Hperemesis Gravidarum, It’s NOT Morning Sickness

Hperemesis Gravidarum, It's NOT Morning Sickness

DISCLAIMER

We wanted to take some time to talk about Hyperemesis Gravidarum, it’s not morning sickness. It’s like it’s own hyper breed of screw you up while you’re pregnant. Our hesitation has been that we don’t want to sound like we are (especially me) complaining. Because I’m not. Listen, it’s hard and I’ve definitely cried a few times, but I also am fully aware that each day has a blessing if I just look for it. Sometimes it’s just knowing that being sick also means baby is still alive and that’s good enough. But let’s be honest, the information you can find just doesn’t give a real picture of what it’s really like and Cade and I feel like not only will the raw truth help educate others and help them better understand us, but more importantly, maybe this will help get the word out that we desperately need research and answers for something that is a real beast to go through. I’m going to be blunt. I’m going to buck up and totally not let myself be private like normal so please forgive me if it makes you uncomfortable. So many women don’t realize that what they are going through is not normal and they need extra care.Hperemesis Gravidarum, It's NOT Morning Sickness

*Nausea and Vomiting*

Let’s just start off with the most obvious part about morning sickness and HG. To say that nausea and vomiting is a part of HG is an understatement. Anyone who has ever been sick while pregnant knows it stinks, but this isn’t the regular stuff. The nausea is unreal, and trust me once I’m further along I get the privilege of regular morning sickness and this is not even on the same chart. I feel it everywhere. It’s debilitating. Just rolling over or sitting up sends me heaving my guts up. I feel it in my skin and bones and it doesn’t make sense but it’s true. The vomiting is powerful. A good day I may throw up 3-6 times a day, a bad day I could live in the bathroom because 5-10 times an hour I’m throwing up.

If you’ve thrown everything up how can you continue? Ha! Your body hates you and it will find a way. I throw up my saliva, stomach acid and then the best part is the dry heaving. It is so painful and every place on my body, especially my back and stomach is so sore I can hardly stand it. My body wants to keep at it so much that often I cannot catch my breath which makes me start to black out and I can’t tell you how much I hate that.

Well that all stinks but it doesn’t stop there. Since you’re vomiting your body decides to really go after you and make it violent. Violent vomiting means it’s coming up so hard and fast it’s rocketing out your nose. Yup. I’m disgusting. And it’s so incredibly painful! Your throat and nose become raw from it which leads to bloody noses for me and as I’m sure you can guess, triggers my nausea and makes me throw up more.

*Side Affects of Vomiting*

There’s obvious weight loss. And I mean a lot. I’ll probably be praying for humility if you tell me you lost weight while pregnant only to reveal it was like 5-10 pounds over a month. That’s nothing. I promise. My weight plummets to the 80’s and we are fully aware of what a blessing it is to not be worse. This is where that good ol’ NJ feeding tube comes in. Right now I’m set to get it Friday, but let’s all pray for a miracle on that one. Being thin has additional challenges.

Let’s talk muscle atrophy. My bony body is so weak I cannot walk on my own much. My legs crumble under me and my arms are useless. If you’re already wondering, my husband walks me everywhere, helps me shower, dresses me and blows my hair dry. He is my hero. I used to try so hard to do it on my own and keep strength as long as I could, but it was a huge mistake. Not only does it make me ten times more sick, but I just can’t do it. I’m embarrassed to admit that Cade has found me crumpled on the floor unable to make it back into bed or back to the couch multiple times.

The aches and pains come too. Your body is so thin everything hurts everywhere, but if you try to move you’re throwing up again. I can’t stand my bony knees touching or how my pelvic bones jut out and provide no cushioning. Every night Cade sits by me and rubs my legs to try to ease the pain. You get really used to pain, no not used to it, but familiar with it. HG is painful. And that’s not even getting into the stabbing pains in your stomach that just wont end.

Hperemesis Gravidarum, It's NOT Morning Sickness

Dehydration. I don’t even want to go there because these days everyone seems so quick to head in to get IV’s. The truth is we go through major dehydration. Like hooked up in the hospital for days and days trying to bring things back. And have you ever gotten an IV while incredibly dehydrated? It’s actually painful, not a poke, like it hurts and often your veins have become so flat they can’t get in. Last pregnancy we had to ditch the arms since we couldn’t ever get a successful poke. So far, even when it takes being poked quite a few times we’ve managed to keep it in my arm, what a blessing. When you’re already sick being poked over and over and that burning that comes from it not getting in gets really old really fast. Being dehydrated also messes with you. I can’t focus or think clearly and my eyes especially wont focus. You don’t feel human and can’t imagine what it felt like to feel “normal”.

Constipation. Shoot me now. Not only are you dehydrated, pregnant and not eating much which all lead to constipation but the meds have the side affect of constipation too. If you’ve ever not gone to the bathroom for 2-3 weeks you know what I’m talking about, it’s horrible, painful and so annoying. Stabbing pains and uncomfortable bowels are no joke and no fun. It’s dumb.

*The Things You Need To Know*

I wish you could visit, but not right now. Talking and breathing make me sick. If you stop by for a visit I will pay for it. And that’s really screwed up because laying on the couch or in bed all day staring at the walls is lonely, depressing and boring. It’s actually one of the hardest parts of this for me. TV only works every now and again and then you can’t stand it so you go stir crazy. I desperately wish I could have a visit from someone. But then someone shows up and the energy it takes to communicate destroys me. You may visit with me for 10 minutes and then I’ll spend the next few hours vomiting harder than ever. I pay for it and so please just wait for me to tell you that I’m up for a visit and then keep it short.

