feel their pain and frustration and offer to help in any way I can. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s good for us to know we aren’t alone in our struggles.

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Meygan February 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I am literally crying reading this article! I have felt so alone in this fight so far! I have one and 3/4 children currently 27 weeks with baby number two and have suffered from hg both pregnancies. I waited 5 years to ttc our number two because I was terrified! Terrified to leave my daughter motherless for 9 months! We also discovered Zofran oral disintegrating tabs this pregnancy and they have helped me SO much!! I would have also chopped off a limb to be able just to keep anything down! I was vomiting blood had a horrible bleeding ulcer at the top of my stomach also. On one of the three visits to the ER basically I was tflat out told I was over reacting that nausea and vomiting were normal part of pregnancy and they tried to force Xanax into my iv line when my husban threw a fit! We didn’t need a narcotic anxiety medication! We were livid and my husband terrified! We finally had a doctor who listened and heard us and I very nearly died that night because of a critically low potassium and heart palpitations as the result. I can only say to you make someone hear you! Seriously you can die from this! And you are right it’s not the same as morning sickness I seriously wanted to punch people in their face when they said I had morning sickness too I understand! I wante to tell them no you don’t understand if you did you would not even mutter that phrase to me because you would know better!

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mandy February 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

So glad I read your post, I’m suffering from severe HG and it is incredible how callous people (especially other women!) can be. This is my 3rd pregnancy, I had mild to moderate symptoms that zofran more or less controlled with the first two. This time I’m on a feeding tube, I have a picc line, I’m on zofran and steriods (through the picc) to keep the throwing up to a minimum, and I can’t even begin to describe the hell I’ve gone through. I’ve lost my job, I haven’t eaten food in 5 months and so far I’ve lost 40 lbs. I can’t take care of myself, let alone my family. It has affected my heart and I’m sure my esophogus, as well as my teeth are damaged as well. I’m due in 9 weeks and while I’m excited to meet my son and begin the long rehabilitation process, I’m terrified to give birth! How is my body going to handle laborious and delivery, or even a c-section when I can barely walk from my bed to our couch!? Why isn’t more research done on HG and why does basic human compassion go out the window as we deal with this?

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Gemma February 14, 2013 at 4:14 am

It’s very real and not a lot of people understand I they haven’t gone through, I had a lot of sickness it started really early at 3-4 weeks pregnant and still had issues at 33-34 I went to my doctor who stated that I was lazy as I was so tired and that it was good I was being sick as I wouldn’t put much weight on (understanding chap) vomiting at work is awful, it’s bad enough in your own home, but the fact people think you do it on purpose to avoid work is ridiculous. I started bringing up blood, but this wasn’t an issue even medical professionals don’t take it seriously! I think that’s why we all had a laugh at Kate, as horrible as it sounds we all had to suffer, maybe if we were all married to a prince we’d have had some help and sympathy to

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Mama Bice March 28, 2013 at 3:19 am

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone – not even a duchess. I know it is hard to suffer, but being married to prince would not make HG any easier.

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Tiffany February 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I had all of these same syptoms of pregnancy, but was never diagnosed with it. Unfortunetly the one person to back up my story is my 13 year old son. I remember trying to hide my pregnancy from him and other people due to the several 2nd trimester miscarriages that i had over the past years. But i eventually had to tell him cause he asked me” Mom are you dying??? Do you have Cancer or something. My babies father moved to Florida, and i found out 2 weeks later that i was pregnant. My doctor told me i would not concieve again and if i did i would miscarry and possibly die too… The most embarrasing part is that after a few births, your kidneys and bladder get weak. So everytime i got sick i also peed myself… Driving down the street, at my kids school, in the store… On my way out the door was the most often. My whole pregnancie was so depressing. I would cry my eyes out, and always had a list of questions when i went to the doctors. I had to wear huge pads all the time and shower 3/4 times a day at the least. And when you have no energy and your so weak by yourself its so hard.. I had a guy friend that i was going out to eat with alot and he would always ask me why i would run away while eating everytime and why i changed clother 3 times a day. Like i had Ocd… People.have No Idea how consuming of your life this is… I planned my.life around it.

