This is my third update during my Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancy. You can read weeks 0-8 and 9-12 so far. All of these posts were written on Instgram during my second HG pregnancy and demonstrate the reality of what some women have to go through to have a child.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum weeks 13-18
28th September Glucose Tolerance Test
Yesterday I managed to survive the Glucose Tolerance Test to see if I have Gestational Diabetes. It was a tough day but managed to complete the test without vomiting.
The test was done because I have had too much glucose in my urine throughout the pregnancy – even when I have been dehydrated. I also show other symptoms such as weeing constantly and sleeping too much. This on top of my steroids means they wanted me tested asap.
During my last hg pregnancy I completed the test twice but was much further into the pregnancy. The results came back borderline. Last time the test was completed at my gp and I had to drink Lucozade during the test. This time I had to go to hospital and drink a syrup. I have only been able to tolerate fizzy drinks so it didn’t go down well.
They also struggled to get blood from me as I was dehydrated. This resulted in a delay of 45 minutes – not good when you have been fasting for so long. I was able to take my antisickness tablets as normal though.
So now I wait for the results. We did manage to buy Adam a pipe cleaner teddy bear from the hospital craft stall and a tiny Christmas decoration for baby too.
30th September – Feeling sorry for myself today.
Today I should be in London with my blogging best friend Play And Learn EveryDay attending the Britmums live conference. It’s the annual event I look forward to. One of the benefits of blogging is the social side and the wonderful people you meet. Instead I am trying to get my head around having to inject myself everyday until May 2018 (6 weeks after giving birth). I am having to inject myself because Hyperemesis Gravidarium has left me bed bound. My symptoms seemed to have worsened the past 24 hours and I can barely keep my eyes open. So I am writing today off and shall instead try and focus on what I shall be doing this time next year instead.
1st October – Friendship
My HG friend Sarah from Pineapple Lobster must have read my mind about how low I was feeling because this beautiful card arrived yesterday. I love PineappleLobster designs but she chose me a card with no food on knowing how sensitive HG stomachs are!
Friendships have made a huge difference during this pregnancy. Last time I hid away for 9 months and no one knew how bad I was. This time my friends are keeping me going.
Having a friend with HG isn’t easy. There is so little you can do to help and most things can be vomiting triggers. However you can make such a difference to an HG sufferers life.
HG is such an isolating and debilitating condition. Life is put on hold completely and even the smallest tasks seem impossible. Friendships remind you that there is a life beyond these four walls and one day I will be back in the land of living. Here are a few ways my friends have helped:
* care packages – magazines, safe food, colouring books and small presents for my son are wonderful surprises to receive
* mail – everyone loves getting things through the post – even more so when it is from a friend
* survival items. The lovely Mum In The Madhouse sent me a oil diffuser and it has been a godsend with helping me cope with the smells at home. It feels so good to be able to walk past my kitchen door to the toilet without vomiting
* DVDs – a friend lets me borrow a set of DVDs from her each week. I have now got to the point where I can watch something on a portable DVD player and it makes the time go quicker.
* texts – these mean a lot to me. Just a short message to keep in touch. I love hearing what everyone else is up to and helps me distract myself. A big thank you to Play And Learn Every Day who kept me up to date throughout the whole blogging conference yesterday!
This list doesn’t include all the offers of support with looking after Adam etc. It is just someone of the ways you can let an HG sufferer know that they are not alone.
HG means even the smallest and easiest tasks become difficult. A friend bought me a colouring book with some gel pens. This has been my progress over 2 weeks! I can literally only do a few seconds colouring before I have to pack away. My mind finds it impossible to focus and concentrate on staying within the lines. My hand finds it difficult to grip the pen and the slight motion of colouring increases the nausea. Who would have thought such a simple task could be so difficult. I am persevering though. It may take me the entire pregnancy to colour in one page at this rate!
How many pillows are too many pillows when trying to sleep upright?
