Connect with us

Features

Temi Randle: Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Pregnancy Condition that Makes You Feel Like You’re Dying

Published

 on

My life with Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) came at me like a wave of confusion and despair. It seemed to come from nowhere. One minute, I was the happiest pregnant woman in the world, 6 weeks and counting. The next minute I felt like I was left waiting to die, everyday. So much time had passed with me restricted to my bed. Lying in the dark, on an empty stomach, in total silence, alone with my thoughts. The only sounds were that of my violent vomiting usually up to twenty times a day. The days my body would allow, I let out shaky cries. Most times crying was too painful.

I literally lived in the hope that one day it would end. Everyday I would wake up thinking, maybe today is the day it will end. Many times I forgot I had a baby growing inside of me. It felt more like something eating my life away, inside out.

I remember life before Hyperemesis. When I found out I was pregnant after our first attempt at trying for a baby, I truly felt like the luckiest woman alive. I knew it was something around a 20% chance of getting pregnant in the first month of trying, so how did that luck lead me into the tiny 1% of women that suffer from HG?

There was a song that constantly played in my head. A song I learnt when we were little and sang before each meal at the table- “Some have food but can not eat, some can eat but have no food, we have food and we can eat, Glory be to thee O Lord”. It was the first time in my life that I truly understood how some could have food but not eat and why it was such a powerful reference point in prayer. I literally dreamed of being able to eat. I would devour everything in sight and wake up with a satisfied smile on my face, till it dawned on me that it was all a dream. My reality was a nightmare cocktail of starvation, nausea and anti-sickness meds.

My life with HG was riddled with guilt. Guilt of feeling so disconnected from my pregnancy, sometimes considering it “disappeared” just for a moment of relief. That guilt was unimaginable. I remember reading how some women had degenerated so badly from the condition, they had to terminate the pregnancy. Then there was the guilt of feeling like a burden to those around me. I literally couldn’t do anything without help, even going to the toilet.

What made me feel the most isolated, were the attitudes towards the condition, even from some doctors. They could see I was in a really bad way, constantly in hospital on a drip caused by the dehydration. They could see my already small frame wasting away and could see my almost lifeless blood shot eyes, but somehow they just didn’t know what to say. Some would suggest I ate “Ginger”, others would tell me to be “grateful”, some just called it morning sickness. They might as well have told me to “snap out of it”. How was it that no one in the whole world seemed to understand me?

My life with HG ended when I was 20 weeks pregnant. By 20 weeks I could eat and the vomiting had stopped. I was still on anti-sickness meds and could not be around my “triggers”- certain smells, certain food and even certain songs. But I made it. Some women are not so lucky. They are struck down till the day they give birth. These are the women my heart goes out to. Only us HG survivors will ever understand.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a pregnancy condition, characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration. Its causes are unknown. In fact it has only become mainstream in the media since the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton suffered from it with her pregnancies.

May 15th is International Hyperemesis Awareness day. I will forever shout to the rooftops about the condition. To anyone reading this that is suffering from Hyperemesis, I understand your pain and loneliness. Relief feels so far away, but it will come. Hold on to that thought every day. Soon, this will be a distant but painful memory. The joy that baby will bring will cloud every ounce of pain, but its ok to not want to think about baby today. Instead, think of you as a mother- Believe it or not, you are a good mother, equipped for the most challenging task of bringing life to this world. The journey is not easy, but you can do it and you will do it. You are one day closer to being yourself again- a more powerful self.

Photo Credit: © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Temi became a first time mum in 2017 and could not believe how un-informed she was on all the ways her mind, body and life would change. She suffered with Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a pregnancy condition affecting only 1% of women. The isolation of her pregnancy led her to create more awareness about HG, pregnancy and life as a new Nigerian mum through www.firsttimemum.com.Temi works in Financial PR and spends most of her free time looking after her boisterous little boy, whilst trying to build the @firsttimemumdotcom community.She is also a licensed baby sleep consultant. Read more on her Instagram page@firsttimemumdotcom and website www.firsttimemum.com, a parenting community for new, millennial, black mums.

29 Comments

  1. Tess

    May 15, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I had this when i was pregnant with twins. I thought i would die. My hubby asked the doc one day,’i hope she can’t vomit the babies out’. I threw up violently and looked like sh*t. Even my gate man offered me trad medicine saying ‘e go cure anything we dey do u’. It ended at the second trimester. Thank God

  2. Fish

    May 15, 2018 at 10:46 am

    This is my life in the past 14 weeks!!!!! I’ve been from hospital admission to admission! I’ve been depressed! No food no water! It is hell!

