PARENT

3 questions to help you confidently parent on your terms - guest blog

3 questions to help you confidently parent on your terms.

 

Parenthood is a rollercoaster of emotions and can be a time in your life when everyone has an opinion on what you “should” be doing. I often hear parents doubting their choices and decisions.

Sam James Life Coach Norfolk

From the moment you announce your pregnancy onwards, it can feel like some of the social etiquettes seem to have been forgotten – your great auntie Dot’s next door neighbour seems to feel like they have a right to know the intimate details of any medical appointment you have, people in the supermarket queues feel it is OK to touch your stomach,  strangers want to tell you their horror stories of birth and everyone you meet has an opinion on how you should be parenting (whether they have children or not!).

 

When you are tired, hormonal and learning this new role as a parent, it can become so confusing about which way to turn, what piece of advice to follow. The best antidote to this is to get really clear on the important things for you and your family unit.

  • Get clear on how you want to be living life on your terms. What are your values and principles, that you want to be living your life by?
  • Think about in years to come when your little people have grown up, how do you want them to describe you as a parent? How do you want them to describe your family?
  • What are your key priorities for you and your family?

You can use these as your blueprint to guide your decisions and choices. When someone offers some well-meaning advice, or something causes you to question yourself, pause and ask yourself, “Am I acting in line with my values and priorities and how I want to parent?”.

Everyone’s parenting journey is unique – each child you have is unique. One thing I confidently will say is there is not one size fits all solution. My parenting journey is unique to me and not a carbon copy of any of my friends. Each of theirs is unique to them. Yours is unique to you. By recognising and accepting that everyone will make different choices, and no-one is right or wrong, will allow you to enjoy being a parent on your terms in a way that feels natural and comfortable for you.

 

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bottle feeding

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum talks Vaccines.

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum talks Vaccines.

This is the first post in my new guest blog series for Jess Wilkins Photography where I take controversial parenting subjects and provide my honest confessions and experiences on them.

Warning!

Okay, before I begin I will just like to say this is not a pro rant for vaccinations nor is it to offer any advice in when making a decision about vaccinating your children.

This is all about my experiences as a NICU mum to a son who has a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) and my family.

Loaded subject

Never, until I became a parent, did I know that the subject of vaccines is so volatile and explosive.

Even the word vaccine on a post will likely divide and cause a huge argument you didn’t even know you can have.

People you don’t even know, and have never met will tear apart your parenting abilities all based on one single opinion.

Suddenly, you find yourself looking at friends whom you’ve known forever with some sort of fear because they have declared that they have not vaccinated their children.

We are put into two categories and told to go off and fight the good fight for pro or against.

But why? It is a personal family choice and one that should remain that way!

At Risk

It can seem that every Winter I can turn a bit ‘pro vaccine’, but there is a very good reason. Around the beginning of September to March I brace myself for the onslaught of cold and flu season.

I begin to post about the dangers of flu and CHD, and the whole family receive the flu vaccine.

It is more to advise on the effects of being ill around Elijah and passing him something. It isn’t to tell you to all go to get the flu shot right this second!

Elijah is at risk of hospitalisation, pneumonia, respiratory issues, stroke or even a heart attack should he ever catch the flu, and for some CHD sufferers it can be fatal.

Elijah tends to pick things up and they instantly go straight onto his chest.

Trust

We have in the past been admitted to hospital because of it, my son was born with a heart that structurally wasn’t correct and didn’t work properly.

I had to trust in medical science and the procedure which repaired his heart, and this is what I do each and every year when choosing to vaccinate my family against the flu.

I’ve read the ‘horror stories’, I have done my research, I’ve spoken to specialists and consultants and most of all I have to trust my gut.

Nursery

Elijah attends nursery twice a week, and I know that there is plenty of bugs, colds and illnesses going about that he could pick up. But, I will try and do what I can to protect him, or lessen the risk/ severity of symptoms for him in anything I can.

