While they were still considering this, by God’s intervention, another doctor in the team instead recommended expensive steroids that miraculously helped me to eat. They were also able to re-hydrate me. That was quite a relief! But this was not to last long though, as I would still continue to be admitted many times after that throughout the pregnancy. I was on bed rest for the better part of the pregnancy as any activity would trigger my severe vomiting.

Having embraced a lot of pain during the pregnancy, I was actually not afraid of labour. The only uncertainty was if the baby would be born via Caesarean section or vaginally. Thankfully though, my labour lasted for a few hours and our long-awaited baby Tashley was born on 27 March 2014. When I saw her, I felt the heavy and dark blanket of the pain and agony I had endured throughout the pregnancy go away.

Joan's daughters.
Joan’s daughters.

That experience made me aware of the condition that I had – Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Before my pregnancy, I had never heard of it. I got to learn that it’s an extremely severe form of morning sickness that I had become a victim of.

Well, in January 2015, we realized that we were pregnant again! Tashley was barely 10 months old then! But if I thought the first pregnancy experience with severe morning sickness was bad, the second one was so much worse. In total, I spent about 3 months hospitalized cumulatively. At some point the doctors even recommended termination of the pregnancy just like the first time, but thankfully, it didn’t happen.

Being sick and admitted in hospital throughout the pregnancy made me miss some of Tashley’s milestones. I wasn’t there when she made her first steps; a major milestone that every mother desires to witness. However, amidst all the struggles, our second daughter Wema was born on 21 August 2015 at 36 weeks.

Joan's dear ones.
Joan’s husband with their daughters.

I thank God for my husband who offered his unwavering emotional, spiritual and material support. He took good care of me and was always praying for me. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a very dreadful condition that I would not wish even on my worst enemy. There are a few lessons I learnt during those moments;

  • Spiritual and emotional support is extremely key. Hyperemesis Gravidarum can force you to lose the will to live easily.
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum treatment can be quite expensive. We were rendered broke. Insurance’s maternity covers have very low limits. Financial support does really help.
  • Due to its rarity, many people have a lot of misconception and superstitions. A mother struggling with this condition needs to be careful about the options given to her.

Today, and every other day that I look at my daughters, I reflect on the incredible opportunity and joy that being a mother is, amidst the tons of challenges it has taken me to be one. My experience has also made me aware of the heavy costs that some women have to pay, in their journey to motherhood. I share my story today to encourage any mother currently struggling with this condition, to be strong and to hold on to their faith in God. I also hope to educate any woman who plans to get pregnant in the future, just so that she can be aware about Hyperemesis Gravidarum, to know that she can seek help about it, and that just like me, she too can have a positive story to share at the end of it all.”

Thank you Joan for sharing your encouraging story.

Are you a Hyperemesis Gravidarum survivor? Would you like to share your story? Email me on maryanne@mummytales.com and I’ll be in touch with you.

Read Related Articles:

vickygVicky Gachuche: My Experience with Extreme Nausea and Vomiting in my Pregnancies

PG-woman-smallWarning Signs in Pregnancy: When to Call Your Doctor

Mummy Tales is a blog dedicated to empowering its readers on different aspects of maternal and newborn health, as well as various issues surrounding motherhood and women. Read more motherhood experiences of Kenyan moms here. Follow Mummy Tales on: FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM TWITTER 

 Read Previous Page