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Friday, May 16, 2014

HG Awareness Day

I am late on posting this but I feel so strongly about this topic that I need to share it with you. May 15th was Hypermesis Gravidarum Awareness Day. Hypermesis is not morning sickness. It is so much worse than that.

This is my story.

I experienced HG with all 3 of my pregnancies. It gets worse with every pregnancy. My first pregnancy was not the worst symptoms wise but it was the most devastating. It ended in miscarriage. I was 14 weeks pregnant when I lost our baby. I became pregnant when I was 20, I was young and didn't realize at the time what I had was HG. I believe I lost our baby because I could not keep any water or food down. My body failed me and I could not provide for the baby growing with in me. We were devastated. We will never forget you precious child. One day we will meet again.

Three years later I became pregnant again. This pregnancy started the same as the first. At 6 weeks pregnant I developed what I thought was typical morning sickness. I tried everything everyone suggested I try to help with the constant nausea. I tried pregnancy pops, ginger, lemonade, ginger ale, saltines and sea bands. You name it and I tried it. Nothing provided me with relief. I was still throwing up 10-15 times a day. I knew I needed to see my midwife. I knew throwing up like that every single day couldn't be normal. My midwife diagnosed me with HG and promptly prescribed me medicine to control the nausea. The medicine allowed me to work and function through out the day. I still threw up but only in the mornings. This lasted until I delivered my son.

I said I would never have another baby after that, but I did. I wanted to try once more and three years later I was pregnant again. I knew going into this pregnancy that it could be worse but I still hoped it wouldn't. My hope was short lived. This pregnancy was so much worse. It didn't help that I was in a foreign country away from family. But I had my husband. He was my rock. I don't think I would have survived it with out him.
The pregnancy started off the same as others. At 6 weeks the vomiting started. It was much more severe. I could not keep a single thing down. When I took a single sip of water I would immediately throw it up. I lived on that cold tile on my bathroom floor in my Korean apartment. I was throwing up 30-35 times a day. Sometimes even more than that. I could not function. I couldn't clean, shower, brush my hair or even take care of my two year old son. My husband became mother, house maid and care taker. He would brush out my hair for me. If it hadn't been for him I would have had dread locks. The beginning of the pregnancy was so terrible that I am ashamed to admit it but abortion crossed my mind. I want you to understand that I would never  have gone through with it but that was how bad my situation was. I was so depressed from throwing up constantly that I wanted to die. I felt like death was the only way out. It was the only way to escape what was happening to my body. I hated every woman that had easy pregnancies. I didn't have that pregnancy glow that everyone talked about. I was pale with dark circles under my eyes. The inside of my mouth was covered in sores from constantly throwing up acid. I would only throw up acid, bile and blood because there was nothing in me to throw up. My throat and nose were raw. My nose would bleed almost every time I would throw up. Sometimes I would heave so badly that I couldn't breathe. I would start to shake and black out. More than once my husband would be standing outside the bathroom door listening. When that would happen he would rush in and shake me so I would take a breath. I was severely dehydrated. When I saw my doctor he would send me to the clinic for IV fluids. I would get two bags of saline every few days and I would still be dehydrated. I probably should have been hospitalized and if I was in the states I most likely would have been but my doctor here wasn't a real OB and couldn't understand what I was going through. He thought I had normal morning sickness. He did prescribe me Zofran. I took this my entire pregnancy, every single day, every six hours and it still didn't help enough. The drug he prescribed is what cancer patients use to fight off their nausea, you would think that it would have helped me. Don't get me wrong it did help some. Instead of throwing up 35 times a day I would only throw up 15 times a day. I threw up like this for 39 weeks and 5 days. I threw up the day I went into labor, when I was in labor and after I delivered my daughter.
I knew this had to be my last pregnancy. I could not go through that again. A lot of people don't understand and ask why I won't have another baby. It's only 9 months after all.

Here is why. With each pregnancy HG gets worse and the chance of miscarrying is much higher in woman who have HG. I will not lose another child to this condition. HG can be so bad that some mothers will not survive it. I will not leave my children with out a mother. They need me. Thankfully my husband understands and feels our family is complete.

HG is a serious condition and we need to spread awareness about it. It could save a mother's or baby's life.