Introducing Wild Women Lindsay & Jessica
Name: Lindsay Salmon
I had such an idealistic view of how my pregnancies would be; healthy eating, lots of yoga, beautiful clothes, glowing skin, thick hair, basically blooming. But alas, it was not to be. My first pregnancy was horrendous I couldn't keep anything down, healthy or not; there were no clean clothes never mind beautiful ones because I was too poorly to think about washing; and my skin was greasy and green/grey rather than glowing. Just getting off the sofa to the bathroom was about as much effort as I could manage, so yoga was not to be either/
I was admitted to hospital 4 times for 5 days at a time, with IV fluids and a variety of anti-emetics none of which seemed to make any difference to how horrendous I was felt. My sense of smell was heightened to extreme levels and I had strong food aversions to almost everything including water. Even when the symptoms were under control by about 21 weeks, I still took so many medications that I practically rattled!
I had a very limited support network because my family are in Scotland (I live in Surrey), my husband had just started a global role at work which meant a lot of travelling and I had very few friends that lived locally. It was 9 months of hell an d definitely not the best preparation for parenthood.
The decision to have another baby was not an easy one and we waited until our daughter was over 3 years old before we even considered it. I knew that I had a very high chance of having HG again but with the support of Pregnancy Sickness Support I took control and decided to plan for the worst while I hoped for the best. My GP was supportive and agreed to preemptive anti-emetics which I believe were the key to preventing the symptoms from getting out of control. I still suffered throughout my second pregnancy with HG but it was more manageable I was only admitted once at 12 weeks for the first time ever, I felt the benefit of IV fluids and although I still felt awful and nauseous, the food aversions started to lift and things began to seem more manageable. The worst symptom for the second pregnancy was excessive saliva which was utterly miserable and disgusting. I had to carry a bowl for more than 6 months to spit into which is one of the lasting reminders for many people of my pregnancy. Nobody could offer any treatment for alleviating this symptom which was humiliating and somehow less acceptable than vomiting.
Not only was my GP incredibly supportive, but my midwife made sure I only saw her for all of my appointments and I had a strong support network of local friends who were an absolute lifeline, bringing me shopping, feeding my daughter, offering childcare, keeping me company while all I could do was lie down and generally just checking on me. In addition, my husband no longer worked abroad so was able to structure his work day around our daughter's routine without which, I wouldn't have coped as I was too weak to read a story and the thought of opening the fridge to find her food made me retch.
I learnt to play guitar last year, so I could play my dad a song on his birthday
It was 9 months of hell, but a more manageable hell than the first time with a better support network and greater understanding at least in those around me, prevented the isolation I had experienced first time round. In many ways it vindicated the horror of the first pregnancy, it was real and it was that bad.
Name: Jessica Atkinson
HG Heroes: Issy (4) & Alfie (2)
Hyperemesis Gravidarum completely changed my life. I was diagnosed with HG in both pregnancies however found the second particularly awful. The constant guilt of being in hospital on IV's for dehydration (over 30 times) when I should have been home with my young daughter was gut wrenching.I suffered with severe pre and post natal depression as well as PTSD. I could not bond with my son until we received years of attachment therapy. Whilst most pregnant women look forward to their babies first kicks. I hated each little movement as he caused me to vomit. I still sometimes struggle with my mental health now, nearly three years later, as well as having the continuous food aversions and fear of nausea/vomiting.
I'm obsessed with elephants, I don't know how it started but I now have a massive collection and I even have my family tattooed as elephants on my arm!
I think I'll still struggle most with the mental health aspects and the lack of sleep! I'm hoping my HG girls will get me through it just like they got me through those awful pregnancies!