Yes, I did hear that Duchess Catherine is pregnant and has hyperemesis gravidarum! And yes, that is the same thing I have! I think everyone I know (kindly) texted me the royal news today. I wrote a silly little advice post to the princess about how to deal with HG, but don’t let my light tone fool you, I feel absolutely terrible for her. HG is really awful and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy – even Lee Corso. I’ve been asked lots of questions about my HG diagnosis since I mentioned it after first needing IV fluids a few weeks ago, but with the announcement that Her Royal Highness is also an HG sufferer, I figured this would be a good time to address them.
Were you this sick with your previous pregnancies? Yes. I look back on Madeline’s pregnancy and it’s very obvious that I was suffering from HG. I was sick the whole time. I could barely eat. But, there were so many other horrible things wrong during that pregnancy that the HG was ignored by everyone – including me. And I really didn’t know that how I was feeling wasn’t normal. I saw tons of specialists but none of them regularly enough to notice I was sick. My regular OB should have noticed but that is just one of the many spectacular ways she failed us during that pregnancy. With Annabel’s pregnancy I vomited every single day, but I was also deep in the throes of grief and I slept, a lot. However, Dr. Risky and Dr. Looove were on top of me, and luckily Zofran was much more effective during that pregnancy.
How come you’ve never really mentioned having HG before? I think because I felt like I didn’t “suffer” as much as I thought was required of a woman to get an HG diagnosis. I didn’t vomit thirty times a day with my first pregnancies or lose forty pounds like a lot of the women I read about on the Helpher.org message boards. Even though I had a bunch of the other symptoms, I felt like they had it so much worse than me. And also…I was embarrassed to have another thing wrong with Annabel’s pregnancy, so even though I wrote a lot about being sick, I kept it at the simple “morning sickness.”
Do you really vomit all day? How do you get anything done? I vomit throughout the day, but I’m not an exorcist-like hose spewing constantly. I have days with large stretches that are vomit-free. I am almost constantly nauseated, but that is something I can deal with. When I’m not throwing up, I do my chores, write, play with Annie, and do anything else that comes up. I try to keep my normal life whenever I physically and mentally feel like I can.
Do you puke in public? If you mean in front of random people, I try to avoid that at all costs. When I enter a new place I immediately locate the bathrooms. I also have a barf bag on me at all times. But there have been times when I’ve thrown up in trash cans on the sidewalk, or in the sink of a public restroom, and it’s humiliating. I have been lucky that every witness has been incredibly kind. I also always clean up any mess I make.
Do you vomit in front of Annie? Is she scared/neglected/scarred for life? I have thrown up in front of her, although I obviously would prefer not to. But that girl is hot on my heels when I run for the bathroom, so I’ve just made it into an “everybody pukes!” life lesson, which actually came in kind of handy when she threw up a week and a half ago. She’s never been scared; she thinks it’s fun to run after me. After I’m sick she says, “Mama, you threw up! Can I kiss your tummy?” She also thought it was really awesome when I (out of necessity) had to throw up in her princess potty and the “You Peed In The Potty! Victory Music” played. Frankly, it was kind of awesome.
Why would you do this to yourself again? Isn’t one child enough? Because we want another child. Because I can deal with nine crappy months to get a lifetime of happiness. Because my doctors said I could, and I have insurance and a large, willing support group. There IS always the chance that HG won’t appear or be as severe in subsequent pregnancies. Mine could still even out. Mike and I decided before I got pregnant this time that this would be my last pregnancy, regardless of the outcome. HG played a role in that decision, but there were lots of other factors we considered. It’s ridiculous to think Annabel isn’t “enough.” That kid is more than enough. But if it makes me greedy or selfish (as some have said) to want one more, then fine. I’m greedy and selfish! I’m cool with that. Also, I have TWO children, even if one of them isn’t physically here.
I think this could go on forever, but these are the most common questions I get. If you have any more, leave ’em below and I’ll answer!