Morning Sickness! Not just the morning, it's all day long!

Morning Sickness, that's a complete lie it's all bloody day and night!!!

I feel so blessed to be having a third baby, to be adding to our family, and this time definitely completing our family! Three feels like it is the magic number for us and there is something quite magical about knowing that this is the last time I will experience all the pregnancy excitement of feeling the baby kick for the first time, watching it move around in my belly and watching my kids kiss my belly and make promises about how they will look after it when it arrives! However, we have been given a bit of a shock this time as I have had severe morning sickness. I say ‘we’ as the effect of it has not just been on me, it has affected us all as a family.

 

This is not just a bit of morning sickness

In my first two pregnancies, I experienced nausea, but mostly only if I didn’t eat regularly and certainly only between week six and ten. By the time I was entering my second trimester I had that renewed energy and any sign of feeling sicky had passed.

This time around I have experienced severe morning sickness. Prior to Christmas much like everyone else around me I felt really run down and had days of utter exhaustion and sickness and then the week before Christmas I thought I had flu. I was absolutely bed bound, vomiting and unable to get out of bed and unable to keep anything down. After Christmas it occurred again, and again. At this point it clicked that this wasn’t flu, it was morning sickness. Completely debilitating, dehydrating and depressing.

Finally, feeling faint, with a pretty low blood pressure and unable to stop being sick I ended up at the doctors where they prescribed me anti sickness tablets. Whilst I am now 18 weeks and feeling a whole lot better I do still have days that completely floor me meaning I am confined to bed and manage the sickness with my prescribed pills.

 

It's not just me, it's affecting us as a family

Running a very small business has meant that my husband, business partner and co-parenting hero has had to run the show! It has been perhaps an insight in to what having a newborn is going to be like, how we need to plan for the first few weeks where I am going to have to take some absence away from the business. It has also been so frustrating as the sickness has meant that I have literally laid in bed keeping as still as possible, looking at my phone or laptop made my head hurt and even reading a book was a no go! Therefore offering much input in to the business was so hard. 

Why can’t I just make myself feel better I kept asking myself and my motivation for anything other than lying still and giving my kids a hug was absolutely zero. I also found it really hard to be excited about the baby and in all honesty had feelings that we had made a huge mistake having another baby and it saddens me so much to say that I regretted being pregnant. We waited to tell the boys that we were expecting a baby as I kept crying everytime I thought about it. I was so desperate for this to be a positive memory for them yet I couldn't muster up any enthusiasm. 

Whilst I was being ill Andrew was having nightmares about something awful happeining to me. He would wake in the night in a cold sweat after having vivid dreams about my demise. He could only put it down to seeing me so ill during pregnancy and worrying about things. He was willing me to get better for the sake of both our mental health! 

 

What is Hypermesis Gravidarum

For a really comprehensive explanation and lots of great advice please visit www.pregnancysicknesssupport.co.uk. They explain that nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is a common condition affecting approximately 70% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent. About 45% of pregnant women suffer from vomiting with nausea, while an additional 25% have nausea alone. A more severe form of NVP is a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is difficult to estimate the prevalence as it can go undiagnosed; however, a rough guide is 1% to 1.5% of pregnancies involve this debilitating condition.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum or severe morning sickness affects more people than you may think with around 1 in 100-150 women having to be admitted to hospital due to the severity of their illness. Mostly due to dehydration. There is however help and my experience at the GP was very positive, the doctor took one look at me and was so sympathetic and said that he would do whatever was needed to help me feel better, immediately prescribing my anti sickness tablets, taking urine samples and followed up with a phone call a couple of days later. If you don’t find the doctor to be helpful then ask to see someone else or contact your midwife.  I also found the website Pregnancy Sickness Support website really helpful with some good advice.

 

Whilst I am by no means an expert I do have some tips that may be helpful if you have morning sickness.

Whenever you are able to make sure that you eat. Eat what you fancy, this may well be food high in carbohydrate, if this is what your body is craving then it is most likely that this is what it needs.

Drink lots of fluids whenever you are able. If you are vomiting then drinks like Lucozade can really help to give your body back some lost sugars and energy.

Eat regularly, even if you can only manage small amounts at a time. Always carry snacks with you. Cereal bars and bananas are often easy to stomach. I found smoothies were also good.

Avoid smells that make it worse. Certain perfume or body wash can make you feel worse.

Get plenty of rest, being tired can make your sickness worse so try and go to bed early.

Take a multi-vitamin pill to help you get any of the missing nutriants that you and your baby need.

 

My advice if you are the other half of someone with morning sickness

Be sympathetic, this may sound obvious, but it is important.

Avoid cooking smells and be helpful and prepare food for them. This may mean picking up the pace and doing it quickly as the sense of urgency for food is often great. 

Keep offering fluids

Help out with the housework. It can often be difficult for someone with Hypermesis to look after themselves so putting washing on, changing the bed linen and generally helping out may be totally necessary.

If you feel that partner is unable to stop being sick and seems dehydrated make the call to the doctor or 111 on their behalf.
 

I am now feeling so much better and grateful that I have not had this severe morning sickness for my entire pregnancy, but I am so aware that this is often the case for many people. I hope that sharing my experience has meant that if you are suffering that you feel less alone. 

 

Love Laura xx