Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

Every time someone asks me how I am doing, I mostly lie.  I say I’m “ok” or “hanging in there”.  The truth is, I don’t think people want to hear the truth.  But the more I think about it, the more I need to put myself out there and share how I really feel.

I’ve always been so open about infertility and what we’ve gone through to have our children – especially the boys.  I want people to understand it, accept it, and hopefully not feel they need to hide it if they, too are suffering.  I want the men and women struggling to have biological children to have the compassion and support they need, so I tell anyone who will listen what we’ve been through and let them know it’s ok to talk about it.

Yet for some reason, I choose to hide my hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and tell people I’m “plugging along” when they ask.

Tonight, it dawned on me that I need to be honest.  Not only with myself, but with others.  And hopefully, by sharing my story, people will start to understand this terrible illness and stop patronizing women who are suffering.

The definition of hyperemesis gravidarum:

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of morning sickness, with “unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.”[1] Hyperemesis is considered a rare complication of pregnancy but, because nausea and vomiting during pregnancy exist on a continuum, there is often not a good diagnosis between common morning sickness and hyperemesis. Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women afflicted range from 0.3% to 2.0%.[2]

First and foremost, HG is NOT morning sickness.  If a woman ever tells you she has HG, please do NOT respond with stories of yours or your wife’s morning sickness unless you or she ended up surviving with the aid of endless medication, IV hydration and nutrition; unless you or she lost over 5% of your or her pre-pregnancy weight because eating was impossible, or everything eaten was vomited back up; unless you or she was sick well beyond the first trimester – sometimes until the baby is born; unless you or she could not care for herself let alone children or others; unless you or she could not shower or work; unless you or she contemplated termination of the pregnancy just to feel SOME relief… there is no comparison to morning sickness.  No amount of ginger ale, saltines, sea bands, motion sickness patches or other morning sickness remedies will help.

I am almost 17 weeks.  At this point, I take the following medications daily:

  • 1/2 tablet Unisom twice a day, then 1 full tablet at bedtime (for nausea)
  • 25 MG B6 three times a day (for nausea)
  • 8 MG Zofran three times a day (to control vomiting)
  • 300 MG Colace a day (for constipation, a side effect of Zofran)

I have a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line in my arm through which I also receive:

  • 2L fluids daily (for hydration)
  • My daily vitamins (because oral vitamins increase nausea)
  • Pepcid (for reflux)

Despite all of that, I live in a constant state of what I refer to as “puke purgatory”.  Think about how you feel in the seconds before you vomit.  Bad taste in the mouth, excess saliva, bile rising in your throat.  Now imagine feeling that way 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 11 weeks straight (so far).

Sometimes I WANT to throw up, but I fight it.  I choke back whatever rises to my mouth several times a day because I know that if I vomit even once, it will not stop.  I vomited relentlessly when pregnant with my daughter as well as with my twins sons.  I ended up in the ER severely dehydrated when pregnant with my daughter because so much as a sip of water would cause me to vomit.  I couldn’t keep anything down and you know what my midwife told me?  “It’s morning sickness.  It will pass.”

I fired her.  It was not morning sickness.  It did not pass until somewhere in my late second trimester.  I was over halfway through the pregnancy before I could eat.  It was threatening my health, and the health of my daughter and no one would help me.

Fortunately, with the boys, my OB knew what it was and I received better care.  But I still vomited daily despite a PICC line, medications and IVs.  I was sick until I delivered the boys.

This time, I started medication before I got sick.  I had read it is the BEST way to combat this illness… disease… curse… hell… whatever you choose to call it.  The best it’s done for me is kept me from actually throwing up.  It has not prevented weight loss, dehydration, my inability to eat, my 24/7 puke purgatory.

Right now, I am practically living off of macaroni and cheese, canned ravioli and Spaghetti-Os, and small bits of whatever else I can handle in the moment.  The only fluids I am able to take in orally are Pepsi and Jet Tea.  Of course, you’re not supposed to have too much caffeine in pregnancy, so I nurse a Pepsi all day long.  I am LUCKY I can eat this much.  I couldn’t eat at all in pregnancy with my daughter or my sons while the HG was active.  Many women end up needing nutrition delivered intravenously.

For the past week, I have broken down every single night.  I cry about all of it – how horrible I feel; how I am unable to do much of anything; the medications, the IVs, the PICC line; the uncertainty that I will feel better any time before the baby is born; the loss of the ability to just enjoy being pregnant; the unfairness of it all; the lack of understanding and the lack of acknowledgement.

A few people ask me how I am doing, and generally, I lie to them.  Because really, who wants to hear the truth?  I have always prided myself on being a strong individual, surviving anything that’s come my way.  That’s who I am.  I am not the weeping, unshowered, disheveled mess you will find in my recliner should you drop by my house one evening.

