This has been hard for me to write, and it did bring a few tears to my eyes. I don't think I could ever go through a pregnancy like I did with my 3rd ever again. I don't think I have had time to grieve about the loss of practically nine months of my life being sick and dragging my body around, crying everyday whilst trying to keep my toddler and pre-schooler going. But now as he is two and things have slowed down, I have had time to reflect.
"To my beautiful boy who brightens up my day with the biggest beaming smile I have ever seen. I look at you and I am so proud of myself that I was strong enough to keep baking you. I didn't feel I was strong enough to keep cooking you in my tummy. It was too hard being sick all day long, everyday for months and months and months. But we did it, and I hope our bond will be strong forever."
Unless you have had severe Morning Sickness in pregnancy, you can't really understand how hard it is. I won't say I had HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) as I wasn't diagnosed. I know it makes me twitch when people say "Yeah, I had really bad morning sickness and gagged when I brushed my teeth." So, I don't want to say HG as I may upset HG sufferers. I mentioned to the GP and my midwife how sick I was, and my midwife advised me that I could take medication, but there was no way I ever would or could. I just couldn't take medication I knew nothing about whilst carrying a baby. Thoughts of the children back in the sixties affected by Thalidomide would fill my head. What if the baby would be born deformed? I couldn't risk it. I spoke to a couple of people who informed me that with HG you go into hospital and are put on a drip. I also knew this would have been impossible for me, as I had nobody to watch the two other little ones whilst I had trips into hospital during the day. Imagine your worst hangover you have ever had, and then imagine feeling like that every day, not just for a week, another week and another week, but for months and months and months. No break of sickness in between, but you still have to work, and look after your toddler and pre-schooler. Luckily (for me) somebody at work had contracted 'Slapped Cheek' so in the early weeks, I worked from home for best part of 6 weeks. Luckily I only worked three mornings, and my husband had the two children those mornings.The bliss of being able to be sick at home instead of at work was amazing.
I remember bumping into a lady at the park who had three children already. I began talking to her and she too was pregnant and suffering severe morning sickness. She said to me, "I keep thinking do we need another child, can I carry on with this?" In that moment I felt my eyes fill up. To know somebody else was feeling the same, made me feel like it wasn't wrong to feel the way I did. I had these thoughts too. Can I feel this bad any longer? Can I be sick eight times a day with my toddler banging the toilet seat on my head whilst I am vomiting into the toilet and he is jumping on my back playing horsey? Could I ever forgive myself if I terminated? Was I being selfish having a 3rd child, should I have just been happy with the two beautiful children I had? I knew if I hung in there, it would all be worth it, but after months and months of being so sick, you just want to throw in the towel. I remember hearing on the radio all the controversy over a lady terminating her pregnancy due to severe morning sickness, and I could totally understand why. Yet if you haven't been through the severe sickness I can imagine you would have your own thoughts on women making those sort of decisions.
I hope now with more information and recognition of this condition that pregnant mums don't have to suffer. It was the hardest thing to endure, and I want people who are suffering now from severe morning sickness to know that there is help out there. It was actually a blessing in disguise that Kate Middleton suffered too (although not for her I am sure), as it opened people's eyes to the hideous condition. People just aren't aware, and there was no support from GP's when I mentioned it, and I don't even think the midwife knew how bad it was for me. So, if you are going through HG or severe morning sickness, there is support. I also found that 'Lillipops' eased the nausea for half an hour (believe me that was a good half hour!) Since having my 3rd baby, I discovered the group Pregnancy Sickness Support. They have support pages offering guidance and how family and friends can help. You can receive information on the medication available and be educated properly about it, and not be scared to use it like I was. I am just so glad people can get help and not have to go through that awful time of feeling so ill.
This little animated collection of Disney characters totally depicts a not so fairytale pregnancy. One thing I have learnt is going through something like this makes you realise how strong you are. We are amazing growing these little humans.
Did you suffer severe sickness in pregnancy, or are you going through it?