Chicken Pox

I recently learnt this the hard way when Elijah and his brother caught chicken pox. I had been researching into getting the vaccine for this, but it was too late.

We had 4 111 calls in total, two GP appointments and one hospital admission onto the children’s paediatric ward.

They suffered quite badly from this, and no, not everyone will have a severe or prolific case as mine did but deep down I knew this could have been avoided.

It could have been less suffering and pain for them both.

They were ill for nearly a month, and it was such a horrendous time for the family.

 Judgement

I understand the herd immunity argument surrounding immunisation, things such as the flu vaccine will be more effective should the ‘herd’ aka the majority get it and they will then protect those at risk of not being able to have it for what ever reason (some allergic, some medical reasons).

But I wouldn’t judge another parent’s abilities if they choose or don’t choose to vaccinate their child. For me I have one thing that is my focus, doing what I can to protect Elijah because of his heart condition.

If he didn’t have this condition, perhaps I wouldn’t have to think so much about things like this.

But, I do and these are merely my honest experience and opinions on vaccines.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn Blog

 

 

Read more of Vicki’s guest blogs here !


bump shoot

32 weeks and a bump shoot - guest blog

32 weeks and a bump shoot – guest blog

Bridget Jones pants… maternity pads… Waterproof mattress protector… All very sexy things to buy when walking around the city with your other half! With 8 weeks to go i thought i best start packing my hospital bag. There is an unbelievable amount of ‘equipment’ you need to bring for yourself and your little bundle. Luckily i’ve got a great friend who has been amazing at helping me with this, knowing she had been through it before with her daughter she could give me useful advice on what she wishes she had packed for herself and her little Mollie.

 

Learning you have to look after yourself is a lot more important than i realised, before birth and after, you should be congratulating yourself, after all you’ve just grown a Human! And then given birth to your beautiful baby! Well done you!

 

Jess kindly booked a bump photo shoot for me, i didn’t know what to wear so picked out a few favorites to show off the bump. I even fake tanned the night before to mask my snowman skin. We all have our reservations about ourselves on how we look and i have the ‘good side’ and ‘bad side’. Luckily Jess understood my weird request and i felt so comfortable changing outfits and poses and even stripped to pretty undies for a different look and i didn’t even mind strutting about as i’m falling in love with my pregnancy body.

bump shoot

My bestie had her baby shower at a surprise location, there were banners, bright balloons, homemade sausage rolls, scones and cupcakes, all delicious. I overindulged of course… i am pregnant after all, that was my excuse. She loved it and it was fab to get everyone together to celebrate the occasion. It made me think about how quick time has come around! I’m going to have a baby soon! Wow! I can’t wait! I’m getting tired quickly so i’m no longer at night owl but an early morning bird who likes to wake my husband up early too, i get bored, if i can’t sleep neither should he right?…

Single digit countdown…

bump shoot


guest blogger Norfolk

Raising children to be body positive - The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum

Raising children to be body positive

I have never been body positive, or confident in my own skin. Perhaps, that comes from my mum constantly criticizing me. I was always jealous of others, and deemed myself not good enough. It has had a devastating impact on my confidence, one that I carried through childhood to now.

Self confidence

I didn’t have the self confidence of others, and I suffered from eating disorders as a teenager. It wasn’t until after I fell pregnant with Elijah and then again with Harlow, that I realised how much pressure and unrealistic expectation is really out there. There is pressure on is on a new mother to suddenly regain the body she did before she feel pregnant, despite growing and accommodating a human (or two, or three!) and giving birth.

Pressure

I had two fairly large babies and I found it perplexing that we were being pressurised by what we saw in the media, adverts and magazines sometimes sadly ones aimed at parents that we were failing if we didn’t fit into our skinny jeans 2 weeks after giving birth. Even family members were telling me towards the end of my pregnancy that the weight will soon come off afterwards. Every day I was told I was big, I was small as if my uterus was now up for public discussion.

