I have had many false starts to explaining my illness/condition/affliction.  I did not want to announce my greatest joy with the grave and heavy news of my rare condition. I did not want to come off as dramatic nor not be able to express what this is properly. I feel like I owe this to the brave women that have gone before me, are suffering with it now or will suffer with it in the future.  It is flippantly described as “severe” morning sickness, but that seems like a day at the beach compared to what I had/have and the consequences of said severe morning sickness (a misnomer if ever there was one). Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a rare condition that effects about 1% of pregnant women, many consider it to be much more but the condition often goes undiagnosed. Charlotte Bronte is said to have died from it, along with her unborn child.  Being that it is the 21st century, you would think we would have more of a handle on it, but we don’t and many women suffer miserably both mentally and physically.  It robs you of all joy and hope and many have had to make the painful decision to terminate much wanted, planned and tried for pregnancies (the only known ‘cure’ for this disease).  It is not just “severe” morning sickness.  I have read via the HG forums that many women have had major organ failure and near death experiences. I did not know that HG existed prior to having it, I just knew that I could not eat anything and movement made me sicker, that is why a car ride across country nearly killed me.  I am not exaggerating.

I had been pregnant for 3 months with my condition undiagnosed. By the time we got to Seattle my first doctor here was not familiar with HG and told me to eat Saltines and drink gingerale and that I should feel much better going into my 2nd trimester. I got worse. I already could not eat without becoming violently ill, but then I had stopped drinking all together because I suffered the same reaction. Even if I had nothing in my stomach I was still sick and my insides felt like they would become my outsides.  I did not feel pregnant, I felt like I had a terminal illness. I laid on the cold tiles of our bathroom floor, trying to sob wildly, but not being able to produce tears. I had migraine headaches that effected my vision and felt like my skull was being cracked open with a hammer. I begged God on more than one occasion to just let me die. I could not live like this. The worse knowledge I had was that this could all go away if I terminated the pregnancy, it was some sick and twisted non-option and I wondered in my delirium if I was being more selfish by ‘sticking it out’, this couldn’t be good for my baby.  My husband lobbied for me to get admitted to a high risk pregnancy specialist practice which you needed a recommendation for, they agreed to meet me and I was immediately put on an IV since I was severely dehydrated, underweight (at 5’7, I was barely over 100 pounds) and my blood pressure was dangerously low, it didn’t help.  They prescribed me the same anti-nausea meds that they give to cancer patients after chemotherapy, again it did not work. We discussed hospital stay, it was not an option for me I could not be in a strange city away from my husband and my beloved pups, I couldn’t.  It was arranged for an IV to be put in at home so I would be hydrated at all times, the anti-nausea medication was administered via needle attached to my stomach and I had to replace the needle every day (myself!). I had one nurse that came to the apartment each week and I had another nurse that checked my vitals every day. I still could not eat and a medical nutritionist was instituted and made the plan of me eating one spoonful of something, anything every two hours. I could not keep the spoonful down. One sleepless night, after being sick for what seemed like hours I came to bed and had severe chest pains.  This was a problem because I have an existing heart condition. I was born with a murmur and then had Rheumatic fever as a kid (how very Victorian of me).  My low blood pressure was not doing my heart any favors.  The next morning, I calmly told my husband, ‘I thought I was going to die last night’, he calmly replied, ‘I did too’.  We wondered if this was worth it, I hadn’t felt pregnant and I was clearly deteriorating more each day and now we had the very real threat of me going into cardiac arrest. We made an appointment to have my heart checked and another to terminate the pregnancy. I sat with the doctor for what seemed like hours discussing the procedure and then I passed out. I would have preferred to have been struck by lightning or have some other force come in and take me away, when I came to I spoke to a battery of doctors and specialists, I wanted to make sure that my baby was indeed healthy and that this condition hadn’t affected her. Every test came back with glowing results, our baby was perfect and it was a girl!  When my husband found out he looked over at me, his now emaciated and very sick wife and said, ‘she’s going to be so beautiful’.

