18 November 2018

Hyperemesis and miscarriage: what’s it all about …How can anyone even possibly understand if they haven’t had it!

I want to share my story as I feel I have enough experience of this to to try help others when they are struggling! I want to share my story with you 😘

I suffer from PCOS and was told I would struggle to conceive, so we started to try in my mid 20s as we knew we could be in for a long journey! Lots of tests, and medication, but after 9 months of chlomid we was told IVF was our only option. However that month we fell pregnant! I was sick throughout this pregnancy everyday but somehow I did manage it and took lots of rest! We was overwhelmed we caught and just hoped the sickness was a good sign everything was going well with the pregnancy! It was tough, again the whole ginger suggestions came out and sea bands! I tried everything nothing worked! I had a healthy baby boy by emergency c section in May 2010.

After having my son I was full of joy I couldn’t believe I’d caught and made it through the pregnancy, I was so grateful and still am very much so! We didn’t discuss another baby as this was something in the future, we didn’t need to consider right now and obviously having to go through all the tests again and medication we just didn’t give it a thought, not yet. We didn’t use contraception, I never had periods due to my PCOS so was in for surprise shock when I found out I was pregnant 14 months later! I found out by that dreaded sickness feeling, I just knew it! Smells of air fresheners, aftershave on my husband, pets and general house smells 🤢 I remember saying to my Mom “mom I have that feeling”.

This time it felt different, I had no energy I couldn’t eat or drink, nothing would stay down! I slept for days, I can’t believe how much I slept! I had to move in with my mom as my husband worked away at the time and I just couldn’t take care of my son. I had no energy to shower myself, get dressed, socialise. I didn’t want to speak I just didn’t have the energy. My poor son, I felt so guilty, I couldn’t even change his nappy or take him to play groups like I did. I felt I was letting him down so much, I couldn’t be there for him like a mom should be. This all got too much for me, I had gone from being such a loving fun mom to a very depressed low person. I was anxious so much I felt I couldn’t be alone at all. My mom had to work so would drop me and my son to another family members home just so I wasn’t alone and so they could take care of my son.

I was admitted to hospital a couple of times and was given the anti sickness tablets. It was so hard I suffered pre-natal depression which I didn’t even know was a thing! Worst thing ever I have experienced worse place I have ever been mentally and I never ever want to be back in that dark place again! I remember the doctor asking me would I take my own life and I answered if I have to live like this forever and not be able to look after my own children then yes. I didn’t want to harm myself and wouldn’t have, but it was the anxiety and how low I felt it was so hard how would I manage life? I cried all the time and I don’t even know why I couldn’t explain, I love children it’s all I ever wanted! I was lucky to again be pregnant but I just didn’t know how to cope! I became so anxious how I would cope with my son being 2 and a newborn, you’d think I’d been given 20 kids to cope with all alone with nothing! I have a big family and lots of friends there was no reason to be so afraid and feel the way I did but some how suffering with hyperemesis just got on top of me I couldn’t cope! I was treated by the Barberry Centre at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital and again more medication which sent me into more of an anxious state, was I harming my baby? Why couldn’t I cope and think of the baby and the effects of the drugs how selfish of me! But I needed them to cope and to live to get by!  My c-section was booked an I gave birth to a beautiful boy of which I ensured I held immediately, I needed to know we was ok! I fell in love and my pre natal depression went instantly! I can’t even explain but I didn’t need my pills I didn’t need any further help from the Barberry,  I was back being me just like that as soon as my pregnancy was over!

After this pregnancy I said never ever again could I go through that frightening experience, I just wouldn’t cope and now having two children it would be impossible to juggle it all.  I have two healthy boys I should be grateful.