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Cassie February 20, 2013 at 8:32 am

My doctor would never officially diagnose me with HG. The first trimester I bled the entire time and vomited so much I lost weight. They told me it was normal and to suck it up and be grateful that I was still pregnant. I had miscarried my first one at 7 weeks. By the second trimester the vomiting continued I was still losing weight. They accused me of trying to lose weight or at least the nurse did. The doctor finally thought hmm maybe some zofran would help. I took the zofran for about two weeks when I noticed that I had nearly stopped urinating altogether. Did some research and it said that that was an allergic reaction to the med. The doctor reluctantly gave me phenergan. But he would only prescribe 14 pills a month. Being that it was the only thing that helped me not vomit I had to take them daily. I worked for a doctor at the time and after she watched me struggle she insisted on writing me a script for the rest of the month for the rest of the pregnancy. But before my body could regain strength from stopping the vomiting I got a terrible runny nose. This was just enough water loss that I went into premature labor. They put me in the hospital and gave me a cocktail of drugs and an IV. I felt a thousand times better after that IV. After that I continued getting the phenergan from my doctor that I worked for since she was willing to give me enough for one a day for the whole month and stopped getting it from my ob. In the last trimester and midway through the second trimester, I finally started gaining weight. In my last trimester I started to show signs of labor at 36 weeks. At 37 weeks he took me off from work. He told me that by 39 weeks if I hadn’t already had the baby he would induce. He didn’t tell me why. I asked being a 1st time mom would that make my chance for c-section go up? and he said no your body is all ready. He induced it ended up in a c-section cause the induction drugs negatively affected my baby. They said thank god you had her here or she never would have made it. Three days later I go into his office for a checkup only to see his nurse practitioner. He had left on vacation. The real reason for the induction that almost killed my baby. Now I’m pregnant with my second. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this pregnancy will be easier since I’m a stay at home mom instead of a floor nurse. So far no vomiting but then I just found out the news yesterday. I fear going to the doctor. I have searched for a more competent ob for 2 1/2 years and still haven’t found one I like. I just pray I find one willing to really try to allow me to have a v-bac.

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Christal Letizia February 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I too had this with my last pregnancy. I couldnt hold down a drink of water. I was in the hospital 3 times and ended up moving back in with my parents. My daughter was born at 23 weeks, weighing 1lb 2oz and 11 inches long. I always wondered if this was an early sign of something being wrong with my pregnancy. My daughhter Caylee lived for an amazing 156 days. She passed away due to complications from NEC. Thank you for writing about this, I am too scared to have another baby, partly because of the risk of another preemie, but also largely due to the risk of having HG!

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Mama Bice March 28, 2013 at 3:21 am

I am so sorry for your loss. You are not alone. The site I linked in the article has a page and forum dedicated to those who have lost babies to HG.

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Samantha March 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I really enjoyed your article, all the way till the end, when you said “Morning sickness is not the same, and I don’t want to hear about how “bad” it was to vomit a couple times a day over a month or so.”
You want people to feel badly for what is truly a horrible situation in pregnancy, I nanny’d for a woman who had it and it was awful, so I get it, but currently I’m pregnant and 100% nauseated day and night, though only puking a few times a day I feel so miserable that I’m not sure if I had a job that I’d be able to keep it, I dry heave so often my stomach muscles hurt, and I never know if it is going to be vomit or dry so I have to spend a lot of time leaning in front of a toilet I can’t even keep clean. My house is a mess and I feel like a failure as a mother and wife right now… my feelings are just as valid as any mom’s who has HG, and if you want sympathy or even to open up the doors of communication between women who suffer this and those who do not then you need to understand that people regardless of differences have valid concerns, and feelings.
I know how you feel about people saying ‘just get over it’ or ‘suck it up’ because 1. my mother has no sympathy for me and tells me “you just gotta clean your house anyway, it’s not one of those things you can just leave alone.” to which I just ignore her and let my house go to hell so long as I do what I am able to do when I’m able… and 2. YOU just told me to get over it because you would have loved to have been in my position. I’m sorry but you wouldn’t. If you had never had HG, or even if you had and in your second pregnancy didn’t but experienced just plain Morning sickness you’d be miserable even if you were thankful as I am, that you didn’t have HG.

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Mama Bice March 24, 2013 at 12:19 am

Hi Samantha,

I am the author of the post. While I understand that morning sickness can be terrible, I feel that you missed the point of the article. HG is a *life threatening* illness for both the mother and the baby. I am currently pregnant again, and dealing with HG a second time. I *still* would rather have morning sickness than HG. I wish I could switch this off and be “normal”.