I go to the doctor every week to weigh in. It’s hard. It’s the day I end up the most sick because I’m up and about, but it’s the day that offers peace to us that we are ok and so is baby so it’s worth it. We do an ultrasound to check on baby. We know I generally end up with a small placenta and very low fluid which is never good, but we keep a close eye on things. If you see me coming and going somewhere, please be kind and let us get there and home quickly, in other words, just because I’m out doesn’t mean it’s because I feel good and it’s time for a visit.

Insomnia has become the new normal. Ugh, I hate this part. I do not sleep. Actually, this pregnancy is better than the last because once in a while I will doze all night, but then I’m right back to laying awake all day and night which I’m sure you can imagine is horrible. The day already lasts forever but then you have to lay there all night too. And as you may have guessed, not sleeping only makes you more sick, and feeling down. Sleep is such a blessing as is every other little thing we take for granted such as a drink of water.

Sensory issues drive me crazy. Noises, people touching me, smells and more make my skin crawl and make me physically ill. Yes, one more thing to throw up over. It’s not just my husband and people that stink to me, someone opens the pantry, the front door, brings in books, and the list goes on and I can smell it. The water in the shower is like torture but not showering is worse.

Hperemesis Gravidarum, It's NOT Morning Sickness

NO FOOD SOUNDS GOOD. Trust me, I’ve tried it all, more than you could recommend. I get asked all the time what sounds good and nothing really is the truth. I don’t crave anything. In fact, just the thought of trying to eat makes me want to crumble. Yes, of course I’ve tried ice chips, even under my tongue. I try nibbling because I know I have no choice but it is literally torture for me. I hate eating. I hate thinking about it. Nothing takes the edge off either. I’m glad others find relief from sour, spicy, cereal, gum, lemon candy etc. I don’t. I promise. I wish I did. Yes, I’ve tried all of the medications, but none are the miracle you say they are. And this all becomes mentally depressing and frustrating. It is horrible trying to make yourself eat and worse to try think of something you might be able to gag down. Cade and I go over and over different foods trying to find something I’d be willing to try. Dry crackers or food in a totally dry mouth is torture but anything juicy is just as awful as my body seems to hate juicy or fluids. It’s so frustrating.

Starvation is real. I may not have died from it but it’s no exaggeration that I understand it better than I ever thought I would. At times I’ve gone so long without water that I’ve desperately wanted it in a way that’s scary. In fact, I’ll become so crazy for it that when trying to take a sip of water (every bit counts) I literally lose control and I’m suddenly guzzling it. I can’t stop!! And before I can even finish swallowing it’s all coming back up. I can’t tell you how frustrating that is. And now you’re so dehydrated your mouth tastes and smells like metal and is so dry you actually don’t swallow well, there’s nothing to swallow! Food is different. After going so long without it you suddenly don’t care anymore. My stomach wont even growl. It takes Cade constantly trying to get me to eat and in the hospital I’ll admit that the cafeteria even kept calling to try to get me to order food. I try really hard now to not think, but just do as I’m told because I literally don’t care anymore. (Dr Haskett is not going to be happy) In fact, I feel better with nothing in me than with food. Eating all day actually makes me more ill than keeping my stomach empty and then occasionally nibbling especially in IV therapy. And yet, I do care as occasionally watching people enjoy things, even as simple as a bowl of fruit makes me depressed that I can’t join in and I have to fight to feel grateful instead of letting those feelings in.

If you see me somewhere, church for 20 minutes, the dr, etc it has taken me all day to get there. It’s a huge process that makes me more sick than ever. And then I last a short time and I’m out of there. Why? Because 1. I’m afraid I’m 2 seconds away from throwing up in your lap, and if you were to follow me out to the car you’d see how many throw up bags I keep in there because I lose it every time. 2. I cannot stand to be upright for a minute longer. I feel dizzy, hot, claustrophobic (holy cow that is a real thing people!!!!) and so nauseous I can’t handle it anymore. It is a huge sacrifice to get ready and for me that only means showered. I haven’t done my hair or makeup in over 2 months and I pretty much live in pajamas.

*The Truth*

The truth is, this stinks. You cry until you’re so dehydrated tears don’t come. Some days or even weeks are so hard you want to lay down and die. Not actually die, but you don’t know how you can possibly wake up one more day and do this all again. You can’t be a mother and the kids need you. People around you complain about “feeling so tired” or nauseous and if only they could throw up like you, or nauseous for the whole thing and you cry because you are tempted to punch them in the nose and you know that you need more humble pie, but you almost don’t care because what they don’t get is you’re feeling everything 10 times worse. Throwing up offers zero relief. In fact, it’s a good day when you wish you could throw up. Every day you’re fighting to survive and to have that sweet baby survive. Every day lasts a lifetime and while you’re usually feeling better by 20 weeks many of us hang on to the nausea and “morning sickness” throughout the rest of pregnancy. You just wouldn’t know it because we know how much worse it could be so a complaint is never uttered. In fact, my 9th month I was totally sick again and by the time I was in labor I was so utterly exhausted from vomiting all day and night I felt too tired to push. Though I did because heck yes let’s get that thing out and move on!!!

Hyperemesis often carries PTSD at the end. Our second pregnancy I went through that and while I know military has it far worse I’ve also come to know that it’s so real and you can’t escape it. Certain things trigger such enormous anxiety and panic attacks and I’m praying I wont experience it again this time. In fact, as hard as things are, in some ways this pregnancy is better than the last. It is a miracle and I cannot deny that.

