Getting “Crackered”

If you don’t have HG, you probably aren’t familiar with what getting “crackered” means. HG sufferers came up with this term to describe moments when non-HG sufferers offer (well-meaning, but insensitive) advice/suggestions regarding the pregnancy or to help reduce nausea. A common suggestion that people like to give is, “Try eating some crackers and you’ll feel better”. I guess getting “crackered” is inevitable since HG is such a rare, unknown disease. But it is frustrating nevertheless! Here is a list of times I got “crackered”:

1)      “Have you tried _________?”

If only there was an easy, magical cure for HG! Yes, I’ve tried ginger. I’ve also tried ginger ale, sea bands, Unisom, Vitamin B6, oral Zofran, oral Phenergan, oral Compazine, oral Reglan. I’ve tried everything under the sun and nothing has worked.

2)      “You’ll feel better after you eat something.”

I never feel better after I eat. I feel more nauseous after I eat. And during the worst of the HG, I threw up everything I ate.

3)      “Why don’t you try taking a walk outside? Maybe getting some fresh air and exercise will help you feel better.”

Any kind of motion/movement will make the nausea worse. Do you know anyone who wants to exercise when they’re nauseous?

4)      “You’ll forget all about it when the baby’s born.”

I still have traumatic memories from my first HG pregnancy and I know I’ll have long-term trauma with this pregnancy. HG is something that one never, ever forgets.

5)      “This is what moms have to go through…”

Many moms go through morning sickness. However, most moms do not go through hyperemesis. HG only occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies!

6)      “You look good…you don’t look sick at all!”

The reason I look good now is because of a lot of makeup and because you only see me when I feel good enough to go out in public. You don’t see me when I stay at home because the nausea’s so bad, when I’m vomiting into the toilet, when I’m in bed half the day. You didn’t see me when I was on IV treatment and when I had lost 15 pounds.

7)      “It’s easier now when you’re pregnant…Enjoy it now. Wait till the baby gets here…you won’t get any sleep!”

You think being nauseous 24/7 is easier than taking care of a baby? You clearly have not dealt with nausea on a long-term scale. I would much rather deal with sleepless nights with a newborn than the unrelenting HG nausea!

8)      “So you just suffer?” (the anatomy ultrasound doctor asked me this when I told her that anti-nausea medications don’t work for me so I haven’t been taking anything orally)

Yes, I just suffer. I choose to suffer because I’m that masochistic!

There are HG sufferers who have had friends or relatives doubt/minimize their symptoms and call them “lazy” because they are lying in bed due to the nausea/vomiting. It’s infuriating to think that people discredit HG as if it’s something fake or just “in your mind.” Fortunately, for the most part, my family and friends have been very supportive and understanding. But at times, I still feel paranoid that maybe people will think I’m exaggerating my symptoms. If you know someone suffering from HG, please refrain from “crackering” them. The best thing you can do is to simply offer a listening, non-judgmental ear. And please pray for them because HG is a spiritual battle as much as it is a physical one.

6 thoughts on “Getting “Crackered”

  1. Great post! Informative and well-written 🙂 I can relate to being in a strange 1-2%-ish category with a difficult pregnancy. Just because something is not common or well-known doesn’t mean it’s not a “valid” condition. I find when I explain my circumstances, people are incredibly supportive. But the lack of knowledge around high risk pregnancy conditions (both in terms of the medical profession and society at large) is very frustrating at times. The best to you!!! 🙂

  2. I think the worse comment ever is, “I threw up too while I was pregnant!”…………….I hate that comment! I don’t just throw-up………….I feel and look like death! I think I have had every comment the book, I think we just have to remember people try to mean well if it sounds wrong 🙂 No one really knows how we feel unless we have really had hyperemesis.

  3. I know! I just want to roll my eyes when people say “I threw up too” or “I had morning sickness too”. But you’re right…people don’t intend to be mean and they just don’t understand!

  4. Personally, I’m intensely curious to know how I’m going to gain 12 whole kilograms over the next 6 months – since I’ve only gone backwards so far! And I’m a bit worried about how difficult the birth will be if I continue to have to live life purely horizontally 😦

    • Hi Tania,
      I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering right now. I remember having the exact same thoughts/concerns! What I can tell you is that despite all the weight I lost, my babies always showed up fine in their ultrasounds. With my 2nd pregnancy it took me a long time but eventually I gained weight. As for the delivery, even though I was so tired, out of shape, and nauseous, I managed to deliver naturally and she was 9 lbs! 🙂 I think I was probably running on pure adrenaline; the next day I felt horrible! I really hope that you can start to gain weight and feel stronger every day! I know that it feels utterly hopeless and impossible right now. Take it one day at a time. You are an incredible mama to be enduring this for your baby. Let me know if you need anything!

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