My Battle With Hyperemesis Gravidarum

by Birth Without Fear on July 26, 2013

I sit here after my son’s second birthday party with Cars cups, plates and wrapping paper all over my house. Looking over I can see pure joy in my half naked two year old sons eyes and I feel as though it is time to write his survival story down.

This is not necessarily a birth story – but the story of the 9 months prior. You see, with my 5 year old daughter (Charlotte “Charlee”) and Sebastian’s pregnancies were not the glowing, happy pregnancies that every woman wishes for. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) for both pregnancies, and with Sebastian it was sever.

HG is severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and can lead to many complications to mom, baby and our external relationships with others. The typical saltine crackers and sipping Ginger Ale is not a solution to this (go ahead and suggest this to an HG suffer – I dare ya! haahaa). It is a terrible, terrible disease that makes any pregnant woman affected with it in a debilitated state and can be life threatening.

In July, Chris went to his long-weekend bachelor party out of country and I was at home with Charlee, who had just turned two in April. We had been planning on getting pregnant soon and when he got home from four days away we ‘celebrated’ and three weeks late it was confirmed – we were going to be a family of four!

At first, I believed that I couldn’t be as miserable and sick with my second blessing as I was with my first. That it wouldn’t be fair if I did, so I didn’t expect anything terrible to occur. However by the end of August (approx 6 weeks gestation) I started to get the signs I had experienced with Charlee. It was slow at first, some pretty intense nausea throughout the day which didn’t lead to vomiting but was very uncomfortable. We had our “Buck n Doe” that week and I was able to celebrate and announce our pregnancy to our family and friends.

A week later it all changed – I couldn’t get out of bed, I was vomiting 30-40 times a day (yes! That is not a typo- THIRTY to FORTY times a day). I could not keep down any food or liquid so it was mostly dry heaving with some bile. I popped blood vessels in my face and eyes. I began to loose weight quickly and had chronic constipation.

I wanted this pregnancy – I welcomed it. I did not welcome HG. It was an uninvited friend to what should have been a 9 month long party! Our wedding was coming up on September 25 and I just could not do anything to prepare for it. I went on disability leave from my job and laid in bed all day and all night only getting up to puke – most of the time I just did it in a bucket beside my bed.

My poor sweet, lovable, and perceptive 2.5 year old was feeling negative affects of it as well. All she wanted to do was play with Mommy, but I couldn’t even get out of bed without my husband’s assistance. She was so strong – stronger than I was. She made me food and tea and would bring it up to me in bed, hoping it would help me. As soon as she was gone, I would have to reach beside my bed side table and put it in a garbage bag so at least she would think she was helping me. When she would come up and check on me – I would fake that I was feeling better, that we could play dollies if we could just play them while in my bed.

This continued on for 6 months before I was starting to feel human again. Sure, I had oral anti-nausea medications and I went to the hospital weekly to get hydrated. The doctors would discharge me because I had not thrown up in the last thirty minutes and I wouldn’t even be out of the hospital parking lot begging my husband to pull over because I refused to throw up in our car. Nothing worked. NOTHING. Nothing takes away the nausea, the pain and the loneliness. The worse is the depression. Depression while being pregnant is a terrible beast that I wish no one would ever have to go through.

My depression started the second week of September. I was so sad, I couldn’t be with Charlee, I couldn’t plan my wedding, money was tight and I didn’t deserve this – two pregnancies where I couldn’t move, let alone enjoy it? Even though I never went to the doctor and told them about my depression (I just wasn’t strong enough) I figured that if the HG would let up then the depression would magically go away.

