Saturday, 28 September 2013

Let’s get this show on the road... by Susie

My PSS stall 
 After a lot of planning and preparation, it was finally time to get my show on the road. I got everything ready the night before - Pregnancy Sickness Support leaflets, posters, roll-up banner, t-shirt ... and travel potty. The last item is of course not strictly PSS-related but I find it's always best to be prepared when in the early stages of toilet training a 2 year old!

I decided the best approach would be to ease myself in gently (and build up gradually to the task of lecturing student midwives in February!). So, I chose a very familiar and friendly place as my first Road Show venue - my local playgroup, Pop in and Play. It's fair to say that it's a regular haunt of mine (perhaps second only to Costa Coffee!) as I've been there almost every week since Charlotte was a tiny baby and she's now two and a half. The ladies there are all so lovely and they work very hard to make everyone feel welcome. I really don't know what I'd do without my coffee and toast on a Friday morning!


I'm delighted that my first Road Show event was Pop in and Play and I would like to thank Penny and all the wonderful ladies who run the playgroup, as well as all the mums and dads.

Charlotte's playdough worm 

My next event is on 18 October. Keep an eye out for updates and please sponsor me. Thank you.

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

Friday, 27 September 2013

Week 7 - Brownies and an amazing husband! by Sophie

I am currently sat her typing this with my beautiful little girl on my lap (one handed, so it may take me some time!). This time last year I could not have imagined that this would be the case. You would have been more likely to find me lying on the sofa with a vomit bowl looking rather green, with dents in my wrists from the pressure bands: I was now at a point where anything was tried! The anti sickness meds were stopping the vomiting a bit but I was still having the constant nausea. The only way I could describe it was like having a continuous bad hangover without the pleasure that went with it! The evenings and night-times were worse: I would get home from work, eat plain pasta and then the nausea would become overwhelming. By 2 a.m. the vomiting would start - but I think the exhaustion that came with it was worse!

I was lucky as I was self managing my meds and was able to continue to work - although that was all I was managing to do. Then I had two night shifts and was anxious of how I would cope. Surprisingly, they were fine and I felt better than I had for weeks. Then suddenly a wave of anxiety swept over me and I thought that something was wrong with the pregnancy. One minute I was happy my symptoms had gone and the next I was terrified the pregnancy had gone with it: such mixed emotions. I managed to arrange a scan fairly quickly which showed two bits of good news: I was still very much pregnant with a little beating heart and was also 8 weeks, so managed to skip a week - and every week counts with pregnancy sickness!!

15mm in size- Amazing how something so small can make you feel so ill! 
Sadly, the resolution of the sickness only lasted 2 days and then came back with a vengeance! I spent the next two days in bed unable to move without vomiting. Tom, my amazing husband, was gentle and caring as always: clearing away vomit bowls, holding my hair back and bringing me anything I felt I might be able to eat and drink. I really could not have done it without Tom. It was during these bad days I contacted Caitlin who put me on the PSS forum, which helped me feel less isolated.

One year on Tom is still supporting me and this week did all the baking and sold his brownies at university where he is training to be a primary school teacher! The students were very generous and have requested more baking on their return from school placement. x

Merryn with her amazing Daddy x 

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Birthdays, Interviews and a Little Bit of Crochet Too!

This past week has been a pretty hectic one for me, but it has all been really positive stuff so I don't mind!

On Wednesday last week I had an interview for the role of Volunteer Co-ordinator for Pregnancy Sickness Support. It was a role I was intensely interested in as I have been volunteering with the charity for a couple of years now and seen the Volunteer Network grow so much in that time and I wanted to be a part of sustaining that growth and developing it further. I'm pleased to say that I was offered the role later that same day and I began my training for it on Monday this week.

But that wasn't all that happened last week. Oh, no! You may have seen mentioned on our Twitter feed that my son, Oscar, turned 2 on Thursday. For some reason I completely forgot to mention this on my post which went out that exact same day (whoops) but at least leaving it until this week means I can share a photo or two with you from the actual day...

Birthdays are a funny time for those of us who have suffered from severe Pregnancy Sickness or Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The day of your child's birth is not only the joyful day that you meet your baby but it is also the day that you finally stop being pregnant and can begin building your strength back up (not that this is particularly easy with a newborn, but you know what I mean!)

When Oscar was born, I worried that this might always cloud over his birthdays. But actually this year I never even thought of it on the day itself. The week leading up to his birthday we remembered the intensely stressful week before his birth. I had been diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis and ended up staying with my parents in a completely different town to Tim so I could be monitored in the week leading up to my induction.

It's hard to imagine that this all happened just 2 short years ago, and yet it feels like a whole lifetime ago in many ways. In fact it feels almost like somebody else's life and not my own. I think I have done a fair amount of distancing myself from those memories. And yet I shall never forget the loneliness and fear that comes from suffering so terribly and not being taken seriously by the healthcare professionals who are supposed to be caring for you. And that is why I am so very pleased to be able to support the volunteers and sufferers within the charity in this new role and to build it up over the next three years!

So with all that happening, I didn't really have time to think much about the crochet. I was too busy loving this beautiful boy of mine...

