Back when I was pregnant in 2010, I pretty much had no one to talk to about what was going on with me - no one who could understand, that is. Of course my husband was there for me but he was sort of at a loss as to what was going on and what to do with me (as was I). I had some friends who stuck by my side during that time but none of them had ever been pregnant much less had HG, so they were also clueless. Of course it didn't help that I could barely talk on the phone or in person.
Even though I became involved with the forums at www.helpher.org and eventually on babycenter, all of the women were in America or other countries and I never really made that connection with any of them. So as nice as it was to read that other people were going through the same things as me (actually, most of them were much worse than I was), I didn't really get that bond that I had been looking for.
Then comes a random private message from K earlier this year, asking if she could ask me a specific question. Sure enough, K is another unfortunate HG sufferer here in Israel where the care for this debilitating disease is subpar, for the most part. She was already in her third trimester but was still suffering a lot and struggling with an OB who didn't really have a clue about HG but was willing to go along with some suggestions that she brought to his attention.
Oh boy, was it nice to be able to help someone out while I didn't need help at that point. And you know what? I think that the relationship is very good for both of us. We both get it. Most people don't realize that the effects of HG don't just go away once you give birth. Physical recovery can easily take a year and emotional recovery - heck, I'm still working on that one and LH will turn two next month.
All of our non-HG friends get tired of us talking about it and more or less tell us to shut up and leave the past in the past. What they don't realize is that HG isn't only our past - it is also part of our present and, most likely, our future. We can't just shut it out and forget about it. For us, talking it out is therapeutic and helps us work through some of the fears and anxieties that are left behind. We just need a supportive ear to listen.
I am so glad to say that I have found that supportive ear in K, and I really hope that she feels the same about me. To give you an idea about the kind of person she is - she knows another HG sufferer (TG), currently in the hell of her first trimester. TG is currently hospitalized and has been for more than a week because her HG is just out of control. Well K hopped on a bus one day with her baby and went to the hospital to visit TG, then stayed late so that she could be there when the doctor made his rounds so that she could talk to him and be an advocate for TG and make treatment suggestions. Thank goodness she did - the doctor actually listened to her and implemented several of the suggestions. Mind you, she had 3+ hours of bus travel each direction to do this. Isn't she awesome?
So yes, I have found a gem of a friend and that is so so so so so so so important when you are in the HG world, just trying to get by one day at a time. If you are an HG survivor, network and try to find an HG sufferer and befriend her. Advocate for her. Do for her everything that you wished someone had done for you. You never know, you might save a life.