My nausea is just too intense if I lay flat so I try and sleep upright as much as possible. This is one of the many reasons why we borrowed a single bed so I could sleep downstairs with all my pillows. How do you get comfortable enough to sleep with hyperemesis?
Celebrating on my Spewing Mummy HG pregnancy calendar for reaching the second trimester! One trimester down, two more to go!
I received some wonderful happy post from a fellow HG sufferer. I can’t wait to put little one in this gorgeous top from The Bunting Tree This baby will certainly be a shining rainbow after the storm of the past few months. .
I don’t know if I can put this into words but I shall attempt to. HG is a cruel condition. Not only is it me who is suffering but I know that my fellow HG friends will be too. .
I know that me announcing my HG pregnancy will result in my HG friends reliving the trauma of their own pregnancies. It is awful that the people who understand the condition the most (because they have been through it) find it the hardest to support their fellow HG friends because of reliving those memories. .
I always find it easier to support someone on the PSS Forum who I have never met compared to a sufferer I would consider a friend. I hate that my condition triggers nausea and brings on flashbacks in my friends.
I feel blessed to have met many HG survivors. They are incredibly strong women who go to hell and back to bring their children into the world.
Who knew that a toothpaste can become the devil during the evening?
During my last HG pregnancy brushing my teeth actually gave me relief from vomiting and nausea. Every time I would vomit (20/30/40 times a day) I would brush my teeth. It took away the awful taste and made me feel human for a few minutes. I found out after my pregnancy that this was the wrong thing to do. I was brushing away the enamel and causing long term damage. You shouldn’t brush your teeth (if you absolutely must) for at least 15 minutes after a vomit and still only 2-3 times a day.
Sadly during this HG pregnancy brushing my teeth is a retching trigger. I can just about cope in the morning but the evening the retching became so bad that I have to admit I have temporarily given up and no longer brush my teeth in the evening. This is such a strange feeling for me. Was teeth brushing a trigger or a relief for you?
A huge thank you to Sweary Mum for giving us the gift of playtime together. We both loved our happy post!
I have missed playing with Adam so much and it felt wonderful to be a normal mum again for a few minutes – admittedly playing a game on my bed but playing nonetheless.
As today is World mental health day I thought I would share a photo of the time I opened up about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was for a national newspaper article to highlight the aftermath of my HG pregnancy.
I was diagnosed with PTSD a few months after Adam was born. I started therapy 5 months after giving birth but for me the trauma was still to fresh and painful. I gave up on the therapy too quickly. As a result I had to live with PTSD longer.
The first thing on my to do list for preparing for another HG pregnancy was to seek therapy again for PTSD. I saw a therapist weekly for several months and we worked through my most traumatic memories. One of the hardest things with dealing with the aftermath of HG is that there usually isn’t one or two key points that were traumatic. It was 9 months of traumatic events as well as an accumulation of emotions throughout that time. However the therapy put me in a better position when dealing with round two of HG.
What I hadn’t prepared for was how quickly my mental health deteriorated this time. By week 9 I had termination desires and suicidal thoughts. Thankfully I was aware these were all HG related and the team at the hospital recognised the importance of resolving my HG symptoms as quickly as possible. I don’t think I would be here if they hadn’t done so.
Opening up to the doctors and admitting my feelings was incredibly hard. I felt that I would be judged as a bad parent. However by doing so I got better treatment and felt I could carry on with the pregnancy. .
Do not underestimate the importance of your mental health. HG takes its toll on you both physically and emotionally and it is important to vocalise any mental health concerns you have with your health care professional. Be open and honest.
Please note I do not usually look like this. The newspaper arranged for hair, make up and wardrobe for the day and they managed to turn me into a worse version of myself!
Got the dreading phone call from school today – Adam had been sick. Thankfully it turned out that he vomited after a coughing fit so luckily doesn’t have the sickness bug. Amazingly Adam was up for an afternoon of colouring in.
