My Kate Middleton Pregnancy: Pregnant HG Life. By: New Crunchy Mom Rebecca Lemke
I never expected to compare myself to Kate Middleton, but that is exactly what I did on a daily basis when I was pregnant with my son and suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
What in the world is Hyperemesis Gravidarum, you ask?
Well, it is the same thing that British Dutchess Kate Middleton had when she was pregnant with her first baby. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is fairly rare and, contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t just “bad morning sickness”. It is a dangerous and sometimes life threatening (especially for the baby) condition that causes some women to have electrolyte imbalances and a lose significant amounts of weight while pregnant due to severe, unrelenting nausea and vomiting.
At first, we thought it was just morning sickness. I started having minor nausea and vomiting at a little over four weeks pregnant with my son, Bubba. Everything was normal, until I started throwing up everything I ate and drank. The midwives tried to give me grapefruit essential oil to smell and, when that did work, the doctor gave me an anti-nausea medicine.
We hoped that would be the end of it, and for a few days it seemed to help. Then I started throwing the medication up before it had a chance to become effective. The doctors tried to get on top of it by giving me the same medication in an IV so I wouldn’t be able to throw it up, but as soon as I had thrown up everything I had eaten and drank, I began throwing up pure stomach acid. It wasn’t working, and I was exhausted.
“Just a few more weeks,” everyone said cheerfully, “then it’ll get better!”
But it didn’t. I began resenting my unborn child for rejecting all my attempts to nourish him, keep him safe and ensure a healthy birth weight. I felt like I was housing a parasite rather than my beautiful baby boy.
One last resort was instituted after months of vomiting all day, every day: a suppository. Not only did it not work, but it also came with unnerving side-effects. We discontinued all the medications because there was simply no point in taking ineffective pills with unknown health outcomes for our child.
We tried all sorts of natural remedies: ginger, sea-bands, eating every two hours, peppermint, chiropractic, vitamins and a good diet. Nothing worked.
I was forced to rely on xylitol gums and candies in order to clean my mouth because for months I couldn’t even stick a toothbrush in my mouth to brush my teeth without projectile vomiting all over our bathroom.
I dryly joked with my husband that people were going to begin to think I was purging based on how my teeth must have looked, but I was truly heartbroken. I was afraid the damage to both my esophagus and teeth from constantly being exposed to stomach acid would be permanent.
I felt detached from my body, I had no control over what I ate because my body forcefully expelled nearly everything. I felt like I was failing my baby and, at the same time, I felt an intense bitterness towards him. I felt like it was his fault that I was throwing everything up, as if he had any control or say in the matter. I thought I might not even want to hold him when he was born because I was so senselessly angry with him.
The Hyperemesis Gravidarum did begin to subside around 22 weeks and I had begun vomiting just once a day by 24 weeks. I still struggled with horrible nausea and food aversions until he was born, but nothing like what I had endured during the first half of my pregnancy.
I withstood five months worth of countless IVs, fainting episodes, late night hospital trips and medications in an attempt to thwart the Hyperemesis Gravidarum, but in the end, it relented on its own time.
While I now have a happy, healthy eleven month old boy sleeping in my lap, having Hyperemesis Gravidarum during my pregnancy with him was terrifying. I worried whether he would make it, whether he was getting adequate nutrition in utero, and whether I would actually be able to bond with him once he was born.
While Kate Middleton was brave enough to have another baby, I’m not quite ready to brave those waters again. I wish I had known how Hyperemesis Gravidarum can effect you, both mentally and physically, before I found myself in the thick of it. If I was able to pick one thing Kate Middleton and I had in common, it definitely won’t have been Hyperemesis Gravidarum!
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