Yes I have tried bl**dy ginger – life with Hyperemesis Gravidarum…

posted in: Aggie Maxwell, Volunteers Blogs | 0

Today is Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and here is one of our volunteers experience…

I am blessed to have 3 gorgeous children, but I was really sick with all three of my pregnancies, each worse than the last.

The first, I was sick, so very sick, but still able to go to work. I would get in, throw my car keys at my husband and run to throw up, have a glass of water and go to bed. At 13 weeks booking with midwife, I mentioned I had lost a stone in weight. He replied “yes, some women are a bit a sick!”

My subsequent 2 pregnancies the symptoms were much worse. I passed out at a work function of my husbands (his boss was great, found me a quite cool corner of the garden and popped a plate of breadsticks and a pint of water in front of me, I suspect his wife must have been a sufferer!), I fainted answering the door to a charity collector who walked off and left my door wide open and me on the floor. I didn’t get out of bed for 3 months, or if I did, I would get up, throw up and crawl downstairs to lie on the sofa. I remember lying on the bathroom floor, hugging the toilet bowl wishing I was dead and wondering whether terminating a pregnancy that was very much wanted was the answer, and I don’t really believe in abortion. I remember not washing my hair because the smell of my shampoo made me sick, I remember begging my mother in law to clean my bath for me, I remember my midwife not wanting to take my booking bloods because the dehydration had dropped my blood pressure so low (the midwife I had for pregnancies 2 and 3 was so much more compassionate than the one I had with pregnancy number 1), I remember vomiting so violently I ruptured a blood vessel in my throat,  I remember getting a text “I know you have morning sickness, but can you set up for toddlers this week…”

Let me stop you there. I didn’t have morning sickness. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. A debilitating complication of pregnancy where you can barely keep fluids down, let alone food. I could barely stand, I certainly couldn’t set up toddler group and yes, I had tried ginger! I was one of the lucky ones, my HG only lasted until 20 weeks and the anti-emetics from the GP helped. I know other sufferers who were as sick as I was for all 40 weeks! My GP wanted to admit for fluids, but I had a toddler at home, we agreed that if I could keep my electrolytes above a certain level I could stay at home. I lived on ice lollies, crisps and shortbread fingers. My toddler watched more telly than they should. I survived. I had beautiful children, but that time was hard work. None of the usual “morning sickness” remedies help – not eating before you get up, not ginger, not sucking sweets or any of the other “advice” I was given by well meaning friends. It’s hard to understand, I mean pregnancy is natural, how can it make you so sick?

So if someone you know tells you they have HG, don’t recommend ginger. Just listen – and if they have a toddler, offer to take it out so they can rest!