I have to check my weight every day, monitor my urine, and run to the hospital for IVs. I have to make sure that my weight loss (which I can not stop) is not too rapid or I can have major health issues as well as cause a miscarriage or damage to my baby. The fear of literal death hanging over my head is a fear I would never wish on anyone. It goes beyond a messy house and a sore stomach.

I know that what my body is doing to me is not natural and yet no one can help. My medications scare me since I have to be on them – in large amounts – and there are no safety studies for pregnancy, only a “record of use” for several years and no long term evidence.

I truly feel for any women who is pregnant and sick but I still stand by what I said. People need to understand the severity of this illness, and as I stated in the article, HG is not a polite illness. My time of polite conversation has passed when everyone, at every turn, claims that “it can’t be that bad” or punishes me for being ill in ways I can’t even begin to talk about because they are so hurtful.

I hope I have not upset you too horribly. Please know that I did ponder over how to answer this (or whether to answer at all) for many hours. I understand that you did not intend your post to be hateful in any way, and I hope you can see I do not intend mine that way. I truly hope that your sickness passes soon and that your mother is more compassionate (or helpful).

-Mama Bice

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RM. March 28, 2013 at 2:30 am

I have had HG with each pregnancy, it’s an awful thing to experience (I get a lot of issues, I need HCG shots and progesterone shots all pregnancy to stay pregnant, I get irritable uterus and preterm labour, SPD etc and I’ve had bleeding in pregnancy, continuous severe haemorrhaging with my twin pregnancy which resulted in losing one babe and the other arriving as a microprem) and until it happened I never knew it could be like this!! I really feel for the mums who go through it too.

One question though – this article says the babe was a 37 weeker, and was late preterm… My first made right on 37 weeks and it is considered perfectly term here (I was home hours after birthing, however there *were* difficulties that I believe are from babe being on the early side) My next arrived via classical caesarean at 25 weeks (that was my surviving fraternal twin) and my VBAC bub was at 39+4. Having had a longer pregnancy last time, there sure are differences with that bub of mine so I don’t discount the extra time in utero, but it is not considred a late preterm birth at 37 weeks here so I was wondering where that classification came from??

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Mama Bice March 28, 2013 at 3:14 am

I am so sorry for your loss. <3 HG is a horrible illness and takes lives. I so wish it were not that way. So many hugs to you and your family.

Some hospitals/doctors/midwives consider 37 weeks to be "late preterm" and some consider it to be "early term". 37 weeks is a grey area (though it is considered "term") since the chances of complications for baby are still higher than 38 weeks and later. Safe for homebirth but still something to be aware of.

I also did not birth in a hospital, and my son was great – no issues. BUT had he been earlier we would have gone to the hospital. I am really hoping this baby (I am expecting again) stays in at LEAST 40 weeks!

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R.M. April 18, 2013 at 2:32 am

Thank you hun. It is horrible! I’m in Aus, so I wonder if that’s part of why (all hospitals here consider it term, but I know that many years ago term was 38 weeks). I really, REALLY hope for your 40+ weeks too :-) A few extra weeks of discomfort is absolutely nothing when it means better odds for your baby to thrive xx

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ira May 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I was nauseous from the moment I got pregnant and until 6th month with both of my kids. I threw up probably 100 times a day, I couldn’t tolerate any food or drinks. And my obstetrician was keep saying: “just sip some ginger ale and have some saltines”. well, that was useless…I lived in the bathroom, next to the toilet, I actually had to throw up in the trash can next to me at work many times, because I wasn’t going to make it to the bathroom. I am naturally slim tall person and during my first six month I looked anorexic. It was horrible, I am always jealous of other women with easy pregnancies, at least delivery was normal. Kids are healthy, smart and beautiful so it was worth it ;)

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angela May 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Thank you for this! I had no idea…

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Valerie CNM June 9, 2013 at 12:17 am

HG has to do with the gallbladder and I have helped women through this stage by determining what toxins in their body are overloading their gallbladder and liver. Given the correct support will help to minimize and provide the nourishment that the body needs to correct itself. I no longer do deliveries….I help women get pregnant, stay pregnant and have healthy outcomes. The Cure is finding the Cause and I support the body to take care of itself hormonally through nutrition……a true wonder!

