This is our beautiful little girl Mia. She is our absolute world and we would do anything to make her happy. In June 2012 I fell pregnant with Mia. What should have been one of the happiest experiences of my life turned into a living nightmare.
I was one of the unlucky statistics, one of the 1-2% of women who suffer with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). HG is a pregnancy complication which causes severe nausea and vomiting and can result in weight loss and severe dehydration. Before the 1950s HG was the leading cause of maternal death.
I was sick 30-40 times a day, each day, for about 6 months. From 6 months the sickness was better but I was still sick every day until the day I went into labour. I couldn’t keep food or water down. I lost about three stone, called an ambulance four times, was put on about 12 different types of tablets and was hospitalised more than 10 times. My liver and kidneys were struggling and I had to have intravenous fluids. My body had gone into starvation mode.
I was a human pin cushion – I was emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted and bedridden for the first 4 months. I never thought severe dehydration would make you feel so ill, on a couple of occasions I felt as though I was losing consciousness. When my husband was at work I moved in with my parents so they could look after me. It was a struggle to drink a glass of water and even something as simple as brushing my hair or having a shower made me feel horrendously ill!
I became fully dependant on everyone around me.
I was referred to a specialist and I remember sitting in the waiting room with my bucket. I broke down in front of him, begging him to make it stop and to help me. He said the only way to make it stop was for me to have an abortion, this was a serious suggestion made because I was so ill. The specialist said he would fully support me if this is the route I wanted to take.
I was an emotional mess because I desperately wanted the sickness to stop but there was no way I could consider an abortion. I feel ashamed to tell people that I even considered it during my pregnancy with Mia. They kept telling me it was a sign of a healthy pregnancy! God help someone who mentioned a ginger biscuit would help! Even when I started to feel relatively better after 6 months I would have to go armed with nappy bags in my pockets, a small towel in my bag and a bucket in the car just in case I got caught short and had to find a discrete place to be sick.
I was induced a few days early because I was suffering so badly and I was still being sick so they didn’t want to prolong the experience for me. Mia was born in February 2013. As soon as we laid eyes on her we instantly fell in love and amazingly it was like a button had been switched off – no more sickness! She looked just like her daddy with thick black hair and big blue eyes. Somehow, even with my early weight loss, she was still a very chunky 9lbs. My midwife showed great concern on my home visits that I was at high risk of post-natal depression but the truth was I was bouncing off the walls. After months of pure hell, I had a ridiculous amount of energy and was on a real high with my new little bundle of joy. The relief that it was all over was immense.
Mia is an only child for a reason and it was one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. We would love to give her a sibling but there is a very high chance that I will suffer with HG again. We had always planned to have two children. Mia adores babies and it breaks my heart when she says she would like a baby brother or sister. But, we have made a firm decision that I cannot go down that route again and we are not prepared to take the risk, not just for me but for the emotional strain it would have on our family. My husband doesn’t think that he could cope seeing me so ill again either.
Life doesn’t always go to plan and whilst it was a hard decision we are now confident that we have made the right choice. Mia is our world and we want to concentrate all our attention on her. We would not change her for the world and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for her. Our plan has changed but we have the perfect little family and life is great! We are so fortunate to have a healthy and happy little girl.
HG is a horrendous condition which I would not wish on anyone. I am hoping that this will raise awareness about HG and show that HG is not just a bout of morning sickness but that it is a debilitating condition. If you know someone with HG they need a great amount of support and understanding.
A Guest Blog from Laura Newton
Laura lives on a farm in Cheltenham with her husband and their cheeky little four year old called Mia who starts school this September. She manages her own business and is a busy working mum. She enjoys family days out, plenty of shopping and holidays to Cornwall.