‘Scummy mummies’

We are made to feel that if we don’t have a full face of makeup and sport a perfect up do we are ‘scummy mummies’. We as a society love to shame others. We are constantly bombarded with images of perfection that do not mirror real life. Even more now we live in the age of social media.

We are told we must change our bodies, our faces, our hair to look like this, to be that and to not accept and be proud of who we are. I am still a very self-conscious person, but I want my two boys to be comfortable on their own skin, to be body positive and to have the self-confidence I never had.

The zipper club

I knew it would be easy for me to pass on my insecurities to my children but I knew I had to be the one to set a good example. Especially with Elijah who has an incision ‘zipper’ scar running down his chest from open heart surgery.

When we took Elijah swimming for the first time I was worried that people would stare, they would look at him and make comments about his chest. A friend of ours at the time was very blunt with me and said, who cares? He should be proud of it. Ever since then I have always promoted body positivity in both of my children.

Brands

Slowly, some big brands have cottoned onto the fact that they are responsible to promote body positivity, but we still have a long way to go. The language we use for example, phrases like ‘plus size’ I believe are still detrimental when actually they are likely to be of an average size that many of us can resonate with.

Real women

I don’t think it was until after I had children that I realised how important it was as a parent to promote body positivity.  I do not hide my body in front of them, as I want them to know what a real body looks like, one that has had two children and given birth twice! I want them to know a woman doesn’t need to wear make up to look pretty, she doesn’t need an elaborate hair do to fit in with everyone else. That it is okay to feel comfortable being who you are, looking like what you do.

Acceptance

I want to teach them to be accepting of everyone and to never judge anyone just by looks, or by societies expectations of them. I want them to know the adverts that they see and the images on social media aren’t necessarily the real world and to never compare themselves to them.

Most of all, the gift I want to pass onto my children is one I didn’t receive myself, I want them to be truly comfortable in their own skin and proud of who they are.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn Blog

Vicki regularly blogs for me,  along with other guest bloggers check out some here !

 

Jess x

 

 


christmas

Christmas Mini Sessions 2018

Christmas Mini Sessions 2018

Booking is open for 2018 Christmas Minis sessions !

christmas
christmas

After the success of last years simple set up my theme this year is the reindeer backdrop as voted for, please note the reindeer etc is printed onto the backdrop and not a prop.

You don’t want to miss out on these – spots will go fast and are available on a first come first serve basis.

These sessions are designed to provide you with super adorable images,  to design Christmas cards and gifts. The Reindeer Christmas set up can fit a max of 2 children only. Family images will be taken on my light grey plain backdrop.

I’ll be keeping it super duper simple, i’ll also have some star bunting on my white wooden backdrop see above

simplicity = super cute images of your child!

I have some baby outfits at the studio which ive selected to compliment the set up. I have baby boy &  girl rompers , some delicate headbands and reindeer ears – feel free to bring your own bits .

I recommend Christmas jumpers or Christmas PJ’s as outfit choices for your children !

The time slot is very strict and we will only have time for one Christmas outfit and one non-Christmas outfit change.  

Mini sessions are perfect for single children or 2 siblings . Please note these mini are only suitable for babies at the sitting up stage from 6 months old unless coming with a sibling who can hold them upright to give you some variety.

  (Mini’s not suitable for babies under 6 months especially new-borns due to the strict time slots )

Cost?

2018 Christmas  Mini session Package:

20 minutes in studio

5 digital images via download to print as you wish, max of 10 to select from

kids & siblings only (no cousins or friends)

£65

(extra images can be purchased after at £5 each)

When?

Friday 9th November – 1 LEFT

Saturday 10th November SOLD OUT

Saturday December 1st SOLD OUT

To book in follow the link here to the dates, select the date, choose the time and then pay for the package in full £65.

you will then receive confirmation and my information sheet!

