My HG story: Kirsty Walsh
I always knew I wanted to be a mum, at least 4 babies, maybe even 5!
I fell pregnant with my son when I was 27. We had recently moved to Australia so I didn’t have my mum and sisters on the same continent. My mother in law had recently passed away and my sister in law was not interested in babies. I had no maternal figures around. My own mum and sister had never had morning sickness and had textbook pregnancies and births. To say I was naive would be an understatement!
The first twinge of nausea actually excited me because it made my pregnancy “real”. At about 7 weeks it went from twinges to full blown vomiting up every meal and just got worse from there. I was told it was normal and I was not allowed time off work for “just being pregnant”. I was in my gp’s office weekly, crying and confused about why I was so sick. She told me it was normal and every woman has it. My husband took one look at me after work one day and took me straight to emergency. There too, I got eye rolls and was given a cup of hydralite and sent home. On my 2nd ER visit, a nurse gave me a pack of zofran wafers and I managed to eat dinner that night! I took the empty box to my gp and had to beg for a prescription. The first time I vomited blood was scary, I found out I had just torn my throat from all the vomiting. I started to just shrug it off after a while. I lost 15 kilos that pregnancy and only after my son was born did I hear the term “hyperemesis gravidarum”
I fell pregnant with my daughter when my son was 10 months old. I changed gps and the new one was a bit more understanding and gave me a zofran script straight away just in case... well it was worse this time. I wound up in emergency several times for dehydration. Each time I got the usual eye rolls and “helpful” advice from the nurses and female doctors, they knew someone who also had it, have I tried ginger? I carried sick bags with me everywhere and let my little boy watch tv all day as I lay next to him with my bucket. With my own special blend of b6, restavit and zofran I managed to not lose weight this time round.
Most people I speak to have never heard of HG, in fact my own mum still believes I was just being over dramatic.
There are still foods I have to try force myself to eat, as the taste triggers nausea - Milo, filter coffee, hot cross buns, ginger beer, bananas, salad leaves, breakfast cereal... I also have to try overcome the panic attacks that I get when I smell toilet cleaner and vomit.
I would love to have more babies, I feel like my family is not complete yet. Whenever I thing of trying for number 3 I think back to how little support I had and I just don’t think I am strong enough to do it again.
My advice to others would be to stand up for yourself, even though it’s so hard to do at the time. Don’t let people shame you into thinking that what you’re going through isn’t real. Those sweet babies make it so worth it in the end.