The unfortunate truth, however, is I AM that second person.  I AM the one who can’t change out of her pajamas all weekend, let alone get a shower.  I AM the one who sleeps half the day just to escape the sickness and dissolves into tears when I wake up because it’s still there.  I AM the one angry that I can’t just enjoy the life growing inside of me because this is the hand I’ve been dealt.

There’s only one “cure” for HG: the end of the pregnancy.  There are women who terminate wanted pregnancies because it’s that bad.  I’d be lying if I said the thought has never crossed my mind.

I am hoping that this ceases somewhere in the second half of my pregnancy like it did with my daughter.  I am terrified it will continue through delivery like it did with my sons. The only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that the reward for enduring this torment is my very wanted son or daughter.

They don’t know what causes HG.  My mom had it through two pregnancies; my sister did not.  Some women do not get HG in every pregnancy; I have not been that lucky.

So that is the honest truth as to how I am doing.

Now I am going to post this entry before I lose my nerve, and I am going to share it with everyone I can.  I am going to invite my fellow sufferers to share their stories in the comments and give a voice to this illness that so few people know about.  And maybe, some where, some how, my story and the story of others will someday help someone else.  I can only hope.

If you or someone you know is suffering from HG, I encourage you to join the forums at http://www.helpher.org.  Also, contact the author, Ashli Fossee McCall, of Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum to request your free copy of her book (you’ll probably get a response from her assistant, Lyle).  You can tell them I sent you, as they know me well.

58 Replies to “Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)”

  1. Oh Sommer! I so wish there were anything I could do to make it better for you.

    The best I can do is tell you that hearing your stories early in my pregnancy have made it so much better for me than it would have been. You don’t need to hope that someday you can help someone because you’ve already helped me. You helped give me the courage to start meds before I got sick, rather than waiting until after the nausea was bad enough that I needed IV hydration like with my miscarriage pregnancy. And I feel incredibly lucky now that things are starting to improve when I’m not even out of the first tri. I honestly don’t think that would have happened without meds.

    Because of you I may never suffer from HG. I can’t know for sure that I would have had it this pregnancy, but with how bad things got even with plenty of meds (B6, Unisom, Zofran) I have trouble believing I would have avoided it. With meds: I lost 7-8% of my body weight in ~2 weeks and twice got within a few hours of going to get IV hydration before things started to improve. I napped for hours and went to bed as early as possible just to get away from the nausea. I sometimes felt happy to be on bed rest for my bleeding issues because it meant I didn’t have to admit that for several weeks I was too sick to get up and go to school, even for a couple of hours a day. And I’m one of the lucky ones.

    I applaud you for getting the word out and letting people know what it’s really like. You are already making a difference.

    PS: Have you tried caffeine free Pepsi? It’s not quite the same but I’ve had OK luck with caffeine free Coke instead of the real stuff (not a Pepsi drinker).

  2. Wow Sommer. That was an intense post. I feel so badly for you and I’m so glad you spoke up! I think it will be a comfort to other women who are going through the same thing. I can’t imagine how difficult HG is.

  3. I know it sounds trite and won’t actually relieve any of your suffering, but there are so many people who care about you (and the gang) and would help in any way possible if we could! I have spent the past 3 years cursing people who can pop kids out (repeatedly) when they abso-f–g-lutely SHOULD NOT, and crying with so many friends and family who desperately want kids and would be great parents, and can’t. I didn’t know this particular malady had a name…thank you for sharing. I will be counting the days until you hold this precious little one in your arms.

  4. I too had HG with my son. I have 4 children and horrible Morning Sickness with my 3 daughters but I agree NOTHING can compare to Hyperemesis. And it is so difficult to describe to someone. I was admitted to the hospital finally at 13 weeks for 2 days and had to have a nurse come and deliver IV fluids 2x per week until about 17 weeks. Then as fast as it came, it went away… for those 17 weeks all I could take in was watermelon bits & watermelon flavored GatorAde. I lost about 13 lbs during the first trimester when you’re supposed to be gaining weight. Even after the “HG” was over, I still had aversions that made me FEARFUL of vomiting, and/or of it somehow returning. So much so that I did not GAIN a single lb for the rest of my pregnancy. I ended up 40lbs lighter at my 6 week postpartum check up than I had been at 6 week prenatal check-up. I had to quit my job and hire a nanny to care for my 2 older daughters because I literally was so weak from dehydration that I could not get out of bed. Even though the nausea/vomiting stopped at 17 weeks I was so weak from lack of activity and I was so stressed and so fearful that I never was able to go back to work during the pregnancy. It was a nightmare!! I cannot imagine having HG for an entire pregnancy. I feel for you & I will pray for you.

    1. Mia, Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that I will have a period of my pregnancy free from HG as you did, though you are right – it’s never the same after HG.