That was a great plan, if HG would have gone away. I was alone every day. Chris would get up with Charlee, take her to daycare then go to work. He would pick her up from daycare. He would make dinner. He would bath her. He would put her to bed. The only thing I was able to give my precious blonde curly haired daughter was a story before bed (of course, laying in my bed). Sometimes I feel as though I should have been strong enough. That I could have done it if I tried a little harder. But I know that in actuality I was battling something my body couldn’t handle. I felt as if I was dead, I regretted getting pregnant and on several occasions considered terminating my pregnancy so Charlee could have her mommy back. I am so glad that I didn’t consider the latter too much.

newborn baby

April 2011 came and it was a joyous month, by then we knew we were having a boy and we were over the moon. Charlee turned 3 on April 1st and I had a huge party for her (also the first time I had seen many family and friends since our wedding in September). It is one of my best memories. She was thrilled, I was relatively healthy and my family was all together again. Sebastian’s due date finally came and nothing – 9 days later I was induced. It wasn’t the way I pictured my birthing experience, but when you have such a terrible pregnancy experience giving birth is the only way to get it to end. I only required the cervix cream to jump start my labor and 9 hours later at 6pm on April 20, 2011 my beautiful 10 pounds 5 ounces 21 inches long co-survivor arrived. He was perfect from his first breath and is still perfect to this breath.

hyperemesis gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum may have ruined my pregnancy for me but that little chunky baby was worth it all in the end. I survived HG. Sebastian survived HG. Charlee survived HG (twice!). Chris survived HG (twice). We did it together.

To all my fellow HG survivors and sufferers please remember that it will end soon enough. And you will get that amazing and shiny reward at the end. You can survive this!

With much love,
The Osburns

For more information on HG please visit – http://www.helpher.org/

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori July 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am 14 weeks into my 3rd pregnancy. I have suffered from HG in all 3 pregnancies. This time around my doctor has ordered a home health nurse to come daily to administer fluids for me. It’s been absolutely miserable, and I often wonder why I even wanted a 3rd child. Your story has helped me to remember that I will have another beautiful child at the end of this.

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mindy July 29, 2013 at 7:39 am

i am pregnant with my third child and batteling my third round of hg. i was never told that what i suffered from was actully an issue for a lot of women. even my doctors told me “some women just have bad morning sickness” it wasnt until kate middleton got her diagnosis that i was informed of what hg was and i knew that was me. i have never had a doctor be understanding or even prescibe me enough zofran (until last week when i switched practices, again, where were these people three years ago!) with my first son i was in hospital once a week for fluids, had phenomia twice and my appendix removed, he was born at 36week, leroy was not as bad but he came at 33weeks, now im 29weeks and fighting to keep this baby cooking but i am having trouble even wanting to stay pregnant. i too have thought (all three times) of terminating due to my hg. thankyou for reminding me that making it to at least 37weeks is so important, im bookmarking this story to reread when i need. thankyou

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Tiffany July 30, 2013 at 3:37 am

This is such a truthful and well written account of what it is like to suffer Hyperemesis Gravidarum – mine was severe too. I had HG five times before I managed to have my little girl – my only child and co-survivor. Children are such a blessing. Thank you for sharing this story it gave me tears as just such a true account

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Rana July 30, 2013 at 4:25 am

Thank You so Much for Sharing your Story!!
I too Had that with Both my Pregnancies and I never even knew about HG until I read your story!!
With my first it was very bad but with my second it was the worst! I lost 20lbs with my first pregnancy and 25lbs with my second and was at the hospital almost every week to get hydrated but no one ever told me this was an actual disease and took it as serious! I did get Prescribed those pills but never worked and at the E.R one day the DR. prescribed me Zofran which was $10 each pill and she ordered me to take 10 to try and I only Made it to take one and when I had an o.b appointment I informed my Dr. that i was prescribed those pills and he told me to destroy them Imed. because they are very bad for the baby!!! So wasted $100 that was hard to come by since My Hubby was only one working and me Leaving work all the time from being sick. I Had phenomia which I had to take shots for and I Had to take B12 shots once every week, Low Calcium and u name it I had it!!! Finally the Dr. Gave me a Sick leave and I stop working right away and of course I spent it all mostly laying down. I had a 2 and Half Year old girl that required so much attention that I could Not provide and most of the time that my husband was at work I would spend at my parents house and sometimes even slept over so they could care for my baby Girl! everybody though I was making it look bad and just pretending to be that sick and NOT understand the pain I was going thru every time I threw up and how my veins would pop and how much my stomach muscles would hurt. couldn’t keep anything down. I was pretty much living on yogurt and V8 Juice which then the Dr. said it was good enough vitamins in those for the baby! I couldn’t even take my prenatal Vitamins because they made me so sick! I couldn’t Smell anything including my husband! Every time he would be close to me or even walk by me I would get so sick and throw up. I couldn’t smell any foods, every time I came home from spending the Night at my parents I would throw up just smelling my own house which was sparkling clean!!!!!!