The most important truth is that we chose to do this. And we can do it. We know we have become better because of it and we knew this was what we were supposed to do. The truth is, it’s all worth it and I can’t complain at all because in the end we get to take home a sweet baby and that is an incredible miracle. The truth is, we are fully aware of what a blessing it is. Probably more than others do because we’ve had to fight for it.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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111 comments on “Hperemesis Gravidarum, It’s NOT Morning Sickness”

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  3. Oh my!  Such bravery and heart ache to go through so much.  I had no idea that this existed.  My husband and I will be adding you to our prayer list.  I cannot even imagine what you are going through.  Take care and may the Lord bless you each and every day.
    Mari

    • Thank you so much Mari! This was actually our story from about 4 years ago. We are absolutely great now with three healthy and beautiful children! We appreciate your support so much!

  4. As a HEG survivor, I thank you for reosting this. I appreciate you sharing your story to raise awareness and educate others.

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  6. Thanks for this because my girlfriend has been going through this and i didnt really understand but now i kinda get a feel. This was really helpful

    • We are so glad we could help a little Raymond! Just love and support her every way you can! And if she ever needs support or words of encouragement, please let me know!

  7. Everything is so true, it is worth it but at this moment I feel like I can’t take it much longer, I have a 4 year old and I can’t care for her anymore 😔 I feel like I’m dying everyday, there’s no relief. I see no end to this. Your article was perfectly written

  8. I heard you speak about this at TOFW in Portland this weekend. As soon as you said it was real I started to cry! I was always told “It’s just in your head.” “Just try and get over it!” “Stop giving in to it it, be stronger!” “Stop being so dramatic.” “You are over exaggerating.” “It will be better next time.” This was not just from people I knew but from the doctors I had. Hearing you say it’s real….relief, liberation, justification, peace. I am strong, it was not in my head, I was suffering, my body still has battle wounds! And yes I was blessed at the end each time but the blessing do not mean the trials were not real, not painful, not more than I could bare alone. I spoke to you after the event and asked you to write the name of HG down. It makes me feel whole to have a name. I can not thank you enough for putting words to my nightmare. For giving me information that I did not know was available. I am sorry you walked this road but I am grateful to know I have not walked it alone. Thank you!

    • Hi Gemia, Thank you so much for taking the time to come and talk to us after the event. You were such a sweet soul to take the time to seek us out afterwards and share a piece of your story with us. I know exactly what you mean, putting a name with it is helpful in the healing process. A way to acknowledge all that happened. We wish you peace and blessings. xoxo

  9. I’m in my third trimester now with my third baby, which we prayed for and desired. Reading your post bring me to tears…I ve had HG with each pregnancy and it became worse each time. It’s so tough…but the hardest think ever for me was the fact that people didn’t understand the gravity of it or just not really believing the facts…
    One of the hardest things I’ve gone through in my life. Yep you bring me to tears.

    • Sasha! I wish I could give you the biggest hug ever right now! It can feel so isolating! My prayers are with you during these last few weeks! It all ends up worth it in the end as you know! Xoxo! Thanks for sharing a piece of you with us! Send us a pic of your new sweet miracle baby when he or she arrives!

  10. I know there are no words that make it go away or get better. I also had it , many years ago, the doctor said it was just a bad case of morning sickness. I always felt blessed that I managed to carry two babies to full term. Please know that I pray for you and truly understand what you are going through. You are a strong lady and have wonderful support from your husband. My husband is the one who helped me through it.

  11. Amazing how many people suffer from this condition. I was at TOFW and heard you talk about this. Just found another person who understands your pain…the Duchess of Cambridge. Here’s a link to an article for their 3rd child. Thought you might find it interesting it can affect anyone, even the Royal Family. http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/celebrity/royal-baby-palace-reveals-new-details/ar-AAvESzL?ocid=ientp

  12. I was never diagnosed with HG with either of my pregnancies (I’ve never heard of it actually) but a lot of this sounds so familiar.  I lost 25 lbs. with my first pregnancy and 20 lbs. with my second.  I remember sobbing and being so worried that my baby was suffering and not getting enough nourishment. The smell of everything bothered me including food and my poor husband.  I remember laying on the couch with a bucket next to me just trying to get through my day.  I felt like I missed out on 9 months with my son while I was pregnant with my daughter. It was so hard trying to take care of a two year old while not being able to move.  We ended up not having any more children because I didn’t think I could handle a third pregnancy and manage to take care of my two littles at the same time.  I wish now that we we wouldn’t have been so quick to make that decision because we both with we would have had more.   I feel for you. I pray that this pregnancy passes quickly for you and that God gives you the strength you need to get through each day ❤

  13. Thank you so much for your blog post. I suffered with my two kids 30 years ago when people just thought I was crazy. Just reading about it brings it all back. Strength to you and your family.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your experience in such raw detail! I, too, suffered with HG during my 5 pregnancies that went to term. My one miscarriage I never got sick, and I must admit it was wonderful to actually enjoy being pregnant. But alas, that sickness usually translates to “healthy” pregnancy. I never had a miracle drug that took everything away, but Zofran did keep me out of the hospital on my last 2 pregnancies — it wasn’t approved for pregnant women when I had my first 3 (1993, 1996, and 1999). I can so relate with the not sleeping at night, crumpling on the floor because of muscle atrophy, hypersensitive to senses, and the PICC lines. I believe I would go into an altered mental state sometimes just to get through the hours — which felt like days. I remember after I had my 5th (and last child) in 2008 getting on facebook and finding a, HG support group. I bawled as I read story after story of women who also had gone through what I had gone through! I really wasn’t alone! I know by your sharing your story others will receive strength, validation, and some will just be educated on this debilitating condition. I definitely feel a connection to you and other women who also have had HG, so thank you again for being so open and sharing!

