Saturday, August 9, 2008

Why is HG a Mystery Illness?

I have been amazed, as I dive into the world of hyperemesis, how many HG mums there seem to be out there. If we count just our church and its close associates alone, we have three HG mums. And I continually hear from HG mums around the nation who have found my blog! After all, hyperemesis pregnancies are supposed to account for something like 1% of pregnancies. So why is this disease such an unheard-of mystery? One percent is actually pretty high!!!

Here are some reasons I've thought of:

(1) Although HG may be 1% of pregnancies, that doesn't translate to 1% of mothers, just because what they say (wrongly) of caesareans applies very strongly to HG mums - it's usually "once an HG-pregnancy, always an HG-pregnancy." Therefore, if a mother has hyperemesis with her first baby, she will generally (not always, but generally) have it with all subsequent pregnancies. Thus, one woman could have three HG-pregnancies, and there could be (statistically) 297 other non-HG pregnancies out there, with the end result still being a 1% HG rate. (This still doesn't explain why there ARE so many HG-mums out there.)

(2) HG is not a "public" disease. If you have it, you are too sick to be out in public raising awareness. There are no marches of women with hyperemesis-signs saying, "I'm living with hyperemesis! Support funding!!" etc. etc. If you have it, you're pretty much out of the public eye. For example, most people at my church (and I attend a reaalllyy tiny church) have no idea that I had any problems at all with my pregnancy. When various people ask if we're going to have another baby, and I tell them that I'm scared by the thought of another pregnancy, most of them say, "Oh, really? Did you have a rough pregnancy? How come?" etc. So stuff like that doesn't get around!

(3) The usual issue of HG being dismissed as typical morning sickness, i.e. "We all go through it, just get over it," "Eat something and you'll feel better," etc. etc. etc. No need to go into details there!

I'm sure there are other reasons.... Just can't think of any right now! And I need to go get our little guy up. So cheers for today!! Sometime soon I promise I'll post that long-overdue book review!!

Love to all,

1 comment:

  1. I am a mom of 3 and have been pregnant 5 times. I have had some wicked HG!!!! This last pregnancy has convinced me I should never conceive again it is so terrible. Zofran has "worked" for me enough to mostly keep me out of the hospital and "up" enough to be functional. However, I am dismayed at the lack of information regarding HG. I have been amazed to find recently some interesting connections to HG and other hormonal issues (my milk supply and breast growth - enough for a small village), SPD (pelvic displacement) from over responsiveness to the hormones that allow your muscles/tendons to relax) and others.
    HG is so terrible and debilitating. I always thank God when it finally passes for me (somewhere between 20-22 weeks). And then ask "why"? Why does it suddenly leave? I wish I understood.....


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