As a mother of two boys, none of my pregnancies has been easy – mentally and physically. I struggle with a pregnancy condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), which means lots of puking, nausea, dehydration, depression, and weight loss.
Being pregnant is usually a time of glowing and happiness for most women, but for those who suffer from HG, like me, it is not.
The typical scenario was; I am puking into a bag, for the umpteenth time, as my toddler rub his sick Mamas back. HG had taken me away from him.
At the beginning of my sickness, we didn’t know to explain everything that was going on to Fadhili, our toddler. However, the nurses at the ‘Klinik for gravide’, Skejby Hospital, encouraged us to explain HG to Fadhili.
No sooner had we told him that Mama was suffering so that he could have a little brother, he began to throw fewer tantrums and show more empathy. He started to rub my belly too and tell people that ‘Mor har baby I maven’ (Mama has a baby in her stomach).
Mama has Hyperemesis Gravidarum (But only for a while)
Mama Has Hyperemesis Gravidarum (But Only For a While) is a book which helps to prepare children, by gently depicting some of the negative realities of living with a pregnant mom who is suffering from HG
Children are very intuitive to suffering, even though, like Fadhili they may not always have the words to voice out their fears. We learned to let Fadhili express his affection.
He did this in the best way he could which included sharing ice lollies with me, to leaving his favourite stuffed toy behind to keep me company. These small, thoughtful, gestures were his way of showing compassion and empathy.
“The debilitating effects of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) can be bewildering for adults, so it’s no surprise that children’s lives are greatly affected…but only for a while.
The book also helps to validate an emotional experience that, while normal, can sometimes be confusing and unpleasant.
Finally, children are comforted and encouraged by the recurring message that HG will end, and a little sister or brother will be the reward.”
Finally to supplement my diet and the impending starvation, nasogastric intubation was medically inserted by the hardworking and efficient nurses at Skjeby Hospital Klinik for gravide.
The feeding tube run through my nose, past the throat, and down into my stomach. The feeding intervention protected not only my unborn child but also me, from malnutrition.
Ths intervetion undoubtably had its fail share of discomforts; like the many curious stares that I received in public. Yet, they were nothing in comparison to the strength that the additional nutritional gave my body.
After 7 months of constant debilitating sickness, my weight and H.G symptons stabilized, and with that came also what felt like a new lease on life. I was able to smile, walk, and be a mother to my son, and a wife to my husband again.
This unconvectional medical intervention saved my life.
After a long struggle with HG, my husband snapped this photo minutes after I gave birth to our 2nd son. The tears of relief and joy. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat, the pain and discomfort of HG, are nothing in comparison to the joy, love and laughter my sons have brought into my lives.