    • Shelby,

      It’s so crazy how much you can feel it all again just thinking about it, right?! Even sitting here, and maybe it’s because it was only two years ago, but I just remember every little thing. Thank you for your comment, it means so much to me!!

  15. Thank you for this! I found your blog through the LDS #PrinceofPeace initiative and this is exactly the best description I’ve read of HG. I’m currently in the midst of my 4th HG pregnancy (16.5Weeks) and finally hitting the “morning sickness” phase you described.
    It’s nice to know I’m not alone, and yet I wish I was because I would never wish this on anyone.
    Thankfully, I have never progressed to the feeding tube, although my first week of nausea with this baby made me wish for it. But I can relate to every single part of this post.
    “Sensory issues drive me crazy. Noises, people touching me, smells and more make my skin crawl and make me physically ill. Yes, one more thing to throw up over. It’s not just my husband and people that stink to me, someone opens the pantry, the front door, brings in books, and the list goes on and I can smell it. The water in the shower is like torture but not showering is worse.”
    This is the best description! And it is so hard!
    I love your conclusion, I am thankful for the process, I would change the sickness but I wouldn’t change the outcome. I CHOSE this because I know the blessings from the outcome. And I am grateful everyday for the best husband around to help me through!

    • Hi Brittani,

      Thank you for your comment. I can’t tell you how many others email us that they read through the comments and others’ words helped carry them through. It is definitely not my favorite thing to be pregnant but it has changed me forever and for that I’d do it all over again the same way. xoxo and best luck on baby!! Stay in touch!

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  17. hi,
    i went through HG from dec. 2015 all the way up to my delivery date, Aug 25, 2016. it was THEE worst thing i have ever experienced. i threw up for 6 hours minimum each day.. i couldn’t take long car rides, because i always vomited. i had to take a very long leave from my job, i work in a hospital, and every smell tore me up. i found myself in the shower for the most par if my day for pain relief.. i didn’t poop for weeks& once i did it’ll be the size of a pea. i cried, it hurt. i talked, it hurt.. food? forget about it! the crazy part is i’m anemic, so i craved ice cold water. once i got it, i always told myself to take a few sips& put the bottle down.. but i always ended up guzzling it. then seconds later it was right back up.. my throat was raw, stripping small veins from my esophagus.. it was horrible. i cried for water many of nights, knowing i couldn’t handle it. i never slept.. EVER! it all just seemed like one long, horrific day. i lost 30lbs during my pregnancy.. became used to hospital stays.. i made HG apart of my life.. knowing that my baby boy was healthy& alive is what kept me going. (he was moving around the whole time, unbothered. lol)

    once i delivered.. it was hard for me to eat how i used to.. because i was so afraid of throwing up.. i’m still apprehensive about certain foods. but i’m slowly gaining my life back.. because HG definitely takes your life away from you. I’m in love with my baby boy& i’m so proud of myself for sticking it out. i also have an amazing husband who was by my side the whole time.

    side note: my doctor told me the HG was common with women who were having boys. is this true? do all of you women have boys, as well?

    -DOROTHY

    • Yes, yes, yes! To all of it! My second pregnancy was by far the worst and though the third wasn’t much better I could still remember that raw, bleeding throat and was so grateful it wasn’t bleeding this time.
      And the after is still really bothering me this time around. There are plenty of foods I wont even look at pictures of and many things and places put me right back into the pregnancy, I feel it all again even though it was over a year ago now.
      I’ve never heard anything about the boys, and I’ve researched quite a bit, but you never know. We have three girls and a boy and the first was teh easiest, second daughter the hardest and boy was in between.
      Thank you for sharing your story. We have so many readers that email us after reading the comments and I know your words will encourage someone.

  18. All I wish is nothing but no one else has to ho through HG..
    Your article conclusion encouraged me very much. Thanks! Half more to go for me!

  19. This is the most true thing I have ever read!!

  20. Thank u for this! This is my second pregnancy. And with both I had HG. I hate feeling like I’m complaining. I can’t even get myself into the shower because of how little energy I have. My 8 year old helped bathe me one day because she walked in on my sobbing in the tub after puking. I can’t show affection to those I love because it makes my stomach turn. I can’t even sleep in the same bed as my fiancé because I can feel him turn in his sleep and it makes me hurl. Medicines don’t help. Nothing helps. I have to force myself to eat but if I had a choice I wouldn’t. But either way I’m throwing up every hour it seems. I’ve nibbled, I sipped, I’ve slept through it using sleep aids but then I just wake up throwing up twice the amount of bile then I would if I didn’t sleep through it. But I feel I can’t complain because my best friend and I were pregnant at the same time she found out just a few days before me and she lost it. And so I feel extreme guilt when I lay in bed crying because I can’t take this anymore. I felt so alone. But to know I’m not, puts my mind at ease. To know that others go through exactly what I do, helps because I see that they make it through it- and so can I.