  5. I have had HG 4 times, with all 4 pregnancies. I am currently 24 weeks with #4. I find myself choosing foods to eat based on how easy they will be to throw up, and can’t stray far from a bathroom because one the heaving starts, the pressure of throwing up, also empties my bladder. However, i have a miracle med that works. I have to take it 4x daily, and it often causes tiredness, but it’s a small price to pay in order to not have to be hydrated with IV fluids all the time. It’s called diclectin. It’s not available in the U.S. (I’m Canadian). But, if you’re close to the border, you can cross and have a doctor here write a prescription for you, fill it here and as long as you keep a copy of the prescription, you can bring the meds back to the U.S. With you.This medication is specifically made for pregnant women, and is made of vitamin B & an antihistamine. They about $1.50 per tablet. They will make you a, little tired & you’ll still feel a bit crappy, but you won’t throw up and you won’t

  6. ….have to worry about choosing foods that are easy to throw up etc. I used to work for a pharmacy that exported meds to the U.S….that’s how i know that if you have a Canadian doctor write you a Canadian prescription & have it filled in Canada, you can use the medication. Might be cheaper doing it that way than all the meds you’re on + using your picc line.

    1. Beth, Thank you for sharing your story. I am familiar with Diclectin, and you actually can get it in a US compounding pharmacy. I tried it with my daughter and it didn’t help. The Unisom/B6 combo is actually the hacker’s version of Diclectin – it’s the same active ingredients. The difference is that the Canadian or compounded version is a little more effective because it is a time-release formula.

      1. Great post! Found you through a Today’s Parent comment you made.
        I’m glad that everyone is doing what they can to raise awareness!
        I used 8 Diclectin/day, 3 Maxeran (metaclopromide), 4 Gravol, 3 Ranitidine (Zantac 150mg) and I was still sick everyday. I was on all these meds until 3 days after my first son was born! I lost 11% of my body weight in the first 3 months of the pregnancy and was hospitalized 3 times (not nearly enough) for rehydration. My province (Ontario, Canada) and my private insurance wouldn’t pay for home care IV for me.

        A note on this comment:
        Diclectin helps, but it doesn’t help “all the way” for everyone!
        One thing I found with my second pregnancy was Nexium 2/day saved my life!!!!! I didn’t think I had heartburn, but it was a wonder drug for me!!
        I learned this from the kind ladies at motherisk.org NVP hotline!

  7. Oh my I lived your post because I had hg with both of my boys and no one understands unless they have been through it! Your post is almost 100% of what I went through .. Sleeping the day away, hating pregnancy, endless saliva ..spit cups, endless trips to hospital , … Thinking it would never end! ( I totally ate spagettios Nd top ramen and got addicted to diet coke as well haha) I am Ai glad you shared your story .. I have been debating having a third baby recently because I am scared to death of misery of hg again .. I hope you get some relief:) thank you for your post ! Xoxo

    1. Rachel, If you have not yet read the book “Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum”, I urge you to do so. It has some great ideas in preparing for an HG pregnancy should you choose to try again. If you do go for number three, I hope you are miraculously spared the misery of HG!

  8. You are quite correct and honest about HG. Women do like to compare symptoms and try to associate their experience with others. But…they have no idea. This time I literally stayed two weeks in bed. I cried alot! Its horrible when your four-year old says “do you have to throw up again?” like its no big deal to them anymore. The first time I didn’t know any better and kept my midwife, but this time I was way smarter. I can not wait until I give birth. I secretly hope that I end up with pre-eclampsia again and have to deliver early even though I know it is horrible to think that. I have every sickness along with HG this time also. I can’t eat dairy because now with this pregnancy I am suddenly lactose intolerant, I can’t drink soda because it makes me instantly ill. My diet consists of bread, plain mashed potatoes, pasta and kool-aid. I didn’t gain any weight for 4 months. I would love to be one of “those” women who enjoy every minute of being pregnant. Instead I suffer through it. Taking medication that I swear makes me feel sicker. I feel your pain and even though the end result is well worth the suffering, I can’t wait til I am done and I will not be doing this again. I can not and will not take the pain anymore. Only two more months for me….

    1. Gail, Calista was 3 when I was pregnant with my boys. I remember making sure my husband set up snacks and drinks for her on a shelf she could reach in the refrigerator so she could feed herself. It’s hard enough that we are robbed of what should be a joyous experience, but our children are robbed of so many things during that time, too. Only two months to go for you… I am jealous. ;) Wishing you well these last two months – it’s almost over!!

  9. Sommer,

    Thank you so much for sharing. Now, I feel like I can hold my head a bit higher. I didn’t know I had HG…just thought I was one of those unlucky ones who is either puking or on the verge of puking for 9 months! I was always felt bad for not being stronger and about not being able to take care of my kids /husband/house/etc. You have finally given it a name and made me feel that it wasn’t all my fault.

    When my 3rd pregnancy wasn’t any better and I was lying on the couch (trying not to move a muscle or else I would need to puke) and watching my 2 year old get my 1 year old some lunch I had feelings of not wanting this baby anymore just to not be sick anymore. I felt awful about those thoughts and never told anyone but my husband. Thank you so much for setting my mind to rest by sharing your story and information. I am not a bad mother/wife for simply wanting to add to my family.

