*I am not a doctor.  Obviously.  But I am someone who has seen the other side of this beast, and just had to share, on the off chance it accidently cures someone else.

While I alluded to my struggle with HG in this post, I never followed up, or mentioned it again.  I meant to, I really did, especially to share how bad it got, then how suddenly it turned around.

So where to start...
HG is a horrid condition.  It generally gets worse with each pregnancy.  That was so true for me.

Pregnancy with Joy?  Perfect.  Textbook.  No sickness.  It was a dream.

Pregnancy with Halley?  Normal first trimester nausea, trailing a bit into the second trimester.  But I was working full time, and it didn't lay me out.

Pregnancy with Lucy?  Brutal.  So bad.  Ended up in the hospital due to deydration and inabilty to keep anything down.  Met Zofran the wonder drug.  Wanted to kiss the manufacturer of it on the mouth.

Pregnancy with Janey?  Zofran was now available in a generic form and I took full advantage and started taking it very early on.  The HG was very much managable and under control.

Pregnancy with Shane?  DISASTER.  The most difficult by far.  Zofran stopped working completely for me around week eleven.  Nothing worked.  I was laid out on the couch nearest to the bathroom all day and night.  Every day and night.  I worried that I was traumatizing my kids.  I worried that I would never get that time back that I was missing from their lives.  I worried that it would never get better.  I worried that I would not survive the duration of the pregnancy.

The house, my emotions, my body, my strength, my life, was a mess.

I cried constantly.  My kids tried to comfort me.  My husband took over everything on top of the billion things he already does for us.

Days dragged on.  I came close to a full emotional and physical breakdown.

Then at a routine OB visit, my doctor measured our baby, as he always did.  He was always measuring a bit big, which was different that my pregnancies with the girls.  They always measured small.  For a while it did not raise any concerns.

But at this visit, Shane was measuring three weeks bigger than his gestational age.  My doctor went from not concerned to quite concerned.  Although I passed my gestational diabetes screening well within normal limits, it was like my body was reacting as if I had gestational diabetes.

I was put on a strict no sugar, or white flour diet.

Just like that in one visit, the only few things that I was even able to eat were suddenly off limits.
Goodbye morning bagel.
Goodbye lunchtime pizza.
Goodbye dinnertime pasta.
Goodbye late night bowl of chocolate malted crunch ice cream.

You see, those were my comfort, my crutch.  Easy down, easy up, if you know what I mean.
Plus, I was a vegetarian for ten years and I pretty much do not love meat.  In fact I really hate meat when I am pregnant.

I cried my eyeballs out like I had never cried before.  Then I cried more.
But ever the rule follower, I obeyed.
It was awful.
So awful.

For me this picture is so hard to see.  It was taken at a very special mother-daughter tea party at school with Lucy.  If you look closely, you can see the blown out blood vessels on my face from throwing up.  Or the very red and teary eyes that I am trying to smile through.

This was the very first day of no sugar or white flour.  Also the very first day in months that I was able to pull myself together and get out of the house.

But this picture marks a turning point.
That night I got a glimmer of what normal life felt like.
I kept my dinner down.
I was a bit more present with my family.

Each day after that got better.
I slowly rejoined the human race.

I hated it, don't get me wrong.  I complained.  I pouted.  I dreamt of bagels and ice cream.
I occasionaly cheated.  But within twenty minutes, that bagel or bowl of ice cream made it's prescence violently known.

What did my meals look like?
Thankfully it was summer, so fresh fruit was affordable, and I ate it by the bushel.  Add in smoothies, eggs, almonds, good cheese, chicken soft tacos with corn tortillas, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Over and over again.  Not my favorite, but worth it.

The crazy thing is, my doctor had no explanation as to why the HG suddenly disappeared.
I might be the only one in the world that had diet and HG intertwined.  Or I may not be.  What it did, was regulate Shane's growth, and return my children their mother.

I just wish that I had stumbled upon the accidental cure three babies ago.

If you are in the midst of HG, perhaps consider trying this awful, wonderful, maybe cure.
It can't get worse...

This difficult season will end.  Somehow you will survive.  You will meet and hold your sweet baby.  Then have a lifetime of bagels and ice cream to look forward to.


  1. Alissa @ Rags to StitchesMarch 20, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    I love your heart Julie. Thank you for always being willing to share. I know that it must be hard to relive though many of those emotions as you write. So grateful for you friend.

  2. I also have HG and with my two boys it was awful until the middle of the second trimester. I lost 20 pounds with both boys. With my second son, I had to get a picc line in my arm with constant zofran and so I could also get fluid through the line. I ended up getting the picc line twice, because I threw up so hard the line actually came loose and went into my jugular vein and they had to redo it in the other arm...so...yeah. not fun.  Thank you so much for sharing your story. We are still thinking about having a third child, but because I get so sick, I am scared of feeling exactly how you did for so long. It's sad when my first child...15 months would come up behind me throwing up to rub my back. It's good to know that if we do have a third, I could try the diet. It might help! :) So...thank you!

  3. I so love you Julie, your an inspiration to so many.  I'm so proud to say "I knew you when"  Never stop giving from your heart.  You touch so many people, many you will never know you did.  Hugs and love from me to you.

  4. I also endured HG the first half of both of my pregnancies.  It's MISERABLE.  If we ever have another I will definitely give this a try.  I would have done ANYthing to feel homan during those months....

  5. I also had HG during 3 pregnancies. Awful! Zofran was my only help during that time. This is such a good post for those mamas struck down by HG or any level of morning sickness. Holding your new babe for the 1st time, puts it all in perspective.

