Morning sickness affects the overwhelming majority of pregnant women only a quarter of expectant moms is not nauseous on a regular basis. Pregnancy nausea is so common that it is seen as an integral part of pregnancy, and you can expect little sympathy for feeling when you have a baby on the way. Normal morning sickness can be quite annoying, and can drain energy. But what if you are so sick that you can't keep any foods down?
What if your constant nausea and vomiting is leaving you dehydrated and at risk of severe malnutrition? The condition hyperemesis gravidarum literally means "excessive vomiting in pregnancy" in Greek. It is not, let that be clear, "normal morning sickness". Still, women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum can have a hard time finding recognition, even from medical professionals. Women with hyperemesis gravidarum may be told to suck it up, all while being so sick they can hardly continue... quite literally.
It should come as no surprise that some women who have hyperemesis gravidarum are so sick that they consider having an abortion, despite an extremely wanted and planned for pregnancy. The first time I heard about the concept of women having abortions due to morning sickness, I admit that I was shocked. Then, a very Christian, pro-life friend of mine had HG with her first pregnancy (a patterned that has repeated for all her pregnancies, and she is now expecting her fourth!).
I asked my friend, who is currently suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum for the fourth time, if she had any tips specifically for women who are considering having an abortion due to the level of their sickness. These are women that will already have been hospitalized in many cases, and who are going through a special kind of hell. Her tips are:
- Make getting the care you need a priority. Most women with HG will be belittled and humiliated. Many doctors will even suggest abortion to get "difficult patients" off their backs. Contact support groups for hyperemesis gravidarum and look into sites like helpher dot com.
- Read Ashli McCall s book on the subject, called Beyond morning sickness: battling hyperemesis gravidarum.
- Remember that you will be holding your precious baby soon, and that this will pass. Don't pay any attention to women telling you to simply take morning sickness remedies like ginger. You know they don't work for HG.
- What does, however, help is a good support network to take care of the things you could not possibly do as a hyperemesis gravidarum mom housework, cooking, taking care of other children you have.
- Pray, if you are religious. A lot.