7 years later surprise surprise I fell pregnant again! I didn’t believe it but after 6 tests it was confirmed! I was over the moon! This time I had no sign of sickness I panicked thinking something isn’t right here why am I not being sick? I have suffered hyperemesis and I am very much aware it gets worse with every pregnancy! Doctors said it can happen and enjoy it! Soon enough 6 weeks pregnant it started with a vengeance! I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t keep tip tops down or ice cubes! I was admitted to hospital but this time it was much easier to be treated as I think over the years there has been more awareness and therefore changes made. I was in regularly pretty much every 2-3 days because I just couldn’t eat or drink. I hate needles, who doesn’t, but the fear of going in so often and my veins becoming less visible and used this become more difficult. I couldn’t become mentally ill again I’d become so scared from my second pregnancy I fought so hard to stay mentally stable! I knew this was tough and just cried when I needed to and admitted I couldn’t cope! This time my husband know longer worked away so had his constant support. I would hate him leaving for work or even just him being downstairs, it lonely being bed bound! My mom again was a massive help always here just trying to keep me company and keep me sane. After around 10 submissions to the hospital, taking cyclizine and ondansetron the doctor discussed steroids and said I cannot continue being admitted this often as it wasn’t good for me so he thought steroids were a good shot and told me they had proven successful. However, I was not keen to try the steroids until I was over 12 weeks, that was just my personal choice. I lost a stone in weight within a couple of weeks I looked and felt awful. Work and people just think you have the normal pregnancy sickness and say “oh I had that try some dry toast or ginger” 🤦‍♀️ I honestly got fed up of people’s lack of knowledge and stupid suggestions it made me feel worse and question myself more! That sounds so rude of me but you feel so bad and poorly, if they knew how much you’d love to eat an drink of course I would!

My kids suffered really as I was just in bed or in hospital for the 4 months of my pregnancy. I couldn’t cook for them, take them to school, run the house anything as a mom I did was just given to my husband.  Once the change became familiar we all did adapt and made the best of the situation. My husband runs his own business and basically become part time so he could care for the kids as well as me, but then we had the financial worry. My mom came to every hospital visit and sat with me whilst I had the regime she was great, I could see in her face the worry and concern but she put on a brave face and we just made the best of the situation! A beautiful baby was growing and we was all so happy a new baby was coming into our family!

My ribs ached, my throat was so sore I was so fed up of just throwing up nothing just white foam there was nothing left to bring up! My kids would rub my back and we just all worked together to try get me through this pregnancy. I knew the end result would make all this worth it and I know I’d soon be ok once baby was born! I also gained the saliva problem so literally every couple of minutes I would have to spit into a bowl! This was so tough how could I let people visit me when I had to spit into this bowl! I was embarrassed to even explain that I’m spitting like some camel 😂 I could talk but wouldn’t finish a sentence without spitting! Chewing gum helped a little if I had to try talk to the doctors but again with the sickness nothing was helping! I called the dentist the doctors and they all said it’s just part of hyperemesis there’s nothing we can do! So from September to November I was house bound and in bed or at hospital receiving the regime sometimes I’d have more than one regime at a time depending on my ketones. Oh and the constipation…oh my days so bad I would literally go once a week if that and was so badly constipated because of the ondansetron I was in so much pain when trying to go the loo! Sufferers you will know exactly what I’m talking about 😬

Hyperemesis takes over your life, steals everything from you and makes you beg to be just you for a minute.

On the 18th November I suffered a miscarriage at 17 weeks 😔 after 4 months of torture of surviving hyperemesis where was my beautiful baby at the end to make all this worth it 😔 all the signs of pregnancy were strong I was sick, my breasts were so sore and my scans were perfect why did this happen?

I started to bleed a week before, heavy bright red blood I actually thought I was wetting myself at the time as it was that fast until I looked down an seen the worst. I was checking my breasts they were sore, I was still spitting , feeling sick and being sick surely my hormones were strong and baby is fine? We went to the hospital and the scan was fine, baby was very active they couldn’t see why I was bleeding and said as I don’t have periods much it could be the lining of my womb. We was happy with that explanation made perfect sense and went home. I was always in bed anyway, but people suggested maybe I should try come downstairs and move a little because laying in bed all day can’t be good. I tried but the smells of just the kitchen or food just couldn’t do it! Even the doors I was convinced smelt funny, but no one else agreed. On the Tuesday it happened again I woke up with pain an bleeding but this time I had clots. Never had I seen anything like it, was so frightening! I went to hospital and again they couldn’t see why this was happening, it was suggested my c section scar maybe causing problems with the placenta but until I’m 20 weeks they won’t be able to confirm. Another doctor said I need to think about how I continue with this pregnancy? There was no way I was giving up, my baby was fighting I was prepared to suffer what ever HG bought I’m fighting for us both. We were sent home again and we said we won’t give up, the baby is still alive and kicking! I was constantly wearing thick pads and slept on a thick towel it wasn’t  right looking back. I was scared to go the toilet as each time I would pass clots big and small. I never realised a tennis ball size clot is normal? The doctors said this normal size and not to be alarmed. I got used to it and as long as each day passed with little bleeding we was hopeful.