    • Tee

      May 15, 2018 at 11:24 am

      OH WOW!! Dear God behold your daughter! please lay your hand upon her and cause every part of her being to function properly! I speak PEACE into your body in JESUS NAME! AMEN

    • FirstTimeMum.com

      May 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Please stay strong! There really is light at the end of the tunnel. You are strong and resilient! You can make it! You’re not alone.

  3. Fatima

    May 15, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Hmm, remember this after so many years.(my last is 9).

    An absolute nightmare. Had to be admitted twice and my husband spent most of my 1st and 2nd trimesters huddled on a paint bucket in the kitchen with paper stuffed under the door to stop the smell of food passing through!

    Didn’t help for my first child that I also contracted mumps and could barely move in a car without throwing up in polythene bags at least 3 times on 3rd mainland bridge before getting to the office.

    On the plus side, I discovered the food channels on cable and “ate by watching”.

    Hang in there Mama’s, one day you wake up and you can eat…. You also stop getting scolded by nurses for not gaining weight during pregnancy (side eyeing every single one of those ginger/cracker recommending witches).

    HG is a bitch.

  4. Joan

    May 15, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Thank you so much for this write up. Mine was also terrible. I couldn’t keep any food down and was so weak that I thought I will die. My husband was so scared at how severely dehydrated I was and the doctors were not of much help. But I am better now and hopeful it will all end in praise.

  5. Deleke

    May 15, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Poor poor Wifey also had this condition in her pregnancies and that alone has made me not even consider not to try for a 3rd. She said she don’t mind but I felt useless seeing her going thru all that and I can’t do shit about it. Maybe I’m weird

  6. chick

    May 15, 2018 at 11:08 am

    mine wasn’t this bad but mehnnn I suffered no be small. how I managed to keep going to work is still a mystery to me, immediately I got back home I remain in bed till the next morning. sometimes I wonder if I’ll mk it through cos the nausea, weakness and tiredness was out of this world. I felt I was gonna die but I got better by the 14th week and it has bin amazing since then except when I eat a large meal I get terribly uncomfortable. my cousin suffered worse, she was in n out of hospital every three days getting drips to avoid dehydration. pregnancy for most isn’t easy but we’ll all Mk it to the finish line and hold our little ones and look into their eyes and know it was all worth it.

  7. larz

    May 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    With all the people that have suffered this ailment., I wonder if this statistics is correct at all. Or is it just high with a particular demographic? I had did this and majority of my friends did too. So where did all these 1% they are quoting come from?

  8. FirstTimeMum.com

    May 15, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    @Larz, Thank you for taking the time to read the article! I share your view that the stats on Hyperemesis seem so low! Considering it’s seems so common! At the moment, that’s what research points out to be the % of women who suffer from it. In my view, there is not enough awareness of the condition, so the representative figure may be much smaller than the reality! As an HG survivor it’s our duty to shout to the world about it, so that other women too may recognise quickly what they are going through and get the support they need from everyone around them.

  9. Patty boo

    May 15, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Everyone here sharing the same issue with different experience .. no1 is ever alone in this world , dnt doubt that…. i wish you all victory at the end.

  10. Anonymous

    May 15, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I don’t think the statistics is correct. I was a sufferer for all 3 pregnancies, the last one was hell. I literally died, it was that bad. There was a bucket permanently stationed at my bedside, I could vomit up to 8 times a day on an empty stomach. I could not even get up to wee, my cousin had to bath me once in 4 days, I was just disapering. I was given a total of 23 drips, was on admission in hospital for a week, I begged hubby for an abortion and honestly the only reason I did not go through with it was because I could not move myself. The little Angel will be 5 next month, I look at her with joy all the time, forgetting all she put me through. Hers lasted well over 14weeks.

  11. Babym

    May 15, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Haaaa Obara Jesus!! Hyperemesis is not of this world!! I was admitted 8 separate times with dehydration. At some point all the anti-sickness medication stopped working. Thankfully I was signed of work for months ( some ppl r not so lucky with work cus of lack of understanding) Docs considered putting me on steroids to stop the vomiting. But I don’t know if it’s just me, I find that ppl with HG usually have an easier delivery (maybe I was just lucky) I told God after suffering 25 weeks of the torture, the delivery must be a breeze o. Delivery day I was busy waiting for labour pains to come lol. God is merciful. Well done all of you HG suffers. You are not alone.