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Mama Bice June 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I don’t have a gallbladder, so unfortunately I know this is the not the cure. It is speculated that HG can be caused by the gallbladder for some women, but there are just as many women who don’t have a gallbladder or no gallbladder issues who have HG as well. Currently, research is pointing more towards genetic possibilities as the cause of HG.

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kuuipo July 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

hi valerie… i also do not have a gallbladder and have moderate HG.I lost thirty lbs with my first baby, and twenty pounds each with my second and third. I vomit fifteen to twenty times a day until 15 or 16 weeks into my pregnancies. I literally live on my couch, crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees or in a bowl next to me. I am in and out of the hospital getting ivs and lots of meds. I was in brasil for my first two pregnancies and here in the states for my third one. I cant brush my teeth, use deoderant, or be near foods with smells. during my second and third trimesters i have good days and bad days. i carry plastic grocery bags in my purse for when not if I throw up…1 to 5 x a day. I usually go into preterm labor and end up on bedrest for the rest of the time. By the grace of the Lord my kids have all been born at 37 or 38 weeks. My placentas have calcificationupon examination as well.

A friend and i both were just diagnosed with hypothyroid …. hashimotos. She was the only other person i knew who severely suffered as I did. But I would be wrong to say everyone has hypothyroid if they suffer HG. My mom had HG with me and she does not have hypothyroid. Beliebe me I would love it if you were right… but i dont have a gallbladder…

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Michelle October 22, 2013 at 10:17 pm

It is interesting to note how many women suffer from HG and do not have a gallbladder. Perhaps some strange coorelation does exist..? I had my gallbladder removed after my first prenancy. I had HG then and now again I am struggling with it. It seems like everyday I am just trying to survive. It is so much more than just a physical issue. Mentally I feel like I can no longer take it. My husband threatens to leave me and tells me I’m a terrible worthless mother because I’m having a difficult time taking care of our daughter and home right now. It makes me more stressed and depressed than I already am. I pray it eases up soon so I can be the mother and wife I was before this consumed my life.

I hate to think so many women have or are currently struggling with this. However, it makes me feel like I’m not alone. Thank you so much for writing this. Thank you also to all the women who have shared their stories.

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Sue // As It Seems July 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I had HG and it wasn’t diagnosed until far into my pregnancy because doctors were completely uninformed. We lived in a remote location and I had no alternate options for care. I had to go multiple times for iv’s and the ignorant people said it’s “normal” to throw up a lot. It is not. Over 20 times a day is not normal. I was sick until the day my daughter was born. I would do it all over again for her and she was absolutely worth it but it does make me nervous for future pregnancies. It’s harder to say yes when you know what’s coming.

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maria blalock July 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I can relate to all the excerpts and the story. Brought back many painful days but I am thankful my son was born healthy.

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Nataly July 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I had this with Sailor. I was hospitalized several times. I would vomit literally 8-15 time a day, never keeping a meal down (hence my hospitalization). It only subsided after the 7th month, and by then… I was used to it!

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monica July 23, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Hi all.
I have 7 kids and had HG with all of them. My first time was 19 years ago and my doc didn’t treat it well. I used phenergan and muddled through. I think what made it easier was not having other kids to take care of and being able to sleep alot, not realizing that helped. My 2nd pregnancy was the worst. Doctor didn’t take it seriously until I was finally hospitalized and came home on iv’s for several weeks. By then, it was almost passed. I tend to have it for 16 weeks minimum and 19 weeks was my longest. It literally goes away overnight every time. My third was treated earlier and after hospital visits I was finally prescribed Zofran. Big time relief. For me, it helps curb the vomiting some, but not the nausea and sick feeling. For my 4th, I was in a different state and different doctor. After getting pretty bad, I finally went to the hospital and received the standard treatment. The good thing about this new doc is that she treated it seriously and more preventable. So, with #5, she prescribed me Zofran over the phone before the nausea even hit. I began taking it at the first sign of HG. I can’t tell you what a difference it made. I strongly believe that it helped me have an easier time with HG because I didn’t have to get to a point where I needed IV’s and I didn’t have to hit rock bottom. If you start treating HG after a woman gets severely malnourished and dehydrated, it’s too hard to “get better” while you still have symptoms. The other secret I learned after so many HG’s is that the best treatment, other than Zofran, is sleep and quiet. I’m very serious about that too. I slept all day long and only awoke around dinner, which was the best time to try to eat something for me, then I stayed awake till late at night while everyone was sleeping. Stimulation of any kind seems to trigger symptoms in HG and I believe it’s why women get worse and worse because they attempt to try and function, not knowing. I remember reading somewhere that doctor’s were treating it by isolating women in darkened rooms with no noise. Made sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I was still stick and had to force myself to stick to the sleep routine, or else it would increase the nausea and vomiting. But, it allowed me to feel like I could eat and keep things down, with the Zofran too. We just accept it as and extreme form of bedrest and do it. I had to put my kids in daycare, have a friend help, etc. because I could only see the kids for a small amount of time each day, usually after dinner. We kept this routine with #7 and it worked the same. I even switched to Phenergan so it would help me sleep and discovered I didn’t need the Zofran as much. Oh, I forgot to add, that I would wake from my sleep at some point and drink a Boost and go right back to sleep. I think it’s hard for doctor’s because not very many women with HG continue to have kids, and they are treating them after they are in bad shape. I hope that through my trial and error of many HG pregnancies, this info will help someone else.