  6. I had HG that I did not think could get worse after the first pregnancy, but it did. I would love to have more kids, but am completely scared of being sick the entire time, with 2 kids running around with crazy schedules. Wishing that I had had a chance to try this GF and Sugar Free diet during that time. Maybe, just maybe would I be pregnant again.

    Thank you for sharing. Most mommies feel alone out there, when they are puking their guts out all day and night long. But we are so NOT alone.... 

  7. on my third baby here...first two pregnancies, tough with the HG all the way to 16-17 weeks, lost weight and was miserable, this third pregnancy was different though....all my carb cravings were gone. I craved meat (which is bizarre to me) and anything with flour or sugar made me want to gag. For the first time I was done being sick by 13 weeks, and the degree of sickness was drastically reduced. Meat and protein was my answer too! don't know what it has to do with HG, but it worked for me. Glad my body knew what to crave this time, because if I had my way carbs and sugars were the way to go.

  8. I had never heard of this before last year (when I was pg with baby #2). It sounds HORRIBLE! Thank you for sharing. I like the way you tell stories ;)

  9. Alissa, didn't know you knew Julie (at least in the blogosphere)! She was my youth leader all through high school and a very dear friend :) Small world!

    Nook & Sea

  10. Wow I've never heard of this craziness, Julie! I'm sorry you had to endure this for so long...but stoked to hear it's finally on it's way out (for good, I hope)! Love you mama. Miss you.

  11. I've never heard ot this and then within two days I've visited two of my regular reads and both have posted about this! It makes me wonder if that's what I had with my second. Sick every single day of the pregnancy, lying on the couch...hmmmm.
    I'm glad you're past it and that you shared and that your babes are healthy :)

  12. I think that I was on the verge of HG with this pregnancy. Desperate, I saw an acupuncturist. She told me to stop eating carbs, dairy, and sugar and start eating a high-protein diet. Apparently, your body converts carbs and dairy (and obviously sugar) into sugar. Your blood sugar levels soar, making you feel better. Then they crash, making you, well, crash (and some other unpleasant stuff). Eating protein is the only thing that helped me survive the first trimester. I ate turkey or a hard-boiled egg before I got out of bed in the morning. More eggs for breakfast. Nuts for snacks. Chicken for lunch. Fruits and vegetables. An occasional yogurt (which usually reappeared within an hour). I bet this is why your HG went away--the high-protein diet! I don't understand why more OB's don't recommend it. 

  13. heather@TripleBlessingMarch 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    I wish I had known this years ago.  I had HG with all 3 girls, and it got progressively worse each time.  I had a placental abruption all 3 times because of the vomiting (that's my ob's best guess as to why a "fluke" happened 3 times for me).  I'm so glad it worked for you though.  How wonderful to be able to enjoy the latter part of your pregnancy and spend some precious time with your girls. ;)

  14. I needed to read this today. I will be 20 weeks Monday & I am miserable. I don't think I have HG, but I do get sick every night & feel nauseous all day every day. I was like this with my girls also.  I have been trying to limit my carbs/white flour/white sugars per your suggestion a few months ago, but it is so hard because sometimes those are the only things that sound good to eat.  My goal, starting tomorrow will be to cut out it all out this week & see if it makes a difference. I am sick of feeling sick :(

  15. Well I'm starting this diet and hoping it works! I too had a pretty normal pregnancy followed by an awful one and ended up in the hospital with the 3rd and narrowly staying out of the hospital with the 4th. My babiest baby is only 6 months and I just got a SURPRISE positive test. Freaking out a little (okay, maybe a lot), but I figure God knows what He's doing so I'm trusting Him. I just have no idea how I will handle being soooo sick with 4 little ones to care for, and the youngest being only a baby herself. So I'm really praying that this high protein diet works for me too! I thought to myself when you first posted it that I should make a metal note and come back and try this if I ever got pregnant again, certainly wasn't expecting to need it this soon.

  16. I had HG with all three pregnancies. I used Zofran with the first one and suffered it horribly. With the second I used herbs to keep me out of the hospital, but suffered horribly again.

    With the third I cut out all grains and added in a twice a day bowl of homemade chicken soup and the symptoms stopped dead in their tracks in less than a week. It was completely astounding.

    Every couple of days I roasted a chicken, pulled the meat off and saved it for meals for the kids, and then put the bones in a pot with water and veggies and cooked it for 8-12 hours. Then I used the strained broth to make simple soups for my lunch and dinner. I had tea and raw milk for breakfast everyday. After about two weeks of this I was able to start adding the meat to my soups and having other solid meals and snacks. After a month I could have anything that was grain and sugar free and never felt sick again. It even knocked out the unbearable vertigo I had with all three pregnancies.

  17. This is so good to know, thank you so much. I had ridiculously bad hyperemesis my entire first pregnancy and it took the entire first trimester for my midwives and doctor to diagnosis it (such a long story and miserable in and of itself), so I couldn't get it under very good control until the third trimester - ahh nightmare!!! Anyway, I found a midwife here where I live who said she's been able to control other HG patients with their diet, but I was a tad skeptical but now I'm sold. Thanks so much for putting this out there!

  18. Was directed to you blog post as I am suffering right now and have never been asked to change my diet, even though I feel like I barely have a diet it does consist of the only things that settle my stomach, carbs and sugar! I just ate cold-stone ice cream and I am praying tomorrow is a new day that I can start feeling better! This is my 3 rd pregnancy and by FAR the worst. I have a 2 yr old, an 18 month old and am the breadwinner right now. Life seems impossible to be a good mom and wife. I keep pushing myself through but everyday gets worse, my body is telling me to slow down. Praying their is hope as I make changes! Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings