This nightmare happened with my first son. I longed to get pregnant and was thrilled to finally be expecting my first child. But at six weeks I was knocked for six with morning sickness. For the record – and for anyone giving ‘tips’ such as eating bananas/having reflexology/getting a friend to come in to visit/watching TV – to feel better. This was not normal morning sickness or even severe pregnancy sickness. This is a situation where you cannot eat or drink anything – even the tiniest sips of water. You do not sleep, you don’t doze off or have a break from the constant nausea. You care about nothing. You are not interested in speaking with a friend, you are too ill to even glimpse the television or listen to the radio. In short, you are vomiting continually – all the time – and there is no respite.
People say that they know what it is like – but extremely severe sickness or to give its correct name, Hyperemesis Gravidarum – is hell.
Like the Duchess, I was incredibly slim when I got pregnant first time. I am 5ft 7″ and weighed just under 8st when I conceived. Unfortunately, I was so ill that by 20 weeks pregnant I weighed under 71/2 stones…
I first ended up in hospital to be treated for severe sickness at just eight weeks. I was literally sick day and night for about three days. Exhausted and on the verge of passing out unconscious, I don’t recall much about going in, except my GP took one look at me and said I had to be admitted to hosptital straightaway. When questioned, my family realised I hadn’t got up out of bed for a very long time – in short I had not gone to the toilet for over 24 hours.
After about four days of total best rest and being fed minute amounts of food, I came home. But within a week I collapsed and was back in again. This time I was given injections to stop me being sick. I was also put on a drip. I stayed like that, unable to move, for a week.
When finally I came out of hospital, and following around two weeks of solid bedrest at home, I would struggle into the office – I was a senior reporter on the Luton News – only to be so ill that I had to simply turn around and come home again. My employers were absolutely fantastic though and never made me feel guilty – although I felt absolutely wretched. I also felt odd – why wasn’t I like other mums who sailed through their pregnancies?
I would like to say it disappeared at 12 weeks or that ginger biscuits or other things helped – but nothing did. Basically I was bed-bound for weeks. I’d have a couple of days when I’d be ok and then I’d get sick again. I managed not to go back to hospital by not pushing myself at all and simply staying in bed when I felt ill.
Luckily by the time I had my routine 20-week scan I began to feel better. I would say though that I turned up for my scan wearing my size eight jeans – there wasn’t a baby bump in sight. Miraculously though the scan showed a perfectly healthy baby!
From then on I blossomed. Although I never really had a bump until just at the end of my pregnancy – I longed to look pregnant but was so tiny – incredibly giving birth was a doddle. Jamie, 7Ib 3oz, was born after a very easy four hour delivery. Despite my early pregnancy woes, he was completely healthy and I absolutely adored him straightaway, taking to motherhood with no problem at all.
After such a nightmare, the decision to go for another baby was difficult. But I had barely any sickness with son Jon who arrived 22 months later. And with their little sister Lauren I was sick, vomiting every morning for three months, but it was absolutely nothing compared to my first pregnancy.
I consider myself lucky that I didn’t go through my first pregnancy being sick all the way through. Tragically I have done stories where in extreme circumstances women have decided they cannot continue with the pregnancy.
Jamie is now a strapping 6ft man aged 24!
I am sure The Duchess of Cambridge won’t be reading this blog but if by some chance she and anyone else who goes through this awful experience is, take comfort from these facts: your baby is fine and you will come through it.
Have you suffered from severe morning sickness? Let us know about your experiences below…