    As a side note: We adopted for baby #4…not gonna do the pregnancy thing anymore!!!

    1. Rebekah, I am so glad that through my experience, you are able to understand your owns and come to terms with it. I’m sorry you were left to suffer without the help and support you needed. You are a very smart woman adopting that 4th baby! ;)

  10. Hi Sommer,

    After I delievered Q….
    Dh said he’d never do that to me again….he’d never get me pg again.
    The NP also said she’d never seen anyone more sick than me.
    My doctor said my HG would only get worse with each pgcy.
    I was sick with my #1…zofran helped, I was able to function. By 18-20 wks I was better and progressed nicely.
    With ds, I was sick by 5wks and on through till 21 wks. I lost weight quickly and was hospitalized. I cried at my admission. The lady asked what was wrong. Well, I am going to be away from my precious 18mos old dd and am sick as a dog with my #2 that I couldn’t function. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink…even water made me want to vomit. And…I’d never been hospitalized before…so yea, I teared.
    At first they wouldn’t put me on the OB floor bc I wasn’t far enough along. This admission was 3 days….I wasn’t ready to go home truth be told, but was so upset to have been away from my dd(who was still nursing) that I wanted to go home. I didn’t really know just how sick I was. I was told to eat anything I wanted and if that meant 2 donuts, then so be it! That worked for one day.

    My OB mentioned that there may have been two babes at one time-she couldn’t really tell but that there was something in the one u/s that indicated ‘something’ was there(can’t rem the other possibility of what it was, but a twin was one thing it could have been)…I think of that from time to time. I am not sure that it was……I can’t imagine. But it’s ok. I was none the wiser till she mentioned it.

    A short time later, I was back in for my longest stay, 10 days. That was long…and lonely. Ten days without seeing my dd! Awful…but I knew I had to stay until it was under some kind of control. I was told that if I had to go back in, I’d walk out with a PICC line.
    I was on the cocktail of B6, Unisom and phenergan…. colace too…..zofran did nothing for me this time around.
    While home on this stuff….I did nothing but lay in bed…I bet there were many days I didn’t shower or anything. I couldn’t brush my teeth without getting sick. So I stopped..till the day I delivered! (I still can’t use that old toothpaste!)

    My last admission….my potassium was so low that I was called and told to head straight to the OB Triage “NOW”….a few bags of yellow (about 24 hrs later) and I was allowed to go home.
    The doc (Dr Massengil-honest to goodness that is his name- great man btw))gave me potassium pills…….no, horse pills. WHo the heck did he think could swallow those???? esp not a pg HG girl!
    I lied and said I’d take them! I was so scared they’d make me sick that I don’t think I ever got one down! I tried…I couldn’t get my throat to accept one. Too scared I guess.
    I forced a hankering for baked potatoes…I hate bananas. HATE..so they weren’t going down.

    I don’t remember those 5 mos of my life……it was awful. I feel like I missed so much of dd too :(
    She was so young…she would sit at the end of the bed and watch TV all day unless one of my gf’s would come and take her to play!
    My next door neighbor would come over while I perked to keep E company.

    I was able to function after 21 wks….and did start to gain and was able to keep food down.
    So I was not as bad off as you……I feel for you.
    They did an amnio on Q so they could induce me early…not very early but early enough to do an amnio. It was just a tough pregnancy all around…and even my doc wanted me to be done.

    I wanted more kids…I liked the number 4. Dh, meh, he was great with two….I’d have had to convince him. But we both agreed that two was it given how the last pgcy went.
    Ds often asked for younger (and once in a while older haha) siblings.

    I know many ppl don’t believe in those who are in touch with other senses in the world….but I do. I visited a woman (one of my best friends knows her) and the first thing she said to me when I sat down was, (lose quote)”You almost died, you were pg and it was toxic to you.”
    She knew nothing about me, only that I wanted to talk, I had two kids and a dh…and my gf didn’t share anything with her about me.

    I sooo wanted and thought I would be one of those women who had a breezy pregnancy. I lost wt with my first pgcy, but nothing like with #2. Pgcy #2 kicked me before I was out of the gate.
    We bought a car within a week of me testing positive with #2….my new car. I was so sick while in it that I could barely drive it!

    Yea well…that was my experience…it stank!
    P&PT for you.

    1. Kere, I didn’t realize you have been through HG as well. I’m so sorry! While it’s not necessarily true it will be worse each time – some women will have an HG pregnancy followed by a completely normal pregnancy! – I completely understand it being a risk not willing to take again. It’s so sad that we can be robbed of things that should be our choice – such as how many children we have – because of things like HG and infertility.