P.S. As for genetics, no one on my mom’s side of the family had ever had this. I never knew my dad or his side of the family very well, but eventually made contact with his other daughter, my half sister. I learned that she too had suffered from HG and so did my dad’s mom, but that long ago it wouldn’t have been labeled that.

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monica July 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Oops, I guess I could have put more about the outcome. All 7 of my kids had severe reflux from 1 day old to when they started walking. ALL of them. I had premature rupture of the membranes at 29 weeks with my first and stayed on bedrest until she was 32 weeks when I finallly delivered her. With all the others, I had premature dilation, but no more premature births. I’m usually dilated to a 5 or six for about the last 4 weeks of pregnancy even when not on bedrest. I developed Gestational Diabetes starting at #4-#7 and there is no family history of it whatsoever. I started hemmoraging after delivery with #3 and #4, so they started treating me proactively after that to lessen it. Other than horrible pregnancies, my kids are all very healthy.

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monica July 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Sorry, one more thing. So many pregnancies, I forget. With my 3rd pregnancy, my mil took me to get accupuncture from a Chinese doctor that she trusted. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I had been throwing up all morning and couldn’t keep a thing down, but when I left, I was so hungry, I stopped and ate a Chicken Fried Steak dinner with mashed potatoes and a soda. I kept it down. I felt better for about a week and symptoms were returning. Went back and same results but this time, symptoms returned after about 1/2 week. I would have continued to try that but it was $80 per visit if I remember correctly and that was 13 years ago. We could never afford to keep going. It was truly a miracle and I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t have experienced the drastic results. Maybe there has been studies on that as a treatment by now. I don’t know. I wish it was covered under insurance. The other thing is that I wonder if there are good and bad accupuncturists? Just more info from my experience.

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April Brown July 24, 2013 at 1:49 am

This is awful. My friend’s sister in law has had this with 6 pregnancies. I can not imagine. But only after she was well through her last one did I receive a new book in the mail- Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis. In it she writes of a doctor who has come up with something that WORKS in treating this debilitating illness. I wish it had been published in time for me to pass it on and make a difference in my friend’s sister in law’s life. I pray that many women are able to find what is needed to get them out of such an awful situation through this book.

I am also thankful, especially for the woman who talked about calcification of her placenta. Too often I hear women say you can suck on a lollipop and only a lollypop and still give your baby what it needs despite how bad the throwing up is. I just advised someone last week they suggest their friend get into a doctor asap because her nausea sounded really bad. I never knew about this until my friend’s sister in law had it- thank you for raising awareness. It is just in ignorance that we think it can not be that bad, because many women have had no grid for it and have not heard it be talked about. So please, keep sharing, and thank you for the examples from the brave moms who were honest with us. We moms need to hear this, and need to recognize warning signs when it isn’t just nausea, and validate women that no, this is not normal.

So glad all of your babies were ok, and you too.

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Devin July 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

Thank you for this post. I suffered from HG and was hospitalized multiple times for it. It lasted my whole pregnancy and almost cost me my job. People just don’t understand and it is nice to see attention brought to it,

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Moran August 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I had it. all mentioned is true. I wouldn’t leave the house without a few nylon vomit bags. I run the the toilet, in other times I would vomit at the small trash can at the office (while my colleagues are watching). My boss thought I’m a spoiled brat cause his wife’s pregnancies were easy. No one can understand how horrible it feels. For it it started rather quick, from early stages and some days were worse than others, but it never stopped. I hgained about 4-5 kg during the entire pregnancy. Luckly my son was ok, even a bit big 3.7 kg.

