• Why I’m Not Complaining about My Morning Sickness

    When you have morning sickness, you’re always getting “crackered.” That’s the term I use to refer to all the advice you’ll get when you’re nauseously wading through your first trimester. I’ve lost track of all the different things you can try. I promise I heard and tried them all the first time around. Nothing made me feel better. After a week of round-the-clock sickness that kept me from ingesting anything, I called the doctor in tears. I was told to go to the emergency room. There, 8 weeks pregnant with my first baby, I got an IV and medication. I also received a diagnosis. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). 

    HG isn’t just morning sickness. It’s like morning sickness on steroids. Women who suffer from HG often lose anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds during their pregnancy. Just in case you’re thinking it might be a handy way to lose weight, keep in mind that you’ll be suffering from severe nausea and unable to keep down anything (including water) most of the time. HG doesn’t go away at 12 weeks like normal morning sickness. Women who suffer from HG sometimes experience relief at 20 weeks. I was part of that lucky group. Others remain sick for their entire pregnancy and some for weeks after. 

    I was lucky. I got a prescription for an anti-nausea medicine and it worked at least some of the time. The nausea went away at 20 weeks and I never looked back. I lost five pounds during my first trimester, but was able to gain it all back. I lived, some women don’t. My baby was born big and healthy, not all survivors of HG are so lucky. Despite my fortune, Hyperemesis took a huge toll on my body and my emotions. On my darkest days I cried to my husband that I didn’t want to do it anymore. I insisted that the baby I was carrying was Rosemary’s baby part 2. After my son was born, I resolved never to do it again. The HG had terrified me so much that I no longer wanted four children. I was suddenly quite content with one. I knew that I never wanted to be pregnant again.

    Two years and much therapy later, we did get pregnant again. Here I am, in my first trimester again. A lot of my friends are pregnant too. Yesterday I noticed one of my friends lamenting on Facebook about her morning sickness. She said something along the lines of “I have to eat crackers and Sprite every morning or I throw up.” She went on and on about how rough the first trimester is. I commented that it will pass quickly. I didn’t say what I wanted to say.

    What I wanted to say was this: Thank your lucky stars that crackers and Sprite are working. This time, ginger ale and crackers are keeping the nausea at bay and I can carry on with my day. I can work instead of spending my day in the bathroom floor clutching the trash can. I can eat real food and I don’t need an IV or dangerous anti-nausea medicines meant for chemotherapy patients. I can play with my son instead of sitting in bed praying not to vomit. Be so glad that a few crackers and Sprite are all you need to feel better for a few hours. It could be so much worse. Be so glad that you have no idea how much worse. Be grateful that you never have to feel the way I felt during my first pregnancy. Be so very thankful, because I am thankful that you don’t have to go through what I went through and I’m thankful that I don’t have to go through it again. Have a cracker. We can be thankful together while we think about those who are suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum without a cure. Then, take some time to check out the Help Her Foundation and give what you can to help the mothers and babies who aren’t lucky like us. 

    Written by: Sara Parise

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