When Temi Randle complained about her morning sickness, some people thought she was exaggerating until she was diagnosed of Hyperemesis Gravidarum at the hospital.
According to HER Foundation, women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum are unable to care for themselves or their families for weeks, sometimes months. Some women may be unable to eat for lengthy periods and lose 5-10% or more of their pre-pregnancy body weight in the first few months, which leads to unbearable fatigue and sometimes depression.
The cause of HG is yet unknown but it can be managed with the help of a qualified doctor.
In a chat with Temi, the founder of @firsttimemumdotcom, she shares her experience with HG.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe form of unrelenting, excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that usually extends beyond the first trimester and if severe and/or inadequately treated, it is typically associated with severe weight loss, dehydration, starvation and potential loss of life. HG is the most common cause of hospitalization in the first half of pregnancy.
Her experience of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
I suffered from HG from 6 weeks to 22 weeks pregnancy. This meant that for the entirety of my first trimester and a bit of the second, I was virtually bed ridden, vomiting up to 20 times a day. I was unable to go to work and had to have a carer look after me. This also included her helping me out of bed, washing me- that was how weak I was. I was constantly in hospital on a drip as I was severely dehydrated from not being able to keep any food or drink down me. I lost about a stone in just a month and kept losing weight.
How she knew it was HG
I did not know it was HG and assumed it was morning sickness at first. Even though it didn’t feel right, I knew women who had morning sickness and it was nothing like what I was experiencing. It wasn’t until I went for a routine check; my GP checked my ketone levels and said I needed to be rushed to the emergency room. I was dangerously dehydrated. I was then diagnosed with HG and ordered to bed rest.
What she wished she had known about it
I wish I knew everything. I wish I knew it existed so I could have got help sooner and did not have to endure the comments from other people thinking I was exaggerating. I wish there was more awareness about the condition so that there is more support for sufferers.
The explanation she got for how you felt before you knew what it was
People thought I was exaggerating. They thought I just had morning sickness which occurs in most pregnant women in the first trimester; however, there is a huge difference. You can still manage life to a functional degree with morning sickness but HG is severe and can be dangerous and life threatening. You need bed rest, physical and emotional support with HG. Some people said I wasn’t acting grateful. The truth is that it was hard to feel grateful when I felt like I was dying every day.
When the feeling stopped
On if she’s scared about a re-occurence
Yes I am terrified. Women who suffer from HG have a higher chance of having it with subsequent pregnancies. HG sufferers need to give it additional thought before deciding to have another baby. We need to prepare for the condition and plan for support and care for ourselves and also older children.
You need to also factor in time off work. The memory of what you go through can also put you off wanting more children; many HG sufferers experience a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Mine was relatively mild, there were certain songs I listened to and smell that still made me gag even after the condition.