So Your Misses Got Hyperemesis (Gravidarum)

Chapter 4: Eating With Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Part 8: Our Story About Food in Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Why Is It Important For Me To Tell About Food During Our Hyperemesis Pregnancy?

In the previous parts of this guide, I tried to present practical conclusions regarding food during hyperemesis gravidarum. This is so that anyone reading this chapter can understand the principles that helped us cope with this important issue and apply them in a way that suits their wife and HG pregnancy.

These insights came from our personal story and experience, and I believe it’s important to share those as well. This is because you might find additional insights in our story and the process we went through that could help you.

Moreover, I believe that the hyperemesis gravidarum that took over our lives was a traumatic experience for my wife primarily, and also for me. Therefore, it’s important for us to tell and share, to process the experience, encourage dialogue, and ensure that no one going through a pregnancy with hyperemesis feels alone.

So here is the story of how we dealt with food during our hyperemesis pregnancy

A Continuous Struggle: Food During Our Hyperemesis Pregnancy

Food during our hyperemesis pregnancy was a continuous struggle. My wife is very picky about food, and even in normal times, there are only a few dishes she eats. Hyperemesis took them all away from her, one by one. No more pasta with sauce, no more pizzas, no more pastries… Everything she tried to eat came back up immediately, violently, and painfully.

Even after we understood what we were dealing with and started looking for new foods she could eat, it took a long time to reach any achievements. Every time we found a new food for my wife, it was as if hyperemesis caught up, and after a few days, she would start vomiting that too.

In fact, most of the foods I shared in the list above, my wife could eat for only a few days before she started vomiting them.

This meant we were in a constant chase for the next food. We consulted with a nutritionist, with women we knew who had gone through a hyperemesis pregnancy, and with women from the support community on social media. We got ideas from everyone, but they were all effective for a very short time.

I won’t lie, dealing with food during this pregnancy was tough. We were in a constant chase and losing it. Despite dealing with food almost all day and her belly growing due to the pregnancy, my wife kept losing weight. We were always worried because blood tests showed her levels were consistently dropping. She was hungry all the time, causing her stomach to hurt from contractions, but at the same time, she feared eating more than a few bites in case she might vomit again.

My wife suffered because of the food. As much as it pained me to see her like that, I knew I had to stay cool-headed and focused (as much as possible) to continue taking care of her. Many times, I was the one who researched and found a new food for her to try or invented methods to help her manage throughout the day (like a timer every two hours or tracking with a spreadsheet). I took responsibility for all these initiatives simply because my wife was busy suffering.

Sometimes, the challenging part wasn’t finding the new thing, but convincing my wife to try it. I had to find a balance between my desire to encourage her and help her eat, and the understanding that she was in real pain and needed to listen to her body.

Sometimes I was right, and my encouragement paid off. Sometimes I was wrong, and unfortunately, my encouragement led to another bout of vomiting. I tried not to take it personally but to learn and understand better what was right for my wife at certain moments, so I could act better next time.

Small Victories: Eating with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Ultimately, we discovered a few foods my wife could eat regularly, and these sustained her through most of the pregnancy. Our star was toast with scrambled eggs. This was the main dish she ate for most of the pregnancy. A day where she ate three of these was a victory for us.

Due to my wife’s limited diet, we were concerned about the baby’s health, worrying that he might not be getting all the necessary nutrients. We fought with the healthcare system to get my wife vitamins via IV home treatment (a battle we didn’t win due to the early delivery).

Fortunately, the weekly examinations we conducted confirmed that the baby was developing well. When we asked one of the nurses how this could be, she told us, “A fetus is like a parasite that takes everything from the mother. If the mother doesn’t eat, the fetus will continue to take from her until there’s nothing left to take,” and she smiled at my wife and walked away.

Of course, the nurse didn’t mean that our child was literally a parasite (I hope!), but rather that, biologically, fetuses take what they need from the mother anything they need. Somehow, accepting this fact made us feel better. The fetus probably knows how to take care of itself, allowing the mother to focus on taking care of herself.

In hindsight, I believe the nutrients my wife received from the scrambled eggs allowed our son to continue developing despite the severe hyperemesis she suffered. If we hadn’t found this food, things might have been different, and we might have had to rely on intravenous feeding (TPN).

Regardless, we made sure to ask the doctors treating us to do an ultrasound of the baby every time we visited the hospital so we could be certain the pregnancy was progressing correctly. We also insisted on regular blood tests for my wife to detect any early deficiencies in important nutrients—like iron, which we also supplemented through IV.

Skip to content