Thursday, March 28, 2013

Morning Sickness Hell

I know this is a food blog, but I had to share something a little more personal in hopes that it might help someone else in a similar position one day. I'm 13 weeks pregnant but there is a but....!!!!

Let me first start with a disclaimer, I'm very lucky to have got pregnant naturally and not have had a miscarriage during the fragile first 12 weeks. I'm so thankful of that. I know whats it's like to want to be pregnant so much that it hurts and I also experienced a few miscarriage scares which were heart breaking. I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to have miscarried or to have lost a child.

The but...... is I've had severe morning sickness or hypermesis gravidarum (HG) since about 5.5 weeks into the pregnancy and here for a public service announcement to say that it is hell. I'm 13.5 weeks along now and its still going. It's like sea sickness that never goes away with lots of vomiting. Or perhaps like gastro or food posioning that goes on for months. Also just when I thought it wouldn't get any worse it did, I went from having a few good days a week to none. I haven't been able to eat anything substantial and even plain bland-ish food becomes hated after vomiting up several times so far I've been turned off: rice crackers, rice cakes, corn cruskits, rice, congee, mashed potato (I know!!!), chips, peanut butter, corn chips, ginger beer and more. I think in the future that gastro, food poisoning, any type of nausea/vomiting will be a walk in a park because at least it generally only lasts 48 hours not months!!!!

I've lost about 8 kilos and I was on the smallish side to begin with so everyone at work has commented that I look super pale and they have noticed that I have lost weight. In fact when I announced it a few people said they were so relieved because they thought I was dying or there was something seriously wrong. I'm super weak and its an effort to shower and I can rarely brush my teeth without making myself vomit and I've stopped brushing and drying my hair.

I love food and its such a crucial part of my life that feeling sick leaves me completely disconnected, not wanting to read blogs, not being able to go out for meals or allow Toby to cook. He once cooked onion and it woke me up vomiting! It feels isolating too since I can't go out at all without vomiting and really haven't been able to see friends. I miss that the most because I'm such a social person and it feels like everyone is having these amazing lives, hanging out with each other, baking, going to festivals, while I'm stuck in jail. I also miss going for walks and just living. If your reading this and don't feel those things count yourself lucky!

Two weeks ago I was in peak hour traffic (thankfully) and had to vomit at my steering wheel with my sick bag (very handy things) and some jerk behind me beeped because I didn't move a tiny bit and then when I indicated to get off the road he beeped again and I seriously contemplated throwing the sick bag at him and I never get road rage. I think it's a waste of energy.

It certainly helped me to decide to only have one child. It's been mine and Toby's mantra or rather coping statement, over and over and over again. There is also no way I can look after myself let alone being this sick and having to look after another child. I can't even feed my cat. I haven't been a good wife, friend or anything for a long time. As one of my twitter friends wisely put it HG: survival mode.  I've been completely dependent on Toby and mum to 'babysit' me, to do grocery shopping etc.

It's miserable. Everyone has tried to cheer with me up with comments like 'you will forget', 'it's worth it' and 'it's a good sign' which do not help at all. In fact they have made me cry on a few occasions, while I've asked myself what is wrong with me? am I just selfish? It's also made me feel super alone, am I the only feels this way? Am I weak or something? But then I realised that its easy from the other side to make comments like that.  Try being in my footsteps right now and see if you can hold that optimism every day, week after week .with you head in a bucket for the 7th time that day. I did google once though and read about women who have abortions because they are too sick to care for their other child. Also if I somehow forget how dreadful, relentless this is I've told my friends to hit me if I talk about doing this a second time. I'm serious! Some women with HG go on to have second or third child and I admire their strength but could never do it. Not knowing that I am in for hell again and not being able to be there for child number 1 at all.

I really didn't realise how bad it could be. Some people have HG even worse! Why don't people talk about it? I think because it is related to pregnancy, its minimalised so much. I do wonder if men had it, wouldn't there be more research into what causes it or better treatment. I also think that women and mums in general must be bloody tough.  I know Kate Middelton had to go to hospital but I have to admit that I thought it was just because she was royalty.

I've tried everything, eating before getting out of bed, trying to have small amount of food in my stomach at all time, ice poles, maxalon, vitamin b6, ginger,  lots of acupuncture, wearing press stud needles in my arms (kind of like sea sickness bands), a music therapy mp3 which is supposed to help, getting enough sleep and more. But nothing works!!!!

I think i've finally found some relief at 13, that a combination of zofran and maxlon taken every 4 hours x 4 times a day reduces the vomiting a lot but still doesn't get rid of the nausea or stop the vomiting. But it's keeping me out of hospital at least. Zofran is generally used for chemo patients and is not subsidized for morning sickess so it costs about $60 for a packet of 10 and you need to take 4 a day. That's almost $180 a week. I had to fight to get zofran though and some doctors would only prescibe one box- 2.5 days worth telling me only to take it on my bad days but as soon as I miss even 1 tablet the non stop vomiting returns.

The house is a mess and Toby had cleaned more buckets that one needs to in a lifetime. I've used up all of my sick and annual leave and now force myself to go to work, generally vomiting before and afterwards. Some days at work too and some times on the way home. I've also had to vomit in public a lot with strangers staring on too. Vomiting and nausea really is the worst feeling in the world. I think pain is preferable.

