Dear First Trimester of My Pregnancy (An ode to Hyperemesis Gravidarum)

Yesterday, May 15th, was Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Awareness Day.  I intended to blog and tweet about it but my sinus infection had other plans. Curse you, pollen!

If you don't know about hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) it is morning sickness on steroids. It is constant, unrelenting ALL DAY and NIGHT sickness, and it usually lasts the full 9 months of a pregnancy. I had it for both of mine. Now I mentor other moms though HG because it is nothing short of a horror show that robs you of all the joys of pregnancy, often your dignity, and even lands you to the hospital. Most people know about it now because Princess Kate had it. 

Let me just say this, saltines and ginger ale do not appease this hell hound. If you know someone going through this, do not "cracker" them. It's a term we HG moms use to describe well-meaning people who do not get that this is not normal morning sickness.

On a lighter note, I wanted to share the letter I wrote to my first pregnancy, which I did not realize was HG at the time.

If you are a mom going through HG or know someone who is or suspect someone is, please refer them to this site: HER Foundation.

This site offers a wealth of information, groups of moms going through or who have experienced HG, and you can even get hooked up with a mentor like me that will talk you though your pregnancy when no one else understands. 

So on a lighter not and in homage to the HG moms going through HG or who have survived it, this one's for you. You are warrior women indeed.

Dear First Trimester of My Pregnancy,

This letter is to serve as your formal performance review standing of “unsatisfactory”.

It has come to my attention that over the period of the last 12 weeks you have refused to allow me to enjoy eating. This is something I once listed in both the “likes” and “talents” section of my own personal resume. You have further shown a blatant lack of consideration for my dislike of gas, constipation, Exorcist-type vomiting and all things requiring an ointment of any kind. This ointment necessity in particular, I would have liked to think, was a good 30 years away from making an appearance in my bathroom cabinet. It would seem not.

It appears that you believe that I would like to see my previously eaten food in its half digested form due to the alarming frequency in which you have shown it to me. While owl pellets fascinated my inquisitive nature as a child, reenacting such a foul (no pun intended) regurgitation on a regular basis does not rank on my top 100 things to do for the day. Ever.

I am forced to mention at this point that you have displayed no apparent interest in convenient timing whatsoever. Rush hour and the patient treatment room are no places to turn one’s stomach inside out. Please make a note of it. Praying to the porcelain god is something that be reserved for the collegiate crowd pissing away their parent’s money or for those in their 30’s and 40’s still trying to play out their own version of the literary disaster that is one of Candace Bushnell’s novels.

Dizziness, vertigo, equilibrium imbalances and other “Nancying about” with my polarity and once stellar coordination is just plain rude. Since the blessed news I have tripped, fallen, slid, bumped, bruised, spilled, knocked over and teetered through the last 12 weeks and I say to you NO MORE! Incidentally, in my case, when Weebles wobble they do in fact fall down.

Any further suggestions that a mere saltine cracker is somehow the mysterious prescription that has eluded my pea brain for the entirety of my pregnancy will be considered an act of war and will be dealt with accordingly.

For the record, I am not glowing. I am not interested in your version of a old wives tale, your opinions about my pregnancy choices, your comments on my weight or your apparent inability to stop touching me. You wouldn’t poke a strange guy in his beer belly would you?

In conclusion, First Trimester, you will be given exactly 2 weeks to clean up your act and make the aforementioned changes. Failure to do so will result in immediate action. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll just keep waiting.


The Not-So-Glowing Mommy to be


Thanks for reading. I didn't know, 2 weeks into my first pregnancy after puking in my sink in my office right after a patient stepped out was that this was going to be my life for the next 9 months. I was HARD but I emerged stronger than I ever thought possible. My second pregnancy was even harder. Once again, I emerged ready for anything. 

If this is your story, you will survive and emerge from this a warrior woman you never knew you were.

Reach out if you need help.

There are understanding women who are there and WANT to support you.

Until next time, keep your cracker to yourself,

Dr. G



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