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Laura January 3, 2014 at 12:45 am

Thank you for your post Mama! I can totally relate to what you’re saying. I had two HG pregnancies but back then I didn’t know what it was called and everyone around me thought I was just very sensitive to morning sickness. I lost both babies after about two months each time. I was sad but at the same time I was physcally relieved because I felt I was going to die otherwise.
I started feeling sick two weeks after missing my periods. I couldn’t get out of my bed, I couldn’t eat anything, I vomited all the time, I felt dizzy and my vision was blurred, like I was under water. No medication really helped. I couldn’t get out of bed at all because my head would spin and I felt very weak. Going to the toilet was like running a marathon. I don’t know how some of you managed to keep working. I couldn’t even get out of the house, so there was no way I could ride a car or a bus to work. I couldn’t even manage to get to the hospital to get treated so my family would get my prescriptions by phone for me. But anyways, nothing helped.
I think I got some kind of post-traumatic stress from it all and I still remember that horrible sensation of nausea like it was yesterday. It was not like a ”normal nausea”, it was more like someone was literally squeezing my insides while sticking their finger down my throat and it made me feel sweaty, feverish and left me in a horrible state of panick. I still get nauseous just thinking about it actually. It was like a hangover from hell multiplied by ten for two months straight. There wasn’t even a five minute period when I didn’t feel dizzy and nauseous. I was completely dehydrated too.
The only time I felt that horrible in my life, to the point I thought I wasn’t gonna make it, was when I got cholera while travelling in a third world country. So yeah, the level of ”discomfort” from HG feels more like cholera than morning sickness. Pretty crazy, isn’t it? I mean, aren’t pregnancy hormones supposed to help you create a baby? Nature can be very strange sometimes. Anyways, something I found interesting also is that the few times I tried to take contraceptive pills (different brands) or morning after pills I got the exact same reactions as when I was pregnant. So I guess HG is some kind of allergy to hormones.
I’m kind of getting old to have a baby now, but somehow I feel that if I don’t try one more time I’ll always feel like I gave up too easily on having a family. However, I’m scared to get sick again, to lose the baby and most of all to hurt the baby. I’m also scared that my husband won’t be able to cope with an HG pregnancy because he is easily stressed out. I’m scared that with my HG history any doctor will tell me I was completely mad and irresponsible for getting pregnant again (if they understand what HG implies that is). Plus it’s hard to have access to a doctor in our area. Either way, if I try to have a child again I will feel sick, bad, scared and guilty and if anything happens to the baby as a result of it being undernourished and fed mostly Zofran during pregnancy, I will never forgive myself.
I guess most women who had HG before go through this kind of reflection before trying for another child. Decisions, decisions….

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Mama Bice January 3, 2014 at 1:03 am

It is a big decision to decide if you want to try for another child after experiencing HG. I now have two boys and had HG with both – and unfortunately we are having to consider that this may be it for us. We both wanted a large family, 4 or more children. But HG is so much stress on me and my body and on my husband and children that it seems like a crazy thing to do. And it scares me a bit. PTSD does happen to HG survivors – I know I deal with it. If I start to feel even a bit sick now I go into a panic. When you can not eat or drink for months and have unending nausea and a bleeding throat from vomiting so much…it leaves an imprint on your psyche. My biggest suggestion is to line up care with a doctor who understands HG before you get pregnant, if you decide to have another. And be ready to fight for what you need and for those around you to fight for it too. Be sure your husband is ready for the world to change drastically. The reward at the end – a baby – is very worth it, but it does not mean we can’t admit the road to get there is hell. <3

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Jess b January 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

I’m so happy I read all these stories I know I’m not the only one going through this but I have a good full time job and have just been so sick I can’t kick it.. I’m worried about losing my job and I’m on an anti depressant because I’m miserable throwing up all the time been to the dr numerous times and they never seem to help!! My friend just had a baby and a perfect pregnancy and gives me grief cause I’ve missed so much work the added stress isn’t needed!! Idk what to do at this point I feel alone and like no one understands or believes me!!

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