I Struggled Through Hyperemesis Gravidarum Three Times and I’d Do It Again
It was only a few weeks ago Kate Middleton announced her third pregnancy. While the world shared in the joy with the Royal Family, my first thought went to how the Duchess was feeling. Kate and William have been very open about how Kate has suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) during both of her pregnancies. The American Pregnancy Association defines HG as “a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance.” Kate has canceled several public appearances over the years due to HG and it was recently announced by Kensington Palace that she will be doing the same as Kate is suffering from HG yet again.
Dealing With Hyperemesis Gravidarum
If there were any moment that I could completely relate to Kate, it would be during this time in her pregnancy. I suffered with HG throughout all three of my pregnancies and it only got worse with each pregnancy. For those who are unfamiliar with HG, it is completely debilitating. Not only are you unable keep any food or drink down, but the constant nausea and vomiting leaves you incredibly uncomfortable all the time. In my case, it left me losing weight and dehydrated, which put my unborn baby at risk.
My first pregnancy, and the first time I suffered with HG, my doctor prescribed me an anti-nausea medicine to help alleviate the symptoms. While I still woke up every single morning (until the day I gave birth) feeling nauseous, thankfully, after taking the medication throughout the day, every day, it helped relieve the symptoms. I delivered a healthy baby girl and shortly forgot about those previous nine months and constant sickness.
A few years after the birth of my first daughter, I found out I was pregnant again. Nausea was one of my first pregnancy symptoms. Much like my first pregnancy, I was able to get more comfortable with medicine prescribed by my doctor.
If I Had Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Will I Get It Again?
It wasn't until I started getting violently ill, that I learned I was pregnant for the third time. What I originally thought was food poisoning, turned out to be a pregnancy. I immediately went into my normal routine of having my doctor prescribe my medication, only this time it didn't work. I was getting sick multiple times a day and couldn't keep anything down. I was checking in with my doctor regularly so we could make sure I was hydrated and the baby was okay. It wasn't until I went a day without being able to keep anything down that my doctor gave me an ultimatum. It was either I checked myself into the hospital for an extended period of time to give me constant medication and fluids, or I could have a nurse come to my house to show me how to administer a portable IV for myself. With two kids under three at the time, I opted for the second option.
The IV administered my medication all the time and I had to change the spot of the IV every 12 hours. It was very uncomfortable having to stick myself with a needle twice a day, however it immediately made some of my nausea and discomfort disappear. I was able to get out of bed and stay home with my girls, which is all that I wanted to do.
About halfway through my pregnancy, I was able to get off of the IV and go back to taking my medication just as I'd done in my previous two pregnancies. I took the medication until I gave birth to my son. And just like his sisters, holding him in my arms erased all of the pain from the past nine months. It made everything completely and utterly worth it.
Kate Middleton has another long road ahead of her as she goes through this third pregnancy. Yet, just as I told myself every single day throughout my pregnancies, there is something so incredible waiting for us at the finish line. I know that if I were to ever get pregnant again, I'd suffer from HG for the fourth time. And with my previous pregnancies, I also know that it would most likely be much worse than before. But I'd do it over and over again.
Parenting requires a lot of sacrifice. Suffering with HG throughout my pregnancies is a sacrifice worth making. As I look at my three children and have watched them grow into incredible little people throughout the years, I'm willing to make any sacrifice for them.
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