 *If you have a shy child  or want longer time in the studio with no time restraints ,  more outfit changes ,  different set ups and props , and more images in your gallery then you can book a full length package off my main pricelist these start at £200. 

Christmas Mini Sessions 2018 T&c

The number of images is dependent on the little/s one on the day but you can expect 5-10 images in your online gallery as a rough guide.

Due to the time limited nature of the session where a child may become shy or unwilling no guarantees are offered to provide a specified number.

You can purchase any extra images for £5 each. Images include print permission to print as you wish.

Your gallery will be ready to view approx 1 week later

The images will be sent via a download link / dropbox

If your baby becomes unwell or upset , we may reschedule at the photographers discretion.

My studio is small and with 3 set ups its gonna be a squeeze so only parents can attend , a max of 2 adults per time slot.

 

I cant wait!

christmasx


studio Norwich

28 Weeks pregnant my guest blogger is back!

28 Weeks pregnant

 

The nursery is now pretty much complete! We had our larger second bedroom plastered silky smooth, painted in a soft light grey using Farrow and Ball and i’m very lucky to say my clever husband has hand painted a mural of the ‘original’ Winnie The Pooh.

The mural consists of a waving oak tree bristing in the ‘wind’ with Pooh flying up towards the honey bees nest whilst grasping a blue balloon. I’m in Love!! We haven’t gone completely Pooh crazy, just the odd touches whilst still keeping a neutral feel with grey and white star curtains, a white cloud ceiling light with beaded raindrops and grey and white cloud bedding.

 

The hardest essential we purchased was the baby monitor. We found this extremely difficult as there are so many on the market with mixed reviews, every item had 5* and 1* ratings. Eventually we decided on the Motorola MBP44 Digital Audio and Video monitor, so good so far, lets see if it lives up to expectations…

 

We went to a wedding recently and i forgot my wedding outfit…..!!! Baby brain to the max! Luckily i had a jumpsuit i was planning to wear the next day with me so i whipped that out and hopefully i rocked it for the day!?! Pregnancy gives you allowances and everyone's nice to you, i had so many offers of drinks for that day, i was a cheap date with my soda water and elderflower cordial, 50p a drink! Bonus for them, bonus for me!

The day and night before i had Braxton Hicks, which became extremely painful so i rang the midwife in panic who put me through to the labour ward. I was getting cramps every 10 minutes towards the end so i generally thought i could be in labour at 29 weeks. After a while they finally cooled off and i started to relax, my little cherub is still bouncing around and was ready for the wedding antics to begin so we went to the ball!

 

Pregnancy hormones rattle inside your head, which makes you feel annoyed, irritated, upset and lovable all at the same time, i think my body is going through fight or flight mode protecting my baby’s surrounding area. I have no idea why though, our baby life is filled with joyous and caring family and friends who love them before they even know what love is.

Pregnancy is wonderful and strange all at the same time and i wouldn’t change a thing.

 

Onto the third TRIMESTER...

read Chelsea's other blogs here! she'll be in the studio for her bump photos soon!


motherhood

Everything I haven't learnt guest blog Muffin and Puffin

Everything I haven't learnt guest blog Muffin and Puffin

Experts, solicited advice, parenting blogs, books, more advanced parent friends, my own parents… I’ve consulted all of them at one time of another and through every ‘phase’ that our daughter goes through – I should be graduating with a first-class degree, maybe even three - because this has been a 2-year slog of a 24/7 study - yet I frequently feel like I may be the dunce here sitting with a cone hat on whilst dribbling slightly and speaking incoherently as yet, another 5am wake up rolls around.

This feeling, whilst a daily creeping one, is poignant now as I’m in a reflective mood. As our little munchkin reaches her second birthday - and in the process of booking a cake smash shoot to mark the occasion - I got thinking about the last two years and all that I haven’t learned. That is not a typo… I truthfully don’t think I know more about parenting now than I did when I first held that snuffly little bundle in my arms. One thing I do know… the goal posts change the minute you think you may just have cracked this parenting malarkey.