I have always been able to look on the bright side, even in my most darkest of times, but I couldn’t move past this obstacle, no amount of praying and positive thinking helped. My Frenchie became my shadow she still refuses to leave my side, I had to hang on to the idea that this would pass. Now that I knew that she was perfect, a miracle if there ever was one for me I had a fleeting glimmer of hope and I decided to hold on to that as if our lives depended on it, they did.  I would write down every day in a notebook what I was grateful for, it made me feel better, it started with my being grateful for the ability to drink a sip of water.  And then another miracle happened, I started to get better each day, not 100%, but I was slowly able to eat, drink and take a walk. I could sit up, read, make plans for the future. I am grateful for everything right now, the most minute of details feels like an Everest accomplishment. I am not going  to lie to you, I am scared. I haven’t really worked in five months, income that I had counted on, we have gone through our savings, emergency fund and baby fund, the mounting medical bills are so unbelievably astronomical even with insurance it makes me wish we would have kept driving through Seattle on up to Canada. It’s stressful but I have an unwavering belief that everything is going to be okay, that we will figure this out as long as we are healthy, happy and have a roof over our heads. I am so grateful for my little ‘home’ on the internet, your visits and kind words have kept me going and they still do, I feel very, very lucky to be part of this community and hope to continue to be for many moons. Thank you kindly.

P.S. My last check-up on my heart had the cardiologist in awe. He said, (and I quote), “You dodged a bullet.”  My heart rate was that of an athlete-slow and steady, my blood pressure was close to ‘normal’ and there was nothing for concern, we are out of the danger zone. I am now six months pregnant and look 9 and I am most definitely feeling very pregnant!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.


  1. Oh my goodness. Firstly CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’ve had a little inkling all along but was not going to ask and open up that can of worms! I cannot imagine how it’s been for you, what a terrible start, sounds horrific. But so pleased your baby’s fine. I’m sending you loads of healing thoughts and hope you can feel “normal” (does any pregnant woman feel normal?!) and can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and be fighting fit for when she arrives! So so pleased for you. Big hugs xx

  2. I’m so glad you’re feeling better – what you have been through is unimaginable. Money worries have a way of sorting themselves out in the long run…put your feet up and enjoy the anticipation of meeting your baby girl.

  3. A baby! A precious girl! Congratulations!
    I knew in my heart. When I saw a recent beautiful “pin” of yours…it confirmed my suspicion, and reignited some concerns, as I have been following, and have been aware that you have ill. This very sweet miracle that has paralyzed you will soon mesmerize you for life.
    Some health organizations will adjust the financial liability in circumstances such as this. It does not hurt to inquire.
    You are going to be such a fun Mom, T! I can’t wait until the first time she wants to share your lip gloss!

  4. My sincere congratulations on your pregnancy! I wish you strength to overcome this time and you will be awarded by a beautiful little girl! It is great to know that you feel better and I hope that this state of yours will only impove. Sending my love and respect from Ukraine. Know that you are mentally supported from the other part of the globe.

  5. First of all, I’m just so very thankful you’re doing better.
    Now, on to the the good stuff . . . Congratulations! A new little someone to love; and a sweet baby girl no less.
    Wishing you nothing but joy from hereon out. On the wings of prayer.

  6. The miracle of having a baby is one that so many take for granted. You know the challenges and trials that come with it and your fortitude will be pay off in just a few months. Babies have a way of taking away the pain from the darkest of moments and I have no doubts that your bundle of joy will be an exceptional gift. Here is to a stress free last trimester, the ability to enjoy your life again and an easy delivery of your new baby girl.

  7. er… wow… that is painful even to read. I really don’t know nothing about your condition but reading your experience is quite horrific… I can only rely in the fact that a woman about to give life discovers new forces inside her. forces she could not even imagine before that. good luck for the future and bravo to you! and to your lovely and supportive husband. (and pardon my… english, I’m french)

  8. It breaks my heart that you ever had to consider the darkest thought ever related to your precious girl. I’m so sorry you had to endure all of that and that you’re still enduring it. ! I’m sending lots of prayers your way for you and your sweet girl.

