Hyperemesis gravidarum: You can't just harden up

ROCHELLE CONNELL
Last updated 10:11 06/12/2012
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MORNING SICKNESS

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Stuff Nation asked for submission's from readers about their experiences with hyperemesis gravidarum. This is Rochelle Connell's story.

Yes, hyperemesis gravidarum is hell. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. But it is worth it. I swore black and blue in my pregnancy that one was enough for us, every emergency room nurse, doctor and my OBGYN would smirk when I said never again, like they knew better.

I suffered with it for my whole pregnancy. It started at seven weeks "normal morning sickness", progressing quickly to vomiting over 30 times a day.

At first I thought I needed to harden up, and even failed to listen to my midwife when she told me to go straight to the emergency room for fluids. A week later when I finally did go into hospital I was pumped full of six litres of saline over 12 hours to rehydrate. An array of medications were tried and most did not work. Finally a mix of an antiemetic given to chemotherapy patients and another one prescribed for car sickness was the correct mix to take to vomiting down to three times a day max.

The vomiting was actually not the worst of it. The combination of the unrelenting nausea, constant salivation, vomiting large amounts of blood from tears in my oesophagus, inability to enjoy any aspect of the pregnancy, and the damage to my teeth from all the vomiting - six fillings required following the pregnancy was horrible, but it was the comments from others that really made it hard.

"Just eat little and often" - great so I am sick little and often?

"Oh I had really bad morning sickness too, sick once every morning until 14 weeks"- I wish!!!

...and my personal favourite: "Have you tried ginger?" Really, on two different drugs to keep it tolerable, in and out of hospital...I mean really!

The good news is, despite vomiting all through my pregnancy, induced labour and the c-section that followed. Come the next morning I felt amazing, perfectly well for the first time in nine months and holding my son put everything in perspective.

I will do it again and it will be hard. The odds suggest it will be even harder next time around, but it is worth it and you do get through it. Common sense determines we will never have a big family, but one more is fine by me. That is my personal choice and each sufferer to their own. I can totally understand why one of these pregnancies would be more then enough for many women!

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