When morning sickness is 24/7 Norfolk guest blogger 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 women. Clinically, the condition is diagnosed as extreme nausea and/or vomiting that leads to dehydration and weight loss of more than 5% of the pre-pregnancy weight. For me, it felt like I was poisoned. I was unable to eat, drink, function in any way 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 the hospital and was bed bound due to 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 a Saturday and started an anti-sickness medication that night but ended up in hospital on the Wednesday for IV fluids. The nausea/ morning sickness and vomiting started much sooner and progressed much quicker the second time around.


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 morning sickness 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 morning 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.

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