My HG story: Georgia Poliwodzinski
I was never really one of those women that had yearned to have a baby. I was of the belief that if it was meant to be, it would be. Luckily for me, I found myself married to the most wonderful human, who’s kind and humble nature filled my heart from day one. And so the natural progression of creating a little soul to bring into the world began.
I fell pregnant straight away. I was in shock. So many people tell you how hard it is when you are older, so I had prepared myself for the worst, yet there I was peeing on a stick and pregnant within a month.
I had just found out and was at a personal training session, talking to my personal trainer about how women cope with morning sickness and still making it to the gym. I was convinced that no matter how sick I could feel, I would still be able to work out. Well, that went out the window no less than a week later, when at just over five weeks pregnant I met my new friend – Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
I had never heard of this before. I had no understanding of what it was or what I was in for. I had nausea around the clock. It was relentless. By the end of week five, I was vomiting upwards of 30 times a day. And no, that’s not an exaggeration, no matter what most people will believe. I went back to my GP after two weeks and asked if this was normal. She put me on meds straight away and let me know I was one of the lucky 1% of women that can get HG.
After that things went downhill fast, even with the meds my vomiting and nausea really didn’t subside. I was vomiting so violently every day that I was throwing up blood and bile. My oesophagus was torn and nothing could shake the metallic taste in my mouth. I constantly had a build op of saliva in my mouth that nothing could take away, and the greatest part of all – there was not one fluid that I could stomach, not even a mouth full. When you have HG you are so utterly exhausted and dehydrated. My lips were so cracked they would just bleed, and so began the weekly trips to the ER for fluids. Each trip becomes more disheartening than the last, it becomes harder to find a vein, and slowly but surely you just lose yourself in the whole experience. I started to get acupuncture 3 times a week in conjunction with medicine, and over time I felt that I had a handle on HG, at least enough so I could moderately function.
The hardest part for me was feeling a complete lack of disconnect to the little life that was growing inside of me. The sickness takes over your whole life. It is hard to associate love and happiness with an experience that is leaving you for dead. And having never been pregnant before, I was yet to meet the little guy that would ultimately make it all worthwhile.
Along the way, there is a complete lack of understanding. Don’t get me wrong, my inner circle were my absolute lifelines throughout my pregnancy. Even if they couldn’t fully understand, they were there for me to listen to me cry and vent. They lifted me up when I truly did not want to go on, and there were days where I felt I was better off dead. They were not truthful or rational thoughts, but HG takes you to the darkest of corners in your mind. It can feel so lonely. My friends, my mum and my husband are what kept me fighting through.
I experienced firsthand people saying I was ‘faking’ being sick and that because I looked ‘happy on Facebook’ then I mustn’t be that unwell. It is so sad that people feel the need to judge another person’s experience. Kindness goes a long way when you are at rock bottom. I gave up trying to explain HG to people because ultimately the most common response is one that has a severe lack of understanding.
And then finally, at 38 + 5 weeks, my obstetrician induced me. I had a 30-hour labour, and I luckily had a really beautiful birth, albeit still vomiting from HG throughout. No-one could have prepared me for that feeling that you feel when you meet halite life that has been a part of you for ten months. When Zayn arrived I knew instantly that everything I had suffered through was worth it. Every inch of me became captivated with his very existence, and I knew that without a doubt I would go through everything again just to have my baby in my arms. Since his birth 3 months ago, he has been the most calm, alert, and gentle little man. I feel that all the suffering is a distant memory. I only wish that there was more support for women going through HG, and more support for family and friends. It is such a tough battle, but one that I can safely say I beat. I am better for having gone through such a challenge, and I would not change the outcome for anything. I wish so much love out there to all the mamas out there going through HG, you are all the most remarkable warriors out there.