After the initial shock of a new-born routine we quickly fell into something comfortable - life will have changed forevermore but you knew a new born wasn’t an easy option and it really is just a phase... you expect to be tired and emotional and loved up and exhausted and not finish any sentan ….

Then it all changes and teething happens.

Then they start sleeping through… for a day…. And you get smug and tell your friends about your ‘methods’ that work only for it to all go to pot the following night whereby you consult google and rush to buy lush sleepy cream, throw lavender oil around like holy water and pray like you have never prayed before.

Then weaning happens and you prepare food from scratch and clap gleefully whilst they have their first tastes of foods and you vow you will never succumb to Ella’s Kitchen… and then months later you will weep with happiness that fruit and vegetables can be mixed together in a pouch!

Then they HATE all food and water and milk and will only eat crumbs that may or may not have been on your kitchen floor for three weeks.

Then they crawl and it’s amazing but having yearned for that day you have to re-learn how to get showered, dressed and generally do normal daily admin with a crawling ninja that is seemingly faster than the speed of light.

Then walking – I’ve never been so proud and in all my learning I thought this would make life easier… then you realise you can no longer pop them in a pram and go shopping because they have legs and they want to use them… so you have to learn again how to negotiate life with a tiny thing that is now upright and running away from you.

Then suddenly 2 is looming and you have a small thing with a personality, with words, with understanding and it is with profound pride and pleasure that I witness this every day… but also with profound fear that I know the answer to nothing. My husband and I are constantly looking to one another for reassurances and it really is the blind leading the blind, but we are blind together and we support each other daily and we make those decisions together (really, so no one can be blamed for any poor outcome)

 

What I have learnt is more about me, us, humans, relationships. No one can tell you how to parent, you can pick up handy hints and tips but ultimately every small person is unique… with unique needs, with unique feelings and there are no books for that.

So, while I may not have learnt anything about what the next day will bring, I have learnt this. Take it easy on yourself and just do your best. Every day that you have kept your small alive is a win, every cry you have is because you care, every shattered wake up is because you are needed. And for days when it just feels like you have reached a brick wall there’s always gin and Instagram.

----

Mollies cake smash is in November so watch out for Jess’ social media!

 

Check out Sophie aka Muffin and Puffin !


christmas

The Christmas Competition Amongst Parents

The Christmas Competition Amongst Parents

There has been a shift in the air and it isn’t just the cooler temperatures and darker nights.

It’s in the shops, it’s slowly filling our news feeds too, prompting us to buy this, to go to this event and to sit down and craft with our children.

Yes, we are talking about the big C.

IT’S CHRIST…..MAS

It is less than 15 weeks until Christmas and it seems now leaving a carrot out for Rudolph, hanging a stocking on the end of the bed isn’t enough anymore.

There are the crafts, the bakes, the Christmas markets, the must have toys, the flavoured gins, a creepy doll for you to position in a serious of pranks for 25 days and that’s just the build-up.

Never mind the gifts, decorations, the meal of the year to prepare and the fact you should also be doing some wholesome and traditional family activities too.

Reindeer Food

Honestly, the thought of Christmas now a days is exhausting. What happened to just enjoying a few days off work, drinking and eating a bit too much in front of Christmas films for 3 days? Who invented Reindeer food and why, nearly 12 months on AM I STILL FINDING IT?

There is a competitive side to whose doing what, whose spending what and how you are spending your time. You find yourself very much trying to keep up with the hundreds and thousands of digital Jones’.

Social Media

Social Media has now inaugurated itself into our daily lives, we can do all of our Christmas shopping at a click of a button and share with the world what we have spent and how much for.

We get suggested crafts and bakes and see the world doing them, and feel we have too as well. If you aren’t baking cookies, making Christmas wreaths and visiting every Santa in Norfolk you can begin to feel as though you are letting down your children.

