Finally, the first comprehensive help book on the subject of hyperemesis gravidarum is available, offering nearly 500 pages of information, validation and support!
Believe it or not, this site is 11 years old. In 1997 I logged on, surfed the web, and researched my eyeballs out. I spent days online until I had followed every HG link available, and I'm pretty confident that this Angelfire site was the first personal site on the subject of hyperemesis gravidarum and abortion.
When I published it "way back" in the 90's I was astounded and heartbroken to find that I was not the only person who had ever aborted a healthy child that she wanted, due solely to the debilitation of HG, and lived to regret it. It seemed that people knew very little about the disease, and that lack of information often contributed to the sad type of end that we experienced.
After the devastation of an unwanted second trimester abortion, I spent the next decade looking for answers. I "lived" in Shands medical library digging up medical journal articles from around the world--I had to have some of them translated! I would never have been able to undertake such research while suffering from HG, but as a healthy person, I could research all I wanted. And I did. And the answers began coming. I was both encouraged and horrified by the newly acquired knowledge that there exist better treatment options than I was afforded in my first pregnancy.
I continued to receive emails from distraught parents who were looking for the same answers that I had needed so desperately. I found myself spending hours and days on the computer answering the same questions over and over again. I wanted to share what I'd learned with everyone, and I wanted to be as thorough as possible with each individual I came into contact with, but continuing to do so via emails became overwhelming. So, I left the Internet and spent ten years researching and writing a book called Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum (BMS). I endeavored to fill it not only with the information that I had needed so desperately in that first pregnancy but also with many personal stories of others, so those struck with this disease would know for certain that they are not alone.
I do not profit from the book. I refuse to make money off of the death of my child, and I refuse to profit from the pain and tremendous struggle of moms who are battling for the lives of their children. Instead, the privilege of serving others is my great joy, and all the money the book makes goes to donating BMS to Ob/Gyns and sufferers. To date, through BMS revenue and generous donors, over 1,000 copies of the book have been given away. We hope to continue this for as long as we possibly can.
BMS is my first child's legacy. S/he was only here for 15 weeks and never saw the light of day, but because s/he lived, other children who were scheduled to be aborted were instead born at term. I have seen them take their first breaths, laugh, play, and live. And I have seen the faces of their parents delight in them. They did not end up like me and my child, and I am forever grateful for that.
BMS is serving its purpose.
I am committed to this endeavor. I have taken and will continue to take medical courses that I might better understand the research. (BTW, I am not a medical professional--maybe one day!) Medical information is always in a state of flux, but I intend to stay current and plan on revising BMS as the information changes, for as long as I live. In having said that, I feel that it is time to retire this Angelfire site as it originally appeared in 1997. The "death" of the site is kind of a personally sad thing, but it is necessary; the information it contained is outdated and must go.
If you need information on HG, please purchase a copy of the book if you can. If you purchase one from the Hyperemesis Education and Research (HER) Foundation they will receive 100% of the profits. If you purchase your copy from Amazon.com, Target.com or any other retailer, $5 of every copy goes to me, which means it is poured back into purchasing free books for Ob's, moms suffering from HG, and occasionally organizations who work to raise HG awareness (such as the HER Foundation).
Please do all that you can to raise HG awareness, and help others who are suffering because of HG. One of the easiest things you can do is to visit online forums where you can talk to other sufferers. It's so simple yet so vital. For this reason we have recently added forums to beyondmorningsickness.com so please stop by.
My tiny child's life was not for nothing. S/he made a difference and so can you. Hang in there, keep going, stick around for joy.
Go, fight, WIN!
About the book:
Over 50,000 American women are hospitalized annually due to hyperemesis gravidarum. Some terminate wanted pregnancies because of the debilitation of the disease, lack of information and the lack of social and medical support.
Consisting of medical data and personal stories, Beyond Morning Sickness provides information on treatment options, validates the disease experience, and offers insight that can enable caregivers to better meet the needs of sufferers.
About the author:
Ashli Foshee McCall is a stay-at-home, home-schooling mother who battled severe hyperemesis gravidarum four times.
Jeffrey W. Wall MD, FACOG, is the Medical Director for the Women's Health and Wellness Center at the Truman Medical Centers, University of Missouri at Kansas City Medical School. (Dr. Wall edited the medical content and wrote the foreword.)