    • Oh, Amanda. We are here for you. Your trial is no less than anyone else’s. You may still be carrying but it is at a great price and never let yourself feel bad about how hard it is. People have actually died from HG. You are a fighter. You are a survivor and you can do this. Praying for you and shedding a few tears because I can empathize completely. xoxo

  21. Reading this was so refreshing. I was never diagnosed with HG but in hindsight pretty sure I had it. No one around understood. The motion sickness, weight loss, vomiting, constipation. I actually had people tell me “wow you’re really not fun when you’re pregnant..” I wanted to scream at them that I actually felt like I was fighting for my life every single day. It’s hard when so many people feel great or just mildly ill during pregnancy. People assume they know what you’re going through. I definitely didn’t have it to your degree, I can’t even imagine. Thank you for posting and putting your experience into words. It’s healing to read that someone, somewhere, does in fact understand.

    • Allison, Thank you so much for commenting. And you’re right, it’s a very hard thing for people to understand which is why I felt the need to post but really it only made me feel so sympathetic to others struggling with personal relationships, health problems etc. I guess I feel like if I wanted people every where to better understand me/us and this journey then I have to be more aware of others and that I can’t possibly understand their pain but I can at least be more patient and loving with them. Does that make sense? Haha, kind of a tangent but either way thank you so much for commenting!

  22. Thank you for sharing and describing your experience. So much of what you said hit home. I don’t suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum but I struggle with ulcerative colitis and sacroiliitis, two autoimmune diseases, and I’ve had similar experiences. But the whole not being frank and telling the whole story because you’re afraid other people will think you’re complaining or being negative is so true. So often I find myself not being honest or painting a rosy picture. I wish more people would be as brave and as open to sharing their struggles, making it possible for the world to have a greater understanding and will to find cures.

    • Megan, isn’t that the truth?! We don’t say anything because we don’t want to appear to be whiney, negative or even blowing things up bigger than they are. It is sad too because at the same time you kind of want someone to just hear you out that it’s really hard, and no one understands. Ugh, I’m so sorry you are dealing with that. One day our bodies will all work as they should and wont that be glorious!

  23. This post hits so close to home that I am literally typing through tears. Everything you said described my pregnancy with HG to the T. From the IV therapy, to the NJ tube, extreme weight loss, straight torture trying to eat or drink etc. I experienced it all! I have an amazing husband as well, but I still felt so misunderstood. Your words put my 9 months of pregnancy on paper. How did you have the courage to do it again? I know I have more children in store for me, but the thought of enduring this again causes so much anxiety! Did it get better each time? I pray each day to find the strength and I don’t know how to prepare for round two.

    • Hi Audrey,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It’s a hard road to travel down for sure, but you aren’t at all alone in everything you’re feeling. Our children are 9, 5 and the little guy should be arriving in Nov/Dec so clearly we took quite a while to gear up for the next baby. First, we were very prayerful each time and only moved forward when everyone was ready to tackle it. It was much, much worse the second time and this last time was only slightly better in that I slept a little more and the heartburn which sounds so trivial wasn’t as bad and that really was such a blessing. I was bound and determined to have a better attitude no matter what too. Our second I felt so alone and I was just drowning in how sick I was so it was even harder emotionally. This time I let myself cry of course, but I desperately looked for a blessing and focused on that each day. It helped a lot. I also think it helped that I gained extra weight before getting pregnant so that I’d have a little more stored up. I got super healthy, strong and ate way more protein etc so that I’d gain strength and weight to help my body pull through. Maybe it did more than I realized… The thought of doing it again was horrible, but in the end we knew there was another child meant for us so with faith and strength from the Lord I was able to tackle it again. I just know you have that courage when you’re ready. I can feel how strong you’ve already had to be. No one understands HG like we do, but it’s ok because now you and I can be such a blessing to others struggling with their own burdens.

      Oh, I’m so glad you wrote. You have done hard things and I am so inspired by your courage. I just love it.

  24. sending so much love your way! my sister and i have had varying degrees of HG, and while it wasn’t as bad as what you have dealt with, i know it is miserable. the constipation part just gets me angry – as if everything else wasn’t enough! reading this post brought me back to my pregnancy with my son. it was the hardest thing i have ever done, and i can’t think about it without wanting to cry. i will say that it made me realize what a good man i had by my side. we had only been married two months when i got pregnant, and we were thrown into the fire together, battling HG. and while those were some of my darkest days, mixed in are some incredibly sweet moments with my good husband. glad you have a good one by your side as well. praying lots for you!

    • Andrea, I can only imagine how much craziness that probably was after 2 months, but you’re right, it shows you exactly who you married. I am so happy we have such good men by our sides. 🙂

  25. I have to start by saying YES!! Yes, to everything in this post. I have three amazing children here on earth and four babies in heaven. And I had hyperemesis with all of my pregnancies and some PTSD after losing the last four, all in the second trimester. In fact, I have tears in my eyes and can feel my heart racing just reading your post. I’ve had nurses at the OB clinic, ask if I’ve tried soda crackers when I called in for help. I’ve had a doctor tell me not to worry because it wasn’t hyperemsis and I would feel better at 12-14 weeks, but it actually didn’t go away until I delivered my babies. I had at home IV therapy and a Zofran pump. My husband, children, friends and family had to do everything for me. Ohhh…the nausea…then endless nausea!! Even when I closed my eyes it felt like I was riding on a boat in the rocky sea. And the smells…it got so bad that my husband couldn’t bring the newspaper into our laundry room because I could smell it from the couch. (We need to launch a line of fragrance free products that are really fragrance free, just for women with HG. You still have to shower, used deodorant and have your clothes washed and they need to be scent free.) And the loneliness…10 minutes would feel like an hour some days and most people really didn’t understand the weakness, the pain, the constipation and the isolation. I wished I could just happily visit for a few minutes with my BFFs and not pay for it afterward. So, even though HG is different for everyone, I can empathize! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time. Hugs!!

