In my last blog post, I discussed how I was diagnosed with “hyperemesis gravidarum” at my 7 week appointment with our OB specialist. Hypermemesis gravidarum, or HG, is a pregnancy complication that involves severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, dehydration, and fainting. Having HG impacts so many different aspects of your life, and I learned a few things along the way about how I needed to be supported by my loved ones. Remember, people who care about you are always there to help you, so don’t be scared to tell them what you need!
Here are some ways to support your loved one who has HG:
1. Don’t expect much from us. Hanging out looks a lot different now. Rather than our typical shopping days or long walks, the majority of our time is spent laying down, sleeping, or resting. We need more breaks than we used to, and we aren’t able to do many of the activities we like to do. Just spend the day with us, hanging out at our house, talking or watching a movie. Even if we fall asleep halfway through that hilarious rom-com, we love that we can still be together and we truly appreciate you taking the time to spend with us.
2. Offer to bring over a meal or clean our house. Our husbands probably haven’t eaten anything other than frozen pizza in a few weeks and the floor is probably covered in dog hair. Even if we aren’t able to stomach the meal you bring us, or even if we end up throwing it up, it will go to good use, trust me. We are overwhelmed with our household duties that used to be so easy for us to handle. If you could simply fold the laundry that has been sitting in the dryer for two weeks, or tackle the pile of ever-growing dishes in our sink, you have no idea what a blessing that would be.
3. We love your advice…but only when we ask for it. Believe me when I say that we’ve researched and tried all of your home remedies by now. Yes, we have tried eating sour things. Yes, we have been using essential oils. Yes, we have been eating lots of crackers and drinking lots of ginger ale. We love that you care, but sometimes a simple “I’m sorry, that sucks” is all we need when we vent to you or complain. And please (please) don’t take this as an opportunity to “sell” to us. We love and support your MLM, but right now we just need a friend.
4. Be prepared for us. Know that we will probably throw up or need to eat at some point while we are together. That means that if we are out in public with you, we should have a bathroom nearby and lots of snacks available. Please know that we can start the day feeling amazing and that can change in two seconds, so try to be flexible with us. We feel terrible for cancelling on you for the fifth time. We feel awful that we have to change our plans from what you wanted to do to accommodate our sickness. (Hopefully), these are only a few short months of our time together, and we can’t wait to do everything we used to love to do with you. Just be patient with us.
5. Please be gracious with us. We probably haven’t washed our hair in a week because showers longer than 10 minutes are utterly exhausting. We are probably frustrated that we don’t look or feel the way we used to. We really wish we could make it to that event that is so important to you. It takes all of our energy to try to get through the day, so we may not be able to spend as much time with you as we would like. Try to be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, because we need you now more than ever. And know that we love you so much, and we couldn’t get through this without you.