In as simple an explanation as possible, HG turns regular pregnancy related morning sickness into all day, non-stop nausea and vomiting causing you to lose over 10% of your body weight and leading to boughs of dehydration. Most women with HG end up in the hospital multiple times during their pregnancy for fluids and other complications. My friend Melissa Anderson also suffers from HG and wrote an AMAZING article titled Hyperemesis Gravidarum Makes Pregnancy an Absolute Hell that you should all read for a raw look at what living with HG looks like.
It hasn't been a fun few months, BUT I have a healthy baby, I am alive, and I thank God daily for giving me the ability to carry a child into the world no matter the circumstances. Please know that all of the calls, meals, and free baby sitting has been such a blessing to our family!
* If you are not comfortable with gorey details, stop reading now. I am about to explain some ways to survive HG and the imagery will not be pleasant. You have been warned!
1. When throwing up, sit on the floor and aim for the back of the toilet rather than for the water in the bowl. This angle will keep the vomiting from coming out your nose (my least favorite thing in the whole world).
2. Ignore everyone that says "eat saltine crackers" or "drink ginger". Find WHATEVER you can eat and stick to that. Most likely it won't be what worked for everyone else. For 3 months I ate watermelon, drank orange gatorade and that was it. Find anything that you can stomach and run with it.
3. Embrace modern medicine. I am currently taking Reglan, Diclegis, Prilosec, Tums, and supplementing with Zofran when needed. I was scared to take a lot of medicine but soon learned that without it I wouldn't be able to nourish the baby.
4. Assume the ER doctors know NOTHING about pregnant women. Twice the ER doctors tried to give me Reglan and Phenergan together despite the fact that they shouldn't be mixed during pregnancy. I had to repeatedly tell them to change the medicine order. During my last pregnancy, they gave me too much Phernergan and it caused muscle spasms. Make sure to advocate for yourself and call your OBGYN if you are unsure about the medicines they are giving you. Another time they told me I might need my gall bladder removed because it had slug in it which is a common occurrence in women that vomit continuously during pregnancy. My OBGYN laughed when I told her!
5. No matter how tough you think you are, don't go to the ER alone. Talk about one of the most difficult emotional experiences of my life.
6. Throwing up blood is very common and not a reason to run to the ER or hospital. The first time it happened to me I was freaking out and rushed to the ER. Definitely call your doctor when it happens, but don't panic. It is normal for the esophagus or stomach lining to tear from continuous throwing up.
7. Ask your doctor about acid reflux medicine immediately. This has helped me more than any nausea medicine. I didn't start Pepcid until my first hospital stay and have gradually moved up the ladder to Prilosec which has been the best (you can't start Prilosec until your 2nd trimester) for controlling my stomach acid content. Throwing up food is much more pleasent than throwing up straight buckets up stomach acid.
I hope these tips are helpful for someone and, like always, please email or comment if you have any questions! Wishing everyone healthy and complication free pregnancies.