    • Yes! I’m so glad to hear that you can empathize with the small percentage of those of us who suffer. You are one amazing lady for all you’ve been through. I’m certain those sweet babies are waiting for you and you will see them again one day. 🙂

  26. I just wanted to thank you for posting such a detailed report of your experience to help educate those unfamiliar with HG. My wife is currently suffering through this awful illness, and her inability to really function at all has cost her/us friendships from ill-informed people who are convinced she’s simply being weak and lazy, when the truth is the exact opposite.

    My wife is the strongest person I know, and her ability to fight through HG while still making an effort to love and support her family and maintain a positive attitude has been truly extraordinary. She lives between our bed and the bathroom, though she usually has to crawl to/from the bathroom to vomit because if she tries to stand, she passes out. This is her routine up to 30x per day. In between, she deals with splitting headaches, crushing pain throughout her whole body, dehydration, hunger, restless legs, dry heaves, loneliness, bouts of depression, and extreme sensitivity to scents and sounds. I think the room has been spinning for an entire month now for her, and if things persist for the same length as her last pregnancy, she has three months to go. I really wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy–I honestly have never seen a person so ill for so long in my entire life.

    She has tried absolutely everything to manage the symptoms, with very little success. While ginger, lemon, honey, nauseau bands, Zofran, Phenergan, vitamin B6, ice chips, bland food, peppermint candies, and every other conceivable remedy may help with traditional morning sickness, unfortunately nothing seems to help for my wife’s HG. She’s simply had to resign herself to the fact that this will be her life for at least a few more months, while focusing on the incredible reward that will come in the end, and she’s done so with courage and grace.

    Anyways, I just wanted to share our experience and thank you again. We’ve been using your blog post to educate our family and friends on what my wife’s going through, and also to share with those people who have chosen to judge her, treat her with disrespect, and pretend to know what she’s going through–because they were a little nauseous during their own pregnancy–so that they may truly understand what HG is all about.

    I really hope that you are able to experience that 20-week reprieve, and we’ll be praying for your safe delivery. I want to thank you, my wife, and all of the women out there who willingly get pregnant and take on HG to bring life into this world. You are all incredible women and your strength and sacrifice are truly inspirational.

    • It sounds like you need a husband of the year award for recognizing and supporting her. I’ve heard far too many stories of family that just choose to ignore or judge and truly there just isn’t room for it. It’s absolutely debilitating and I absolutely understand what she is going through though I know that only have it for 20 weeks and then going through morning sickness the rest of the time is nothing compared to those who are hospitalized the entire 9 months. Please let her know that we are praying for her strength and ability to endure as well as healing that hopefully will come sooner rather than later. She can and will get through it. I’m so sad to hear about the misunderstandings. Oh how we have witnessed those as well. It is so incredibly hard and unless you’ve personally witnessed or experienced it there just isn’t the understanding she needs. Most of all, even horrible morning sickness does not grant one the ability to empathize. It’s different. I hope she knows that she is strong. There are small blessings each day and when she just can’t do it any more she will because she clearly has you on her side. Iv’s and being hospitalized don’t fix things for me but they do at least give my body the strngth to endure. I so hope her doctor is being proactive with that. We don’t do piccs because there’s a 50% chance of fatal blood clots but feeding tubes we were ok with. AND, if she ever has the energy to do so, you tell her to email me and complain all she wants. I’m happy to hear about it. This thing is pretty lame but it only means we are stronger and the end result will be even sweeter (unless it’s like our last colicky baby;) jk) my email is ohsweetbasil (at) gmail (dot) com. Best of luck sweet friends!!

  27. I just want to say that I know it takes a lot of courage to discuss HG in all its pain and loneliness. You have a beautiful blog and you are an amazing advocate for something that is so difficult to discuss and can be hurtful when people don’t understand. My first child, I was asked if I wanted him, and refused fluids until I scheduled a psychiatrist evaluation. With my second, thank God I received good care but had a picc line for 29 weeks with tpn for 20. It was awful and the worst time of my life. I am so deeply committed to advocacy and helping other women who are struggling to let them know they are not alone and fight for the care they deserve. May God bless you in this very difficult journey, and know that your story is touching lives. I’d love permission to share it!

  28. You have perfectly put into words the life I lived for all 8 of my pregnancies. Unfortunately only 2 went on to become my 2 lovely daughters, whilst I miscarried all the others between 8 and 20 weeks.unfortunately 1 of my daughters has inherited this from me but is lucky enough that medication works for her and she “only” vomits a couple of times a day, but without medication it can be ten times in an hour.I have tried to educate others that HG cannot be compared to morning sickness and is a complication of pregnancy like gestational diabetes etc.

  29. Oh, can I relate!!! That is, to a certain degree. I am 52 now, but 28 years ago, I was in your position. All I can remember is 9 months, every single day, throwing up. You are so very fortunate to have the husband you do. (Thank him for me!) Mine was nothing like that. In fact, mine put me in a psych.ward at the hospital for 3 weeks! Nobody around me understood and even the doctors did not comfort with words of encouragement. Through it all, though, God was there and helped me get through it day by day/minute by minute. If not for Him, it would have been so much harder than it already was.to hopefully encourage you… I went on to have two more kids, being sick only 6 months instead of 9! And, this first baby that I had the hyper emesis with was born very healthy at 7 lbs. 2 oz. why did I personally put myself through this? I don’t believe I did, I believe it was the way my body reacted to pregnancy. Why did I have two more? Because once that baby is in your arms, you ‘forget’.
    Much love to you. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. May God bless you and your husband richly in your parenthood and marriage!❤️❤️❤️

    • Thank you for your comment, Jeanette. I cannot imagine how awful that must have been for you! My heart breaks for you. I’m so glad it’s all over and you’re right, you do forget!

