Surviving Life With Hyperemesis Gravidarum at
Family,  Family & Kids

Baby Number 2: Surviving Life With Hyperemesis Gravidarum

For most couples who have been trying a while for a baby, the news of a successful pregnancy is absolutely thrilling. Mikey and I were no different. When I found out I was pregnant, we were both over the moon and filled with excitement. This will be Mikey’s first child, so every little thing is brand new and exciting for him. For me…I knew that, all excitement aside, I was about to enter a period of my life I’d gone through before. And I wasn’t looking forward to it.

You see, when I was pregnant with Luke, I suffered from horrific pregnancy sickness. I took all my entitled holiday from work off in one big chunk and locked myself in my bedroom for as long as I could. Back then, I didn’t have any of the support I do now and often had my boyfriend at the time telling me that no body liked me because I wasn’t making the effort to see them. My entire pregnancy, from start to labour, and the Postnatal Depression that followed, was a terrible experience and I was terrified to go through it all again.

Mikey and I had talked lots about having a child together and when we got our positive result, we were both thrilled that it had finally happened. However, in the back of my brain, niggling away, were old memories and fears. Things like miscarriages, hospitalisation, loneliness, depression and sickness. I had expressed all of these fears to Mikey before and said that, because of all my experiences, I never wanted to have another baby…

Oh how things change! Here I am now, 4 months into my second pregnancy, and just about managing to keep my Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) under control. I can only write about my own experiences of HG and the mental health and physical health issues I suffered with. Many other women go through this – some have it less severe, some have it a lot more severe. If you’re interested to know my personal story, read on..!

Surviving Life With Hyperemesis Gravidarum at

Life With HG

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possibly dehydration. Signs and symptoms may also include vomiting several times a day and feeling faint. Hyperemesis gravidarum is considered more severe than morning sickness.

What Is HG?

Besides answering this with, “the worst experience in the world and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy”, HG renders you completely helpless. I felt utterly pathetic.

You can’t walk, you can’t move around, sometimes you can’t even sit up in bed.

You can forget eating. Or drinking. And if you think ice lollies or sucking on ice cubes will help, think again.

Forget every trick you’ve ever known about to do with coping with sickness. Nothing, except medication, or a trip to A&E for emergency fluids will help you out of this one. There’s no cure and no way to stop the physical and mental pain…you just have to wait it out and try to remember that there’s a big reward at the end of it all.

Me and HG

I felt like the loneliest and most pathetic person on the planet. For months I couldn’t get out of bed. That means, for months, I couldn’t see anyone – I couldn’t even manage to talk without throwing up. I couldn’t answer the front door without getting a head rush and throwing up. I couldn’t eat or drink, never mind attempt to get myself anything from the kitchen. I missed my friends, I missed being able to cuddle my son, I missed Mikey when he was at work and I missed being able to hold a conversation when he got home.

The only escape from my own little personal hell was to sleep. I mean, it’s not like I had any other option. I couldn’t move and couldn’t do anything for myself. I couldn’t even shower without help from Mikey. I remember the amount of effort it took to take my pyjama top off for a shower once and how I just burst into tears because it had use up all my energy. For the next twenty minutes I broke down on Mikey, topless, smelling of sick, rocking slightly in the bathroom before violently throwing up from all the crying.

There’s nothing pretty about HG. It strips you of dignity and independence and leaves you feeling numb and empty.

Being A Mum Already

I really missed Luke. Maybe that’s one of the things that depressed me the most. I couldn’t go and read his bed time story or cuddle and play with him after school. I felt like the worst mum in the world – talk about mum guilt! HG just brings that to a whole new level.

