We got the shock of our lives one morning in February. I’d been feeling a bit strange and couldn’t work out why. So I thought, let’s rule one thing out!
So, at 7:30am, half asleep I peed on a stick and low and behold POSITIVE!
We just couldn’t believe it. How could this have happened (we know how) but you get what I’m trying to say!
We were all sorts of happy, excited, nervous, but mostly shocked. Especially considering I would have to fit into a wedding dress in a few months time.
What we didn’t realise, was how hard the next 3 months would be…..
I knew that there would be some sort of sickness. I mean, hormonal changes, etc but I had no idea just how bad it would be.
Welcome to the world of Hyperemesis or severe morning sickness.
I’m not going to bore you with all the scientific details. But I’ll drop this in, courtesy of NHS website. You can read the full article here
Symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum
HG is much worse than the normal nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (“morning sickness”).
Signs and symptoms of HG include:
- prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting – some women report being sick up to 50 times a day
- dehydration – not having enough fluids in your body because you can’t keep drinks down; if you’re drinking less than 500ml a day, you need to seek help
- ketosis – a serious condition that results in the build-up of acidic chemicals in the blood and urine; ketones are produced when your body breaks down fat, rather than glucose, for energy
- weight loss
- low blood pressure (hypotension) when standing
The first time….
The first time I realised that this is what was happening to me, I had been vomiting for over 36 hours. Every 20 minutes. In the end I called the out of hours doctor, I got a swift injection of cyclizine in my butt cheek, and was sent home. It had stopped, for all of around 3 days.
The next time, again I had been vomiting every 20 minutes for nearly 2 days. I went to my GP, told him I hadn’t peed in over 24 hours, I couldn’t keep any fluids down, thus making it difficult to take the anti sickness tablets, so what did he do? Here have some different anti-sickness tablets. What a wally, I had already told him I couldn’t swallow anything and his suggestion was “swallow these tablets”.
This time I was admitted onto the ward in the hospital via A&E they were absolutely amazing. I was put on fluids (a bag every 4 hours, anti sickness injection every 6 hours and a blood thinner) as I was severely dehydrated and suffering with the above mentioned “ketosis”, this time I had lost nearly a stone in weight.
I was very poorly. I was sent home the next day having had clear pee, but this time with anti sickness tablets and that was that. End of the sickness, or so I thought.
During this visit, we got to see baby for the first time. One thing they wanted to do was rule out twins. Now that would have been a shock! But no, just 1 little tiny baby. 8 weeks and 5 days old. Looked like a chicken nugget on screen! ha!
The last time…
The last time was most definitely the worst. Although I only lost 11lbs this time. I was vomiting every 10 minutes for 52 hours. I had called my midwife and she said get in touch with the doctor an get them to send you into hospital. Since it was after hours, a quick call to the out of hours doctor and within the hour I was waiting to see them.
She was amazing, she dipped my pee and decided yes, you need to be put on fluids, and soon. I had to wait about 1/2 an hour but I was put on the ante-natal ward, and swiftly jabbed with every needle possible. Fluids 2 hourly, and they even had to check my vomit. Eew. It was horrible, because all that was left in my stomach was acid, this was burning the inside of my throat and making it bleed.
By 10:30pm I’d had 2 bags of fluids, I had seen the doctor and I was finally able to get some sleep, the anti sickness injections worked and boy did I feel better already.
It was an odd night, the machine that regulated the fluids was playing up, deciding it would throw a wobbler every few hours. The nurses came in and sorted it for me. Bless them, I felt awful. They assured me though, that all was OK and to get some rest.
10am the next morning came, the doctor came through and told me…
Miss Francis, you are still at maximum dehydration, if you don’t start helping yourself your baby won’t stand a chance, and it could lead to other complications for you.
I had to start drinking. I had been taking little sips throughout the night, but clearly that wasn’t enough. They filled my jug and I began taking in water, still in small amounts but more frequently.
FINALLY I needed the loo. And they had to measure all this too. The keytones were lessening and things were looking up. I had a visit from my work colleagues who brought me some flowers, and I had eaten. I felt so much better.
Emily, a 30 weeks pregnant midwife was looking after me, she was absolutely amazing. So cheerful, so full of energy, the exact opposite of what I was at the time. I couldn’t wish for anyone better.
By 6pm I was heading home, my mum picked me up and took me home to my own bed. I was still absolutely exhausted.
Thankfully I’ve not had to be admitted to hospital with the dreaded sickness again. But I am religiously taking my anti sickness tablets.
When my alarm goes off in work, my colleagues shout
I am now 19 weeks along and getting what I need, a bit of exercise, a healthy diet and some little fluttery movements in my belly.
While I’m here, I owe Idris and apology for having all sorts of people watching him for me, Thank you to Iain for looking after me, and My mum for telling me that everything was going to be OK. Turns out, it is pretty OK after all.
Roll on September…and meeting our little Welsh baby