  11. So well written! I saw your post on the HG Forums at HelpHer and just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. I am on my first pregnancy and the HG finally let up for me in week 30. But that meant that there were 26 weeks of pure hell with multiple hospitalizations, IVs, PICC lines and Midlines and medications. There were times where I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I would die during the night. I lost 25 pounds, which was over 14% of my starting body weight. I would not wish this nightmare on my worst enemy. You are so strong for going through this a 3rd time, and just know that all of us HGers out there are pulling for you!

    1. Brynn, Thank you for sharing your story. While it’s not much, I’m glad that you will have a few weeks HG-free to enjoy your pregnancy the way that you deserve!

  12. Summer, I stumbled upon your blog, as I have been following “a baby for you a belly for me”‘s blog on surrogacy because, well, I have had two horrifying bouts with HG and I am terrified to become pregnant again so my husband and I are researching other methods.

    I just cried through your entire post on HG, as my last experience was just last year and I am, quite frankly, traumatized from it. Both of my pregnancies were aweful, but this last one was over the top severe, resulting in severe depression and anxietyy attacks (I had no history of this before) but the thoughts of never being anything but sick again caused me to lose my mind. I was of course, hospitalized multiple times in the first trimester for rehydration, I did the whole gamet of meds…nothing made it go away. ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT. Lost 15 pounds (a little over 10%) and I ended up enduring a week stay at the local mental health ward when I contemplated taking my own life. I had an 18 month old daughter at the time and I couldnt even look at her anymore because I knew if I looked at her I would have to smile, and to smile was just too much energy. I made my husband take me to the local abortion office just to know that was an option…. I didnt go through with it…

    I had switched doctors this time around because my first doctor didnt understand what I was going through and I hoped the next one would. Well she didnt either. My body took a toll…My mind took a toll….and eventually my

    heart took a devastating toll. The doctors told me it was unrelated, but at twenty weeks I went into labor with my son and unfortunetly he was too small to live in our world. I have a lot of guilt still to this day for the person that I was when I was carrying that sweet boy; all he knew was a so very unhappy me ( a person so opposite of who I natrually am).

    Thank you for sharing your story, its not often that you find others who really know what you have been through ( I find that it is a good therapy to speak wioth those who know).
    When others try to relate, I want to punch them in the throat….aarrg! I get so irritated when people talk about how miserable they are..but they are still working, or still showering, or driving a car, or still brushing their own teeth….Well if you can still manage to get out of the house daily or even every other day you’re probably pretty well off. (sorry for the rant)

    I hope you manage to feel better soon, and can enjoy those precious kicks and movements. It is soooo worth it in the end. But why are we the chosen ones that it has to be so hard for?

    Here is a quote I like to refer to when thinking of my hard pregnancies:
    ” People who cry aren’t crying because they are weak,
    they are crying because they’ve been strong for too long.”

    Dont be afraid to cry, but dont let it get the better of you, it got the better of me :)

    ~Samantha (Addison and Baby Angel Charlie ‘s Mommy)

    1. Samantha, Thank you for sharing your story. I am so very sorry for your loss. One of my greatest fears is to lose my baby while going through HG. It seems the cruelest of fates and no one should have to endure HG on top of losing a child. My heart goes out to you, and I hope that you find the answer to how to best expand your family without ever having to live another HG day in your life. <3

      1. Thank you for sharing your stories. I am too weak to share mine .. but your story pretty much looks like mine … My son is 4 now and i still gag thinking of my pregnancy .. i desperately wanted a second one .. and tried last year .. but those 3 months ..seemed like a decade .. and the unhappy ending has sort of left a whole in life which haunt us forever .. :(

  13. Holy cow. I had no idea this existed our that you were dealing with it. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard and painful it must be every day. I was struck, though, by the similarity of ignorance between HG and sjogren’s syndrome… Being misdiagnosed repeatedly, being told to quit being a baby, lying and saying all is okay when it’s not. I think you are doing a wonderful thing in sharing your story. It’s another step toward women, including you, to receive the compassion they deserve and require.

    1. You’re right, CK, there are other illnesses that get similar (mis)treatment. Fibromyalgia is another one that comes to mind. People will never understand if we don’t talk about it!

  14. I really wish their was more funding being put into research to discover the cause of and perhaps more effective treatments for HG. So many women suffer but I don’t think it’s taken as seriously in the medical community as it should be.

    I never had HG but I did have severe nausea/vomiting with my oldest daughter (I lost 20 lbs in the first trimester and needed IV fluids once, as I did with my oldest son as well). That was awful enough – I can’t imagine the hell of HG.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  15. Sommer –

    I am so sorry you are going through this. My heart goes out to you! I sincerely hope you start to feel better as your pregnancy progresses. I am sure there are many many thankful women that you have shared your story.