I struggled at first with getting him to school. I couldn’t even get him dressed in the mornings, let alone do the nearly three mile round trip twice a day. He missed a few days of school in beginning when I could just about manage to call them to explain, followed by lots of sickness just from the effort of holding a conversation. I searched relentlessly for childcare providers who would be able to do both school runs but every email, text or phone call was a no. Eventually, I managed to talk to the school’s care coordinator who didn’t have any solutions, except to send him to school and collect him from school, on his own, in a DBS checked taxi every day for months, possibly at this point, for my entire pregnancy.

There was no way in Hell I was sending my 4 year old to school by himself in a taxi. I thought the notion was completely mad. No family or friends I asked could help, not a lot of people were willing to give up their mornings on their days off to help either so I was completely stuck and starting to sink into that bottomless pit of hopelessness again.

Luckily for me, I eventually did find someone who could help out for a little bit and the relief I felt was unbelievable. Now all I needed to do was get Luke dressed in the morning and fed after school. Easier said than done, but somehow, with the aid of my trusty sick bucket (which I cannot wait to burn!), we managed to do that for a few months.


I tried lots of different medicines until I found the ones that worked for me. The trail and error is mentally exhausting. Each time you think something will help and you get your hopes up…

The problems I had when I did start to get things sorted was actually getting my prescriptions and collecting the medication. Without the medicine, I was lying down in bed with no hopes of sitting up. With the medication…well I could sit up and maybe stand and walk around the house for a little bit. I definitely couldn’t get to the GP Surgery.

Again I had to beg and rely on other people to pick up the prescription from the surgery and also take that to a pharmacy and collect the medicine. A tricky problem to solve when everyone you know is at work and your GP closes at 6 – long before anybody gets home from work.

Even if I managed to find people who could help, that didn’t necessarily mean I’d get my medicine. One day, Mikey had used his lunch break to drive all the way back from work to pick up Luke from school and then he had to drive back to work again. When he arrived home, he found my crying hysterically. I’d ran out of tablets and the prescription I had put into the GP surgery 4 days before had apparently never gone on their system. There was no record of it there and I was looking at another 48 hour wait… Mikey had come home to find me moments after I had burst into tears to the receptionist and then thrown up while on the phone to her. I was in a state and completely panicked and in the midst of an anxiety attack. I cried. He cried. We had a cuddle and cried together and then he went back to work. In the end, the poor women I may have accidentally traumatised while on the phone, had managed to push through my request and got the doctor to sign off the prescription within the hour.

Lesson learned: even if you time a prescription request to be in on time before your current medication runs out…double check it’s on the system, especially if you’re going to end up in hospital without it!

It Goes On And On And On…

With morning sickness, you expect the vomiting or nausea to clear up between 12-14 weeks. Sometimes a little bit longer, but you definitely notice it fade.

Sometimes that happens with HG too. I’m one of the lucky ones who, at 16 weeks, is now able to enjoy a relatively normal life again (as long as I continue to take my medication). I can function! I can take my kid to school and pick him up again. I can finally go out for coffee or meals again. I can go for country walks or days out and enjoy having an actual cuddle again – yes, I no long throw up when my boyfriend or child touches me!

Other people don’t get so lucky though. Some women continue their journey through Hell until they’re half way through, some even longer, and some unfortunately souls, suffer from HG all the way up until birth. That’s why it’s so important for those who are suffering to remember that, although you wouldn’t wish what you were experiencing on your worst enemy, at the end of the ordeal, you get to hold your precious baby.

Pregnancy Sickness Support

Fellow blogger and good friend Emma also suffers from HG. She documented her first HG pregnancy on her blog and is now doing it all over again, both on her blog – which features resources like HG Friendly Play Activities, so that mums can still be a part of their children’s lives.

Emma gave me some great advice when I was really struggling and is a trustee at Pregnancy Sickness Support charity. Although I wasn’t brave enough to call up and chat to anyone, I spent a lot of my waking hours reading the Online Support Forum. It’s free to join and is 100% closed off to the public – that means nothing you write will show up on Google searches or anything like that. If you, or anyone you know, is suffering from HG, please do mention the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity to them as it did, quite frankly, keep me sane.

