I wrote this post for another blog a while ago, and while I totally agree with every sentiment I wrote, I apologise for sounding a bit shouty!
Yeah, I know. A bit of a mouthful, eh?
Hyperemesis Gravidarum (let’s just shorten it to HG, shall we?) is kind of like morning sickness. Well, no, it isn’t kind of like morning sickness at all. Not even BAD morning sickness. It is so far removed from morning sickness that it shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence. Or paragraph. Or at all.
But, because so many people (even so-called medical “professionals”) don’t fully understand it, they like to slide it away into a box, neatly filed under morning sickness. Calling HG morning sickness is like saying that Hitler was a little intolerant at times. Yes, you vomit with both HG and morning sickness, but that is where the similarity ends.
Morning sickness is a natural reaction to hormones present during pregnancy. HG is an abnormal reaction. Morning sickness has usually ended by the 12th week. HG is just getting started then. Morning sickness means that you vomit once or twice, in the morning. HG means that you vomit constantly. All day, every day, until the very end.
In all fairness (I am trying to be fair here, as opposed to smashing the laptop in sheer frustration), I can kind of see why medical professionals fail to recognise the seriousness of the condition because it is kind of similar to morning sickness. But what I will NEVER understand is why so many people simply refuse to listen to women who repeatedly report just how ill they are. Women with HG are not drama-queens, they are not looking for attention and neither are they imagining it. All they want is to feel well and to enjoy the beauty that is carrying a baby inside their body. But they can’t. They have been robbed of that special time and that is a hard thing to accept. Even years after the pregnancy.
Awareness of the condition IS growing, albeit slowly. But women are still forced into terminations because their bodies can’t cope and babies are still dying because their mum’s body is so badly dehydrated and unable to sustain them. This is a serious condition that has far-reaching consequences if not treated properly.
It’s time the medical profession bucked their ideas up, got their heads out of their arses and began to take this seriously. It wasn’t so many years ago that HG was seen as psychosomatic, imagined illness caused by women not really wanting to be pregnant.
So, a few words of advice for anyone that has a friend or partner with HG: firstly, listen to her and believe her. She is NOT exaggerating, she really DOES feel that bad and yes, every single second of the day is nothing less than PURE torture. She needs your help and understanding, because living with HG is sometimes tough, so tough, that there are days when you really don’t want to live a second longer. That’s the truth about HG.