I too regret the Day I got pregnant but always remembered how Blessed I am to actually be able to get pregnant and Have a baby since a lot of woman can’t and How at the end there is a Great reward.

My Girls are now 4 years old and 20 Month Old and I keep begging my husband to get pregnant again and he is saying NOOOOOOOO I don’t wanna see you get sick like that again. :(

Thank You So much for actually posting this and allowing us to share our experience which I though I am probably the Only woman that went thru this! lol

Good Luck to you all and hang in there!
I will Keep trying for the third one and Hopefully This tine if I did get pregnant I don’t Have HG again!!!!!

Rana

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Emily July 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

I have battled through 3 out of 4 pregnancies with HG, it is debilitating and exhausting and certainly takes the joy out of pregnancy. I remember my eldest sons first kick was followed by my umpteenth vomit for the day. I cried all day because that precious memory was taken from me by the dreaded HG. I was admitted to hospital on multiple occasions for rehydration but was also lucky to discover a medication that worked for me with baby number 3 and 4, I was still sick but it was bearable and manageable. I cant imagine caring for a toddler whilst being as sick as I was with my first pregnancy. Anyway I just wanted to thankyou for sharing your story and helping Mums out there to understand that sometimes morning sickness is NOT normal no matter what well meaning people may say. For those of you that are reading this looking for support or comfort, try looking up Ondansetron…this medication literally saved my life. All the best xx M

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Deja'' July 30, 2013 at 7:18 am

I work for a home healthcare company called Alere and it amazes me how many women suffer when THERE IS HELP. You shouldn’t know this but your doctors should. There is a thing called a Zofran pump that often times will help way more than oral Zofran because you don’t have to swallow anything (that you will puke back up anyway). It works like an insulin pump and delivers medicine 24/7 to help keep the nausea manageable and increase your quality of life. It’s not a magic solution by any means- if we can get the puking/dry heaving down from 30 times a day to 5 that’s great! There is also 24/7 nurse support via telephone and they can come back out for fluids if needed. Just my area which services 11 states has 150 patients on at any time so YOU ARE NOT ALONE LADIES! Please ask your doctors to look into this. I have purposely not included the name of the company I work for so this doesn’t look like advertising but I will be more than happy to give the name if anyone is interested. Hang in there ladies! You are strong, you are not alone, and there is help.

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Sheigh July 30, 2013 at 7:45 am

This was a beautiful story, other then the fact of you having to go through all of that! I just wanted to add my husband and I named our son Sebastian, we conceived around mid-March confirmed pregnancy April 1st, and had him December 20th. Also we wanted to name our daughter, when we have one, Charlotte. Congrats Momma, on having to go through such a horrible time! I give you major props :)

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Tyffaney July 30, 2013 at 10:20 am

I had HG when I was pregnant with my son Oliver. It was horrid. I missed work was in and out of the hospital. They’d hydrate me at the er try to get me to drink something I’d throw it up. It was absolutely horrible. I ended up having to get home healthcare and have a zofran pump 24 hours a day. It made it better for the most part. But I wasn’t able to eat or drink anything. Started about 7 weeks pregnant. I had lost 16lbs in two weeks. We were freaking out. We ended up losing that baby at 17 weeks gestation because of an infection in my amniotic sac and preterm labor.

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Kim July 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I am on my 4th HG pregnancy. I am blessed that my HG only lasts 20 ish weeks, but it’s a hellish 20 weeks full of meds and IV’s and throwing up, somedays 100x a day. I am Thankful for supportive people in my life as well as an online FB support group. Without those ladies, I don’t think I would have made it through 20 week with any sanity left!
Hugs to all those suffering with HG. Keep fighting for treatment. Don’t let yourself get so dehydrated..it’s a LONG road to recovery.

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