It’s so important to remember that, although HG makes you feel so lonely and depressed, sometimes even suicidal, you are not alone. There are lots of people who have been in your shoes and lots of people who are going through the exact same thing. If you can manage it, having a chat with some other mums to be who understand your mental and physical state completely, will do you the world of good.

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.


  • Alan Moore

    This sounds absolutely horrendous. Carrying a baby for nine months then giving birth is hard enough, let alone add this. Well you have my respect for getting through this:)
    One thing that does make me think is, if you were not brave enough to ring the helpline, how many other people bare this in silence? maybe the help forum needs to be publicised more.

    Interestingly, up to 2% of women get HG.
    Approx 700,00 2016
    Means: 14000 potential women with HG.

    Is there just the one support group?

  • Ondo Lady

    Oh no! What an awful thing to go through, especially with a young child. I was not even aware of this sickness until Kate Middleton had it. There should be more support made available so women do not feel so isolated.

  • Lily

    I’d never heard of HG before reading this! So this was beyond incredible to read. I’m honestly so incredibly in awe of your bravery! From what I’ve heard, pregnancy isn’t easy and to add this on top just makes you superwoman! I definitely think you’re incredible for sharing your story and for raising awareness of an issue that isn’t getting talked about as much as it should! You could seriously help and encourage others to seek help with your post. I hope things get better for you in the future X

  • Alex

    I’ve suffered Hyperemesis with this pregnancy and it’s exhausting. Trying to hold down my full time job, throwing up into doggy bags at my desk and on the commute and having to keep spare clothes in the office incase I don’t make it to the bathroom. It’s been tough emotionally and physically!

  • Emma Raphael

    It sounds horrific. I had an awful experience after the birth of my last baby which included a stay in intensive care for me, but I would go through that again rather than have something like Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Glad you have got to the stage where the medicine is helpful! Hope you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy! 🙂

  • laura dover

    Gosh this sounds awful. I never really knew a lot about HG until a friend of mine recently had it and was incredibly ill with it. She spent almost 9 months in hospital with it and I have never seen someone look so poorly. It must be so hard!

  • Hannah

    Ive never heard of HG before, so i think its great you are writing your experiences and at the same time bringing awareness to it

  • Nazrin Miah

    WOW. What a traumatic experience and you are still charging on like the solider you are. I have never heard of HG so I am really grateful for you for raising awareness on this. We can never know enough we can never stop learning we never know when we may need to apply certain knowledge. Thank you so much for writing this and posting it. You are in my thoughts <3

  • Nazrin Miah

    WOW. What a traumatic experience. Yet here you are charging on like the solider you are! I am so grateful to you for writing this up and posting it to the world to raise awareness on this especially since I had no idea what HG was. We can never stop learning and educating ourselves on these matters because we never know when we may need to apply thank knowledge! Thank you for your bravery.

  • Jen

    It sounds absolutely horrendous. I had severe morning sickness with my first and I felt dreadful so I can’t even imagine how sufferers from HG must cope.

  • mudpie fridays

    I was aware of HG… but not aware of HG if that makes sense. I had no idea how bad it was. How horrendous, this should be such a happy time for you all. Mikey sounds like a complete rock. I really hope you get some more help soon xx

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Yes, I think a lot of people have heard bits and bobs about it because of Kate Middleton, but even the new stories brushed over the seriousness of it. I imagine she had wonderful health care and support and her GP didn’t mess up her prescriptions! 😛 Mikey is an absolute life saver, sort of literally, as without him there’s no way I would have been able to get myself food or drink, or even wash!

  • Carolyn

    Thank you Rachel for sharing BABY NUMBER 2: SURVIVING LIFE WITH HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM post. I learned so much. Glad you are feeling better after such a traumatic experience. You are a Super Woman/MUM! 🙂

    How are you feeling now that you are further along in your pregnancy?

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