Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hyperemesis Gravidarum: what NOT to say!

Irony of ironies, I have barely been able to post the myriad of things I have wanted to, including wrapping the editing of the post where I announce my pregnancy, because I have been too sick.

So, by the way, I'm pregnant.  Yay!

I have always said I was a princess, but man, Hyperemesis Gravidarum just wasn't the thing I wanted to check off in that box as proof.  Not only to Duchess Kate and I hypothetically bond over illness, but this same illness is the reason we publicly announce our pregnancies.  HA!

It is hard to talk about HG when you are actively in the throws of it.  Go figure, talking about puking is hard when that is all you can do.  So I'll not tell you much right now about how I am doing or what this journey has been for me personally, but I will.  Just when I am better.  Presently I am 14 weeks and the clouds are lifting enough that I find this post possible, a few weeks ago it simply wasn't.

This is part hormonal, nauseated, angry rant with a dash of begging and education thrown in for good measure.  And lots of GIFs because they make me happy.

In no particular order because anyone of these if grounds for me aiming at you when I get sick for the 100th time today ...

1. "Oh I had morning sickness too!"

Morning sickness is crummy, I make no bones about it.  But HG is not morning sickness, though by medical definition it is often referred to as "severe morning sickness."  Let me put it this way, if you can count the number of times a day you get/got ill this is NOT the thing to say to me.

2. "Have you tried crackers/ginger/Preggie Pops/Seabands/some-weird-wives-tale/etc.?"

If one more person suggests ginger in any form {typing paused because I actually had to gag and dry heave over this} ... in a word, yes.  Yes.  I have tried all of that.  Desperately. Repeatedly.

3. "Oh my gawd, this one time when I was pregnant I threw up in...."

Do not talk about up-chuck in any form.  Not only do I not care, because that requires energy I do not have, I also cannot take hearing it.  Its also pretty freaking weird but for some reason people seem compelled to tell me.  I have managed to christen every receptacle typical for catching illness and many never intended for acts so vile.  We can swap horror stories some other day, for now please just shhhh.

4. "Have you tried just forcing yourself to eat or drink?"

Seriously?  I am trying not to drop F-bombs here but this one is hard not to reply with a good ol' "eff you" too.  Scientific question: what would happen if you tried to spray a garden hose UP Niagara Falls?  Same dif here.

5.  "But doesn't taking medicine while your pregnant make you nervous?  What if your kid has like a third eye because of that?!"

You're asking the wrong questions.  What if my child is so malnourished that s/he doesn't make it?  What if I am so malnourished or dehydrated that I go into preterm labor or miscarry?  What if both my baby and I don't make it, because that happens with HG?  I hate taking medicine, but without them I wouldn't have gotten this far.  It scares me, but not taking them scares me a lot more.

6. "Oh I understand!  When I was pregnant I would hurl the second I even saw *insert food item here* much less smelled it!"

I am sure that was awful, and I say that without too much snark.  I had that in prior pregnancies and it sucked then.  But here's the thing, I don't vomit because of seeing or smelling food, though that is a sure fire way to make me sick. I am sick no matter what.  Sometimes I can't even talk because the act of opening my mouth and activating my vocal chords does it for me.  I cannot swallow my spit half the time.

7. "I gained 30 lbs when I was pregnant, you're lucky to be losing some!"

Or anything like this.  Anything that comments on my weight loss as though it is some kind of GIFT makes you an undisputed asshole.

8. "Well you haven't lost that much weight."

Seriously, if you were an asshole on #7 this makes it even worse.

If you are looking at me and thinking I haven't lost that much weight chances are you are seeing how puffy and bloated the medication I am taking has made me.  Or even better, and way more TMI but you -- special snowflake that you are -- deserve it: Maybe my tummy is so large because the medication that they have pumped me full of makes it utterly impossible to poop.  Yup.  I am so damned constipated that my entire GI track is as backed up as a LA free way at 5 PM on a weekday.  What I manage to get down may never come out again!  So my tummy IS huge and I AM maintaining weight temporarily, but its not a good thing either.

9. "Oh I bet you are so sick because you're having a boy/girl this time!"

I admit, I have always joked (as a mother of only boys) to my girl friends who have had girls and are uncomfy through their pregnancies that it has to be that they are having a girl causing their misery.  "After all," I tell them, "two women can never occupy a confined space in peace!" so they MUST be having a girl. I swear, I will never say this again.

I have been assured I am having a girl this go-round because of my pathetic state more times than I can count.  Wives tales and gut feelings aside, HG has no known cause, cure, or even a sure-fire treatment plan.  The gender of my child is not what is making me so ill, even if it winds up coincidentally matching your theory.

10.  "Bet this will be your last baby now, eh?"  

I admit, now is NOT the time for me to discuss ever being knocked up again.  But I find any questions like this rude and nauseating when I am not in my current state, why are you inquiring about this at all you nosy weirdo?

Because actually screaming would mean
I have to open my mouth ...
Between the sickness, and the resulting exhaustion and weakness I have experienced as a result, I have not been up to a whole lot.  Sitting up at the computer is actually a challenge.  So whether you found this because YOU are going through HG (hugs and sympathy!) or because a loved one is, hang in there.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  1. LOVE IT!!! ;) I'm sharing ;)

    Been there, done that! 2,5 times. N E V E R A G A I N!

    1. Sorry you can understand it but glad it made you smile! HG is an experience like no other!

    2. I've heard every one of these now with having Hg with both previous pregnancies and this one (currently 21 weeks)but the worst one I've heard yet was you're just doing it to get attention.I had a PICC line at the time

  2. Yep, I have heard every one of these. People are lucky we are too weak to strangle them :)

  3. Loved this! Just finished my 2nd HG pregnancy and I can definitely check off being told everything on this list, nailed it.

  4. My HG baby was 1 yesterday. Had 14 hospital admissions, countless fluids with my veins completely vanishing. Kidney problems, 2 blood transitions, went into labour @ 33 weeks, born @ 35 weeks. I can relate to every word of this. My baby girl was worth every second of the pain :-)

  5. I cannot love this more. It's perfect. I have heard every one of these and have thought the exact same response. "If I wasn't so tired or tied up in these IVs I'd punch you."

  6. I cannot love this more. It's perfect. I have heard every one of these and have thought the exact same response. "If I wasn't so tired or tied up in these IVs I'd punch you."