I chose to terminate to end my hyperemesis gravidarum

by Jess

January 5, 2022

At 27, after an already tumultuous year, I found myself in a new relationship. It was fun and progressed quickly, he was 38 but young at heart. I still had my anxieties and reservations being so new, but all of a sudden after only a couple months of dating I was pregnant. I was nervous, scared but also happy. I could do this, I could be a mum, a very cool but loving mum. He was probably the happiest human on the planet.

I started getting morning sickness almost straight away, around the 5 week mark. Nausea, occasional vomiting and oh so tired. But I’m told these things are normal, and they are. It was around the 6 week mark it kept increasing I started to think maybe something was wrong and being this sick seemed a little bit, excessive.  I was constantly reassured it happens and means the baby is healthy and that’s all that matters. We got scans, it was all good. I felt weird but was also excitedly looking at all the baby things to put on the wishlist.

By 7 weeks the vomiting increased more, and more. I was vomiting every day. The nausea was starting to get so strong it was increasingly difficult to drink water. I ended up in hospital for the first time, was given fluids and anti-nausea medication and sent on my way. By the 8 week mark I entered a very dark kind of hell.

I was vomiting nearly everything that I ate. The anti-nausea medication helped a little bit, some days I could eat something small after taking it but it wouldn’t always stay down. The nausea was extreme and never went away. Every day it got worse, people began to be a little concerned, I looked green and was having to get fluids a little more regularly. By 10 weeks I was completely bedridden, on 3 types of anti-vomiting/nausea medication but still vomiting up to 12 times a day. Even the tiniest sip of water would send me into a vomiting frenzy. I could barely stand, my muscles were trembling and I entered a very deep depressive state. I was so upset that this was my pregnancy. I have been through a lot of trauma in my life, and I had never felt so unwell and like dying. It was the first time I brought up not being able to continue. But everyone just told me babies are a beautiful prize at the end and it would be all worth it. But every day was pure torture. My boyfriend was not happy with the idea at all.

For the next two weeks, I didn’t eat food or drink liquid at all. I was kept alive on drips and icypoles. I begged the universe to just kill me. My boyfriend begged me to keep going, believing if I ended the pregnancy I would regret it forever and make our lives hell. But mine already was. It was completely devastating to want to end a pregnancy that you were looking forward to carrying out. The next option was to be admitted to hospital for a long stay to keep me going. As long as baby is okay than nothing else matters right? I knew in my heart I did not have the mental or physical state to push through this. But my boyfriend could not understand or accept. Even though he was seeing me bedridden, barely able to speak, unable to look after myself with my body fading away. I had already lost work, and everything in life that mattered to me.

I terminated at 12 weeks and 4 days. It was heartbreaking and relieving all in one. And despite the grief, I don’t regret it. Hyperemesis is a special kind of hell I would never wish upon anyone. Some people have the ability to push through all the way to delivery and I commend them with everything I have. Some people do not, and I feel they are just as strong. It has been hard telling people, especially as I terminated at the 12 week mark, the point where most people begin to post cute pictures and happy announcements. The counsellors I spoke to helped validate my feelings and choices. The staff at the clinic were so understanding and passed no judgement.

My boyfriend was devastated, and tried to make me change my mind and said some pretty harmful things. My mum had to take back the baby stuff she had brought. It has been the loneliest time in my life. But I hope by sharing this, sufferers realise they are not alone. And that whatever path they feel they need to choose to deal with this illness is the right one for them. That it’s okay to put your own health and mental wellbeing first. If you feel you can’t go on, and chose to terminate, that is ok. You aren’t any weaker. You aren’t a quitter, you are making the healthiest choice for you at this time in your life.

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