  30. Praying for you! I’m so glad you have a strong support system and a loving husband and daughters. <3 Here for you if you need anything. xoxo

  31. I don’t have much to say, because what could I possibly say? I’m a relatively new reader but I really enjoy your recipes. I cannot imagine what you’re going through, but just knowing that the outcome is most definitely worth it. **Hugs**.

  32. I teared up reading this. I can’t begin to even imagine how you feel and what you’re going through but God must give you some strong babies and a strong frame of mind to get through this! Do you know the song strong enough by Matthew west? It was totally playing in my mind as I read your story. I feel like after reading this my constant nagging complaining lately about day to day little things is just so dumb… You probably didn’t even think of impacting anyone in this way when you sat down and wrote this lol but I definitely needed a little reminder of what really matters and what doesn’t. When is the baby due? I’ll be praying for a safe delivery and an angel by your side for the rest of this!

    • Holly, what a sweet comment. And you know what, day to day life can be hard and I think everyone deserves a day to crash a little and just complain, so you go right ahead. I’m grateful we’ve had this experience. We’ve learned so much and grown in so many ways. But!! OH MY GOSH I am done. lol. I can’t wait to feel normal. 😉

  33. I don’t want this to come across as negative or snotty, but I don’t understand. If you’ve already gone through all of this before, with all the babies in the world that need to be adopted, why would you do it again? It’s clearly not healthy, for you or the people close to you. Is it written somewhere that unnecessary suffering is the key to unlocking some door to enlightenment? Maybe I’m just lacking in empathy, and the ability to picture the walk in your shoes, because of having three “normal” pregnancies. It’s not a judgment, I’m honestly just having a hard time understanding why a person would willfully walk down this road, when there are so many other options. After reading what you’ve said, it sounds like the misery will go till the end, so I won’t give the, hope you feel better soon, speech. But I do hope the birth will be the end, the “baby blues” will skip a generation, and you’ll be able to get back to life as usual with a healthy, happy baby!

    • Hi Mindy,
      I can understand why this could seem like a poor decision to some, but have you ever felt something and knew you must do it? We obviously have quite a few years between our children because we thought we were done. However, and this is something we have felt and don’t need anyone to understand, but we knew someone was missing in our family. It was a very thoughtful and prayerful decision between us as husband and wife and meeting with doctors to have a plan. Each life is valuable and I don’t believe that birth is any less important than adoption. In fact, these days so many people choose to not have children for careers or only have 1 or 2 kids when they could be rescuing so many, right? There’s always a negative to be found in the world, but in the end I choose to see the positive. We are expecting a baby and couldn’t be more thrilled. I’d much rather me than someone else as I know I can handle it. Good luck in all you do. Oh, and this is not genetic, so my children are not being put at risk of having it. 😉 Much love to you and yours.

  34. Finally someone that understands! I don’t think I could have said it any better.

  35. Does this have degrees to it? When I’m pregnant I feel sick the whole time. It takes a lot to get me to throw up, but I feel like I’m on the verge the whole time. So, I end up laying around and comfort eating for 9 months. It sucks and I don’t enjoy being pregnant. I always just thought I was a bad mother because I hate being pregnant so much. I’m sorry you guys have to go through so much to have a baby. I hope it goes fast and that you forget this hard time when you have your baby in your arms.

    • There are some that get it worse than me and actually have died, but for the most part everyone is about like me. There is bad morning sickness though. 🙁 Thank you so much for your love!!!!

  36. Wow. I had no idea that something like this existed. Thank you for opening my eyes. Bless you and take care of yourself and that special baby you’re doing it all for.

  37. Thank you for being so honest about this. I always felt like I had to cry in private because someone would think I wasn’t greatful for being able to carry a child. I wish people would have understood that their visiting caused me such pain.But i didnt want to seem ungrateful. I also couldn’t watch tv or movies or use my phone because the flashing lights and sounds triggered vomiting.And if a food commercial came on or a friend posted a picture of the new recipe they tried, forget it. The part about being so lonely after months of staring at blank walls hits home. My husband was also my hero,changing sheets in the middle of the night when I missed the bucket or couldn’t make it to the bathroom. He was truly amazing and I’m do blessed to have him in my life.Im so grateful for your honesty and I hope ot helps more people too understand the impact of this condition.

  38. Hi.
    I hate it that you are suffering so but you’re right, in the end you will bring home a sweet baby.
    I’m 51 and never had the chance to have the blessing of babies but I love children. Only last night I convinced 2 adorable red headed (I love red hair) 3 yr olds that my name is Tina Pickles! Lol. I don’t know what HG feels like but have had my share of illnesses.
    Last week one of my very best friend had a beautiful baby girl, Lily Michelle. During her mamas pregnancy she was so ill, almost like you. She was diagnosed at one point with pancreatitis. Her lipase counts were into the 600’s & 700’s. Bad juju! She dealt with constant vomiting, diahrrea, couldn’t sleep because she was in constant pain and all of this while raising her 2 yr old bouncing boy.
    It turned out that Lily was sitting on the out valve of her mamas pancreas. Instantly after Lily delivered mamas loaded went to normal. Yay!
    You spoke of a feeding tube. Do it. Tho it’s not the greatest of experiences it will provide you the nutrition for the baby and your body that vomiting is leaching from your system. I have dealt with 1 myself in a really awesome illness, NOT!
    I wish you and your growing family the absolute best. If I were closer I’d live to help because helping makes my heart sing.
    So love to you & prayers
    Tina Pickles! 🙂

  39. You are a very brave woman for choosing to do this to bring another soul into your lovely family; they will be (are) truly blessed to have you. Thinking of you often!