  16. Sommer – my heart just goes out to you. I had HG with my first pregnancy (my son, who is now almost 3.5.) It started two days before my positive beta and lasted until I delivered my son at 38 weeks. I am so incredibly sorry you are going through this. Even on max Zofran every day, I remember crying almost every day at work because I was so miserable. I had well-meaning co-workers who would say things like, “at least you know the baby is healthy” and I’d want to punch them. When I finally found the helpher.org website, I remember the exact thing that you mentioned in your post – HG is so bad that women have terminated *wanted* babies. That, to me, is HG in a nutshell. It’s that bad. I know there is nothing I can do for you but pray that it goes away as soon as possible, so pray I will. I am really hoping that maybe since this is a singleton, your levels may be a bit lower and it may *at least* get better in the second trimester? No one should have to go through what you are going through. It’s literal torture and I am so sorry you are dealing with it again. God bless you!

  17. Wow-this post was soooo close to my heart. Pregnant with IVF baby #3 and HG pregnancy #3 here. Thank you for putting into words what those of us who suffer from this disease feel.

  18. Here’s my story.
    When I got pregnant with my daughter (now 4 yrs old) I started getting sick very early. It was constant. I was never able to hold anything down. My dr. said that I should just nibble on some crackers and it will pass. After weeks of not eating or drinking anything, my husband had enough of seeing me so bad off and brought me to the ER. I was admitted for 4 days. The entire time I was there I was on a constant IV drip, I went through about 8 bags of fluid while there. While there I was diagnosed with HG and had no idea what that meant, no one did. We were told that it was “extreme morning sickness”. My dr put me on phenergan, didn’t work. Put me on Reglan, didn’t work. Put me on Zofran, it worked! But as soon as I ran out of the zofran I was sick all over again. I lost more weight than I gained. I actually weighed less after giving birth than I did before getting pregnant. No one understood what I was dealing with. My friend’s grandmother actually told me that I was just being a drama queen and that if I didn’t think about it then I wouldn’t be sick. Mind over matter! That comment made me so mad! I was in and out of the hospital the entire time. At least once a month I went into the ER for fluids. The pain was horrible. My stomach hurt, my skin hurt, my entire body was in pain from dehydration and mal-nutrition. I was so weak that I needed help walking around. It didn’t get better till I gave birth. Just hours after having my lil girl I was able to eat without fear of being sick. The only positive thing I can say about HG is that because I was so sick I couldn’t smoke! I didn’t have to worry about quitting, the smell alone would make me vomit!

  19. I read your story and felt like you were reading my diary word for word. I am so sorry you too are suffering. I wish this on no one!!! Know you are not alone and there are those of us who know your pain:(

  20. You nailed it! You were able to put into comprehensible words what many of us have experienced. With pregnancy #1, my OB didn’t prescribe Zofran until well into the 2nd trimester. Needless to say, I was so ‘far behind’ on the sickness, that I never did ‘catch up’. I was sick, relentlessly, through all 40 w/5d. We were ‘surprised’ with pregnancy #2 when my son was just 9 months old. I cried for the 1st month straight, so afraid of getting sick again. And then I got sick… so I continued to cry. My entire pregnancy (pregnancies, actually) were a blurry mess. I barely remember my son’s milestones during those 9 months, and had a toddler fetching his own snacks and juice, and watching TV all day long just so I wouldn’t have to move.
    In pregnancy #2, I started taking Zofran & Reglan the 1st time I felt a tinge of nausea. Being ‘on top of the nausea’ seemed to help. Not only were the meds more effective, but the HG let up toward the end of the 2nd trimester, and I was able to somewhat ‘enjoy’ the pregnancy from that point forward, with only intermittent nausea/vomitting.

    We didn’t see family much during my 1st pregnancy, so they didn’t witness any of what I was going through. I was often told ‘at least the baby’s healthy’ – ‘nibble on crackers and drink gingerale’ – and ‘it’ll pass after the 1st trimester’. BUT – with #2, we made arrangements for my son and I to stay with my parents for 6 weeks so they could help out with my son (my DH worked long hours, and my mom’s schedule was flexible – she could work from home as much as needed – AND most of my extended family still lives in my hometown. i.e. LOTS of extra hands). The weekend of my son’s 1st birthday, my DH drove us to meet my parents (along with some other exteneded family) so we could celebrate and then continue on the long treck to my parent’s house. During that weekend, my M&D had to take me to the ER for IV fluids. I was so dehydrated I couldn’t move a muscle without my head feeling like it was going to explode. I was 11 weeks, and had been suffering from HG for most of it. The ER doc gave me phenegren in my IV for the nausea/vomiting. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that’s what he was giving me, so was unable to warn him of my RLS (which phenegren agitates). I looked like I was a drug addict going through withdrawals. In all my 26 years (at that time) – my mom had never been so scared for me. We were staying with her sister (my aunt) – who was near tears she admitted to me that she had heard of people having ‘morning sickness’ – but had never imagined it could be as terrible as what she witnessed in me that weekend.

    The traumatization is ongoing. My daughter is 2, and I am TERRIFIED of becoming pregnant again, even though I WANT another BABY. I have been treated for anxiety and depression since having her, and am afraid that it will only be worse in pregnancy #3.

