I didn’t know the difference between HG and morning sickness. I assumed it was normal. I assumed I was eating the wrong foods. I assumed it would pass. I didn’t know the difference.
Morning sickness is something that affects at least half of all pregnant women, with 80% experiencing nausea in the first 12 weeks.
HG? That claims around 1% of pregnant women.
Morning sickness usually eases around 16-18 weeks, after which women are able to hopefully go on to enjoy their pregnancy. For some, nausea and sickness can continue a little longer, but it doesn’t usually affect their ability to work, eat or care for themselves.
HG? That claims a lot more time in a pregnancy. For some, it does ease quickly, but for many more it does not. Some women are vomiting right up to their birth of their baby. Many are unable to work, eat or care for themselves. Many women with HG exist simply to keep their baby alive.
Know the difference.
HG is not morning sickness. How can it be? How can a normal side effect of pregnancy actual be so destructive? If HG was morning sickness, if every pregnant woman experienced it, the country would come to its knees. No pregnant woman would be able to work. Hospital beds would be taken up with women needing life saving hydration. Pregnancy would be dangerous. If all women suffered in the same way as HG women suffered, birth rates would fall dramatically as so many of them do not go not to endure another pregnancy. If all women suffered in the same way, would more people listen?
HG women lose weight. They don’t bloom.
HG women cannot eat or drink normally. They don’t have cravings for food, only silence, stillness and peace.
HG women can be isolated, lonely and desperate. This is a condition that so few know about, care about, or learn about. This is a condition that can rip away friendships, relationships and careers. This is a condition that debilitates, destroys and humiliates.
It is not mornings sickness.
Today is HG Awareness Day, because let’s face it- we need to do something. For the women who spend nine months on a cold bathroom floor, hooked up to a drip, bent double on the sofa, unable to leave their bed, running from the smell of cooking, gagging on a toothbrush, dreading the next dentist visit, climbing the walls in desperation… for these women, HG is the reality. The beast within that consumes life with no exceptions. The 24 hour tummy bug that lasts an eternity.
A hellish existence that ends- hopefully- with the most beautiful beginning. Because let’s not forget those women who lose their purpose. Those babies who do not make it. Life that is truly claimed by HG.
This is why we need to know the difference.
Today, please spend a moment to connect with Pregnancy Sickness Support in the UK and the HER Foundation in the US. Tweet me (@ghostwritermumm) and them, @HGSupportUK and @HGmoms and use the hashtag #HGday16 #HGawareDay16 #HGawarenessDay16 . Let us know the difference.