Imagine – A HG Poem by Charlotte Howden

So, I have been asked to describe what it is like to have Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I thought I would find this really easy to do. I mean I went through it, I remember it but I can’t find the right words to describe it.

So I thought I would use my creative skills and write a poem instead. So here it is…

Imagine a continuous night,
Imagine no dawn and no light.
Imagine dark shadows and rotting corpses
Picture a body lying, shallow breathing,

She’s paralysed,
If she moves the bile will rise,
The vomit will come,
The teeth will rot, the stomach acid engulfing them

Picture a figure passing, asking
“Please can you eat something?”
“Please you have to drink something!”

The figures scent churns her stomach,
It leaves the door open,
The smell travels into her cell
The oven grease, the house’s dampness,

She can smell it all, her sense is heightened
It hurts please close the door,
Leave me alone,
I know you love me, but I have to be on my own

She swallows the saliva in her mouth,
The pools of spit that form
This ISN’T the norm

1,2,3 and it comes
The stomach rejects the fluid again
Picture another bowl filled, another one to empty,
Picture a body, that’s writhing in pain

Now imagine a pregnant woman and compare,
This isn’t morning sickness don’t you dare
This is torture, prison, the ultimate test of endurance
A fight for survival, with no medical reassurance

Will this last the full 40 weeks,
Or will I be spared?
Isolated she ponders,
Does anyone really care?

Scrolling the endless screen,
There is something they can do,
Has the Doctor not offered it to you?
There’s medication they can prescribe,
They won’t cure, but they could help you to survive

They told me there was only one choice,
I couldn’t speak out against them, they wouldn’t hear my voice
“You have the option to abort this wanted life,
No longer be a mother, go back to just a wife”

Her body feels relief, there is another way
I’ve screamed, prayed and begged for this,
Every single day,

I’ve asked for god to take my life,
To swallow me up and make it end,
So listen to me now, it is on you
I entirely depend.