  9. tristan,
    the reservoir of strength you must have to endure such pain and suffering (+ the boundless love you have shown for your baby girl) leaves me in awe. i’m relieved that the latest report from the doctor was so positive. hugs to you from far away.

  10. Oh my! Congratulations, Tristan!! The baby part of this news is so very exciting, and I’m so so sorry that you’ve gone through what you have to have her. One of the things I think is so true of having babies is that you live at the extremes — extreme joy and bliss, of course, but also extreme hardship. I am so grateful to know that you are on the upswing and that that little bun of yours is healthy as can be. A girl! So exciting. Congratulations to you and your hubby!

  11. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
    ― Mary Anne Radmacher
    I wish you coverage, strength and fortitude. You are going to be a great mom.

  12. Wow, that was a heart wrenching story. I am so happy that everything is going well now. Congratulations and can’t wait to hear more about your little girl!

  13. Tristan,
    I’m so glad you are feeling better day by day. What a journey you are on. When I was pregnant with my son (who is now a year old) I was throwing up violently for 27 weeks. My mom had HG when she was pregnant with my sister. I was basically laying down for many months just trying to survive. So I know a sliver of what you have gone through. I’m so sorry you have experienced this, but know that you are not alone, and as they all say: it’s worth it in the end. What a beautiful blog post about your experiences. I hope that others can read about it and be encouraged as well.

    All the best to you as you continue in your last few months!! xoxo

  14. I am so relieved to hear that you are on the upswing. What a way to go through one of the most amazing things we can do as humans – bring another life into the world. I am so sorry you had to suffer through this. You are so strong, and through it all you brought us wonderful links and interesting people and ideas, I can’t believe it.

    May the next few months bring you lots of joy and healing!

  15. Dear Tristan
    thank you for your sweet reply to my comment on your baby news post yesterday! Oh my goodness, reading today’s post has left me shaken, very very relieved for you that didn’t have to end the pregnancy but so sad for you that you were so ill you even had to consider it at all.
    May your continuing journey towards December get easier with every step you take. Thank you for writing so honestly about what you have been going through.
    with very best wishes xoxo

  16. Wow, that must have been so scary for you, Tristan – I am in awe at your strength and courage. I am so happy that you are pulling through everything and doing so much better now. I’m sure you and your husband can’t wait to meet this little girl of yours – I hope you continue to feel even better and can keep looking forward to meeting your new little one! :)

  17. Congratulations on the most wonderful news ever! And, I am so very sorry for the agony you have been in, and for so very long. Your outlook, your almost constant optimism are such an inspiration and I applaud you and am taking a cue from you as well. I hope your own condition continues to improve by leaps and bounds and that the other worries begin to resolve, as well, as you prepare for the most delightful of Decembers.

  18. Congratulations! And so glad to hear you’re finally starting to feel better. My sister-in-law had hyperemesis gravidarum and had to get all her fluids/nutrition intravenously for eight months of her first pregnancy. It was harrowing to witness; I can’t even imagine what it’s like to experience.

    Cheers to feeling better and to happily anticipating the arrival of your daughter!

  19. your strength amazes me. I only hope if/when I get pregnant, I can handle it with the grace you demonstrate. Congratulations on making it through what was hopefully the worst of it. Your daughter is so lucky to have a mother like you – one that will fight for her. Sending happy, healing thoughts your way!

