How I Survived Hyperemesis Gravidarum (really, really bad pregnancy sickness)

Two months ago, we found out the most wonderful news.  Two months ago, I started to show signs of morning sickness.  I didn’t know then that the next six weeks were going to be possibly the worse weeks I’ve ever had to endure.  When I was pregnant with Aiden, I had pretty bad morning sickness during the first trimester.  I was given medication and over the weeks, it was manageable and finally passed.  This time around, it has been three times worse.  I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis gravidarum.  I didn’t know it existed. I didn’t know that women suffered through such debilitating sickness; I didn’t know that for some it is their entire pregnancy long.

For two months, I was not able to keep fluids or little amounts of food down regularly. I was in and out of the Emergency and Doctor’s offices – for IVs, for blood work, for prescriptions, for reassurance.

My husband was by my side, carrying me, bringing me small glasses of pedialyte and giving me the courage to try to drink, in spite of the fear of throwing it all up again. Some days I lost my voice, some days I was too dizzy to stand up, some days I would cry and my tears were so salty they burned my eyes.  I thought of all the women who have gone through this. I thought how brave they are. I thought that if they could do it, I could too.  I thought that it would never end.

My darling Aiden would come to me in bed and stroke my arm. He would put his hand on mine and pray for me. He would give me a kiss and say ‘all better Mama’. It would break my heart and strengthen me at the same time. My mom was in France for six weeks over the worse of it, but she would call me and pray with me. She would write me emails daily and give me such encouragement.  My family reached out to me and sent me all their love.

For the past week, the vomiting and nausea is less.  I’ve been able to keep small meals and fluids. I was able to enjoy Father’s Day with my family and have begun to feel the relief I so desperately prayed for. My spirit is uplifted and hope has begun to flood my heart again. Hope, that this pregnancy will turn around and I will start feeling like myself again. Hope, that the darkest days have past.

And how about this growing angel in my belly?  After many routine and emergency ultrasounds – I’m happy to report that our baby is in fine form.  Doctors tell me that she/he is blissfully unaware of any hardship I’ve encountered.  All functions, measurements, heartbeat and movements reflect a healthy baby. To know this is a huge comfort and fills me with joy – that this Little One is ours and one day not so long from now, we will have a beautiful addition to our family. I look forward to the first kick, the belly hiccups, and feeling the somersaults. I’ll be sure to write more about my overwhelming excitement soon!

What has surviving the horror of HG taught me? I think it’s too soon, too raw to tell. My body is stronger than I ever imagined. It’s taken an involuntary beating that I thought would never cease. My spirit is indeed mightier than my flesh. My heart goes out to the mothers who are going through Hyperemesis gravidarum. The only thing that has helped me and continues to carry me, is taking it one day at a time.  Prayer, family, friends, and making it to the hospital for IVs –  have also helped me along. Help HER is a foundation dedicated to the education and research of HG and is another support tool that I turned to.

As I move further along into the 2nd trimester (15 weeks at this time) my hope is that I will have turned a new leaf and the health and radiance that I experienced in my first pregnancy will be on their way.  I look forward to a return of energy and a healing of the ordeal that I am coming out of. There is no doubt that days of retching, dehydration and permanent nausea took their toll on me – but as I am able to rest, restore fluids daily, and get the nutrients my body needs, I know I will be more and more like myself each day.

Thank you to my family, friends, and blogging pals who checked in on me and sent me their love regularly.

I hope to begin blogging again soon. I have a few posts that I was working on pre-HG that I am going to roll out in the near future.


Emily Smith
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  1. Sending a lot of love and prayers your way Emily! Hang in there. I hope that the worst is behind you and you can enjoy the growing miracle inside you. 🙂 xo~

    1. Hi Amee, thanks so much for your love and prayers! I am definitely entering a better stage now and I’m able to fully rejoice in our Miracle! xo

  2. I’m so happy you are getting SOME relief even if it’s just a little. How hard it must be to go through such agony through a period of such joy! I’ve always known you were such a strong person but now it’s just confirmed. Lots of love to you and your growing family! xox

    1. Thank you Noemie 🙂 It’s been the hardest time, but things are moving in a better direction now. Love ya! xo

  3. That´s great news – congrats! However, it was a tough beginning, I hope everything will go easier from here! 🙂

  4. Wow, what an ordeal! Well first of all, congratulations! Wonderful news! Secondly, glad to hear you’re doing better. I was wondering why your blog was on pause for all that time.

    1. Thanks Jillian! I’m slowly pulling out of the worst of it and look forward to resuming blogging and reading blogs too (like yours!)

  5. Hi Emily,

    I stumbled on your blog a long while back and subscribed to it. I enjoy reading your posts and I’m sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. I hope you will get better and congratulations!

    1. Hi Nala,

      So glad that you are following along with The Best of this Life. Thank you for your kind note. Things are starting to look up these days 🙂

  6. First off, I LOVE what you’ve done with your blog! I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus myself. and secondly… CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so excited for you! So sorry about the hyperemesis gravidarum. I’ve never heard of it either… it sounds like a spell from Harry Potter! Hope you’ve been feeling better 🙂

    1. Thanks Jess 🙂 We’re really excited….and yes HG; definitely like a terrible, terrible spell.

  7. I had a terrible case of HyperG when I was pregnant with my daughter. I lost 30lbs over my first trimester. It was terrifying. What Idid learn from one doctor is that it is caused by the hormones at work on the placenta….I was so worried about the baby but I was reassured that women who suffer HyperG usually have very big healthy babies. Hang in there…..i know exactly how you feel. Sleep as much as you want, drink every half hour….not becoming dehydrated helps to avoid the nausea n( easier said than done I know)…but just sipping works. Don’t eat and drink together….wait about a half hour in between…it helped me…..take care of you….HyperG is working at taking care of your baby believe it or not:)……..good luck

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your comment. It really does help to hear other women’s account of HG and how they survived it… it also helps to hear about all the precious babies that were the result! Thanks for the well wishes and for coming by The Best of this Life. xo

  8. i read the 1st line and my heart soar and then i kept reading to find out about this challenging time you faced. brave and triumphant doesn’t quite cover it Em but boy am i ever gladdened to know you and baby are alright!! i wasn’t aware of this condition either, it sounds just awful. sending continued well wishes your way dear heart!!! congratulations to you both on the latest “little” growing inside. kisses.

    1. Thank you Anna! The HG has finally subsided and now I’m recovering from the months of it. Thank you for the congratulations, we’re really excited 🙂

  9. I’m suffering with HG. I’m still in the very bad stage of it, but this has giving me some reassurance and strength. X

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