    • Temmy

      May 16, 2018 at 11:53 am

      It’s not just you, I had HG as well, I even went to party with my contraction with the family, just the fear of staying home alone. Weee, baby was out in mins, whilst I was still thinking in my head how to cope with the labour pain. The midwife was like I made it look it so easy, in my head I was like I wish you know what I went through carrying this baby in my stomach. I say to people my delivery compensated for the sickness.

  12. A Feminist Man

    May 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    My sister and I begged my mother to have another child for years. We didn’t understand why she was hesitant after 13 years, but when the pregnancy came, we understood. I would cry everyday because she was in so much pain, anyfood that came into her body, came out immediately. We tried everything from Complan to folic acid, nothing worked! I had to learn how to fix up a drip, because she was always dehydrated. Finally,she got herself back on Easter Sunday of 2010, after 4 months of pain. I like to think it was the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Some ignorant FOOLS started speeding rumors that she had HIV, but it was Hyperemesis. Watching my mother experience hyperemesis graviderum was life changing.

  13. Engoz

    May 15, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Used to think morning sickness was just vomit in the morning and go by your day. Vomit to me prior pregnancy was like if I ate something too oily and if it’s causing some kind of nausea, I usually just throw up and I’m relieved. But this kind of vomit, there is no relief afterwards. You vomit and still feel like vomiting. So it’s a continuous urge to vomit. I was at 90 pounds racing for 80 because of it. Was sent off to the emergency to get some fluids. No medication on market works. Zofran (ondansetron) tried a little bit, but there’s nothing out there that works. They will tell you eat small, eat crackers, drink ginger ale, they did not work. I could not take those prenatal vitamins or iron because they made me vomit more. When I confessed to the nurse that I don’t take them, she said you know what if it’s making me vomit that I shouldn’t take them and that women in her generation didn’t really take them and they had healthy babies. In my mind I said ‘Ope o’, lol. I saw that eggs had most vitamins so I was eating only eggs and bread, but they have to be fried with lots of pepper. Was eating about 8 eggs per day. Eggs have high cholesterol, but who cares at that point. Baby was sucking all my nutrients. I did not get relief in my throat until a week or two after giving birth. Baby came out healthy with fat cheeks. It’s a terrible thing, but studies say women with little or no morning sickness are at a higher risk of miscarriage, so that was my only consolation. If no one beats me to it, I’m going to find a cure, that is how serious I am about this, lol.

  14. Malya

    May 15, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    Never knew this condition had a name. I thought i was going to die. First four months was hell! People don’t understand. God bless my mum, she nursed me through it. I’m so afraid to get pregnant

  15. Allwell

    May 15, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    O yes! It will surely end in praise and not sorrow in Jesus’ name, Amen. And I will surely come and testify on bellanaija. Please people, we need your prayers!

  16. ID

    May 16, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Experienced this in two pregnancies. It was one of the most difficult period in my life.

  17. Tee

    May 16, 2018 at 9:56 am

    This write up made me cry all over again just thinking of the agony I suffered all through 9 months – yes it started at 3months for me they kept saying it’ll pass by 20weeks max yet I threw up every day till labour I was still vomiting while in labour – my baby is over 6 months and I haven’t put on the weight I lost – people were so judgemental I didn’t even have energy to leave the house for hospital appointments talkless work

    • Audrey

      May 16, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Sorry ok

  18. S!

    May 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    I started throwing up at 4weeks and I have 2weeks to my due date and I’m still throwing up. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’ll just have this one child because it has been hell. But my mum says when the baby comes I’ll forget all about it. I hope so. My mum, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law didn’t experecience any form of vomiting and they told my husband that argh that made him think I was just being dramatic smh. I am always so mad when he says I should have gotten over this like do you think I don’t want to get over it. Oh yes add spitting to the list. I have to carry a bottle around the house or chew gum when I’m going out which ends up giving me a splitting headache. I basically eat to survive knowing half of it would end up in the toilet anyway. I have no cravings, eating just seems like a job I have to undertake. I hate taking my nausea medication too that makes me so drowsy and it doesn’t help all the time. Sigh Just glad to know I’m not alone.

