So we have all heard the news that Kate is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and comments range from not much sympathy, from those who haven’t experienced such sickness and think she has an easy life, to complete empathy, from those who are in the know. What Mummy misses her child’s first day of school, she can hardly throw on a sweatshirt and take a plastic bowl for the journey when the eyes of the world are on her, so she has my sympathies.
Although HG was mentioned in one of my pregnancies, I was never properly diagnosed, but vomiting 10 times a day or more, losing weight, being hospitalised for fluids, certainly gives me an understanding. So with 2 older children to look after at the time, how did I function…..
• Smells were a big trigger for me, I avoided candles, air fresheners and asked those close to me to avoid hairsprays and perfumes
• Stay prepared- a change of clothes, carrier bags and wipes travelled with me always.
• After trying the usual ginger biscuits, tonic water, travel sickness bands and dry crackers, I came to the realisation that nothing worked. Acceptance was difficult, knowing I was going to feel like this for several months ahead, but know it won’t last, for me I was better days after giving birth, I was me again.
• Be good to yourself, accept all offers of help, just do the minimum to get by, online shop and if you can even consider paying for help with cleaning/ironing etc, then it’s worth it.
• Some people just don’t get it, when they talk about their experiences you may find they were nauseous for a few months, then it passed. Severe sickness is debilitating and depressing, affects your whole life and that of those around you (my 9 year old had to cook chicken nuggets and potato smiles for tea daily, with me at the other end of the garden). Try to point them in the direction of some information, so they are more aware of what you are going through.
My lowest points were when a midwife glibly told me, at 18 weeks, that it was likely to last the full 9 months, I hadn’t known this was a possibility and when I started waking up in the night to be sick. I share this with you to let you know that you will have those awful moments, but you will get through, with some support, patience and acceptance that it will pass.
You won’t forget, but you will treasure your little newborn and it will fade. All pregnancies are different and you may not suffer so severely again, I didn’t the next time.
Sending you love if you’re going through this x