"HG is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the newborn(s). "
That paragraph is a very condensed version of what happened to me during the summer of 1998, when I was pregnant with Julia. This was not morning sickness, folks. Between June 4 and Sept. 19 of that year, I threw up around 15 times a day...and that is no exaggeration. I lost 35 pounds, missed two months of work and was hospitalized seven times for severe dehydration. To make matters worse, my doctor was clueless and had no idea what to do with me. (I also had HG with Jenna. It wasn't nearly as bad, but I was on home healthcare for a while.) After my ordeal was over, I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't find any information on HG on the web. So I started my own online community for women who had suffered or who were currently suffering from it. I met women from all over the world who had been through this horrible disease. I met many who had terminated their very much wanted pregnancies to save their own lives. I also met Kimber MacGibbon, who will be featured on Thursday's show. I eventually let my website go and later, Kimber and some others founded the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation, or HER. The HER Foundation website, www.helpher.org, has excellent resources for HG patients and their families.
So little has been known about HG -- most survivors I've met had never heard of it until they were diagnosed with it. We campaigned Oprah for years to do a show on it without success. But we got Dr. Phil, and isn't he the next best thing? Please pray for this show to help shatter the silence and ignorance that has surrounded HG for too long. And pray for research and a cure. Julia knows now how sick I was with her, and how blessed we are for her to have been born healthy after I didn't digest anything for almost half my pregnancy. I pray for medical advancements to be made so my girls can have the joy in their pregnancies that I couldn't have in mine.
Please watch the show! Someone you love may have HG one day.