I’ve been dreading Adam getting ill and me not being able to look after him but luckily Adam was his usual self this afternoon. So Nana had two people to look after today!
This week the Duchess of Cambridge made her first public appearance since announcing her third HG pregnancy. Tomorrow I am hoping to make my first public appearance since August! .
The reason being Adam is representing his school tomorrow in a cross country event. Adam is a runner. He has been since he could run at 9 months old. Many times we have nearly lost him as a toddler because he could run too fast. We always joked that he was in training for school sport events. .
This is a video of Adam competing in July when he won the boys Reception race against neighbouring schools. Tomorrow the course will be longer and he will be up against 50 other children. He will be competing against Year 1 and Year 2 boys. Unfortunately though he is ill. This nasty cough just won’t go away. He is determined to run though.
All week I have been fully resting in preparation to attempt to watch Adam race tomorrow. I am hoping to do it without the aid of a wheelchair too. I feel I will be washed out all weekend but it will be worth it.
Well Adam and I both survived today!
Despite being awake all night with this cough Adam can’t shift it was touch and go this morning whether he would even race or not. However I have one determined little boy. He raced against 50 other year 1 and 2 boys. Unfortunately Adam took his pep talk of pacing yourself too literally and jogged around the course. It wasn’t until towards the end he did his usual sprint. Not bad for a first attempt at cross country though!
I survived my first time out in public since August. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my mum and the wheelchair. I admit I found it harder than I thought I would. It was strange being around so many people after all this time. Thankfully I was with friends who understand my condition so I didn’t have to explain anything. It also helped bring outside. I was surprised how many nausea triggers I came across too. I shall now spend the next 48 hours recovering but it was worth it to see Adam.
14th October – Sick bowls
You can’t have HG without a discussion on sick bowls! Do you have a favourite one? .
I’ve never been someone who can vomit down the toilet. It has to be a sick bowl for me. Last pregnancy I could only vomit if I was sitting on the toilet with my trusty blue Ikea mixing bowl. I couldn’t wait to get rid of that bowl after Adam was born.
When preparing for another HG pregnancy I spent a lot of time searching for new sick bowls. I bought a range of different colours and sizes. Ironically when we were in Ikea I decided to buy the same blue mixing bowl just incase. .
Fast forward to this pregnancy and for some reason I could only vomit when sitting on the bed with one leg on a foot stool. I tried a few of the new bowls but I couldn’t get on with them. Any other colour made my eyes go strange! So I returned to the blue Ikea bowl yet again. .
With HG you can never go far without your sick bowl. I have them stored in our bathroom and next to my bed (the only two places I go in our house) yet still have to carry one between my bed and the bathroom just incase. .
Do you have a preferred position to be sick in? What is your favourite sick bowl? Non HG sufferers/survivors will find this conversation very strange!
16th October – HG and friendship
This lovely card arrived from my wonderful friend. It got me thinking just how different this HG pregnancy is compared to last time friendship wise. Last time I was by myself for 9 months. I would have the odd text but that was it. This time someone contacts me at least once a day. I don’t feel as isolated this pregnancy which makes the HG easier to deal with.
The support I get from fellow HG sufferers via Pregnancy Sickness Support also makes a huge difference. Having people who have been there and got the HG t shirt makes the symptoms easier to understand. Who would be in your HG cheerleading team?
17th October – Good old constipation.
I haven’t talked about my favourite subject for a while. Now unfortunately it isn’t because the constipation is cured – far from it. Ondanstron causes severe constipation and despite following a health diet (thanks to steroids and medication for enabling me to eat) and drinking plenty of fluids I am still constipated. Warning tmi post! .
I thought I would share some of the things that have been helping me.
First of all a little step. This raises my legs and is apparently a better position in order to poo. I find it much easier when I have the stool.
Vaseline – the small lip balm version. Believe me I have tried them all but this tin works best. Sadly I haven’t been able to poo without manual extraction since falling pregnant. The cement just won’t come out unaided. I’m over the fear of it now although most poos are still traumatic.