Boycott

It can be hard to step away from the norm, to not buy into the extravagance and competition of what Christmas has really become now. As a parent it can feel like you have a never ending list of expectations to fulfil and when you don’t you aren’t giving your children the Christmas they deserve.

FOMO

It can also be hard to put down the phone, to stop scrolling through the endless pics of Elf on the Shelf and the elaborately decorated Christmas tress everyone has. The fear of missing out, the fear you aren’t keeping up, you’re not good enough if you aren’t attending this event, doing this or have made your own Christmas scene out of recyclable materials.

Making Memories

As much as we want to ‘make memories’ that our children treasure forever, traditions that they pass onto their children should we really be saying enough is enough and get back to focusing on what is really important?

Should we just step back from social media and just enjoy Christmas the way we want to? The one which doesn’t come with unrealistic expectations, of the pressure that you have to do this, that and the other?

The one where we are rushing to get the perfect Instagram shot? The one where we have to share what we are eating and where we are.

Perhaps this year we should just sit back watching the Polar Express with our mince pies and just appreciate what is in the room in front of you rather than what isn’t?

Christmas comes but once a year, but let me tell you that you will be finding reindeer food all damn year long.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

Facebook

Instagram 

Twitter

LinkedIn Blog

 

Read more guest blogs here!

 

 

 

 

 


baby photographer Norfolk

Norfolk Parent Event Businesses

Norfolk Parent Event Businesses

When you are a parent, days and nights out aren’t quite the same as pre children are they? Where you would crave a long pub lunch by the river, you now want to know where the baby changing facilities are.

Nights out come with the inevitable hangover and somehow cramming into the pre baby night out mini skirt and going to a club doesn’t have the same appeal.

But, how and most importantly where do you go to get the much needed me time, playdates and night out that are parent friendly (accompanied by a few gins of course!)

Below you will find some amazing parent focused companies who arrange amazing meet ups with or without children, day and night so everyone will find something for them. Best bit of all?

They are all based in Norfolk! if you know of anymore please comment we'd love to discover more!

 

@NorwichMumbler

Your one stop shop for all things parenting. Family fun days at Norwich Castle? An active Facebook community? Reviews and information of all the best days out and family friendly facilities in the area? Norwich Mumbler really does have it all in a non-judgemental and welcoming environment, both on and offline.

@KnackeredandNorwich

Okay, I may be slightly biased with this one as I co-founded the social club but it is a monthly meet up in and around Norwich’s amazing coffee shops for parents, small businesses, freelancers and anyone else who wants to come along! It is a great platform to connect and network with other likeminded people and meet those people you’ve been following on Instagram for ages! There is normally a talk of sorts or skill share and highlighting causes close to our hearts like Harper’s Little Helpers and period poverty, most of all it’s a great chance to get pout the house, enjoy some great coffee and company!

@Wegotthissometimes

Emma has put together an amazing event company specifically targeted at giving parents the night of and bringing them some of the glitterati of Instagram right to their doorstep in Norwich. From Mother Pukka, The Unmumsy Mum and who can forget The Scummy Mummies? Unforgettable nights out for parents is the name of the game and Emma has certainly delivered again and again. Don’t forget to sign up for priority notice of new ticket releases!

 

@Mummaandmore

A local events company run by the lovely Sarah to showcase local small businesses and support working parents. With some brilliant events like Mumma Jumble and Mumma Market and not to mention the frankly amazing Women Supporting Women Facebook group this is one mumma on a mission to empower the working parents of Norfolk.

 

@TheParentandBabyShow

Baby shows seem a slightly out dated concept. The Parent and Baby Show have turned that on its head by bringing a regular, fun, and interactive show. With on hand advice, baby changing and feeding facilities, and some amazing local and national brands normally with a brilliant festival theme. There is also a PABS Business Hub over on FB and upcoming awards supporting local businesses!

With so many events, days out, and communities on offer in the local area you really are spoilt for choice and will find it hard to fit it all in!

