[personal profile] eye_of_a_cat
(questions provided by friends, family, colleagues, and those neighbours whose response to hearing I was pregnant was "Congratulations, that was fast")

Q. Wow, you're still sick?
A. Yes. :(.

Q. Isn't it supposed to go by now?
A. Yes. Sort of. Usually pregnancy sickness starts improving by the early second trimester, and only 10% of women have any sickness left after 16 weeks. But 10% is still a lot of women.

Q: Isn't it getting any better?
A: No, not really. But the latest drug (metoclopramide) lets me eat and drink, so I'm not getting dehydrated any more.

Q: Is it safe for the baby to take those drugs? What about that one where kids were being born without arms and stuff, wasn't that for morning sickness?
A: Yes, all the drugs are lethal, I'm just taking them because I like to dance with danger. More seriously: the reason drugs aren't ever ruled totally safe in pregnancy is because ethical issues get somewhat in the way of running a proper clinical trial on pregnant women. But these drugs are already prescribed for pregnant women, so the evidence we have is from large-scale studies of women who took them during pregnancy. That evidence all indicates the drugs are safe. The alternative to drugs is being unable to eat, drink or basically function, so yes, they're worth the risk. (Interesting fact on thalidomide, the birth-defects-causing drug of the late 50s (and still used today although not in pregnancy): it was prescribed for sickness because of its sedative properties, because pregnancy sickness was thought to be psychological.)

Q: Is it that thing Kate Middleton had?
A: Depending on how you define hyperemesis, it either is or isn't. Helpful! At any rate it is controllable with drugs and I've managed to avoid hospital admission so far, so I'm doing better than a lot of women, which is depressing to contemplate.

Q: Have you tried...
A: Yes. Doesn't work. Whatever it is. Trust me, if very strong anti-emetic drugs are only just touching it, no amount of ginger/peppermint/acupressure wristbands/crackers/eating little and often (haha)/keeping something in your stomach all the time (HAHA) is going to do a sodding thing. I have been dealing with this for over four months now; for your own health and safety, please, please, do not suggest anything that you heard helped once or that turned up after a cursory Google.

Q: What causes it?
A: Nobody knows. Risk factors include a history of migraines, a tendency to travel sickness, your mother/sister having it in the past, a multiple pregnancy, a female foetus, and the fairies placing a curse on your family unto the hundredth generation. There is a theory that it might serve some evolutionary advantage by protecting the foetus from dietary toxins or otherwise unhealthy food.

Q: Is that true?
A: I can't speak for 'normal' morning sickness, but for what I'm dealing with at least that theory is total bullshit. Had I been sick with this on the Pleistocene I would already have been eaten by a leopard. Also, even on the drugs that let me now think about food without retching, my Approved Foods List mainly consists of:
- fruit (sometimes);
- Coke, full-fat;
- bread roll containing a fried potato scone topped with a fried egg, salt, and ketchup;
- cereal (decreasingly).
A healthy diet this isn't.

Q: Can it last for the whole pregnancy?
A: Yes. :(.
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