It’s been a little over two years since I delivered my wonderfully healthy baby boy. I’ve been awash in the stress of life as a working mom, wife, and teacher. Yet not a day passes that I don’t think of you, my sisters in suffering. Hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG, is a temporary condition but it does leave an impact on its sufferers. If you’re in the middle of an hg pregnancy and dreaming about life without this debilitating condition, here’s a look from someone two years out.
Here’s the good news:
- I have not experienced the nausea, fatigue, and vomiting (nvp) I did when I was pregnant since I delivered my child. Not once.
- I have a happy, healthy, normal son who has brought me more joy than I ever imagined possible.
- I am a stronger person than I once was. The feeling that I can survive anything has not left me.
Yet life is not perfect. I don’t expect it to be, but I hadn’t counted on these hurdles:
- I had the stomach flu last year and the four times I vomited brought me back to that very dark place when it felt like the nausea and vomiting would never end.
- As much as my husband and I want another child, thinking of being pregnant makes me feel nauseous. Seriously.
- The fear of experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum again scares me.
So if you’re slogging your way through an hg pregnancy, reach for the hope that you will survive. I did, and I know many others who have as well. It is difficult, this business of bringing life into the world– even without hg. Yet it is possible to make it through the days, weeks, and months of sick. Avoid the soft slide into isolation by surrounding yourself with your supporters– friends, family, nurses, and spouses. When it comes to food, try everything you can. If you can keep down Pringles, Jolly Ranchers, and V-8 (the hg safe foods early in my pregnancy) then so be it. Distract yourself from the illness. If that means watching every season of Desperate Housewives, reading the Twilight Series again, or knitting everyone’s Christmas presents in July then do it. But most important, remember Buzz Light Year’s motto: Never give up, never surrender. You CAN survive this. And two years from now, when you’re chasing after a toddler whose favorite word is “no,” you’ll understand: life is not perfect, but you’re strong enough to face anything that comes your way.