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A mothers Loneliness

I am lying in bed wondering when the next feed will be.  It is usually around this time so it feels almost pointless to go to sleep before he wakes.  It's in these moments I dare to let my thoughts loose.  The ones I have been too busy all day with my baby to listen to.  It's in these moments I hold back the tears and try to push the welling grief down.  I am led right next to my husband, he is sleeping, and although I could just put my hand out and touch him - he feels further away than ever.I am lying here knowing I am lonelier than ever. My baby is asleep in the adjoining room, he has a cold and I can hear his nose whistling as he sleeps soundly.  In that room is my whole heart, my reason for going on, my reason for living.I have never had many friends, I came from a military family so we moved so many times friendships were fleeting and even in my adult life I have also remained nomadic! Maybe it's a learnt behaviour, not holding onto friendships because I always leave…

Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Surviving the sickness

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a pregnancy related condition that causes severe nausea and vomiting; it can be so severe the sufferer may feel faint, become dehydrated and have significant weight loss.  Not only is it physically debilitating it can be mentally challenging too. Not only do you have the horrific sickness to contend with day in day out for weeks, you also may become isolated, house-bound and feel quite lonely.  Take into account the fact the joyous occasion of becoming pregnant being somewhat overshadowed by this awful comdition and it is no suprise depression is also very common in sufferers. If you are suffering with HG this post is for you:

I just want to tell you to hold on and that you can do this. I know that sickness can start so early in your pregnancy. It came to me early too and I know that feeling. I know those fears. The fear your baby is at risk because you can't eat or drink properly. The desperation to hide your pregnancy but you are struggling because you are so sick people are wondering what is wrong, scared because it is so so early and you don't want anyone to know until you know everything is ok. The 12 week mark seems impossible, full term terrifies you. What if the sickness continues, the debilitating sickness and the relentless nausea. You are struggling, the joy you felt when the line appeared feels like a distant memory.  You couldn't have imagined that you would feel so awful, its not the image of pregnancy that is often portrayed.  It is not just morning sickness, the movement of sittiing up is enough to trigger it, or the smell of your partners aftershave, hair gel, a whiff of something only you can smell.  You can't even contemplate food, you can't even keep water down, the vomiting just doesn't stop. No respite. Desperate. 

I had hyperemesis too and I can't tell you when or if the sickness will stop. You will probably put target dates to reach maybe 12 weeks, 16 or 20 and you may feel disheartened as they pass and you feel no better,! I can't tell you what will help. What I can do is tell you that you are stronger than you know.  I know this because I too had to drag myself to the toilet on my hands and knees to vomit for hours until all I could do was retch because there was nothing left until even the fluorescent yellow bile is all gone. I sat on the floor, hair stuck to me with sweat from being sick, weak, dehydrated and begged my husband to make it stop. I cried, tearlessly through dehydration, because I felt guilty that I wanted the pregnancy to end.  I was terrified that my wish for it to end would cost me my baby. The days were long, the hours dragged by as I was housebound with any movement sending me heaving again to be sick.  I was unable to work, unable to eat a meal, I was wasting away. But I took heart as my baby grew. He thrived. I may have had to take 18 tablets a day to keep the vomiting at bay but each scan made that feel more and more insignificant.  I lived on ice cubes for fluid and ate crackers and melon for weeks, I would eat when I could and chose food that I could easily bring back up if I had to. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I found a strength in me to carry on. I cried, I grieved for the beautiful pregnancy I had envisaged, but I kept thinking of that life inside me and I just carried on. There was no other choice if I wanted to have my baby I had to just get through, I didn't live through my pregnancy, I survived it. Each day one at a time. And you can do it too. You can feel sad, you can feel desperate, you can feel like you have been dealt a rough deal - you have! It is not fair that you feel like you do! But you can't change it! You have to just survive it. You will find coping mechanisms and hopefullly as time passes things wil get better.  You can find support at www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk. You are going to get there! A challenge like no other you have faced! But I know you can do it! How do I know that? Because you are already doong it, and through this trial you are becoming a mother, you are already going through hell for your child and you haven't even met them yet. I was still nauseous constantly up until I had him and even threw up during labour. But the second I had him; it stopped. I used to say to my hubby that I was frightened I would feel nauseaus forever because I couldn't remember what it was like not to feel sick. The moment I held him in my arms I realised he was worth every single second. Within hours I was hungry for the first time in months. And after months of saying I can't do it. I can't carry on; I had done it. I made it to full term with a happy healthy baby boy and I would do it all again for him! The crazy thing is I want to have another baby in the future! I would do it all again despite swearing every day of my pregnancy I would never do it ever again!

People are not going to understand. They are going to compare it to morning sickness. They are going to tell you all the old housewives tales to cure it. They probably won't work. You will probably come to hate ginger very quickly! Even the mention of it turns my stomach still. You will hear hear 'Oh like Kate Middleton had' again and again and despite all the good intentions you are going to have to keep explaining to people that its not just morning sickness its Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  You will probably feel alone, you may even question if it's just you being weak or of it is all in your head. But you are not alone. And every woman that has had HG is standing with you. They know the hell you are living and the struggle to survive each day.  We know it is one of the hardest things you have ever done. But we also know you can do it.  You can because that baby that is in your tummy is the cause and the cure. Take every moment as it comes, find what works for you, what eases your suffering, go and seek medical help, keep hydrated as best you can, keep digging deep, if you are off work; don't beat yourself up - life is far to short and you are doing something amazing, you are giving life to a child. Pregnancy is full of complications and HG is not just morning sickness, you can't just have a ginger biscuit to ease the nausea, you do not have to justify yourself or explain it, just focus your limited energy on you! Just concentrate on getting through one day at a time and if that is too much focus on an hour or even a minute at a time. Every day is a step closer to the end, every moment you survive is a moment you have conquered. It is a long road but you can do it.  It is hard to see it when you are living it but this is not a pointless sickness through your endurance you get to hold your baby in your arms.  I know everyone will tell you this, you may not believe it, I didn't at the time, but it really is worth it!

 

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

 

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