Mindset

Tip #3: Try to Develop a Positive Mindset

This is not a post about being positive despite your illness. When you have hyperemesis gravidarum (hg), there is nothing anyone can say to actually make the constant nausea, vomiting and exhaustion go away.

People who suggest that you should be grateful because:

  1. HG goes away (at least you don’t have cancer)
  2. You’re lucky to be pregnant (not everyone can conceive)
  3. It could be worse (you could be homeless)

have obviously never experienced HG. It’s important to cut them some slack, as they most likely care and are trying to help. And hey, there is a grain of truth in what they say. Things could be worse. Hearing that does not make the illness go away, but counting your blessings does make a certain kind of sense. There is power in positive thinking, even if it means forcing yourself to think two positive thoughts for every negative thought that passes through your mind. One of the best ways to keep things in perspective is to focus on the good in your life. One of the easiest ways to do this is to write a list of everything good in your life. Can’t think of anything? Begin simply. Try to list five things you are grateful for every day. Post the list on your wall and watch it grow throughout your pregnancy. Read it during your most difficult days.

It is so difficult to be positive when illness follows you like a dark cloud, but forcing yourself to find a few things you are grateful for will help things look a little brighter. Can you help others develop a positive viewpoint in the midst of their suffering? Share what you do to deal by posting a comment below.

 

Rest is Best

Tip #2: Take Time to Rest

As women, we are often juggling myriad tasks: changing the baby, cleaning the bath tub, answering the phone, folding the laundry… it never ends. And yet to be been better at these tasks, we need to take time for ourselves. Taking care of ourselves is one of the hardest things for us to find time for.

When you have hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), the temptation to “overdo it” is overwhelming. Not only do we feel terribly ill and exhausted, we are weighed down by an immensely strong sense of guilt because we are unable to complete everyday tasks like washing the dishes or vacuuming the rug. Yet forcing ourselves to complete chores often makes HG even worse. Avoiding rest can bring on another binge of vomiting, dehydration, and inevitably exhaustion.

Pushing aside the guilt you feel and allowing yourself to rest will help. Your job, right now, is to cook that baby. Part of the recipe for your particular little bun include a fair amount of rest, and the more the better. You will work yourself raw when the baby comes, but for now avoid relapses by forcing yourself to rest the best that you can.

How do you overcome the pull to work? Help others by sharing your thoughts in a comment below.

Check out Tip #3

Ask for Help

We often feel that we can, and should, do it all. We’re on the run from morning until evening– getting everyone ready for the day, working eight hours, and then completing chores and housework until collapsing into bed. If you’re suffering through a hyperemesis gravidarum pregnancy, however, just getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom is a difficult endeavor. Accomplishing myriad chores you’re used to completing may be nearly impossible. To survive hg, you need to ask for help. Most women can’t afford to hire maids and nannys, so you’ll have to be creative. If there were ever a time to lean on family, now is it. Beg and barter with friends and neighbors, seek out church and community groups, and accept any help that is offered. Allowing others to carry some of the burden for a while helps them, too. And when you are better, you’ll be a stronger and humbler version of yourself, someone who understands just how much kindness is in the human heart.

Become a Self Advocate

It’s not easy sticking up for yourself when you’re sick. When you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum, all you want to do is sleep away your life because sleep is often the only state that provides relief. Weighed down by endless visits to the emergency room for intravenous hydration, visits to their obstetrician, and the try-it-and-see approach to finding foods that will stay down (or at least be somewhat pleasant throwing up), makes it difficult to fight for the care that you need. Yet this is one of the most important things you can do to help you survive this tough time.

Getting the Support You Need

There are so ways an expectant mother needs help while she’s growing a little one. Love, compassion, and (often most importantly) food are key to helping her feel supported. Yet when a woman is suffering with hypermesis gravidarum, she needs so much more.

Medical care is at the top of the list. Finding a doctor who is knowledgeable, empathetic, and flexible is often difficult but so very important. Medical professionals who believe that HG will pass, is a psychological condition, or will fade with ginger and crackers do exist.

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