Whilst we unpack and settle into our new home I have lined up some blog posts I hope you enjoy from some gorgeous bloggers.
This week I have a wonderful guest blog post from Pip Milburn talking about her experience of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. As you all know I suffered badly with HG during my pregnancy so I loved hearing and sharing other women’s stories.
When I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I were both over the moon. It’s no secret that we had been trying for about 18 months and were starting to have infertility tests. So when the two little lines appeared on the pregnancy test stick we couldn’t believe it!! In fact, we went out to Tesco straight away to buy 3 more tests – just to make sure the result was positive.
Fast forward to week 6, I started to be sick in the mornings, which was fine, morning sickness is all part of being pregnant and I was willing to embrace it all. Except it got worse.
From week 7 onwards I was struggling to keep anything down. The usual remedies such as ginger, peppermint tea and travel sickness bands did absolutely nothing. I went to the doctors and was prescribed Cyclizine tablets. The only problem was I couldn’t keep them down long enough for them to work. A few days later I could barely get out of bed due to dehydration. My husband took me to the doctors and I was taken to hospital that night. My keytone levels were 1.9, they have to be at least 2 before they will agree to an intravenous drip to aid rehydration. They did, however, give me an injection of Cyclazine and after a few hours I was able to have a drink and something to eat, and it stayed down!! It didn’t last long though and I was back to being sick after every time I ate or drank anything.
Another trip to the hospital was needed, I could hardly walk I was so dehydrated!! This time they gave me the intravenous fluids, a Cyclazine injection and I was admitted for the night. I started to feel much better after the first hour of being on a drip and was able to have something to eat.
This cycle of dehydration, Cyclazine injections/tablets and trips to the hospital continued until week 19 of my pregnancy. For most of this time, I was stuck in bed, alone, with a bucket, trying to think positive. But it was hard. I felt as if I was ill, not pregnant and I couldn’t even bring myself to read the baby book I had bought months previously when we were trying to conceive. Getting through each day at a time was the only way I coped.
I have never felt so ill in my life, it’s like having never ending food poisoning, I ached all over from retching so much, my stomach was constantly sore, I had horrendous constipation, my teeth hurt and I was getting nose bleeds. I was in bed for weeks and only left the house to visit the doctors or the hospital. Even after I had stopped being sick I still found it hard to walk any long distances and climbing the stairs was a struggle, after spending so long in bed my muscles had reduced to nothing and I felt exhausted all the time.
When I had the strength I was desperately searching the HG forums trying to find out when it would end. Week 12 passed and I felt no better, then week 16 came and went with no sign of the sickness improving. I kept thinking tomorrow I will feel better, tomorrow I will not be sick and one day, eventually, tomorrow came.
Around week 18 I started to notice a decrease in the number of times I was being sick a day, I was managing to keep some food down and I had stopped losing weight. I then had a couple of sick free days until eventually, I had gone a whole two weeks without being sick!! Finally, it was over.
I’m was still sick on the odd occasion throughout my pregnancy. But you know what? Being sick once a week is a doddle compared to what it was like.
I don’t think anyone can really understand how horribly debilitating HG is without having gone through it themselves. Most people think it’s just bad morning sickness and you should pull yourself together, if only it were that easy.
I couldn’t have got through it without the support from my husband. He had to do everything, cook, clean, empty my sick bucket and even put me in the bath and wash and dry my hair. I know it was hard for him too and I can’t thank him enough for supporting me.
For those of you who are suffering with HG now, I feel for you, it’s absolutely awful. There are a few things that helped me during those horrible dark weeks.
If you are prescribed anti sickness tablets make sure you take them at the same time every day. If I was an hour late taking a tablet I would start to be sick straight away. I set my alarm for 4 am each morning, took a tablet and then went back to sleep. When I woke up properly I had the medication in my system, this helped to reduce the need to be sick as soon I sat up in bed every morning.
Lucozade Sport with electrolytes
I literally lived of Lucazade, it’s the only drink that I could sip and it would stay down. The electrolytes also help to keep me hydrated. I think I would have been admitted to hospital a lot more if I didn’t have Lucazade.
Chew your food
When you can face eating a little something make sure you choose either really soft food or chew it really well. Chocking on your own vomit is no fun and it really hurts your throat.
Stock up on plenty on anti-acids. I really suffered with the amount of acid that came up when I was being sick. It felt like my throat was on fire. The only thing that would ease it a little was Gaviscon and Rennie anti-acids.
I found it really hard to put anything in my mouth after I had been sick, let alone a tooth brush and as a result, I have severely sensitive teeth. Try if you can to swill your mouth out with water. A mouthwash specially formulated for sensitive teeth would be better but if you can’t manage that water will do. Stock up on toothpaste for sensitive teeth. My teeth were so painful that at one point I couldn’t sleep with my mouth open.
What to eat?
When you can face a little something try high-calorie foods such as milkshake, ice cream and cake. I also used to have a little bit of banana. Jaffa cakes were good to eat too as they didn’t taste too bad on the way back up!!
I hope that by sharing my story it has helped you feel a little bit more positive. I was very lucky that my HG ended when it did and I know from reading other blogs that my HG was not nearly as bad as what some women go through.
But remember you’re not alone, there are thousands of women feeling exactly the same as you are right now.
There are some really good Facebook support groups that you could join.
There is also the Pregnancy Sickness Support Group website that is full of useful information and has a helpline you can call. Mumsnet also have lots of good forums on HG.
Thank you so much, Pip.