  20. Congratulations Tristan! Thank you for sharing your private experience. You are courageous and strong. I cannot imagine what you went through…however very happy you are feeling better! Hugs from one momma to another through the interwebs :)

  21. i couldn’t breathe while i read your post. so heartbreaking and it sounds so terribly scary. yet, it’s SO inspiring that you kept your faith and what a miracle you experienced! i’m sure you feel all the stronger for having made it through. you’re amazing!! :D

  22. I am so sorry you have struggled with HG. I can hardly imagine what you have been through. It is good to know that you are gaing weight now and feeling stronger. I do remember patients, back in my OB nursing days, that were hospitalized. It was very hard. Stephanie from Stephmodo, wrote that she had this with all of her pregnancies. I believe she lives in Seattle, too. Maybe she would be a support to you, in some way. I pray you continue to feel well enough to keep food down, for your health and that beautiful baby girl growing inside of you.

  23. Me and my husband, we wish you to be strong and healthy, and we’re very glad that you feeling better now. Your little girl is very proud of you already! Everything will be great :)

  24. oh, lady. i am so glad you are doing better and i am fervently sending you peaceful energy from now until you hold that little lady in your arms. xoxo

  25. Oh Tristan, what a harrowing experience and how joyous that you are well on the way to health and recovery! Your miracle baby is one lucky girl to have courageous and strong parents. So so happy that you’re doing better.

  26. Tristan, thank God you are feeling better and that your baby girl is doing so well! I can’t even imagine what it’s been like for you, but I will pray that you continue to get stronger every day.

  27. You are one amazing mama to be! I can’t even imagine what you’ve been thru. I’m so glad to hear it’s behind you. Now you can enjoy the rest of this amazing journey.
    I truly believe your baby will sleep thru the night right away to thank you for being so awesome :)

  28. Congratulations to you! On your pregnancy and making it through the first 6 months!! Wow, what a roller coaster that was for you! Take care of yourself and have an amazing pregnancy. I am sending light and love your way!

  29. oh, tristan. may you be showered with many more blessings than this.
    i’m astounded by your story and it’s miracles like these that encourage my wavering faith. i’m glad that you are well, gracing the world with you presence and sharing your struggles and triumphs with us. your candidness is always so refreshing. cheers to you, brighter days ahead and a healthy baby!

  30. Wow Tristan. So happy to hear you are finally feeling better. I had extreme morning sickness with my second daughter. I was in bed for 6 weeks and lost over 12 pounds by the time I entered my fourth month of pregnancy . Like you, at that time I had no extra weight to lose. Twenty one years later the memory is so vivid that I cannot watch a certain Disney movie because my older daughter (who was 2 at the time) watched it so many times while I was in bed or on the couch. It brings it all back for me. I was lucky to have my mom to care for me and more importantly help out with my daughter. I can’t even imagine what you went through as it sounds even worse than my experience. Believe me sleepless nights will be nothing for you girl! So glad you and the baby are doing well. Here’s to an easier 3 months. :)

  31. Oh my god Tristan!!! I am wiping away tears. I can’t believe the horrific battle you’ve been fighting! I’m so very sorry for those first months of joy that were taken from you and the physical and emotional agony you’ve had to face. No words can ever say just how sorry. I am absolutely certain that your precious little girl is going to make up for every single second of the suffering you’ve endured. How truly lucky she is to have such a fighter for a mom! Sending you many loving thoughts and well wishes for your continued health and joy. xox Ez

  32. Tristan, I totally understand what you came though, I had the same thing. I spend days laying on my sofa, alone at home, not moving, staring at the ceiling in complete silence. I couldn’t east, drink, breath, move, drive…nothing. I went sleep at 7pm so I could forget about pain but I could sleep. I am happy for you to get though this stage and I can tell you that it will only get better now. I remember feeling so good in the last trimester. Just to give you some encouragement, I heard and confirm, that kids born from mothers having severe morning sickness, are VERY smart and beautiful, they are more intelligent than their peers. they are very talented. So you will have so much joy when she is born :)

  33. Your story has literally brought me to tears. I am so, so sorry to hear of the agonizing pain you have been through these last few months, but the am happy beyond words to hear of the joy that you are experiencing new every day now. You and your husband must be two of the most courageous people on the planet and I pray that God will continue to bless the perseverance and incredible love you have shown through it all. That little girl is going to be one very special person. I am absolutely convinced of that.

