Can you remember the last time you felt sick? Was it maybe when you were really hungover and you were woken early by your kids or by the need to go to work? You struggled to get out of bed, felt sick every time you moved until you had regained some sense of normalcy by eating a bacon roll and downing a full fat coke. Or was it the last time you ate something dodgy? You threw up until there was nothing more to bring up and then you slept for a day to recover from the ordeal.
Now imagine feeling sick like that but for 9 months. Yep, I’m talking pregnancy. Today is HG Awareness Day and if you’re not aware HG stands for hyperemesis gravidarum. Maybe you heard mutterings about it when Kate Middleton was admitted to hospital earlier in the year. If you haven’t heard of it then please take a second to go read the press release from the HER Foundation and sign the petition if you feel compelled to do so.
I had HG during both my pregnancies, from conception right through to labour. During my first pregnancy I was probably the lowest I’ve ever felt in my life. Made to feel like I was overreacting, isolated because of the sickness and mind-numbingly bored because for the first few months I couldn’t even pass my time online as looking at any screen made me heave.
More needs to be done to prevent people suffering from HG. Imagine you couldn’t go online for months at a time, people made you feel like you were being ridiculous, you felt guilty about taking medication normally taken by chemo patients when you’re warned not to have too many coffees while carrying your precious baby. Imagine you wanted to not be pregnant any longer because you were so low. The you hated yourself for feeling like that.
I wrote about HG last year too – Fuck Ginger Biscuits – and I’ll probably write about it again next year too I’m sure because I wish that people knew more about it. It’s hard enough having HG but no woman should be made to feel worse by others because they are suffering. Believe me, they’d rather be glowing and blooming than heaving and retching!
Of course people tell you it will all be worth it in the end. You’ll forget all the misery when you’re holding your sweet new baby. And, yes, I do think it was worth it, but no, I haven’t forgotten what it was like. Not for a second.