Tomorrow I find out if I have prolapsed. It feels like my insides are falling out whenever I sit on the loo. This obviously makes pushing a poo out very tricky. So I press a wad of loo roll on the front half of me and this seems to help.
Andrex Washlets have been a saviour. These are flushable wet wipes which makes it easier and gentler to clean with.
Going everyday. I never have the natural urge to go for a poo. I have no idea how long I could actually go for. However everyday I make myself go. I don’t strain but it means a determined effort to go. .
What would your constipation tips for Hg sufferers be? Let’s break the taboo of the subject – after all knowledge is power and makes the condition less fearful.
Shout out to all HG sufferers with kids on half term holiday! It is going to be a long week!!! .
I have a new found respect for any sufferers going through HG with kids at home all the time. I do not know how you do it. Today was the start of Adam’s half term holiday. Whether it was just bad timing or a combination of steroid reduction and a suspected chest infection, today had been harder than normal. I’ve realised how much noise is a trigger for my nausea. My days are usually very quiet but not with Adam around! .
Over on our blog I have several HG friendly play activities suitable for occupying toddlers. Theses activities involve no preparation, mess, smells, food and promote independent play. I hope they can help some sufferers this half term holiday.
25th October (17 weeks pregnant) – Nausea hell
Sorry for the radio silence. I have found this week difficult. It is hard to pin point the reason for my increased crippling nausea – it is probably a combination of these factors:
* A reduction in my steroids – I have struggled going down to 15mg and today I was meant to go down to 10mg. * half term holiday – which means Adam and my husband are at home. The increased noise and the sound of the tv through the door is driving me to distraction! * change of routine – as a result of half term I am staying at home instead of going to my mums. I haven’t left this bed (apart from bathroom trips) since Friday) * change of diet – my husband is in charge of my food so I am living off microwave meals
* my bump is HUGE and getting uncomfortable. I can feel baby moving all the time which increases the nausea
I’ve also slept a lot. I sleep soundly in the morning strangely – from 6am to 10.30am. I can hear the boys playing in the distance but my body lets me sleep. I am hoping it is just a bad week and not a relapse. Thankfully no vomiting – just crippling nausea.
28th October – HG and missing special occasions
It is a given that when you are suffering from HG you end up missing important occasions. Today is our 7th wedding anniversary. 7 years ago today we got married in Rome and then spent the next day in our wedding attire visiting all the tourist attractions in the amazing city.
Unfortunately this is the second time I have missed our wedding anniversary due to HG. 6 years ago today I was at breaking point with HG. I was 13 weeks pregnant with Adam and had spent the previous week in hospital. I was naive then and thought after a week in hospital I would be cured. I spent a week at home deteriorating. I was determined to be at home for our anniversary but could barely move. I then spent another week in hospital due to severe dehydration. HG has since put a dampener on celebrating our anniversary.
I did however manage to arrange something special for today – all will be revealed very soon. However as a result I am suffering badly tonight. I have the sick bowl beside me as my nausea scale is a 9/10. I think tonight will be a long one.
So the reason I was suffering so badly last night because yesterday I left the house! .
We went for a gender scan to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.
Make your predictions below – are we having a boy or a girl? All will be revealed next week!
Sorry – no gender reveal video tonight. I’m too ill to edit it this evening. It took everything out of me just to set the video up today.
HG has robbed me of so much during this pregnancy. I haven’t been able to do any of the fun typical things to do with having a baby. HG has even robbed me of my day to day existence. So I was determined to do something today I would have done if it wasn’t for HG. After all I wouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t do a gender reveal video! However I am paying the price this evening. I am also on my last few steroid tablets so know things can only get worse.
GENDER REVEAL VIDEO
It had to be a Star Wars themed gender reveal! Watch to find out if we are having a boy or girl…. Hyperemesis Gravidarium has robbed me of my life for the past few months and means I can’t enjoy my pregnancy. I was determined to make this video – one battle won against HG. It is by no means perfect but the best I can do whilst clutching a sick bowl.
