Here at Bunny Bumpkin we read with interest and sympathy of Kate Middletons extreme morning sickness. Founder of Bunny Bumpkin Crysta Burridge knows only too well that this condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum is not something confined to mornings only.
In this blog Crysta shares her experience of Hyperemesis Gravidarum in two pregnancies and also talks about why she decided to help with the HG charity Pregnancy Sickness Support.
Many women worry about suffering from morning sickness during pregnancy. Before becoming pregnant I knew that both my mother and sister had been hospitalised for sickness and dehydration during pregnancy, but I never really fully understood the severity of it, let alone the medical term “hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)”. I hoped that it wouldn’t happen to me and I might just get a bit of nausea, which is quite normal. Unfortunately I was one of the 1% of women who suffer sickness to the extreme. Imagine your worst hangover ever and multiply it by 100 and that is what it is like. I suffered HG on both pregnancies.
After my first pregnancy I didn’t think I could experience anything worse. However my second pregnancy told me that I was very wrong. The sickness started at about 6 weeks. It would start in the morning and continue all day and night. I would even wake up to be sick.
I soon began losing weight and worried what this was doing to my baby. The GP gave me the anti-sickness drug cyclizine, but I could not keep it down. Before long I was admitted to hospital with dehydration. (This was to be the first of six admissions).
The sight of food, even an advert on a billboard or in a magazine would make me heave. My sense of smell became hypersensitive and I could not go into the kitchen because the smell of the water made me sick. It sounds crazy and I honestly felt like I was going mad. I dreaded eating because I knew what would happen next.
At its worst my husband counted me being sick 40 times in one day. My body felt like it was shutting down on me. I just wanted to go to bed and not get out of it until it was all over. It put an enormous strain on the family and I felt really guilty.
The only time I was not sick was when I was in hospital being fed by a drip but even this was a stressful experience. I spent hours in A&E waiting to be re-admitted after being sent home from hospital too early (because they needed the bed). After my husband practically had to carry me to the car after being discharged, he kicked up a fuss. (He had to take me back to hospital the next day.) After that I was allowed to stay until I got my strength back.
Because the cyclizine didn’t stop the sickness the hospital tried new drugs and this was really difficult because I worried about the harm they could do my baby.
Finally they found that a drug used for chemotherapy related sickness seemed to have some effect. This didn’t stop the sickness but it reduced it so I could go home. The last time I was sick was during labour so it had lasted seven and a half months.
I decided to share my experience here because I want people to know that HG is not simply just a bit of sickness that you should just get on with. It is a condition that a minority of women suffer and for some through much of their pregnancy. It is not fully understood why it occurs and there does not appear to be many medical professionals who have experience and knowledge in this field. Women need the support of their family and friends to get them through a very difficult period in their lives. The physical symptoms usually cease after your baby is born, but the emotional experience can remain for a long time afterwards.
I am blessed with two beautiful, healthy children and I thank my lucky stars for them both. When you hold your baby in your arms for the first time it is like a switch in your body that makes you feel “normal” again. Then you know that it was all worth it.
Finally I would like to mention that I later discovered that there is a charity that offers support for women suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is called Pregnancy Sickness and Support and there is a link to the website below. My business Bunny Bumpkin Maternity, Nursing and Babywear has chosen this charity as our nominated charity for our ebay shop and our website.On selected items a percentage of our sale price will go to help this worthy cause. Follow us on facebook for details of which products will contribute to Pregnancy and Sickness Support. We hope to be doing more work in the future to support this charity.
The two beautiful bunnies pictured above are Millie (left) born 17/5/2012 and Jake (right) born 24/2/2010
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