    BTW – does anyone else have RLS? Phenegrin, antihistimines, sleep aids – they all agitate it. I have it outside of pregnancy, but it comes on ten-fold during pregnancy (and I can’t take my RX meds during pregnancy). Curious if there are any other alternatives for helping with sleep without making the RLS worse…

  21. Thank you for posting such an honest account of what it is like to endure HG. You have put it into words so well. I only wish I had an honest account to read and to share with others when I was first diagnosed with HG so that they could have understood what i was going through. No-one got it. It’ll pass by 12 weeks. Have some ginger. Get some fresh air. It’s time you pulled yourself together now. Eventually I was having family members advising me to terminate. But on the whole no-body understood and in some ways that was as much to deal with as the nausea.
    I hope that the world is educated more about HG and how beyond Morning Sickness it is, and how devastating it is for the person suffering it and those around her. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I really feel for you. My daughter is nearly 16 weeks and has suffered with HG since week 6. She was taken in hospital with severe dehydration, 3 plus ketones and rapid pulse when she was 8.5 weeks pregnant, she was put on a drip and “encouraged” to eat (which was virtually impossible. She went home 10 days later still with 3 plus ketones but rehydrated.
    She was re-admitted at 13 weeks again severely dehydrated and 3 plus ketones. Again she was put on a drip, this time we could see her on an almost daily basis getting worse and worse. 10 days ago I was concerned about her breathing and raised it with the nurse, it was then referred to a midwife, then the doctor, then the senior registrar and then the senior consultant. In the meantime additional cannulas
    were being put in wherever they could find a vein and she was given oxygen. The senior consultant wanted a second and third opinion from the medical team. She was then rushed to the critical care unit. The following day they put a central line in through the main vein in her neck and saturated her with electrolytes, fluid, nutrition, steroids, gut protector, anti sickness, and painkillers. We were advised she was malnourished and her body had basically started to,shut down, we almost lost her. Thankfully she pulled through and is till in hospital being cared for. HG cAn be life threatening when the mum is under treated. The doctors looking after my daughter had not realised how ill she was and just how bad she had got. We have to raise the awareness of this terrible illness. My daughter almost died due to the lack of knowledge of the doctors, her baby will be so cherished and loved and will be out miracle baby.
    She has now got to the stage where she can eat and is actually starting to fancy food again. Hold on all you HG sufferers and get a second opinion if you are not happy, we did and it saved my daughters life.

  23. I have just written a really long account of what my daughter has had to face with HG but it hasn’t posted, any idea where it might have gone???

  24. I understand your frustration and situation. I too suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarium. I had to stop working. When I tried to go back to work, I went with a PICC line in my arm. Everyone kept asking me, ” what is wrong with you”? I just told them that I am pregnant and had a rare pregnancy disease, but no one understood. They thought that I was being a whining pregnant woman. My baby ended up being delivered at 26 1/2 weeks because I developed high blood pressure. That was something that they understood and then I got a little sympathy. She weighed 1 lb, 6 oz. I had to take off a year from work, then I went back to work for a year but my body was not back to normal. I took a sabbatical leave and then discovered that I had Fibromyalgia. I wonder if my preganancy had something to do with me having Fibromyagia. Now I am tired and in pain everyday and still struggling to get to work every morning. I empathize with you. I understand. I pray for you. I know how miserable pregnancy can be with this rare disease and how unpleasant people can be when they just don’t understand our days from sun up to sun down.

  25. I was searching for a link between Fibro and Hyperemisis and came across your post. I feel for you. I know your pain. I was pregnant 9 times and all those times I had severe hyperemisis. My other issue was I would lose the baby around 4 months. I would go through all the hell and then I would lose my baby. I have never told anyone this but feel it might help someone else if they find the themselves in the same situation. I was pregnant and engaged to be married. I wanted the baby. I got very sick quickly. I was put in the hospital. They gave me some nausea medication. Little did I know the the medicine they gave caused me high anxiety and a feeling of total nervousness. My fiancé wasn’t at the hospital yet. The doctor came in and said, you’re acting a little crazy.” I’m looking at her and my body is shaking and trembling. I told her I was fine but very very nervous. So nervous I could not sit down. They actually thought I had a mental problem!!! I was so sick and now anxiety ridden, I chose to end the pregnancy because I thought I was losing my mind! Well, after I did the most horrific think I could ever do, I did some research and the Medicine I was given drugs that caused extreme anxiety and nervousness. I ended my pregnancy because I was given drugs that made me anxiety ridden and made a horrible choice when I really didn’t know why I was so overly jittery and nervous. I made a terrible decision that still haunts me. I have been there with the central line for feeding, my toddler and husband had to stay away from me because of their smells. I slept alone for 7 months knocking myself out on medicine, Zofran. Etc. my veins were all blown from needles and nurses coming to my home and sticking me constantly until I got the central line put in. The doctor was afraid I would rip my stomach lining. It’s so hard not to see your husband or 2 year old be side you are puking up acid in your stomach. It was do worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for nothing but some of the medical profession need to understand what they are doing when it comes to hyperemisis. One nurse would smart off to me, “it’s just morning sickness.! Making me feel less of a woman. The doctor actually put a person in my hospital roon to watch me that night thinking I might jump out a window! WELL! Do you know the nausea drugs you gave me made me crazy with anxiety. I dont know how you can be an OBGYN and not know about the drug you put in my body that caused me to make a crazy decision. I know this is hard for you and I didn’t have family who cared. I don’t think they got it either but my husband was my rock. Just keep remembering the end result and sleep as much as you can. It’s going to end. Sleeping was the only way for me it was so depressing to lay in beg every day Hugging a trash can. Your so sick you can’t read a book or watch tv. You just want to lie there and not move a muscle because that could make you vomit. There needs to be more awareness for this do the uneducated medical staff and others understand what you ae going through. I know what you’re going though and it’s the roughest thing I’ve ever dealt with. Going to pray that the nausea will be less and it goes away as fast as it came. Thanks for sharing your story. It needs to be told. There’s some poor girl out there losing her mind from not knowing what is happening to her body..I ll be thinking of you. One more thing. Keep talking about it and maybe your friends and family can help you get through it!