Do you run or host a parent event businesses or organise regular meet ups?

We want to hear from you so we can add it and share it with our readers too!

 

Vicki and Jess


morning sickness

When morning sickness is 24/7 guest blog

When morning sickness is 24/7 guest blog - by Emma from  Adventure of Adam and HG reality Instagram

 

My first pregnancy

I craved for the pregnancy sickness to start. I didn’t feel pregnant until I had that first wave of nausea. At first I reveled in the fact that I felt sick - finally I was pregnant and going to be a Mummy. However, as the days wore on, the nausea became more and more debilitating. Then the vomiting started. I would vomit all night long, battle my way into work, vomit in my classroom cupboard, vomit all the way home, sleep for two hours and then repeat the process again. I tried everything - sea sickness bands, ginger, not eating, eating little and often but still the vomiting wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t believe that this was normal. Surely the human race wouldn’t have continued if women felt this ill. In desperation I went to my doctors. It was the first time I was introduced to the word Hyperemesis Gravidarum - extreme pregnancy sickness.

 

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Or HG, is a rare complication of pregnancy that affects around 1% of pregnant woman. Clinically, the condition is diagnosed as extreme nausea and/or vomiting that leads to dehydration and weight loss of more than 5% of pre-pregnancy weight. For me it felt like I was poisoned. I was unable to eat, drink, function in anyway and I needed round the clock care. I was vomiting over 30 times a day. I started on anti-sickness medication but by week 11 I was hospitalised due to dehydration.

 

My pregnancy with Adam was difficult to say the least. Although pregnancy sickness usually eases after the first trimester, my HG lasted for the entire 9 months. During the 245 days of nausea and vomiting I took over 2,200 anti-sickness tablets, spent a month in hospital and was bed bound due to the nausea. Any slight movement would lead me vomiting for hours. As a result of the difficult pregnancy, I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

I have always wanted a large family. During my pregnancy with Adam, I was resigned to having to go through HG again in order to have another child; HG returns in 80% of sufferers. However, my fear of not having another child outweighed my fear of HG. After 5 years of planning and mentally preparing to be ill for 9 months I fell pregnant with Willow. I took a pregnancy test on the Saturday and started anti-sickness medication that night but ended up in hospital on the Wednesday for IV fluids. The nausea and vomiting started much sooner and progressed much quicker second time round.

 

HG is not only physically debilitating but also mentally. Nine months is an extremely long time to feel so desperately ill. I couldn’t be a Mummy to my son and was fully dependent on my family for everything. I had suicidal thoughts during my pregnancy - I just wanted the nausea to end. Thankfully, this time round I was able to access steroid treatment which eased the vomiting. However, it did not ease the nausea which was still unrelenting day and night. To add further complications, I had pelvic pain (which required crutches and a wheelchair), Gestational Diabetes (where I needed insulin) and Sepsis (which led to hospitalisation). Needless to say I do not thrive during pregnancies!

 

I documented my HG pregnancy over on Instagram and you can see the reality of what HG sufferers have to go through in order to have children. I now have two beautiful children but know I am not physically or mentally strong enough to withstand another pregnancy.

 

If you or a friend is suffering from pregnancy sickness I would recommend using the services available at Pregnancy Sickness Support charity. The UK charity works on improving care, treatment and support for women suffering from Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP) and HG. They can provide one to one support through their network of volunteers, online support via their forum and assistance on their telephone line.

 

I would not have been able to get through my HG pregnancies without the support of my family, a lot of medication and without help from the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity. I became a trustee of the charity a few years ago and hope that women do not have to feel alone during this debilitating illness.

 

You can contact Pregnancy Sickness Support via their website, on Facebook, Instagram or access their telephone information line on 024 7638 2020.

Useful websites:

https://www.instagram.com/hgreality/

https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/PregnancySicknessSupport

https://www.instagram.com/pregnancysicknesssupport/

Emma