Firstly, if you are suffering from HG my heart goes out to you – I’ve been there and it’s so debilitating. At a time when you should be most happy, all I could do was cry.
So I want to take it back to the beginning. In my first longed for pregnancy the sickness started around 5-6 weeks. At first, I almost welcomed this symptom as they say it’s a sign things are going well – boy did I regret that thought!
I was being sick every hour, sometimes every few minutes. You know that relief you get after being sick? Well that does not happen with HG!
I struggled through the first 10 weeks thinking it’s just morning sickness it will go soon, but I do remember the point that enough was enough. It was my brother’s birthday and I had taken one bite of pizza and had to run to the bathroom. I sat on the floor crying my eyes out when my mum came in and said “you need to go to the doctors now Hannah”. That Monday I called up and was seen within the hour. They were so good! They told me I had HG and discussed different medications that were safe to take. Needless to say, none of it worked and my sickness continues until I gave birth.
My low points
A few weeks after being diagnosed I hit a wall. I had lost over a stone in weight and could not even keep water down. The doctor signed me off work for 3 weeks and wanted me to stay off longer but with only being paid statutory sick pay (£60 odd a week) there was no way I could afford to be off any longer. I was working in a hair salon at the time and would have to leave clients midway through to go and be sick. This was when I was rock bottom. I would come home, try to eat something, throw it all back up again, sob my heart out to my husband then go to bed as it was the only thing that made to pain go away. Then I would get back up and do the whole thing all over again the next day.
The whole time I feared for my unborn baby that I had waited 3 long years and countless fertility treatments to conceive. I felt so guilty for feeling so low when I was so lucky to be carrying this beautiful baby. I cannot praise my hospital and GP enough for the care attention and extra scans they gave me to put my mind at ease. Through it all she showed no signs of it effecting her growth. Sadly for me my sickness never went away but eased as the pregnancy progressed.
Dairy – I really found dairy to be a big trigger for me, which is so strange as normally dairy does not affect me. Whenever I had it I would throw up straight away.
Certain smells – I remember the smell of the toilet fresher at my workplace would make me gag – probably because I spent so much time with my head down there. Still to this day I can’t stand the smell, it’s a stark reminder of a horrible time for me.
Cutting up raw meat – Even looking at raw meat made me gag. My poor husband didn’t get a proper cooked meal for months as even the smell was too much to handle.
Giving birth to my baby
I had done so much research on HG and heard people say that once the baby is born it just vanishes and it is so true. All through my labor I was vomiting and as soon as she was born like a flick of a switch it was gone. 9 months of feeling nauseous and vomiting just disappeared. The next day while in hospital they came around to ask me what I would like to eat – dare I say a cheese sandwich? 24hrs previous it would have made me vomit instantly, but here I was holding my brand-new baby munching my way through a cheese sandwich and feeling nothing but pure joy.
The fear of falling pregnant again
As I mentioned before, to fall pregnant with Evelyn we went through three grueling years and many fertility treatments. After having her, we decided that we would let nature take its course and if we were lucky enough to fall pregnant again then it was meant to be. But I have to say the fear of going through it all again was quite overwhelming.
When I did fall pregnant 14months after giving birth to Evelyn I was just waiting, waiting for it to happen all over again and it did! It was later this time at around 8-9 weeks and was gone by 20 weeks but I remember the first time I vomited, I looked at my husband and said “I don’t think I can do this again!”
But the thing with HG is you have no other option but to carry on. I mean what other option do you have??? John used to say to me “I’m so proud of you” and I used to say “for what? Believe me if I could give it away I would”
So all that’s left to say is, if you are going through this then stay strong! These little humans that our bodies have grown are well worth the pain and hey it’s a story to tell them when they are older.