I’ve had two very hard pregnancies, but I know that the Lord helped me through them. May is HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) Awareness Month, which is fitting since both of my HG babies were born in May. HG is extreme sickness during pregnancy. Unlike regular morning sickness, women with HG are rarely able to eat anything without nausea and excessive vomiting. While morning sickness is typically worse in the mornings and usually ends after the first trimester, HG lasts all day and can last the entire pregnancy. HG can cause severe dehydration and other related issues for both mom and baby. The Lord allowed me to suffer, but not without His help and divine love.
Shortly after we got married, I found out that I was pregnant. We were both very young and excited to start our family. At first, my nausea was normal morning sickness. I munched on cheerios throughout the day while looking for a job in the new town we had just moved to. However, in just a couple weeks my symptoms had gotten much worse. I began to throw up more until I was unable to keep anything down. Because I wasn’t eating, I got so weak and tired, and spent most days just laying in bed.
Since this was my first pregnancy, I was convinced this was just morning sickness. Once while talking to my mom on the phone, I mentioned that I hadn’t kept anything down in about 24 hours. My mom was concerned and asked why I wasn’t eating. I told her that I had just been really sick and threw up every time I tried to eat. She told me that this didn’t sound like morning sickness, and that it was not usual to be throwing up this much. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with HG.
Being watched over
During that first trimester, I really felt like the Lord was watching out for me. My husband had to go out of town for work, leaving me by myself. We were doing some house-sitting for a family from church, so even though I felt really dizzy and lightheaded, I drove to their house. My brain felt so fuzzy, and I remember people honking at me. The house we were watching had cameras, and the owner contacted Matt and told him that I didn’t seem to be acting right on the cameras. Matt called me and I told him that I felt very lightheaded and dizzy. Matt called our Branch President, who drove me to the emergency room. I really feel like the Lord was watching over me. I don’t know what would have happened if the family who owned the house hadn’t seen me on the cameras, and I hadn’t gotten the medical attention I needed.
It was hard, but I survived
I really think it was a miracle that I survived that first pregnancy. There was only one OB-GYN in our little town, and she did not believe that I was as sick as I was. In the emergency room, the doctors and nurses kept telling me it was just morning sickness. No one listened to me, and because of that, I didn’t get very good medical care. I relied on regular IVs whenever I got dehydrated, unable to find a medication that would help me. I survived those excruciating three months with hardly anything to eat and poor medical care. Despite how painful it was, I could feel my Heavenly Father with me. I knew He loved me, even though I wished He could take my sickness away from me.
Ready for the next one
I started to feel better, and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy. After giving birth to my son, I wasn’t sure how quickly I would want another one. I had always wanted a big family and knew that I wanted more than one, but my first pregnancy had traumatized me. I decided that I didn’t want to talk about having another until he was at least two. Leo was only about seven months old when my husband had a dream. In the dream he heard a voice say “She will be born 23 months after the boy.” When Matt told me about the dream, I wasn’t sure what to think. I wasn’t ready to have another baby. I had wanted to wait until my son was a little older, 23 months didn’t feel like a big enough age gap after what I had been through.
The Lord had given me time, if a baby was going to be born 23 months after Leo, I knew there would still be several months. During that time, I wrestled with the Lord. I told Him that I wanted another baby and I wanted to be obedient, but I was scared of being so sick again. One day, I received a very clear answer to my prayers; I would probably get HG again, but the Lord would be with me. I felt the surety of His promise, and leaning against it, we moved forward in faith.
The second pregnancy
Just as I had been promised, my HG came back with my second pregnancy, but the Lord was there. I felt guided to a high risk OB-GYN in another city so that I could get better medical care than what was available in our town. When I got too sick to take care of my son, my mother-in-law, who had just retired the year before, offered to stay with us and take care of him for a couple months. We had good friends who also helped with my son and brought us meals. Family members sent me cards and gifts. It was a terribly hard time for my husband and I, but I know God was carrying us.
Part of having a good doctor meant that she understood how sick I really was. After one of my checkups, she told me that I was so dehydrated that I needed to go the hospital. I was admitted to the labor and delivery floor where I stayed for five days. Those were the longest five days of my life. The nurses kept telling me that I wouldn’t be able to leave until I could keep something down, and that just didn’t seem possible. I missed my little boy and didn’t want to be away from him for too long. My husband came when he could, but because he still had to work, he wasn’t always able to be there with me. I was alone in a strange city, stuck puking my guts out in a hospital bed.
Matt reached out to the local missionaries to see if they could come give me a blessing. Both a set of elders and a set of sisters came by to see me. The elders gave me a blessing and the sisters got me some flowers and made me a card. They stayed and talked to me for a little bit, and let me know that they would pray for me. I was so touched by the kindness of those missionaries to take time out of their day to come visit me and help me feel God’s for me during such a hard time.
After that first time of being admitted, my doctor insisted on admitting me a second time when I showed up to an appointment once again extremely dehydrated. I did not want to have to stay in the hospital again, so I tried to fight it. Eventually my doctor said I could go to the emergency room and they could just get me an IV. I wanted so badly to be able to go home, but the emergency room determined that I was so dehydrated that I had to stay overnight. Apparently I was so dehydrated that I was at risk for a heart attack. I had an EKG and was hooked up to a heart monitor the entire time I was there. Luckily, I only had to stay overnight.
This experience was an eye opener to me of how the Lord truly was watching over me. I was trying so hard to not stay at the hospital, but He knew that I needed emergency medical help. I never even considered the possibility of having a heat attack in my twenties, and I am so thankful that God put amazing medical professionals in my path.
That was my last hospital stay. I began to improve later in my pregnancy, and had a beautiful baby girl. Even though those pregnancies were very traumatic for me, I am thankful for those experiences. They showed me how strong I can be, especially when I have the Lord to help me. They also helped me be more empathetic and grateful to my husband, family, and friends who showered me with love and support. Sometimes God allows us to carry heavy burdens, but He also promises that we won’t have to carry them alone.
To learn more about HG and to donate towards ongoing research, visit Her Foundation.