Even the term sounds ugly – Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
And every time I hear those 2 words I get a shiver down my spine. It makes me feel as if my life can be split into 2 categories – with and without it.
Recently, the gorgeously immaculate Duchess Catherine has hit headlines with her recent pregnancy and (again) suffering from it. So what is IT?
I’m not going to get scientific on you, so I’ll go through some brief facts that happened to me while enduring this crippling illness.
#1 HG is NOT (NOT NOT NOT NOT) MORNING SICKNESS. Don’t even compare the 2, because it will send the HG sufferer into a series of guilt attacks (“Maybe I’m imaging this pain/nausea/the need to cut off the part of my brain that control nausea” *sad face*)
#2 HG sufferers don’t need sympathy, but they do need everyday help. Cook a meal for their family (if they have other kids and/or a husband). Pick up the kids form school (driving is excruciating). Call often and chat. Please note: Don’t ask “are you better?”
#3 Unlike Duchess Catherine, usual people do not have 563 maids and personal assistants so it becomes a matter of living with it. For me, it meant trying my best to time the vomit attacks while teaching a Grade 3 class. (True story)
#4 Giving in and accepting the drugs. My gosh, the medication is a relief. BUT OH SO PAINFUL.
#5 Zofran is this miracle medicine that cuts off that feeling of nausea. It’s miraculous, except its bloody expensive in tablet form and it works soooo much better when injected. So I would rotate my daily routine: 1 day – pop a Zofran pill (I would cut the tiny thing in half and take half in the morning, half in the evening) and the next day I would drive myself to the hospital for the liquid version, which would last me at least 3 days (hooray)
#6 What does HG feel like? It’s like carrying around a massive foggy head, for weeks on end. Its like all the neurones in your brain are switched onto high, but everything feels dull. It’s like having an illness that you cannot fight physically nor mentally because both your body and brain are intertwined in a tangled mess that so impossible to untangle. How do I explain HG? Imagine having every single sense turned ON FULL BLAST 24/7 and any slight increase in noise, smell, movement can trigger an enormously ravaging vomitting session. One time I had a musk stick….. I still can’t look at those darn pink sticks again (that cost me 5 night overnight stay at the hospital).
#7 Ofcourse life goes on. But not for the HG sufferer. We just stay glued to the toilet or we sleep. Surprisingly, sleep would turn off the nausea. But the catch 22 to that is that there’s only a certain amount of sleep a body needs. So if I napped during the day, then I was sure to wake up in the middle of night and cradle myself in a foetal position on the bathroom floor.
#8 For me, by about 36 weeks, things finally appear to settle. I can stomach at least 1 toast at breakfast and small sandwich at night (no meats, no dairy, nothing acidic, nothing too warm, no sweetness and of course, NO PIZZA) but it all begins again at 37 weeks.
#9 And here I present to you the top 7 things to NOT say to someone suffering from HG.
1. Just have some dried biscuits or crackers, you’ll be fine.
2. At least you’re not gaining any weight during pregnancy, you are so lucky.
3. It’s all in the mind. Just get up, have a shower and think positive.
4. Oh my gosh, you’ve gone through this before?!?! Are you insane!
5. Are you sure you need to go to the hospital? Are you really really sure? (said by the husband many times over)
6. Women these days are so weak (said by many “well meaning” older aunts)
“Luckily” for me, I have given birth to all of my children at the 37/38 week mark, and yes, believe me when I tell you that just like that *click fingers* – the fog disappears.
The best prize of all, awaits me – a precious bundle of joy.
Till next time
Tags: buckingham, childbirth, dubai, HG, hypermesis, kate, kids, palace, pregnancy, princess, UAE