I write you this letter in response to your raw grief put out into the open.
You are the age of my first-born, the first HG pregnancy I suffered. I’ll spare you the details. You lived it. You already know.
I had buried the living hell of HG as deep as I could bury it. I walked away and never wanted to look back. And then a pregnant co-worker became severely ill. Most people questioned her credibility. When she poured her heart out to me, I knew. I was determined to find information I could put into her hands. When I came home from work that night, I found what I was looking for. That was in September of 2010. It was the first time I’d heard or read the words Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The website was Beyond Morning Sickness. The books were delivered overnight and I was able to get them into the hands of a desperate girl in less than 48 hours because someone cared enough to treat it like the emergency that HG is.
I was stunned when I read the book. In all of my pregnancies, no one had mentioned that this thing had a name. All told, I vomited everyday for 128 weeks of my life. That’s two and a half years. What was most shocking to me is that so little is known about the disease to this day.
I found it a very bittersweet thing that it took a suffering mother to take on such a huge task. Many thanks to Ashli McCall. She will be the first to tell you that God made it possible. I don’t doubt that.
I’m not a niche blogger. Although I have four kids, I’m not a Mommy Blogger. I am a Personal Trainer, but I’m not a Fitness Blogger. I cook everyday but I’m not a Food Blogger. I read books, but I’m not a Book Review Blogger. I write for the same reason you write: for myself. I write about the things that give me joy and the things I feel passionate about. I write about things that bring healing. After reading “Beyond Morning Sickness” and learning that I wasn’t the only person in the world who became so severely ill, I felt hopeful about what was finally being done to spread awareness of this disease. I felt so grateful that someone out there cared enough to get books into my hands on behalf of my young friend. One day, that was the topic of my blog.
This blogger commented on my post. She had never heard about Ashli’s book and told me that she was going to order one. She was preparing for an HG pregnancy and did her research. She had come up with The Protocol. I was beyond impressed. She chose to write about her preparations and all of her readers waited for that awesome day when she announced her pregnancy. She updates her HG Helpful Information list and HG Blogroll frequently (she is, thankfully, a niche blogger). Not only did she order a copy of Ashli’s book for herself, but she distributes them, further spreading awareness. She was the one that led me to your blog.
I cannot begin to imagine the impact your story will have on a world filled with women who need to heal…the ones who are dying on the inside everyday, grieving alone.
I had a conversation not so long ago with a person (incredible, wonderful, generous gentleman) who has poured so much of himself into helping women who suffer–or have suffered–HG. I had never felt safe telling my story. It was time. Very seldom had I spoken of the sickness. It was the first time I told anyone outside of my own home about all of the loss. He told me that his heart breaks when he hears those stories of loss and that there are probably more than we will ever hear.
My response to him was this: I think you are absolutely right about more women terminating and remaining silent. It is impossible to put words to the shame. Most of us spend our lives chasing redemption. Some of us know that God is a loving Father who will forgive us of all our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Still. I’ve seen some women post-abortion who find themselves diagnosed with and medicated for depression and they never pull out of it. Their prescriptions don’t heal them. Others of us refuse to fall apart for our own survival. We refuse to fail the children we were strong enough to bring forth and we try to compensate for our hidden shame by being the best nurturer we can be–not only to those we’ve given birth to–but to anyone we find who needs nurturing– as if we owe the world a huge debt that we can never really pay off.
If this is all there is–all of us finding one another by chance– I feel encouraged. With every one person touched by the suffering and tragedy of this disease, we can, at the very least, help one other person. One person would be worth it –but I believe it will be more far-reaching than that. I believe God knew exactly what He was doing when He called Ashli to write a book.
Thank you for exposing your raw pain so that someone else might heal.