30 Fragmin injections down – 195 to go (6 weeks after giving birth). I’ve stopped injecting them into my stomach because the bruising got too much just after 10 injections. However each of my leg is black and blue and very sore. It is surprising how painful it is to stand up when you have bruised legs. Yet another joy of HG.
Can you believe 18 weeks into my HG pregnancy and my mum had to fight for medication today! .
On Monday I realised my Cyclizine isn’t on repeat prescription. I phoned my doctors and the pharmacist said she would put it through. I was able to order the rest online as normal. .
Today Mum went to pick up my medication and realised the cyclizine wasn’t there. She asked the pharmacist who checked and realised the doctor hadn’t authorised any. On the notes it said I shouldn’t be taking cyclizine and ondanstron together and therefore wasn’t able to have any cyclizine. No phone call to tell me! .
Now luckily Mum knows my medications and knew I had run out of cyclizine that morning and was already suffering the consequences. She also knew that the hospital originally prescribed the combination of meds. Luckily the pharmacist phoned another doctor, explained the situation and was able to issue it straight away. .
Had that first doctor checked through my records they would have realised I have been on this combination (and others) since week 6. They would have also seen I was on the same combination from week 9-birth with my last pregnancy. Unfortunately the doctor simply saw the ondanstron and thought someone couldn’t possibly still be ill enough to have any other medication. Sadly they do not know HG.
I was lucky today. I had my Mum to argue for me and we have experience behind us to know what works. Plenty of other HG sufferers are not so lucky and suffer more as a consequence. One day HG treatment will not be down to luck or down to arguing your case.
5th August was the last time I felt human. 3 months today was the last time I was up and about like any other person. That day I took a pregnancy test and I have been ill ever since. 93 days of suffering from HG.
I would love to say the time has gone quickly but every day has dragged. Those first few weeks were pure hell before I started on steroids and four other anti sickness medication. I always assumed though that if you got the sickness under control then I would be able to lead a normal life. 93 days into HG sentence and I am still unable to look after myself. I am still bed bound. I still can not look after my 5 year old son. I still feel like death warmed up. In three months I have managed one parenting job. Two days ago I managed to wipe Adam’s bum. I celebrated!
It scares me to think I still have 150 days until baby could be here. In my last pregnancy other complications arose in the second half of the pregnancy along with the third trimester HG relapse. I know that I am not out of the woods and there is still such a long way to go.
How did you get through the torture of waiting until your due date? I feel I need some more coping strategies.
Today I took my last steroid tablet. For me these tablets have been a life saver. At 9 weeks when I had a mental breakdown I was finally prescribed them (in addition to 4 other anti sickness tablets). I was dubious about taking them but it was as if someone turned off the vomiting tap. I haven’t vomited since. .
My appetite came back, I could drink again and I no longer had any food aversions. Don’t get me wrong – I was still bed bound, dependent on others to look after me BUT I didn’t need to be admitted to hospital anymore due to dehydration.
Over the course of several weeks I have been lowering my dosage of steroids each week. The past couple of weeks have been hard and I’ve noticed some symptoms worsening. Then I went down to 5mg and felt like a bus had hit me.
I googled to see if there was any advice about coming off of steroids and discovered about steroid withdrawal.
When you are on steroids for a long period of time your adrenal glands (small glands situated just above the kidneys) no longer produce cortisol, the natural corticisteroid hormone, produced by the body to fight illness and cope with stress. Symptoms of withdrawal include weakness, severe fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and joint pain. .
At least I now know why I feel so rough again. I can barely keep my eyes open at the moment and have even less energy than I have for the past 3 months. I am hoping these symptoms do not last too long and then HG will ease for a few weeks during my second trimester – still living in hope!
You can read the rest of my Hyperemesis Gravidarum Diary by clicking on the images below: