Half way to baby! Pregnancy glow? I don’t think so!! My hyperemesis gravidarum journey

We’ve been busy these past five months, growing a baby! We’re so thrilled to be expecting our first baby and were super lucky in getting pregnant first try.
We always knew we wanted a family, and had been waiting for the right time to try for a while.

However it turns out, pregnancy hasn’t been an easy ride for me. In fact the first three months were absolute hell. I was just in survival mode. I was suffering from extreme nausea and vomiting (Hyperemesis Gravidarium – which is not a normal part of pregnancy but a serious and dangerous complication). It felt as if I had a stomach bug every single day, for months on end. I felt depressed, lonely, somehow lacking and at times thought perhaps we should just remain a childless couple forever! Well meaning comments often made me feel more alone as it was clear there was no understanding of the severity of what I was going through. 

The thought of facing another day let alone potentially 9 months of the sickness was too much to bare, so I focused on one day at a time, literally saying ‘I made it through another day’. Being so sick at a time in your life when you thought you were meant to be overjoyed and ‘glowing’, takes a massive mental toll on you and I’d see so many women on social media flaunting their joy at how wonderful and beautiful they felt during pregnancy and I just could NOT relate one tiny bit. I also found it hard to think how a lot of women get ‘morning sickness’ and soldier on through no problem, it made me feel weak and a bit pathetic, but Dr’s and support pages reminded me, HG is not normal sickness. https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/ is a website for a charity which offers support which I found helpful. 

It was the most exhausting and challenging period of my life thus far, and I would not have made it without the help of my amazing husband, who literally took over EVERYTHING. I wasn’t able to move from my bed, or the bathroom floor a lot of the time, and Michael would bring me food (that I may or not keep down), water, drinks, medication, clean buckets, all while himself going to work, keeping on top of laundry, general house cleaning, and the pretty big task of trying to keep my spirits up. We’d also just moved into our first home, and he was building new furniture and getting loads of house things sorted. He’s such a hero, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him by my side, patience and loving really got me through.

I was put on several different kinds of anti sickness medication to prevent dehydration and weight loss, and finally found one that seemed to help, a bit. Instead of being sick 5-20 times a day, it was just per week! I also tried accupuncture, but it’s hard to tell whether it had much effect, if you’re suffering though I’d suggest giving it a go and seeing how you react as I honestly believe anything, even placebo, that makes you feel better is 100% worth it!

I hope anyone suffering right now who stumbles across this, knows they’re not alone, and to allow yourself all the rest you can possibly get, unless something is essential, leave it! I seriously couldn’t even shower some days. Reading other womens accounts helped me feel valid, and like I wasn’t so pathetic after all!

Fortunately at 12 weeks I began to turn a major corner! I was not 100% out of the woods, but any improvement felt amazing. Each week since then, I’ve continued to improve, I’ve still not come off medication, after a big set back when I tried to reduce the amount I was taking recently, but I can get through most of the day feeling fine, and the nausea is just in waves and is always stronger if I’ve overdone it, so theres a pretty clear solution: rest.

Michael and I took a pre booked holiday to Greece at 12 weeks, where I just relaxed and rested and it helped immensely (I was nervous about going but a friend pointed out, if you’re going to be sick, may as well be with a sea view and it ended up being amazing)!

Now that I am 23 weeks, I’m feeling the best that I have so far. I’m proud of the wee bump that has appeared and thrilled I feel her kick and wriggle. We’ve begun collecting baby things and when I was unwell (but better enough to be up), I’d enjoy sitting in baby to be’s room and looking at the tiny clothes we had and imagining them here with us. We’ve got a while to go yet, but we are very excited we get to meet our babe in the not so distant future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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