The realities of a HG pregnancy

Content warning: This article discusses Hyperemesis Gravidarum and mental health issues.

Picture this.

It’s 2023. You are lying on your bathroom floor, your toddler is next to you stacking toilet paper rolls, patting your back and making sure you are ok. You can barely move, you have just thrown up for the 30th time that day, you wet yourself when vomiting, you are vomiting blood. That was my reality during my second pregnancy, and I’m not alone. Sadly, so many other women live with HG during their pregnancies every single day.

Rewind to 2020, I was catapulted into the world of HG. After years of infertility and loss which lead to IVF, I fell pregnant with my beautiful son Hunter. I think for so long I was completely fixated on falling pregnant and keeping the baby, that I didn’t really focus on what it would be like to actually be pregnant for 9 months. I distinctly remember lying on my pillow in my bathroom for most of my first trimester. Feeling so helpless. Being told to have ginger tablets, and crackers next to my bedside table and to stay hydrated with electrolyte drinks found at the chemist (this is what inspired me to create Hydramama, as I couldn’t stand the taste of these, and didn’t love the high glucose/sugar content that I was consuming everyday). When the second trimester rolled around, things hadn’t changed and in fact, they were almost getting worse.

This led me to finally exploring the possibility of HG. I was so lucky I came across Hyperemesis Australia, who guided me to really explore a diagnosis with my incredible OB. The reality for so many that suffer from HG, is that there is no “cure” other than delivery. For me, birth is what my end goal was, for both pregnancies. Getting to the finish line (or rather crawling for my pregnancy with my daughter Goldie, as my HG was far more complex and severe). 

The isolation, the anxiety, the fear of going outside of the comfort of your own home, is something so many of us experience with HG. It is far more than morning sickness, it is severe and can leave a profound long term impact on the mother both mentally and physically. 

Hyperemesis has rocked me to my core, twice. I will never forget what it was like to live my life at the beck and call of this debilitating condition, missing so much of my son’s life while I was just trying to survive. And now, one year on, I have given myself grace and learnt a new appreciation for my body, for everything it has endured to bring my children safely earthside, and I am forever grateful I was able to do that.

To anyone deep in the trenches, soon you will be holding your beautiful baby and I promise, it will all be worth it. Remember, you are not alone. My DM’s are always open, so please do reach out. 

Love Keira xx

Things Keira found helpful to survive HG

1. Third Trimester - countdown post it notes
2. Join HG Australia Facebook group 
3. Advocate for yourself for medication and ask about the option of “layering” medication rather than just taking 1 type
4. Take each day as it comes
5. Try and find the right medical team to support you through your HG

Things you can do to help support a loved one through HG

1. Simple check ins with no expectation for them to respond
2. Gift them HG Affirmation Cards . I found these extremely useful
3. Offer to pick up medication
4. Lend a hand with siblings, or help with household chores
5. Be there to support them in their postpartum recovery and healing