Support is a Big Part of Getting Through Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Monday 9 March 2020

It's been a while since I've spoken about hyperemesis gravidarum and since then I still have a lot of difficulties looking back on how ill I was and the feelings that surround the topic often leave me in tears. Obviously, it's going to be a while before I can speak about it without feeling like I'm going to burst into tears just mentioning it but I felt I needed to do an updated post on this topic not only because may 15th is Hyperemesis Gravidarum awareness day but also because women still are suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum and its important to speak up about how deliberating this illness can be. I've already gone into detail before about how I felt going through it and what it is so today's topic is going to be about how to help and help in the UK (an updated post on it) just a heads up though I live in the UK so the info in this won't apply to other countries as I'm not sure the route people take elsewhere.

So first up what I want to say is don't feel like you're alone and have no one to talk to, there is a helpline out there run by the PSS (Pregnancy Sickness Support), they do have certain days this phone line is open but it can make a world of difference having someone to offload on. At the same time it's important to have a support system at home, not everyone will have this and will feel even more isolated that's why the PSS is so important to women. They have various sections on how to raise money for them, become a volunteer and various resources to help with support and planning a baby which you can find HERE

There are also books out there on the topic and the most helpful one I've found is Hyperemesis Gravidarum: The Definitive Guide. The author of the book suffered through HG too so she knows first hand just how bad it can get and she's pretty well known under the name Spewing Mummy and Caitlin Dean, she is also the chairperson for PSS and plays a big role when it comes to speaking about HG and raising awareness. I ended up getting the book to read the section on life after HG because I was struggling, I still do sometimes so I went and highlighted everything that may be helpful for me and my healing on the subject in the book. There is also a section called The Partner's Experience, this section was really interesting because whilst I was going through HG I could only think about how I was feeling and didn't realise how my partner could feel so helpless seeing me so ill. You see, even though we women are going through the sickness it can leave partners feeling useless and like they need more support when helping us and their feelings are just as valid as ours. 

Hyperemesis Gravidarum can push us to the darkest places we have ever experienced, so having someone around us who not only listens to what we need we also need someone around us who knows how we feel. It's hard to let someone in and touch us because every touch can lead to us overheating and puking more so just sitting by our side letting us know you're there means more than you could ever imagine. I could barely talk due to HG because my throat was destroyed from throwing up but my partner could tell what I needed and that was silence and a dark room, you have no idea how much that can help because nothing around you is moving you can just close your eyes and drift off for the millionth time that day because dreams are where I found some relief from puking.

If you have suffered from HG before and are planning a pregnancy my biggest bit of advice is put a plan it at first, let your doctor know you're planning and have something in your notes stating you will need sickness meds due to the possibility of getting hyperemesis gravidarum. The reason for this was because I was left waiting for ages before I could be prescribed anything so all the doctor needs to do is look in your notes, the PSS also has a plan you can print off to give to your doctor make sure you print two off that way you have a copy and are aware of the plan too. The link to the PDF file is HERE, it's packed full of all the info you will need outlining that you have suffered from HG before.

Another thing when planning is it can be hard seeing your home get neglected so a home manual for the other half or whoever pops in and helps you can be a big help, list days you have washing is done, where things are, etc that way you feel like you have some kind of control. Having clean clothes is important, no one wants to sit around smelling like puke this is why I mentioned getting the washing done. Smelling of something familiar which was as simple as my clean washing made me drift off to sleep a bit better. Being in a clean environment can help you feel more relaxed and as if you're not completely useless that's for sure when someone else is cooking in your home make sure they know to open the windows to let the smell out because when smells linger it can make you feel worse and masking it with air freshener can also set the sickness off even more. 

One bit of relief I found out is that you can now get acute care for hyperemesis gravidarum at home, this is one of the best things that could be available for women if I'm honest. Having long stays in hospital and being away from family and loved ones can be so hard, I cried every day in the hospital because I just wanted to be back in my own bed. What is acute care for hyperemesis patients?

It's at home fluids, so you will have nurses come in and hook you up to an IV to give you the fluids your body needs. Hyperemesis gravidarum leaves us very dehydrated and unable to eat so being able to have liquids through an IV instead of trying to sip them and throwing up can be a massive help in coping with pregnancy. In order to get this kind of help you do need to be assessed, this can be hard because sometimes a doctor or health care professional won't come out and you have to go to them which is something I had to deal with when I had to get sickness meds. Scaring kids in waiting rooms whilst I looked like hell with a sick bucket wasn't the best and I could barely walk due to not being able to eat and exhaustion. Read more HERE about at home Acute care in Cornwall. 

I know I speak about this a lot but the thing is it's so important to me that people understand that HG isn't just someone being dramatic, it's not silly and it's definitely not morning sickness. It's an illness that we can't help and tend to suffer in silence with, not only us but our loved ones have a hard time seeing us so ill. Wanting a baby and being so sick that you feel you have nowhere to turn it so depressing, I just want others to be aware of the help they can get and not be afraid to speak about what they went through. I've had times where I can't even think about HG because it sends me down the darkest path in my mind but I'm trying to overcome this after nearly 8 years of first suffering with it, please remember you're not alone and your feelings are valid!


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