Here at biglittlethings we donate 5% of our profits to HG Australia, a charity that provides support & raises awareness surrounding Hyperemesis Gravidarum an illness suffered by 2% of pregnant women.
To shine light on the mama's that are going through it & the one's who have survived it - we put out a call for HG mama's to contact us to tell their story. The response was overwhelming. We chose 7 stories to count us down to 15th May for HG Awareness Day & we hope they bring some hope, love, awareness, & that you don't feel alone.
To all the HG mama's, we see you, we believe you & we are here for you.
Our next mama we spoke with is Emily who is currently pregnant with her second baby & suffering her second HG pregnancy...
biglittlethings | firstly, tell us your name, a bit about yourself & who you’re a mama to.
Emily | Hello, My name is Emily and I’m 21 years old. I have one, 17 month old son ( Elijah) and I’m currently pregnant with my second. I live in Queensland with my partner, son and our pet snake.
B | when did you feel like that you weren’t just “first trimester sick” & when you were diagnosed with HG?
E | With my first pregnancy I wasn’t diagnosed with HG until 32 Weeks. The only knowledge about Hg I had was that its what made princess Kate so sick. I was sick from about 5 weeks pregnant all the way to 38 weeks when my waters broke. Until I was diagnosed I thought it was somewhat normal to be so nauseous constantly and was told by my doctors that it’s ‘just a little morning sickness’.
That little morning sickness didn’t allow me to leave my house without a vomit bag for basically my entire pregnancy. For my second pregnancy I started vomiting before I got a positive test, lucky enough this time around I knew what I was in for, my doctor didn’t know much about HG and relied on me telling him what medications to put me on.
B | tell us about your HG Pregnancy/Pregnancies.
E | Hyperemesis definitely doesn’t allow you to have that fun pregnancy glow so my first pregnancy was mostly me with my head in a toilet and the rest of the time trying not to faint.
I was vomiting most of the day everyday, but lucky enough I was really good with keeping fluids down so it was just after food I was vomiting. Due to the fact that I wasn’t keep very much food down I was having low blood pressure. This low blood pressure meant that every time I got up to quickly or was vomiting for too long, I would then faint. Fainting itself comes with extra risks such as landing on my tummy and hurting the baby or hitting my head but I was lucky enough not to sustain any serious injuries even after fainting down a flight of stairs. I even fainted in labour, but strangely enough didn’t vomit, as soon as my waters broke I was lucky enough to stop vomiting. My nausea stopped almost instantly and after having my son I ate an entire pizza and was able to return to eating normally.
My second pregnancy has been a constant death zone, I’m almost halfway through this pregnancy and lost 14kgs and have had 7 hospital admissions.
During these admissions I would need upwards up 4 bags of fluids due to not being able to keep down both food and fluids for most of the pregnancy. This pregnancy I have vomited pretty much anywhere you can think of, Woolworths, Kmart, the beach, the park even a zoo.
I tried to continue to live my life normally even with the constant vomiting so that my son wasn’t stuck inside with me all the time, however due to the current world situation we are now stuck inside.
After my 7th admission I was lucky enough to be taken on board by my hospital's HITH ( Hospital In The Home) program. This means that I have nurses come to home and now get daily fluids and IV medication. Unfortunately with my hospital the HITH program is only for when you're in the death zone so you get constantly admitted and then discharged and need to have a constant cannula, but I’m so lucky to even be offered this program. Having the constant fluids and IV medication has honestly changed my life and even tho the vomiting continues I am no longer getting so dehydrated I need a hospital stay.
I’m still vomiting everyday and pray that I find some safe foods and don’t vomit for my entire pregnancy again but at least this time I know more about this awful condition.
B | tell us about the support you had throughout your pregnancy with HG.
E | My biggest support for both my pregnancy’s is my partner Patrick. Not only is he working full time supporting our family but he comes home and cooks dinner every night. He has been there through all the Hospital visits and sat by my side while I threw up all day bringing me snacks and small meals trying to get me to eat. He has gone above and beyond to support my through these pregnancy’s and I’m so unbelievably lucky and honestly don’t think I’d have the strength to go through this second pregnancy without him.
B | what got you through those really dark HG days?
E | As cliche as it sounds, but thinking about the end results definitely helped me get through those dark days. I remember with my first pregnancy I had been vomiting all day and was balling my eyes out saying to my partner that I can’t do this and I’m not strong enough and we sat there talking about what our baby would be like and wondering what traits he would have, the distraction of not thinking about the vomiting helps.
B | what is something you wish people knew about HG?
E | It’s not just morning sickness! If I had a dollar for every time a Doctor, family members and friends said to me ‘ it’s just morning sickness’ I’d be rich. That statement alone invalidates all the sickness and pain I meant through and really feels like a slap in the face. If it was just morning sickness I wouldn’t be vomiting the entire pregnancy, if it was just morning sickness I wouldn’t be taking 5+ anti-nausea medications a day, if it was just morning sickness I wouldn’t be fainting, if it was just morning sickness I’d be better by now.
B | how did you manage to be a mama whilst being pregnant with HG at the same time? any words of wisdom or ways to plan/manage it that worked for you?
E |The mum guilt hits you hard in your second HG pregnancy especially during the death zone. Elijah has now seen me vomit so many times that he pretends vomits into buckets now.
Honestly anything and everything that keeps the entertained do it, if that means movies and snacks all then it’s not going to hurt them. He has been watching so much Moana the songs have started to trigger my nausea. I found buying the most annoying toys you can find that flash and sing the same line over and over again, and bring them out just for those extreme death zones that helps so much to keep them happy.
B | what is something you would like a fellow HG mama going through it right now to know?
E | You are not alone. HG is honestly the loneliness experiences you can go through and you feel as if no one in the world understands the pain you're in. But you are not alone, 2% of pregnant woman are there with you every time you're lying in bed and you're so nauseous you feel as if your entire room is spinning, they are there every hospital visit, they are there every time you throw up. You are not alone and this isn’t forever you will get better.