Women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum (hg) vary in the intensity with which they feel it and how it afflicts their body. Therefore, I am going to explain how it affects me.
When it comes to sound, loud noises generally increase my nausea. Along with that, certain sounds (that I can only identify when I hear it) induce vomiting. This goes for specific songs. For example, when pregnant with Emily, Ben would listen to Tears for Fears. After a week or so of playing their songs constantly, I could no longer listen to them without waves of nausea hitting me. With this pregnancy, the intro to Arrested Development, a show I have come to adore, does the same thing. Clearly, it doesn’t matter whether I enjoy something or not; sounds are not pleasant to my ears.
Cartoons, bright colors, and even snow leaves me feeling horribly ill. As with hearing, there are certain shows that, when watching, will cause nausea: football, Arrested Development, and most of the kids’ shows.
I’m a cuddly person. I adore holding my kids and snuggling with my husband. When pregnant, this is not the case. Do not hug, touch, or even come near me as I might run to the bathroom.
Most pregnant women experience a slight increase in their nasal awareness. For me, this change is extreme. Take the smell of my husband. I adore Ben. But, right now, I like him more when he is sitting across the room from me. I can’t explain what it is about his scent that has me puking into my bowl, but it does and I find it extremely aggravating.
Food is tricky. There are times when I crave things like spaghetti. However, when I eat it, it’s like I’ve been poisoned. This makes eating more than a chore, it becomes painful and frustrating. Around 6 weeks, all I wanted were wraps made at our local grocery store. After 3-4 days, I couldn’t stand the smell of them. The same goes for fries and milk shakes. For about a week, those were like manna to my tummy. I guess that since I’ve thrown it up more than I can count, I’d rather go hungry than force myself to choke it down. In some ways, it feels unfair that I wake to my stomach grumbling and my mouth dry because anything I eat and/or drink comes up like 10 minutes later. But, that’s how it is.
Naturally, when people find out the extremity of my pregnancy-induced sickness, they offer all sorts of remedies: ginger, Zofran, chicken noodle soup, etc. These things work great when nausea is not associated with hg. But, for me, they make things worse by increasing nausea and/or vomiting or have side affects that leave me suffering from other ails.
In one website that attempts to inform the public of what hg is, they encourage people to think of their worst bout of the stomach flu or, if they had it, food poisoning. Consider how it would feel if you had it 24/7, 7 days a week. That’s how it is for me and other women who have hg. And, depending on how this pregnancy goes, I could suffer through it the whole time. It didn’t end until I was 30 weeks along with Emily and I can only guess how things will go with this pregnancy.
As frustrating as the constant vomiting and nausea are, I do feel glad that I am pregnant again and that this pregnancy is going so well. (A strange thing to say considering the sickness, but that indicates a viable pregnancy in my case.) All I ask is that I am allowed to complain when things become overwhelming.