M'lady Malady: It's Not Morning Sickness When it's Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

M'lady Malady: It's Not Morning Sickness When it's Hyperemesis Gravidarum.


I thought I'd jump on the BBC bandwagon and have a little natter about the royal pregnancy. Congrats Will and Kate, how very exciting. I am, however, feeling rather sorry for the Duchess of Cambridge, having been there myself with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

I'm hoping that something good will come out of her being so sick (apart from the obvious delightful little bundle of squidgy, cuddly, babyness), and draw attention to a condition that is not very well known. I know I've already mentioned about my pregnancy, but I thought I'd share a little bit more!

How Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a debilitating illness.

Within the first nine weeks of my pregnancy I lost almost two stone. I probably had a little bit to lose, but not that much, and definitely not at the beginning of a pregnancy! It was hideous. By that time I hadn't eaten for a week and I was soooooo thirsty my eyes wouldn't even water.

This wasn't morning sickness, this was an all consuming constant sickness that meant even water wouldn't stay down for more than a few minutes. 

I was forced to go and see a doctor. What happened when I went to see the doctor is the reason I want people to be more aware of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The first doctor I saw was a locum, he asked me about how I was feeling, how my pregnancy was going, the normal caring doctor questions. I explained to him about how no food was staying down, but the worst thing was the thirst, even taking a sip of water would cause projectile vomit, delightful! He hummed and haaaed for a little while before explaining to me, in a voice you'd probably use to explain something to a three year old, that what I had was called morning sickness and that some women just couldn't handle it. I felt so small and stupid and silly. That doctor made me feel as though this was just how every woman felt during pregnancy. That morning sickness was a right of passage that I was finding too difficult because I was weak.

It gets worse...

I went back the next day to see another doctor; another locum. I'd barely sat down when he told me that I'd left it a bit late. I felt like hugging him, thinking he was going to say I should have come when my sickness started two weeks previous. Then he carried on talking and I realised he was actually saying I'd left it a bit late to start a family! - I was thirty at the time!! WTAF?

He then told me the same thing as the previous doctor, that it was just morning sickness and I was going to have to man up and deal with it. If I'd had any energy (and I wasn't quite so nice!) I think I may have slapped him.

Luckily, when the Monday came, I saw my own lovely doctor who was the first person to utter the words Hyperemesis Gravidarum and said I was dangerously dehydrated. She sent me straight from the surgery to hospital where I stayed for a week hooked up to a drip that made me feel human again. I can still remember the feeling of my body rehydrating itself with the IV—and the anti-sickness injection in my thigh which, up until I gave birth, was the MOST painful thing ever!!

Although the Hyperemesis Gravidarum made sure I was sick all the way up to 35 weeks, I managed it with drugs and cola and cheese and onion crisps.

Before I fell pregnant I had no idea what Hyperemesis Gravidarum was and, when I was suffering with it, I felt a lot of other people didn't know either. There were a lot of raised eyebrows and mutterings of you're pregnant not ill and it's all in your head, but I'd like to see those people ignore the fact they feel nauseous 24/7 and actually throw up at least ten times a day...

So hopefully through Kate's misfortune of being in the 1% of women who suffer with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, other women will benefit through knowledge.

And, like I said in my previous post about my pregnancy, if you're suffering like I was please try to remember that it's a finite feeling, it will pass, stay strong, and try not to punch anyone if they suggest ginger—they're only trying to help.



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