  26. I’m from malaysia.i suffered from HG in both pregnancies.both ended up with miscarriage at 16w and 19w.i hope my angel babies are doing fine in heaven.i am now childless.God knows the suffer i’ve been through.i cant even say them in words.God knows how bad we want baby but i”m beyond scared to face anoyher hg.i hope there will be a pure safe treatment for this torturing disease.my obstetrician has working experience of 30 years and everytime he saw me in the ward he would say ‘in my 30 years of practice i’ve never encountered a single case like yours’.i thought i was gonna die ;(..i fought but i lost The battle.

  27. Hi Sommer

    Thank you for sharing your story.. I’m a 24 year old having my 1st baby I’m 12 weeks and have been suffering from H.G since week 6..its toture,I wouldn’t wish it for anyone aswell. I don’t know how many times I thought of terminating my pregnancy not because I don’t want my baby but because of the pain I’m going through.I’ve been in and out of hospital several times (admittd) but I can’t say it realy helped I pray to God that it all goes away soon,I can’t take it anymore this is too much! I cry myself to sleep every night. To all the H.G sufferes let termination not be an option as hard as it is let’s keep strong we will get through this:'( hang in there Sommer!

  28. I know it is 2014, but I had to reply to your story and the stories of all that commented. I myself had HG horribly last year while pregnant with twins. My husband and I endured infertility issues only to be confronted with HG as well. I was SO sick, multiple IV’s, hospitalized at 13 weeks, spitting out my own saliva continuously, ended up on TPN IV nutrition and all IV meds because swallowing ANYTHING was so not going to happen. I then spent another 6 weeks being bedridden and cared for by my DH only to go to our 18 week ultrasound and see the lost heartbeats of our twins. I would just like to say that the only thing worse than HG, is to go through it and then lose the miracle(s) you were fighting for to begin with. (I would also like to say that HG did NOT cause the miscarriage, they do not know what happened to be honest) I don’t know how, but my husband and I have pulled through our ordeal, mourned our loses and do still… we have done IVF one more time and are expecting again. I am now 8 weeks along and have been sick with HG since 6 weeks along. We are so happy and so scared. I have already had IV hydration, spitting out all of my saliva just started again, and I am now realizing that HG carries with it a certain PTSD quality after it. I have been so terrified lately that this will last my entire pregnancy. But I am even more scared that I will go through all of this again only to have my little miracle stolen from me.
    I think all of you are so brave and your words ring so true to me. The emotions, the crying, enduring ignorant people and their comments, losing jobs, and the trauma after “surviving” HG. Thank you for your posts and letting me know I am not alone and that I can do this!

    1. I am so sorry for the loss of your twins. I truly cannot imagine that pain – that pain couples with going through HG is just about the cruelest thing I think anyone could endure. :( You are in my thoughts for a healthy little one this time around. Best wishes to you! <3

  29. I am sitting here in tears! Thank you for sharing your journey. My daughter is 14 weeks along and was just in hospital last week and the ER doc said HG. Her OB has been useless so we are going to get a new one! It breaks my mama heart to hear her say she would rather die than feel like this for 26 more weeks. They have tried Zofran and Diclegis. We just added the B6 and they switched her to Phenegran. (Spelling?) Is it still helpful to download the book you mentioned? Do you have any tips on finding a doctor or midwife skilled in HG? If one more person tells her “it’s a normal part of pregnancy and it will pass” I think she will punch them in the throat. She just turned 20 so she is really having a hard time with all of this and will be moving home so I can help her and monitor her health.

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