All I remember was calling my husband to come back to town at that hour and pick me from the office. For days after that, I was in a really bad state and could not even leave my bed. When you are experiencing HG, straining even just a little bit can leave you bedridden for a week so one has to be careful not to overexert themselves on the days that they feel better. Of course this is easier said than done, especially when you have responsibilities.
School was even worse. I would go for lectures, stare at my classmates and lecturers, unable to make sense of what they were saying. There was this loud, ringing sound in my ears that I could not get rid of and everybody sounded like they were in another planet. I thought of deferring that semester but couldn’t bring myself to do it; not when I was so close to finishing so I trudged on.
In the 13th week of pregnancy, things got worse. The vomiting frequency increased rapidly and I would see streaks of blood in my puke. I was vomiting bile and the continuous exposure to stomach acid had seriously corroded my oesophagus (food pipe) and throat. It felt like I was burning up from the inside and I developed a sore throat that would not go away. At that same time, I was doing my end of semester exams so I had taken some two weeks leave from work. However, I was completely unable to study and would just show up in the exam room, do my paper and go home. Till now, I have never understood how I managed to sit for those exams and pass.
Forceful and Violent Vomiting
There is something about HG induced vomiting that is just forceful and violent. I have thrown up several times in my life before, but never like I did when I was experiencing HG. The sheer force with which the vomit came out of my mouth was so powerful; it literally felt like I would vomit the baby out. Then there was the retching or dry heaving where you just vomit and vomit but nothing comes out. The loud groaning sounds that I would make while throwing up used to scare my husband stiff. I strained muscles in my abdomen and back just from throwing up. Some women have reported bursting blood vessels especially in their face.
All this while, my husband kept insisting that I should go back to the hospital but I would ask him, for what? To be given the same medication and be told the same thing? Despite what I told my doctor, she routinely prescribed the same thing which was not very helpful. I was convinced that hospitals would not help me and was prepared to carry my cross alone. Wasn’t that what motherhood was about?
I didn’t want to be the kind of pregnant woman who rushed to hospital every time she felt ‘something’ even though I kept thinking to myself that what I was going through couldn’t possibly be normal. So my husband would come home every day to a sullen wife. Sometimes he would find me lying on the floor in my vomit, in tears and unable to drag myself back to bed. Can we just spare a moment to recognize the amazing support that I received from my husband? He would wake up every morning to prepare something for me to eat before I got out of bed. He would serve me porridge and bananas, which I would puke within minutes of attempted consumption. In the evening, he would rush back from his evening classes and cook dinner as I hovered outside the house to avoid the smells. He cleaned each and every of my vomit without complaining or looking irritated. I could not do it myself. Even if I puked while he was away, he would come back home to clean.
As the days went by, I grew thinner and weaker. My shoulder blades were sticking out and my cheeks looked sunken. One evening after vomiting violently countless times in quick succession, I started vomiting what looked like blood clots. I tried to stand up from the bathroom sink and felt my knees give way. I was seriously hyperventilating and felt like I was losing consciousness. I started panicking because I thought that if I closed my eyes, it would be for the last time. I managed to crawl back to the bedroom and phone my husband in tears, telling him I needed to get to hospital immediately because I was dying.
Somehow, he managed to reach home quickly despite the traffic and rushed me to the nearest hospital. My worst memory to date is crawling on all fours on the rough tarmac at the hospital’s parking lot while throwing up violently amidst tears with my now panicked husband torn between rushing towards the hospital entrance to call the medics and staying with me at the parking lot. That night I was admitted in hospital and put on IV fluids. I was seriously dehydrated. Later, tests revealed that my food pipe was corroded and torn from all the violent vomiting and retching – a condition known as Mallory Weiss syndrome – which explained why I had been vomiting blood.” -END of Part One. Read Part Two here.
Continue Reading Part Two of Millicent’s Story: “I was Convinced that Neither me nor my Baby would Survive” –Millicent Makina’s Traumatic Experience with Severe Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (Part Two)
Meanwhile, do you have a pregnancy experience that you would like to share with fellow moms? You can do so by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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