Hyperemesis Gravidarum: My Story...

Morning sickness is something that is common in pregnancy. We’ve all heard, “eat some crackers before you get out of bed. It will help.” When you are battling something greater than morning sickness you want nothing more than to eat a cracker and not puke your brains out. I’m talking about Hyperemesis Gravidarum or “HG” for short. 

 What exactly is HG? Wikipedia states, "Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a complication of pregnancy that is characterized by severe nausea and vomiting such that weight loss and dehydration occur. Signs and symptoms may include vomiting several times a day and feeling faint. It is more severe than morning sickness. Often symptoms get better after the 20th week of pregnancy but may last the entire pregnancy."

 That’s the text book version of HG. Let me share my experience with you. 

 In July 2007, my husband and I were working through a recent miscarriage when we found out that I was pregnant. I was in shock. I was terrified and nervous we would have another miscarriage and wasn’t sure I could go through that again. After a visit with my OB and an ultrasound to confirm a  pregnancy of 6/7 weeks, my OB asked me if I had experienced any morning sickness, to which I replied “No, I feel great this time.” 

                     Nathan's First Ultrasound

                     Nathan's First Ultrasound

The very next day I started getting nauseous. My thought was, “Great, she jinxed me.” I dealt with it for a couple days before calling her and letting her know what was going on. As each day went on, I began vomiting more and more. Eventually, I became so dehydrated that I was admitted to the hospital for fluids and overnight observation. My doctor came in and diagnosed me with Hyperemis Gravidarum. After explaining what HG was, she suggested to set up in-home health care.

When in-home health care came in, I was set up with IV fluids and a catheter line in my leg for a medication pump. My nurse would come check on me during the day while my husband was at work and my husband would changed my IV bags out over-night. I was getting Zofran administered 24hrs a day through the medication pump and I was still unable to eat. 

I lost a total of 35lbs by the time my 2nd trimester rolled around. I was unable to work and I didn’t have visitors because it freaked people out. It was the most isolating time in my life. I kept thinking to myself that pregnancy was suppose to be a joyful and exciting time, and here I was, miserable, scared, and I felt so alone. 

My husband was so amazing and took great care of me. I had times I would say random off the wall things and he could calm me down and bring me comfort. One day, I was on MySpace and an author of the book “Beyond Morning Sickness :Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum,” reached out to me because I was writing notes that were public about my experience. She sent me a copy of the book she wrote. That book saved my life! I didn’t feel so alone after I read it. I knew I wasn’t broken and I could get through this.

One night, I got down on my hands and knees and I begged God to take this away from me, to heal my body and allow me to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. I woke up the very next day and for the first time in 20 weeks, I didn’t vomit. Call it divine intervention, a miracle, a coincident, I don’t care. I DIDN’T VOMIT!! I got in my car for the first time in weeks and drove to Tropical Smoothie where I asked them to pack all the add-ins into my smoothie. They looked at me like crazy because I walked in with an IV bag in my hand, but I didn’t care. 

On March 16, 2008, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy and chubby baby boy. During my pregnancy I was so scared something would happen to my baby but the first moment I held him, I forgot all about my HG and fell in love with that sweet little face. I vowed to never brush off anyone’s morning sickness, great or small. I don’t care if you vomit once a day or 30 times a day, it disrupts your life and it can take an emotional toll on you. I hear you and I am here for you.

The reason I am sharing my story now, is because May 15th is HG Awareness day. Bringing awareness to this is how we can set up better support for women going through this. It not only affects the person struggling with it, it takes a toll on the family as a whole. You don’t have to go through this alone.


Authored By: Sondra Rodocker