Saturday night came and I had period pain so took my painkillers and settled for the night. 2am came and the pain was unbearable and the bleeding was now coming through my pads and leggings, I couldn’t change quick enough, it was just so much. We rushed to hospital and never ever will I forget the bleeding its so frightening. I stayed on the phone to the hospital ward whilst we were driving, I just didn’t know what was happening to me, the pain was so bad! I covered my husbands van seat an my trainers and everything was covered in blood but we was in shock we just needed to stop the pain, I couldn’t cope it was so painful!

What felt like forever the doctors finally gave me morphine, I begged for someone just anything to stop the pain! They peeled my leggings and underwear from me and what I thought may have been the baby was actually a 200ml blood clot! They wanted to lay me down due to the amount of blood I’d lost, but the pain was so strong I felt I needed to stand and lean of the bed, but I wasn’t allowed! I was given gas and air along with being topped up with morphine and at 9.10am I gave birth to our beautiful baby sleeping. I couldn’t register what was really happening as the doctor told me that I had suffered a miscarriage! I couldn’t believe this was happening. I had been through so much hard work with the hyperemesis (not that anyone deserves a miscarriage) but sufferers of HG will understand I hope!

More problems were ahead as I then couldn’t pass the placenta it was so hard the pain again continued and now we was in the afternoon. My pulse was low and I had lost so much blood my count went from 115 to 52 which led to me having blood transfusions. My temperature was so high they thought I had an infection due to part of placenta being left inside. I had an operation and luckily enough I was discharged after 4 days in hospital.

The hardest part was telling my children, I really didn’t know how to tell them. The bereavement team was great and helped us with our words on how to explain to the children. I felt I had bought this sadness into the family and watched their little hearts break I was so so sorry they felt this pain!

The baby was so beautiful and formed for 17 weeks but so small. Although the baby wasn’t alive I still felt every inch of love the same feelings as I did when meeting my two boys even though I won’t be bringing my baby home. It broke my heart leaving the hospital, I felt I was leaving my baby all alone.

Although I am grieving the baby I cannot explain how it is not having the hyperemesis, they both do not marry up and that’s so hard to explain how I’m left feeling! I have been off the radar for for months adapting to life is so strange. I can eat, drink, look after the boys and I’m me again! I drove for the first time since September that felt so weird. I can hold a conversation showing interest and a smile.  To be able to look out the window and want to leave the room/house.

I still feel sick due to my iron tablets, but no where near as much as hyperemesis made me feel! After giving birth I still was spitting I couldn’t believe it and this lasted for 3 days after. I had to explain to doctors, nurses and visitors why I was doing this but yet know baby inside to help explain, its was yet again another blow each time.

I’m still on my journey, the support I have received from my family and friends is getting me through for now. I just wanted to list some of the comments and reactions I received that I just didn’t find relevant or useful through my hyperemesis and miscarriage journey:

  • have you tried ginger it definitely works it does when I have upset tummy
  • drink plenty of water just sip it but get it down you
  • she won’t eat or drink! – it’s not I won’t, I can’t.
  • you feeling better – like I would just get better after few days
  • you must eat and drink otherwise you’ll have to go back into hospital
  • I suffered morning sickness i just got on with it
  • is that what Kate Middleton had
  • staying in bed isn’t going to help
  • spitting won’t help with dehydration
  • it will fly by 9 months and think of the baby – of course we do but when you feel like death it’s not that easy
  • it wasn’t meant to be
  • will you try for another
  • lots of people suffer miscarriages, it’s common
  • you can’t be negative won’t get you no where
  • -sickness bands, they work, I have had them for car sickness
  • it’s a really good sign, being sick

I could go on, but they are the main ones!

I would like to thank all the staff on Ward 8 at the women’s hospital Birmingham who became like family after 4 months of moving in there almost and being on my journey. They genuinely all felt my pain the day I lost the baby, they all gave me support an comfort they really was amazing.

If anyone would like to message me just to talk to someone who knows how it feels to suffer please get in touch! After everything I have been through I want to help others.

I still would love a 3rd child but at the moment this seems impossible as my body didn’t allow me to carry my baby. I really think I have been through so much that I am mentally prepared, but physically I just think I would be so poorly and everyone would suffer including the baby again.

 

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