    I was extremely sick during my third pregnancy and always felt like it was something I did wrong. I have never heard of HG, but I will definitely be taking a look. Even though my illness was nowhere near to the extent of yours, I was terrified that my little one was never going to be able to survive. I still tell him (he’s almost 5 now) that the first thing I said to him over and over with tears streaming down my face just after they laid him on my chest was, “I wanted you so badly.”

    My prayers are with you and your family as you wait out that moment of happiness when she is in your arms!

  34. Wow. Tears, holding my breath, what a horrible thing to be dealing with. I’m beyond thrilled to hear you’re doing so much better and are able to find hope through your already beautiful little girl. I’ll be praying that you to continue to get better and feel better :)

  35. Oh wow Tristan…I feel like I can’t breathe just reading this. I thought my pregnancy was rough, but I cannot imagine this. I am SO thankful you have improved and your baby girl is ok….just wait until she hears about what a brave and tough mama she has!! xoxo

  36. Terrifying on so many levels. And beautiful. Your courage and honesty are so inspiring. Congratulations and sending strength for the rest of your journey into momdom. (And look out Pinterest…there are going to be some darling boards in store.)

  37. May each day continue to be triumphant. I am thrilled for you, that your body is now healthy as your miracle baby grows inside you. As a Seattleite, I know firsthand that there is a wise, talented medical community available. God bless you.

  38. So happy to hear you’re feeling better! It sounds so dreadful what you’ve been through, but once they put the little pink bundle in your arms, you will only remember from that point forward. I wish you tons of good health and happiness.

  39. Congratulations ten fold! Its been a while since I have caught up with your blog and have to say what a post to get back to it with! Really so happy for you! Its funny that I do not know you but through your blog feel the need to say how happy I am about the good news of both the little peanut as well as you doing better. Hopefully it will just keep getting better from here! :)

  40. My heart was breaking for you as I was reading this. I can not even imagine what you have gone through but I’m glad to hear its getting somewhat better even if at a glacial pace.

  41. There isn’t anything I can add to what’s been said before except to also offer both my congratulations and also my heartfelt hope that you continue to see improvement in your health and well being and that you can now begin the joyful phase of planning and expecting and nesting. These days and months of darkness for you have obviously felt so long and unending in so many ways and no one can possibly offer you any kind of pep talk through your suffering, but I hope it does help to know how cared for you are both in your offline life and in your virtual community of friends, (cared for maybe more than even you knew of before.)

  42. Ohmygoodness, Tristan! I think back to all your lovely posts while you were enduring this and am glad that you can take heart from your little community here. I am so thankful you never lost hope and that you DO look on the bright side . . . a perfect example of JOY out of a grave situation. HG is what Kate Middleton experienced too, yet you endured this without fanfare and just as well as a ‘royal’! May all good things visit you as you keep faced forward. Savor each bit of love from all of us, and be well. You are much loved!

  43. Amazing the things that happen to people and the courage they have in sharing. Bless your heart but the true blessing is that you have come through this and are carrying a healthy baby girl. Prayers that you continue to blossom as your pregnancy continues. What a story for your daughter. Take care!

  44. Thank you for explaining HG! I hope you are able to eat wonderful meals again soon, and keep yourself healthy and strong.

    I think the whole saltines and ginger ale is the wrong advice for pregnant women. Saltines do nothing. Ginger helps (they make ginger lollipops for pregnant women), but the carbonation does NOT help! Peppermint can help. The best thing, though, is protein. Blue Ribbon Baby talks about eating 90 grams a day; my midwife always wanted me to eat 60 grams a day (which is hard to do, even when you can eat without problems!) However, a protein snack before bed and then something with protein first thing (a spoonful of pureed white beans, hummus, peanut butter, or a hard-boiled egg) will help with regular queasiness (obviously not when you can’t even keep water down). All of the protein is because you’re building muscles and organs (which are protein).