  19. Miss k

    May 16, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Hmmm..story of my life right now. I never heard of HG until I became a sufferer. Mine started at 7wks, I’m currently going 30wks and still battling HG. This is my first pregnancy and the experience has been draining. I have suffered dehydration due to excessive vomiting, potassium deficiency, low blood sugar, low bp, extreme weight loss and the worst of it is degenerative fibroids. Imagine just living in the hospital depending of IV fluids and mostly God to survive, plus different meds going into your body. From phenegran to zofran then decliegis yet vomiting is still a part of my life. The latest diagnosis from my Obgyn is I’m anemic, so I have been put on another medication. On a good note baby is doing fine, growing well despite me not being able to eat. I’m grateful to God for his unconditional love and his mercies towards me, I’m alive and I a know i will have and mother my baby in good health. To everyone going through this dark path, stay strong, hold on to God and know there is an end to HG.

  20. O"kel

    May 16, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    I am writing this from a solitary place in the park where I went to seek some semblance of sanity….after vomiting everything I could this morning. This ailment sucks! I’ve already asked my doctor about tying my tubes after baby is born…2 is a good number, yes.
    Some days I just want to curl up in a corner and die. I have a little boy already so I always have to psych myself up for his sake. Incidentally, hubby is an M.D. who shows little sympathy, he has no clue I s’pose.
    Forgive my rambling peeps, trying my best not to be depressed. It is hard.

    • Bleed Blue

      May 17, 2018 at 11:23 am

      @O”kel

      Awwww come here, let me give you a bear hug…you just sound so down, I feel like I can almost touch your sadness.

      You’re almost there dear…thankfully the 9 months is a guaranteed period. African elephants are pregnant for 22 months oh! Jehovah thank you for sparing us that kind of somtin.

      Please just try and keep your head up. I imagine it’s not easy with hubby not being as sympathetic as you’d like, but please stay strong.
      God bless you and your baby.

  21. Temi

    May 16, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I had HG with both my pregnancies and it was tough, esp when your partner is totally helpless, every thing that I loved,perfume, food, water all made me throw up, even now some smells that I cannot stand any more. There were days I would just lay in bed and wish that every thing will pass away and yes like the other commenter said we tend to make delivery look like a breeze cause both my babies were born in less than an hour, I guess all the prayers we prayed and mustered during the throw ups was for safe and quick delivery. I do hope that some one finds a cure or even a drug that works, cause I can say that most of them don’t do anything at all and it ends up down the toilet anyway. So to all the HG momma’s you shall over come, take it one day at a time.

  22. Lilo

    May 17, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Thank you for this write up. I just got out of hospital this morning, another episode of dehydration, hematemesis and high level of ketones. I cry everyday and it seems solace is sometimes so far away. Before now if I ate in my dream I will cast and bind but with HG eating my best meals in the dream feels comforting, eventhough I am disappointed when I wake up. Now I know why people settle for having just 1 child. No one deserves to go through this….the hopelessness, the fear, the worry about what all the medicines you are being pumped with can do to your child, the fright that your baby may die… it’s just pure torture. Now I can trust God based on testifiers here that this too will end in praise, I will not give up hope, I will do my best and take each day as it comes. There has to be light at the end of this tunnel.

    • Ify

      May 18, 2018 at 9:57 am

      You’ll be fine dear. Just hang in there.

  23. Bebe

    May 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Had this with my first child. OMG! The way the thing hit me, it was like a dream (nightmare). I always thought like in the movies, you’d just have your one vomit session and you keep it moving, enjoying the rest of your pregnancy BUT I was in for the shock of my life.

    This pregnancy really took me to a dark place and my days were spent contemplating cancer and other terminal illnesses and very much agreeing that the way I felt was no different. And then I immediately understood why these sufferers opt for assisted suicide because who can imagine such indefinite suffering.
    At least for me “pata pata”/last last in 9 months I’d be free.

    I admit however that in between the constant vomiting, dehydration and the feeling of near death, it was hard to hold on to that sliver of gratitude.

    From this experience I learnt empathy for those who are ill and gratitude always for good health.

    Ps. During this period, I was also a Proud member of the “Eating in your dreams” club… Bind and cast wetin? Abegi!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features

Recent Posts

Get The Pan-Atlantic Advantage

Advertisement
css.php