I’ve read lots about the aftermath of HG but never really gave it a lot of thought since Elsie arrived. I’ve looked back on the time I spent on medication as a kind of greyish black time. It was a lonely time. Isolating. Scary. But ultimately, it ended. By 28 weeks I was medication free and despite a brief period of sickness after that, I managed to turn my back on HG for good by the time i was being monitored for Elsie’s growth .
And so began the questions. My baby wasn’t growing and I needed to know if the medication I’d been taken had anything to do with that. I suppose not, but you can’t help wondering. I didn’t write much about HG. Mainly I felt that I didn’t suffer as much as many women and for that reason I felt I didn’t really have much to say that could add weight to the fact that HG is one hell of a torrid and disturbing ride. Also I genuinely found it hard to write about it whilst it had me in its grip, and then IUGR took ahold and I needed to put the sickness to one side to concentrate. To get my baby in my arms. To know that it had all been worth it.
So 17 months on, and it’s only now the stains that HG has left on my life are starting to appear. At first it was the anxiety and the panic at having to go to places I didn’t know. That started during pregnancy and was easily explained. I couldn’t go far from home. I needed to know where I could go if I was ill. I needed to be around people I knew well. And bits of this stayed after Elsie arrived. It’s probably all a little messy. And then there’s being ill again. A tummy bug that sends shooting reminders to chill your bones. The familiar churning and burning retching. Those same hands closing around my throat. That same rolling, lurching and jerking that jumps upon you when you lie still, when you move, when you cough. Waiting. For it all to pass. For the panic to subside. For the associations to wither away.
Life after HG.
For me it’s not been so bad. For others, it’s horrendously difficult to get yourself back into real life. For some women there are daily physical reminders of their HG journeys. Dentist appointments because their teeth have eroded thanks to vomiting multiple times a day for months. Fears of and aversions to food. Depression and anxiety. It doesn’t always just end when the baby arrives and the vomiting subsides.
Again, how lucky I am. That a tummy bug brings it all back but I am able to live life normally otherwise. But what of the women who are still suffering and still finding it hard to move on? Re-living the hospital visits, the hours spent curled around the toilet on the cold bathroom floor. The days and weeks missed. Who’s going to pick those pieces up?
I’d love your support in the 2016 blogging awards. Being nominated is a wonderful way to raise awareness of issues that matter, and with your support I can help give a voice to families who have suffered a HG pregnancy. This will lead to better understanding for health care professionals when it comes to helping and supporting women and families. It will also lead to better understanding for us all, so that women like me can access support without judgement. Thank you!
Please click the links below to nominate me in the following categories: Inspire, Writer, Reader’s Choice, Best baby, Best Writer.