Submitted by: Heartbroken Mama
Hyperemesis Gravidarum. My worst nightmare. The cause of so many of my struggles. I spent 18 months of my life puking. 18 months. Let’s let this sink in for a minute. 18 freaking months of my life tortured by nausea and vomiting, fearing for my life and the consequences it had on people around me. 1st pregnancy was mild HG (complete hell), my second was severe, more like the life threatening kind. No real need to go into details of the medical procedures necessary to keep us both alive. What I will say, is that the physical and mental pain that go with HG are unimaginable unless you have lived through it. Dehydration, malnutrition or electrolyte imbalances are some of the things that come to mind. You can DIE from this shit! My second is almost 8 and I never fully recovered, physically or mentally really. I am not sure you do to be honest.
I always wanted 3 children.
A couple of years ago I got pregnant. It was not planned, but I did not really think I could happen this way. I am of course aware that my strong desire for another child is the reason it happened. I should have taken permanent measures, which I did not. I never felt ready to do that and for this I feel huge regret and guilt.
I knew we would never decide to have another child, but I always thought that because I wanted it so bad, if it did happen, we would make it work.
When I found out I was SO happy. One of the happiest days of my life really. My husband was not. Very quickly the reality sunk in for me and I entered in panic mode. The exhaustion, dizziness, retching and bile vomiting started right before 4 weeks, and even though HG had not started, I could feel it coming. I went from feeling so much joy to a state of complete panic. My PTSD kicked in. I could not sleep. My heart was constantly racing. I could not stay calm. I was scared, so so so scared.
Who would care for my kids? My husband had several trips scheduled, including a month long international one in the coming months.
I don’t have family close or who could help.
Who will care for me? My last pregnancy my sister moved in with us for over 6 months and cared for me and my first (I was unable to do anything, not use the bathroom on my own or change my IVs). She can not put her life on hold again this way.
My doctor was supportive but strongly advised against moving forward. ‘You could die’. ‘This is rare and you are one of the most severe cases I know’. ‘You have to be prepared to suffer for 9 months’. Those realities were terrifying.
Then came all the worries about my health and the baby’s health. I am much older, with several chronic health issues I did not have before my last pregnancy.
I am 39 and lost my mother way too young. I know the horrible consequences of losing a mother. What if I am about to do this to my kids?! All of a sudden this desire for another child seemed selfish and way too risky.
I terminated the pregnancy at 5 weeks. NEVER have I experience such pain and feelings of loss… I am all too familiar with grief… but this is worse. I chose this. I loved this baby SO much. I lost myself.
For the last 2 years, I have been grieving. I have been replaying over and over how I could have handled it differently. I think I am reaching acceptance. Maybe I wasn’t and am not capable of handling it differently. Maybe it’s impossible for me to be voluntarily be so sick for so long.
My husband is my rock and has been with me for the ups and downs. But otherwise I have been dealing with this pretty much on my own. I am consumed by the what ifs and feel like I am walking around with this huge secret, that is at times too much to bear. And this is messed up. I want this to change. Women should be able to say ‘No, I am not feeling good, I HAD to have an abortion last week’. Yes, HAD to. No one wants one. But we live in a world where we can not do that. And that adds so much to the pain.
Women need to support each other. We need to be able to share the hard stuff too.
vanessa L says
Thank you for this post I am currently going through something very similar. I had two pregnancies with HG and my second was also the worst one, honestly I do not know how I survived. Tomorrow I am going in for a medicated abortion. The HG is setting in and I no longer feel like myself. Which isn’t fair for my children, or myself. This is hard but I know I can not move forward. Thank you for telling your story. -Vanessa