    Protein is expensive; I wondered how to get more when meat was something we could rarely afford, but we have bought beans in bulk and a bit of leftover bean soup first thing in the morning was helpful. First thing meaning have your husband bring it to you in bed right away if necessary.

    I have 7 children (ages 11-1) and I have to say that eventually there are things that you will forget. You will forget pain. You will not forget almost dying (I had 3 problems, but mine were after the birth), but then you have this wonderful little person to hold, and the baby sleeps, and you can rest too.

    If you’re wondering how to keep making it financially: my family has had a 75% reduction in income (and we were already a one-income family). Please come visit my website and my blog while you’re resting, and hopefully you can find some ideas for making things work, financially.

    Congratulations on your little girl!

  45. You have such strength and faith, Tristan. It probably wasn’t easy for you to write and share all of this. Thank you for trusting your little family here. You know that we all love you, sister! From what I have learned about you, my dear, you are a sassy fighter. I’m quite positive that your baby girl is the same way:)

  46. It is, in a sense, sometimes easy to skim over words such as ‘I thought I was going to die’ without really understanding the emotional and mental distress that was behind that, the turbulence of anguished thoughts that others may have gone through to result in -that- thought. I think we skim by it because when I try to put myself in your place and imagine that, I can’t.

    Now that that is just a memory for you, congratulations. May the joy you find in the life of your daughter work its way backwards to envelop even that time as something so intrinsically tied to her that it transforms them.

  47. Awww I feel for you! I was one of the lucky 1% as well…in the end Zofran was my savior. I was afraid to take it at first but I needed to or else I would have spent every day in the hospital. It at least enabled me to drink and eat a little bit and got me through. I don’t know if you’ve considered it, but it really helped. Hope you feel better!!!! I love your blog!!!

  48. Tristan, congratulations lady! I am so happy for you. I am also so so sorry you have had to go through this, as I know second hand, through my sister, just how terrible this condition can be. I just can’t get over how happy I am for you! And a baby girl! You will make the best girlie mommy :) Much love to you!!!!

  49. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to experience such an ordeal. I am over the moon thrilled for you and your soon to be girl! What wonderful news, mixed with the difficulty.

  50. I just found your sweet blog through another recommending your makeup reviews. I had tears in my eyes reading your two posts about your impending bundle of joy. I’m excitedly expecting a little a girl myself next month and couldn’t be happier for you after all you’ve been through to get to where you are now! Congratulations! !

  51. How absolutely wonderful!!! A baby for you! I am happy for you. – for. a sweet baby and that you have been feeling better. My daughter had the same condition and it is terribly frightening and very disheartening. If I had not witnessed the extremity of her condition first hand I would probably have thought she was simply being dramatic and a little ridiculous but I did see it and it was heartbreaking. But the reward is as great as the difficulty – she has the most beautiful, precious children. I hope you continue to do better and am grateful for you that things are so much more positive. It sounds like it has been beyond.

  52. Tristan I am very behind on my reading! I remember reading that you were sick a couple of months back. I wondered if it might be pregnancy related after seeing your sweet pregnancy pins on Pinterest. I’m so sorry it has been such an ordeal. I know once you look at that precious miracle you will say it was worth every second. I’m praying for a steady and non-eventful 3rd trimester for you! Thanks so much for opening your experience to us all.

  53. Oh Tristan! I am so so sorry, but so so thankful you have managed to feel some better! I was sick all through all 3 of my pregnancys but not that sick. I thought 9 months would never end. but it did and it was worth it. I will be praying for you to keep feeling better through the last weeks of your pregnancy!

  54. Oh Miss B. I’ve been traveling the last month or so, and therefore didn’t see your news until now. Let me just say that I’m so happy for you, both for the joy of pregnancy (and having had friends and family go through trying with no results, I do get it, just a little) and for your renewed health. Much love and prayers for you and your husband!

  55. Heya i aam for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really helpful
    & it helped me oout a lot. I hope too give something
    back and help others like you aided me.

Comments are closed.