I wanted this baby soooooooo badly but didn't expect this. In addition to being super sick I've been depleted and so dehydrated was advised had to get iv drip at hospital multiple times but mostly fought it. If it happens to you and suspect your dehydrated, don't fight it!!!  Feeling dehydrated and exhausted and emotional and sick really does equal hell. I feel like fainting a lot and have started having showers with the door open in case I pass out.

I really feel for people who go through chemo and become this sick, at least there is a good reason underneath mine.  One of the recent doctors I went to was amazing and reminded me when I begged her that I can't go on like this for another week or two just to keep dragging my feet one foot at a time and that I was doing an amazing job. Every day feels like a week when you feel this bad and it really is hard to enjoy anything.

Thanks for letting me vent and I hope this helps someone one day.


  1. Oh K, how utterly miserable. I'm not going to suggest anything because I'm sure you've heard it all before. You have my sympathies and I really hope it passes or at least becomes more bearable soon. Mine was rotten nausea but I had to laugh when I became so used to dry retxhing walking to the station in the morning hlthat after a while I didn't even break stride. Is HG something that you're likely to have again if you've had it once? Fingers crossed for improvement soon and you really are incredible for functioning at all. xx Rachel

  2. Aw K, this makes me want to cry. You are not weak or selfish. You are an amazing person who is doing the best you can under some difficult or should I say horrendous conditions. Hating the sickness is not the same as not wanting a baby. Lots of women hate being pregnant for many different reasons and you are going through pregnancy hell. You will adore that baby when they finally pop out but for now it really is about putting one foot forward. Big hugs to you and Toby. This is such a touching post and I hope it helps other women know that it's ok to feel this way. If there is anything at all we can do for you please let us know. Take care Bec.

  3. Wow I really feel for you. You sound like a very strong person but that is a lot for anyone to cope with! I just had my second child 4 months ago and while pregnant with him I did find it hard at times caring for my toddler, even though my morning sickness was no where near as bad as yours and lasted on about 12 weeks. It must be hard to remember the baby and be thankful when you feel so rotten. I really hope things improve for you x

  4. Dont worry you will forget all about this, believe me it's worth it and this all sounds like a good sign. Just roll with it you'll soon forget all about it.

  5. A relative of mine had HG with both pregnancies (her second pregnancy occurred very soon after the first and was unplanned) and it was terrible for her too and she spent half her pregnancies in hospital. She wanted to punch people when they suggested ginger and dry crackers, but she didn't have the energy :P She started feeling a little better in her second trimestre.

    I really hope it passes for you very soon. The only thing my relative used to advise was "take it one hour at a time" (one day at a time was just too massive) and watching funny shows/movies as much as possible.

  6. I can't believe people think you would forget about it! It sounds like living hell and I am so sorry you are suffering so much. It just shouldn't be this hard. I don't know much about pregnancy but I hope it gets less and less as you progress. zThinking of you xx Cate

  7. Words may not be able to take away any of the physical hurting and insane discomfort, but I hope that they can help you feel less alone, or less awful in some way. I'm so sorry you're going through this. You mustn't ever feel guilty, or "less than", or like something is wrong with you for being so badly affected by HG. It's not your fault, it's clearly not the slightest bit of fun, and those who love and know you clearly understand and care about you. I don't really know what to say, except to offer the two mantras that I whisper to myself when things are dark and feel helpless: "This too will pass" and "onwards ever upwards". Just keep taking care of yourself as best you can. That's all that matters. xo

  8. Oh goodness that sounds terrible K - it is terrible just how sickness can change us - and pregnancy brings so much change and stress - which we talk about as being just for 9 months but really you are never the same again after it because it gives you a different perspective on life! best wishes with the rest of the pregnancy - I hope there is some relief for you in the near future

  9. Thanks so much everyone, I really appreciate it !

  10. I read the first para of your post and thought, oh I must leave a comment of "Congratulations!" for you...
    I then read on... wow, I can't even begin to imagine the relentless hell you've been going through. All our good hearted thoughts are with you - really hope things improve soon! Amy ❤

  11. congratulations and hang in there. You two are going to make a smart and gorgeous baby. hugs

  12. Yeah, congratulations and sorry to hear about the severe morning sickness.
    Our little girl is now 19 months old and I can say, she is a joy and I'm sure all
    the morning sickness her mum had to go through to (daily), she was worth it.
    Yes, I checked with her.

  13. Gosh K, I'm so so sorry that you are having such a troublesome pregnancy at the moment! It's unfair that some women have to go through a hellish experience and others breeze through their pregnancies with relative ease. I have heard plenty of stories from other women to know that I was very fortunate to have a fairly easy pregnancy. Your experience sounds like one of the worst!

    I really do hope that the sickness subsides soon, you have no further troubles and eventually the baby brings you and Toby lots of happiness. xx

  14. Hope the craptitude is easing. Hospitals and IV fluids are a lifesaver (also gives spouses a short break from bucket duty :)

  15. Thank you for this post. I am 15 weeks pregnant and crying reading this b/c someone actually gets how I feel right now. I, unfortunately (or fortunately), cannot vomit. The sever nausea just sits in my throat 24/7. I really appreciate this post.

  16. try smelling a lemon