A Healing Article from a Hyperemesis Gravidarum Sister

Just this past week I learned that Jessica from The Leaky B@@b also suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum.

I had no idea!

And, in a fortuitous twist, she published a fantastic article that struck to the core of some of the emotions I’ve been feeling about my HG pregnancies: Tone, filters, and information.

It seems like every time I turn around, there is some article that gets published about how if you have a great diet during pregnancy or exercise during pregnancy, your baby will be healthier and have a number of advantages.  Since good eating and exercise aren’t really options for those of us with HG, these articles usually cause me to roll my eyes, feel guilty, and sometimes even angry that I can’t have just a normal pregnancy like everyone else.

Oddly enough, I feel very strongly that we shouldn’t take on guilt simply because of our circumstances.  We should be able to share information to mothers be it about childbirth interventions and risk management or breastfeeding.  We should be able to discuss these issues openly and honestly without the knee-jerk defensive reaction.

And yet…

And yet, when I see the information out there about pregnancy diet and exercise, I experience that same feeling of defensiveness that makes me crazy when talking about non-HG-related issues.

Jessica writes:

Do those articles set out to make me feel guilty that I barely eat during my pregnancies?  No, they are just sharing information and sometimes aim to encourage and inspire moms.  Do the moms celebrating their beautiful pregnancy experience do so to punch me in the gut and knock me down?  I’m pretty sure they are just excited about their own experience.  Does the fact that I have very little physical activity during the prenatal stage of my mothering make me a bad mom?  I don’t think so but it doesn’t mean I don’t wonder from time to time or that it doesn’t hurt a little when I’m faced with the reality that it really isn’t a good thing and could be putting my children at risk.  Blaming the information though doesn’t help me or make my reality better.  Hiding it, or worse denying it, doesn’t help anyone else either.

We should still share information, we should still read information and we hopefully do this in a safe community where processing the information can happen through trusting and supportive dialogue.  I hope that by keeping in mind the fact that we do not know everything there is to a person’s back story and why they make the choices they do we can remember to be more sensitive in how we share information.  I hope that by keeping in mind the fact that we all bring our own baggage to any topic we can remember to try not to take information sharing as personal jabs.  It is through these steps that we can support one another and make a difference for others.

Reading this article really gave me a sense of healing.  It helped me build a bridge from one aspect of my life, writing, and personal views to another.

Thank you Jessica.  You gave me a lot to think about.

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6 thoughts on “A Healing Article from a Hyperemesis Gravidarum Sister

  1. That was a really good point. I usually have a “just shut up, PLEASE!” reaction to those kind of articles… but it’s true, I shouldn’t take it personally. Thanks for sharing!

    SO excited for your upcoming birth! Can’t wait to meet the new babe! 🙂

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    1. I generally have the same reaction. And it’s that reaction to articles on breastfeeding and birth that really frustrate me. I appreciated how Jessica helped me see the parallel there. It’s critical that people have the very best information that science can provide on all health-related subjects.

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  2. I didn’t know Jesicca was an HG sufferer either. I am really struggling at the moment. With my daughter I was hospitalised before the doctor would believe I didn’t just have morning sickness. This time, by six weeks I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. I’ve gone on to Ondansetron (Zofran) to keep me going as I have no help with my daughter (apart from my husband, who works) and the guilt I feel over being on a potentially unsafe drug is horrible, horrible, horrible. But somehow, I have to keep going, so I have to take it. It’s not a matter of preference, but lack of choice. I do feel the guilt though – over the meds, over what I can and can’t eat and over pretty much everything. Thanks for sharing the article. It’s a really useful insight. (And I also totally understand – I feel angry sometimes, that I don’t get to be beautiful and pregnant. But I had to let it go, just as I’ve let go of my dreams of a large family.)

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    1. I carry less guilt about the zofran than I do the meclazine. That one is known to cause cleft pallete. But by the time I got sick, I was begging for it. When we had our ultrasound, the first thing I asked the tech to look at was her pallette. Thankfully, as with the Grasshopper, it looked fine. But the risk was there for sure.

      What I tell myself is that when we get into these kinds of situations it becomes a matter of risk/benefits. With HG, it’s about survival. I remind myself that the risks of severe dehydration and malnourishment are much worse than the risks of the meds and the junk food. I try my best to remind myself as often as possible.

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  3. “Reading this article really gave me a sense of healing. It helped me build a bridge from one aspect of my life, writing, and personal views to another.”

    This connection—from one HG Sister to another—is a very healing thing.

    There seems to be therapy and support for every diagnosis under the sun. HG Sisters have been on their own. This blogosphere is what will bring healing for this kind of suffering/ survival/ PTSD.

    I’m so proud of you all.

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    1. I so agree with you. The HG community has been an incredible source of healing and support for me. Another thing that has been very helpful is seeing a therapist. Having someone from the outside acknowledge the trauma I’ve been through has been incredible. In fact, it was my therapist that first used the word “trauma” to describe my experience. And just having that word attached to it lends it a legitimacy that has helped me to deal with what I’ve been through.

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