What and why? by Muma Dean

As most people who have ever met me either in person or in cyberspace know... I suffered Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in all three of my long and torturous pregnancies. I've long since dedicated virtually all of my time, both spare and not spare, to raising awareness about HG and helping to run Pregnancy Sickness Support, the only national charity providing support and information to women with hyperemesis and general nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Together with the trustees and our incredible team of volunteers we have pioneered a support network, conducted research surveys, developed care plans and provided education to healthcare professionals.

What is hyperemesis gravidarum I hear you ask? (well those of you who don't know me)... HG is a severe complication of pregnancy in which a woman is unable to keep down food or fluid sufficient to maintain health. Literally throwing up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for months and months. I suffered particularly badly in my first two pregnancies and less so in my third thanks to the pre-emptive treatment advocated by Pregnancy Sickness Support. I was sick about 2,000 times in my first two pregnancies, lost a vast amount of weight and was hospitalised for IV fluids. I kind of got off lightly though... before IV fluids were invented hyperemesis was the leading cause of death in early pregnancy!

So what am I doing this time to raise awareness and money? In the last 6 years I have spent a total of 27 months barely able to eat and throwing up most of what I did manage. When you have HG food actually smells and tastes bad too and you feel like you've been poisoned as soon as it hits your stomach. But the moment my babies got out of me... WOW did food taste good! When my second son Patrick was just two days old my husband took me to a nearby restaurant on the beach and I had a surf and turf... fillet steak, half a lobster and fries... it was the best meal of my life to date! My passion for good food and cooking has grown exponentially with my long months of regurgitation and I now consider myself to be a fairly accomplished cook. So, for my nine months of... challenge I will be cooking and blogging my favourite recipes to share with you all.

Bare in mind please that I have three small children so we're not talking cordon bleu here. I also often have a house full of other random guests and friends so most recipes are good for cooking en mass. That said, we often have friends round for quite suppers so they'll be a few like that. We cook a lot outdoors, over a campfire mainly so there will be lots of one pot campfire stuff but it's easily transferable to indoors. We are also travelling from next February (more on that here) and enjoy international cuisine, particularly Chinese so expect some culturally diverse dishes.

I'll aim for one a week, so 40 in total, but there will be times that I can't do a week so will two the week before or after (for example when I'm out of touch in the Colorado Rockies next spring). If at the end of the nine months it's been popular than I'll consider consolidating it all into a purchasable book. In the meantime, if you enjoy my recipes and find them useful then please make a donation to Pregnancy Sickness Support via my BT MyDonate page.

As a final word of warning... I'm not great at following recipes myself and generally just make things up as I go along or heavily adapt recipes from books so in a lot of cases quantities may be vague and ingredients are often swappable for alternatives... I'll try my best to be specific but please feel free to ask questions if I'm not clear on things.

Please support our 'nine months of…' campaign by donating here: