I just can’t take this anymore. I am discouraged, hopeless and alone. I am less than a woman, what is there to live for? I’m dying anyway…….why me? This is what I told myself as I sat on my bathroom floor leaning against my toilet full of bile and blankly staring up at my ceiling at around 8 weeks pregnant with my first child. I had been diagnosed with an illness that no one not even my doctor could explain.
“Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is life-threatening unrelenting nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. This excessive nausea and vomiting prevents intake of food and fluids. It is marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration. It can potentially cause adverse consequences for newborns. Only 2% of pregnant women will experience it” (HER Foundation).Unfortunately, I had no idea there was a such thing as a “pregnancy disease” until I was diagnosed with it. Now, that I know it exists and I made it through my pregnancy, it is impossible for me not to tell my story. This is certainly not meant to discourage any woman from getting pregnant, or to make women who’ve experienced infertility or miscarriage feel uncomfortable. This post is to raise awareness and to encourage women who are experiencing this to keep fighting and choose life.
Never in a million years did I think that I would suffer so much during pregnancy. All I heard about was morning sickness. But unfortunately, I had WAY more than that especially during my first 2 trimesters. I tell you I was throwing up at least 20 times a day. My stomach was unable to hold anything, not even water. Because of this I was hospitalized and could only handle fluid through IV’s and Zofran, a medication typically given to cancer patients. After I left the hospital I felt completely worthless because I couldn’t do anything. I had to take off of work for a month and during this time I shut myself off from the world because I was so miserable and wasn’t well enough leave out of my house to do anything. I couldn’t even do simple things like brush my teeth or even stand up in the shower by myself. I’d hear things like, “It will go away after the first trimester” or “eat some ginger”, but I was given everything and nothing was working. Not only was my physical health declining but also my mental stability. Each day I’d wake up feeling miserable to the point where I’d question my life. And I’d even question my womanhood and ask, “why can’t I make it through this like other pregnant women?” Thoughts of suicide entered my mind consistently. Closer to the end of my second trimester I was able to keep some foods down and I slowly began to gain my energy back and returned to work, but still had to take several days off. I remember feeling so embarrassed at the fact that I had to take 2 or 3 days off at a time to be stuck on my bathroom floor and glued to my toilet bowl. Physically, I’d have great days when I’d have some relief and then horrible days. I was up and down like a roller coaster ride.
You may be wondering how I made it through. It certainly wasn’t simple for me to realize that I had to live for something more. I remembered that I had a supportive husband who stuck to my side like glue to take care of me and a life inside of me. I decided to choose life. Once I made the decision to live and not die I began to fight like never before. I told myself that sickness is not going to take me mentally. My mind and my body was literally at war. Although I was vomiting uncontrollably I had to consistently sing through my sickness. And I had to make up my mind that I was going to sing NO MATTER WHAT. So literally each and every time I had to run to the toilet I would sing. My favorite go to song was Michelle Williams “Say Yes” . I sung my way through the tears and sickness. That may sound silly, but that is what it took. I also joined a support group with other women who were HG survivors and it helped me tremendously, it played a huge part in my survival.
HG is a real illness and many women are effected by it. It can cause women to have abortions, miscarriages and even contemplate suicide. There is no known cause or cure for it. Those who haven’t experienced it I encourage you to research it. It takes bold people to help to spread awareness. To all the women who experience this. I understand what you are going through. I know it is hard, but remember that once you make it through the storm and you’re holding your healthy, beautiful baby you will know that it is worth it. Don’t allow sickness to take you or your unborn out. Don’t abort your purpose or your child’s purpose. I can confidently say that I am full of life and joy, happy uplifted and my healthy baby girl, Elegance and I won the fight against HG, because I am a woman and she is my mini me.