Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Unfolding
Updated: May 14
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids. If severe and/or inadequately treated, it is typically associated with: loss of greater than 5% of pre-pregnancy body weight (usually over 10%), dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, metabolic imbalances and difficulty with daily activities. More about HG Education and Research.
This is my story of HG.
A story of both Hell and Heaven.
The Question and The Answer.
This is a story that is rough.
But ends well.
That rattled me, unraveled me,
then bathed me in divinity and filled me with awe.
This is the story of living inside the walls of hyperemesis gravidarum.
Of finding a way to step out of it. Physically and emotionally.
I won't sugar coat it.
HG for me was a horrific unfolding.
A lesson I didn't want.
And yet, there it was.
I've had to work hard to touch the miracle of this pregnancy.
To dig deep to reclaim the many parts of my experience that felt rough and tender and painful.
To acknowledge the powerlessness, fear, anger and shame I felt in those days.
And welcome them.
And I believe there are gems for all of us here.
This is the edge of human capability. This is love and raw surrender. This is what we can do with our suffering.
Viktor Frankl, my favourite resource for mobilising suffering, says:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
HG I could not change. No matter how I tried.
It challenged me to change.
To change and change and adapt and overcome.
My feelings while I was in those days? I could change a little.
My feelings when I look back now as I reconcile my experience and step forward? You betcha.
I considered never shining a light on these deeply painful memories.
I really just wanted to close the door and walk away. To get on with life. And yet, on another level, I knew why it was so necessary.
I needed it all to have been for something. To have stood for something. To have paved the way for something.
I needed to have learnt something about myself in these moments.
To move from grit to growth.
Without digging and sifting to find gems it would all have been for nothing. I couldn't bare the thought.
I read somewhere that 'every part of us deserves a seat at the table'
Bingo. The spark I needed.
I want the whole of me at the table. All of lifes experiences and feelings at the table. Easy and rough. Joy and Pain. To recognise and find space for it all.
And so, I realised I wanted the depth of those horrific days at the table too. For despair to pull up a chair. I wanted to welcome the lived experience of deep surrender.
To own it and heal it.
To sift through these memories,
reclaim them and take it all back as mine.
To flood those horrific memories with compassion.
To love it not just for the divine babe it brought me, but for what it has allowed me to become. To bow deeply and graciously for all that it has created.
And so, I showed up. And this is what poured out.
This story has five chapters.
Unfolds over two years.
Is one heck of a ride.
There is something here for all of us.
To those with HG
I am writing this for you. I hope these words help you to know in your weary bones that you are not alone in this. You are connected to a linage of women who have shared this experience. Beautiful woman, this is the time to put up your hand and truely ask for help. In every way. Above all, know that a day will come when you will smile again. You will feel joy again. One day this burden you now carry will lift. And it will become something beautiful, too.
What helped me most when I was in these days was the fortune of having a friend with HG a trimester ahead of me. As my symptoms peaked, hers was receding. She had endured the darkest days and was back out in the world. Drinking hot drinks and smiling. Feeling life again. She was my reminder that this would all end. Not today. Maybe not even soon. But eventually, this would leave.
I hope that in writing this, I can offer you the same.
For those outside of HG
This is just one example of the level of suffering that can spring from so many health conditions and life situations. These things surround us daily. Even if these words might feel foreign, and unreliable, know that life will give us all opportunities to fully surrender, to touch despair, and that these may be some truely useful tools.
And if you know someone going through HG, this might provide useful insight into what they're experiencing, and how you might be able to step towards support them.