  40. Lifting you all up in my prayers. I am currently on a feeding tube and I am grateful that I am alive. I wish you all the best, you are one strong women.

  41. Praying hard for you!!

  42. I am so glad you were so honest about this. I had no idea, and while I knew you were dealing with a serious challenge (more like a hundred challenges) during this pregnancy, I didn’t understand the scope. My heart breaks for you and yet I’m inspired by your strength and faith and hope. Love you.

  43. Carrian, I have been thinking about you every day. I hope the rest of your pregnancy flies by and that you and your sweet baby get to have exceptional cuddles when he/she is born while the both of you recover. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain you are in. You are so brave for remaining so positive and for sharing about your struggles. Sending all of our love to you and your amazing family.

  44. My friend, you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. You are so brave and strong to be going through this so publicly! I will continue to pray for a healthy rest of your pregnancy and of course a healthy baby. Stay strong, Mama!

  45. Thank you for educating so many on what HG really is. Until I read this post, I just assumed it was like really bad morning sickness…yeah, ummm, not! It is not even morning sickness on steroids! This is a whole new ballgame that until the British monarchy was dealing with it, I had never even heard of. Prayers for strength, relief and a healthy baby!

  46. So proud of you for being blunt and staying positive. Love you

  47. Thank you for this very real description of the illness. I had this with my last pregnancy, baby who is now 4 months old. It’s awful and really frustrating when people don’t understand. They tell you try and just eat something (as if this is a choice). If I could keep like 4 oz of water down a day that was a great day. And days after I gave birth I was 15 lbs skinnier than I am now which is still a size zero and people said how lucky I was… Lucky are you kidding me? I pray that you find a little relief the further along you get in your pregnancy and thank you so much for sharing this. I wish I had heard something like this in the beginning of my pregnancy I would have gotten help sooner.

  48. Wow, Carrian. Thank you for being so raw and open about this. I had NO idea about HG. I mean, I had an inkling of what it was but no idea it was this bad. I’m so sorry you are going through this. You’re so strong and you’re so brave. I love that you see the positive in darkness. *hugs* I hope that it gets better really soon. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. Much love <3 xoxoxo

  49. Oh, sweet friend, thank you for sharing. It’s heart breaking to read, but as a doula, I applaud your willingness to be vulnerable and share your story. The more people that share their stories, the more research will be done, the more people will try harder to understand, and the better the future will be for other women that suffer from severe HG. Sending lots of love your way.

  50. Oh, Carrian. My heart is breaking for you. I had HG with my youngest. I’m so, so sorry you’re going through this. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system and Cade is taking care of you and your girls and doing everything he can. Hang in there. xoxo

  51. Thank you for your raw description. I have cringed each time someone has commented about morning sickness here. Being raw about HG is the only way to get people to understand. Thanks for being an educator!

  52. I cannot even begin imagine what you are going through. My heart breaks that you are struggling so. Your courage and strength (even though you may not feel very strong) are awe-inspiring. Best wishes for a healthy baby and that you feel better very soon.

  53. Carrian,
    Thank you for your raw honesty. I think that most of us reading your post had no idea of what HG truly is. I don’t know how you even had the strength to compose this. Prayers to you and your family for the peace that surpasses all understanding.

  54. This post brought back so many painful memories. My HG felt like I was suffering from permanent seasickness. Years later, I still shower with my mouth zipped shut because that used to trigger the vomiting and the smell of lemon and ginger tea still makes me feel ill. My pregnancies were not great experiences which still fills me with deep regret. I hope the worst of your HG passes soon.

  55. I’m crying tears of such sorrow for you. I can read your strength. I know you didn’t write this for pity. I realize you are doing all of this for the blessing of a sweet baby. Still. You’re strong. You’re brave. You’re an inspiration. May God lessen the pain you’re in. Praying for Cade as well, as he must be in his own Hell wanting your pain to end. Prayers and more prayers.

  56. Carrian, your posts come through on my email, and my first thought is concern for your health, and your precious baby. What you’re going through is unimaginable. I had ten months of 24/7 morning sickness, but rarely vomited and although I felt wretched, I was able to go to work. Does it help you to hear from your followers, just notes about our lives, work, children, gardens and that we care so very much about you. For your comfort in lying down, have you tried a sheepskin? Friends with lupus find them helpful. ….so here on Vancouver Island, it’s cool and hopefully will rain, the gardens are doing well, strawberries are ripening, and I’m going to make that Citrus Chiffon cake while the air is cool. I wish you peace and God’s grace through this time and pray for you and your family. Lenore

    • Lenore, it very much does. I feel so connected to everyone as does my husband. I haven’t been to Vancouver Island in so many years. I can picture it perfectly and am so grateful for your sweet comment.

  57. Good Grief – I had no idea. Thanks for sharing. If it’s OK with you, I’ll place you in my prayers. Thank God, all will be well very soon.

  58. Carrian….there are no words for how SORRY I am-I had no idea what a horrible, debilitating, condition HG is and it breaks my heart that you have to go through it (although I’m also so happy for you having another baby-the side effects are just awful :(). Thank you for being so honest and sharing, I know this will be really helpful for anyone who isn’t aware or for anyone who is and needs to commiserate. Thank you and I hope that it gets better very very soon!