#HG: A Pregnancy Unlike Any Other

I was always so smug about pregnancy. I used to tell people that pregnancy was fine. That was the easy bit! It was the birth that I couldn’t deal with. The ending was where I failed. The rest, I sailed through. And then I got hit with a HG pregnancy, and all of a sudden everything I knew about carrying a baby in my belly was wrong. The travel sickness bands, the ginger crackers, the ice cold water. None of it worked. All of it mocked me. Ridiculed me. Kicked me into the dust, pointed a finger and laughed at me. Nothing worked. Instead, tablets. Strong, scary sounding medicine to put a stamp on a pregnancy so unlike any other.

HG: a pregnancy unlike any other_Ghostwritermummy.co.ukI’ve asked so many doctors why I would experience HG in one pregnancy and not in three previous pregnancies. Same father, same lifestyle. There are no answers. Like so much when it comes to HG, more research is needed and too many answers are missing. But what I do know is this: a HG pregnancy is hard.

My first pregnancy was unbelievably easy. I think I had heartburn maybe once and that was truly my only symptom aside from the swelling belly. My second was harder (subsequent pregnancies usually are, with other children to look after too) and at six weeks I had my first taste of morning sickness. For me, this was a horrid burning nausea that started from the moment I opened my eyes in the morning, to the moment I went to bed. There was very little I could eat, or enjoy eating, and even water tasted vile. I suffered lots of headaches, took lots of time off work, and generally moped around until my maternity leave began. Once on leave from my teaching job, the nausea disappeared but to tell the truth the damage had been done. I didn’t enjoy this pregnancy and went into that final trimester with a touch of depression and anxiety.

My third pregnancy started badly. The same old nausea. The same old headaches. The same old stress. But, miraculously, all of those symptoms disappeared around 16 weeks and I went on to revel in a smooth pregnancy and a calm birth experience.HG: a pregnancy unlike any other_Ghostwritermummy.co.uk

So far so good.

Like many women will tell you, morning sickness is often part and parcel of pregnancy. For some women, its the first indication they have of even being pregnant. For some, it’s a welcome sign that the pregnancy is strong, and that the hormones are doing their thing. For some, it’s short lived and mild, others not so much. But the fact remains: morning sickness is to be expected. It’s normal.

HG isn’t normal.

Spending entire days on the cold bathroom floor, too afraid to move even the slightest muscle, is not normal. Crushing headaches that send wave after wave of nausea shrieking through your body is not normal. Hiding away from people- even months after baby is born- is not normal.

HG: a pregnancy unlike any other_Ghostwritermummy.co.ukHG isn’t expected.

After three ‘normal’ pregnancies, to suddenly find yourself incapable of putting your own socks on is not to be expected. After three ‘normal’ pregnancies, to suddenly find yourself unable to even brush your teeth without vomiting is not to be expected. After three ‘normal’ pregnancies, to suddenly find yourself retching and retching and crying and withering away is not to be expected.

HG isn’t morning sickness.

Vomiting up to 50 times a day is not morning sickness. Losing so much weight that your own children cannot recognise you is not morning sickness. Wanting to curl up in a ball and shut the world away forever is NOT morning sickness.

This time, it started at six weeks. There was no slow introduction; I opened my eyes one morning and BAM there it was. I spent days sucking on ice cubes, until my lips were so sore I could barely open my mouth without them cracking and bleeding. I spent days lying so so still on my side, closing myself off to my family and the rest of the world. I Spent nights silently sobbing, hoping that when I woke up the next morning, it would all be over.HG: a pregnancy unlike any other_Ghostwritermummy.co.uk

I regretted being pregnant. I wanted it over. I’d made a mistake. I couldn’t carry on like this for another eight months.

The first medications I was offered did nothing but send me into a stupefied state of drowsiness and depression. I found I could only take these tablets once the kids were in bed, so my days were hellish and frightening. After a week and the threat of hospital admission, I was given some different tablets to try. Three little white pills every day, and some relief at last.

What I was left with was the crippling nausea that I experienced throughout my second pregnancy. What I was left with was anxiety whenever I stepped out of the house, sure that at any moment the HG would kick back in again and leave me a weeping shell on the floor. What I was left with was broken friendships, battered relationships and shattered dreams. My last pregnancy wasn’t supposed to be like this. So unlike any other.


May 15th Is #HGday16- HG awareness day. Please join us on Twitter to raise awareness and help women find the support and help they need to get through a HG pregnancy. Tweet me @ghostwritermumm and @HGSupportUK



  1. Sarah Baker
    May 13, 2016 / 10:49 am

    HG is such a horrible horrible thing for anyone to have to go through. Let’s hope #HGAwareness day can help others to find support x

  2. May 13, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    I had HG on my last pregnancy but my God it was nothing near yours, it’s sound awful. Great post, doing exactly what it’s suppose to – raise awareness. I’ll tweet on the 15th and join you

  3. Brittney
    May 13, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    I love how you described how morning sickness is normal and HG is not. I had no idea what HG was until I ended up in the ER several times from severe dehydration. I worked in a male doninated industry and they just kept telling me its normal to get morning sickness and that I needed to just suck it up afterall, it was my decision to get pregnant. Raising awarness for this disease is so important so that women like myself can be educated and het help sooner! <3

  4. May 13, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    I too had it, though not as badly. Thank you for trying to raise awareness!
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  5. May 13, 2016 / 2:27 pm

    Sorry you had such a horrible experience, hadn’t heard of this condition x

  6. May 13, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    This is such a horrible side to pregnancy, I can sympathise with the being afraid to move and the headaches and the sickness. I will be joining in on twitter x

  7. May 13, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    Oh my god, this sounds so horrible, that’s awful you had to go through this. I hadn’t heard of hg before, so this is good you are spreading awareness xx

  8. May 13, 2016 / 6:12 pm

    This is a condition that I have never heard of before reading this post and it sounds horrendous. For something that I am told is supposed to be an amazing part of a womans life (being pregnant), to have this must have been horrible.
    I am off to do a bit of research to learn more…..

  9. May 13, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    Beautifully written It must of been so awful for you. I really think more should be written and spoken about it. I don’t think I read or saw anything on it whilst pregnant with my two X

  10. Jenny
    May 13, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    Thank you. I have HG at the moment. I understand what you went through. Who did the beautiful drawing? I’d like to post it on my Facebook page but want to credit the artist.

  11. May 14, 2016 / 7:01 am

    Wow I can’t imagine what this is like I had constant sickness with both of mine and cried constantly this would be my worst nightmare
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  12. May 14, 2016 / 11:26 am

    You poor thing, that sounds horrific. I had ‘normal’ morning sickness which was hard enough. I cannot begin to imagine how awful this may be, particularly with other children to care for. X
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  13. May 14, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    I am glad there is something to raise awareness, I have never been pregnant so issues such as this have never affected me x
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  14. May 14, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    Oh this sounds absolutely awful – I have had four babies and thank goodness never suffered like this. I barely had morning sickness. How terrible for you 🙁 Kaz x
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  15. May 15, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    A heartbreakingly familiar post. I have had three hg pregnancies and the effects for me are life long, I have two beautiful little ladies and one story never to be forgotten. And I nodded along to each and every word xx
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    • ghostwritermummy
      September 8, 2016 / 5:03 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve suffered. Thanks for reading xx

  16. May 17, 2016 / 11:38 pm

    I had never heard of this until my sister-in-law suffered with it when she was pregnant with her daughter and it was so debilitating. It’s great that you are raising awareness of this x
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