Having suffered with Hyperemesis Gradivarum (HG) when I was pregnant with Boo I was really pleased when I found out that Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Definitive Guide had been published when I reading the amazing Spewing Mummy blog.
Oh how I wish I had had access to this book and the Pregnancy Sickness Support Website when I was pregnant.
I ordered the book from Amazon, and couldn’t wait to get reading, this is especially interesting for me as we are still considering whether another child is an option for us and of course HG plays a part in that decision.
The book is written by two HG survivors and awesome bloggers, Caitlin Dean who blogs at Spewing Mummy and Amanda Shortman who blogs at The Family Patch.
The book is a perfect reference book, neat easy sections and chapters, make it easy to read in the order you choose and find the information you want to reread again. The book is divided into four sections;
Part 1 – About Hyperemesis
Part 2 – The Hyperemesis Journey
Part 3 – Life After Hyperemesis
Part 4 – Resources and Appendix
I headed straight for Part 3 as that was the most relevant to me at the stage I am currently at in my HG journey, it discusses everything from dealing with the aftermath, ‘getting back to normal’ and ‘dealing with the Mental Health Legacy of HG’. I have read the rest of the book now, and I can honestly say that this book is truly fantastic, an amazing support mechanism for anyone who is suffering, or has suffered from HG. I was surprised that changes I have felt after pregnancy are actually fairly common among HG survivors, it is nice to know that just as others are there to share your HG journey, they are also there for afterwards, and for while you consider going through it all again, or for while you mourn the baby that will never be.
When I first started reading HG: The Definitive Guide I did start to get panicky, as it did bring back a lot of memories from when I was pregnant. It brought back feelings that I had buried (or had been obscured by the sleepless fog that is having a new born!) But this is a good thing, as you need to remember what you went through in order to properly decide if you can do it again, whilst looking after your current child/children.
The depth of the book and the amount of research that has gone into the book is truly awe-inspiring, I could not think of a single thing that had been missed out of the book. All my questions were answered, I felt supported and comforted and the experiences that the authors and others had shared in the book.
But above all, after reading the book I felt three things;
1. I felt like someone truly understood what I had gone through. It felt like a wave hitting me, it was a feeling of relief, to know that Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Definitive Guide is now out there to help other women suffering from HG and dealing with it’s lasting effects.
2. I also felt sad, reading this book made me realise how lacking my care was during my pregnancy. I was let down by healthcare professionals. There are lots of options available to women suffering from HG and the worse thing is for them to be told they just have to put up and shut up. HG is incredibly isolating and women need to know that healthcare professionals will advise them as best they can and not just dismiss them, and their suffering.
3. I felt supported, there is a specific, in depth section on ‘trying again’, it makes you feel less crazy for even considering the possibility of going through HG again (HG survivors have about at 86% chance of suffering again – so the odds are not in our favour!). There is a detailed questionnaire to fill in, and guidance about treatment options including pre-emptive treatment. When you are suffering from HG you can barely function, so trying to persuade a dismissive G.P you need more support is impossible, the book advocated getting a plan in place before hand, this is invaluable advice.
I cannot rate this book highly enough, it really is the definitive guide (there is even an section for partners to read about how best to help and support their pregnant partner).
Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Definitive Guide is the must read book for anyone who is suffering from HG, or has suffered from HG. It contains pretty much everything you need to know from medication options, mental health recovered after, trying again or having a one child family, and how to deal with healthcare professionals to ensure you get the best care possible.