I did manage to sneak in a little bit of crochet on the blanket... I cannot wait until it is finished, as it is going to look so beautiful! And I'll share more on this next week when I have more to show for my efforts!

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Spiky Pasta by Muma Dean

For the record it's called spiky pasta and not spicy pasta... although it is spicy.

It's a quick weekday meal for the family and is super yummy. You can omit the chilli if your kids don't like the heat – what we do at the moment is add chilli flakes to ours afterwards, best of both worlds! If you're veggie then replace the bacon with red pepper and a little salt.

Quantities are rather irrelevant as I'm sure people are able to work out how much is appropriate for the number of people they are cooking for, at a guess I'll go with enough for 4-5 people.


A pack of bacon, chopped into pieces, fat removed (or a red pepper chopped up if you're veggie)
An onion, diced small
Half a tube of tomato purée
A tablespoon of dried basil
About half a pint of water
A handful of fresh basil chopped up, but if you don't have this then add a second table spoon of dried basil
A fresh red chilli or dried chilli powder (as much as you like for personal taste)
A ball of mozzarella, chopped up into little cubes
400-500g of dried pasta (or fresh if you prefer) and dependent on appetite. I think Penne is particularly good with this sauce.


Soften the onion in a little oil, add the bacon and cook for a bit. Add the dried basil and chilli and stir in. Add the tomato purée and water and stir up. It should be the consistency of pasta sauce, LOL! If it's too runny add more purée, if it's too thick add more water... Simmer, lid on, while you cook the pasta:

Get the pasta boiling (Once it's at a rolling boil stir it then turn the gas/hob off and leave it for the the time on the pack with the lid on and it'll be cooked perfectly, unless it's spaghetti in which case keep it simmering).

Once the pasta is cooked stir the fresh basil into the sauce and then drain the pasta. Stir the pasta into the sauce and stir in the mozzarella.

Serve and enjoy!

Don't forget, if you like this recipe and use it a small donation to PSS via my BTMyDonate page is greatly appreciated – Thanks :)

Please support our 'nine months of...' campaign by donating here.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A special place in our hearts by Emma

We recently took a family trip to Holkham beach in North Norfolk. Holkham has a special place in our hearts. It is where my husband and I had our first date and where he proposed. During nine months of HG and being bed bound it was the place I thought of the most. Throughout my labour I focused on ‘our spot’ and couldn’t wait to take Adam.

"Our" spot
So when Adam was 10 days old he visited Holkham for the first time. 

Adam 10 days old
Adam is now 16 months old and a runner! He loves being in the countryside or at the beach so Holkham is perfect for him – with a mixture of pinewoods and sand. Trying to keep up with him is hard work.

We discovered that Adam loves hills. More to the point he loves running up hills. It is a shame I havent developed his passion as will need all the motivation I can get to reach the top of those three peaks.
The photo doesnt do this dune justice. It was huge and Adam ran to the top!
This time exactly two years ago I was struggling to get through each day. We had found out I was pregnant on 26th August 2011 and was only 4 weeks. To say we were over the moon would be an understatement. Our first pregnancy earlier on in the year had ended with a missed miscarriage. It was a devastating experience. I had suffered from bad morning sickness so was prepared for the worst. I pre-cooked food, bought expensive acupressure bands from America and bought as much ginger as my cupboards could handle. 

But September 4th (the night before school started again) the intense nausea started. At first it was during the early hours of the morning, then to the late hours of evening. Food started to repulse me. I soon started vomiting from 8pm to 8am and going straight to work with the briefest amount of sleep. By 7 weeks I was vomiting in the cupboard throughout the day - this was all on top of having a new class of 4 year olds. By 8 weeks I couldn’t cope any longer. I hadn’t slept for more than an hour and hadn’t eaten or drank anything for weeks. This couldn’t be normal! 

So I finally went to the doctors and got my first lot of anti sickness medication. Hyperemesis Gravidrum was written on my sick note. It was the first time I had seen those two little words that would tip my world up side down.  

Adam 7 weeks old - causing all the trouble!

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Monday, 23 September 2013

Week 7 – "Do you even want the baby?" by Helen

Nine months of 9k Week 7 – Location: Stacking up the 9ks

We’re both still very poorly this week.  I’m on antibiotics and Anna’s swigging the Calpol.  Not a good time for 9k in the cold. Next week – 3 x 9k. Ouch.

Who needs an Andrex puppy...

Nine months of HG Week 7 – "Do you even want the baby?"

The new combination of antiemetics made me feel very peculiar in the head indeed!  I’d drift in and out of sleep, wake up and struggle to recall what day it was let alone if it was morning or afternoon.  The world was very swimmy and muffled and as a result I can’t really remember much of week 7.  Despite week 6’s rehydration in hospital everything went downhill very quickly and within 5 days we were stumbling back to A&E.  The lights were very bright, it was very loud and the hundreds of different smells were overwhelming.  Waiting for what seemed like hours, the same doctor from the maternity ward eventually flounced in the room and in an agitated, booming voice demanded to know why I was back so soon and did I know that I was making myself worse by not eating and drinking?  The grand finale of her spectacular display of HG ignorance; “You’re harming the baby… do you even want the baby?”

Outstanding! *applause*

Unable to communicate due to intense nausea, compounded by this madwoman’s interrogation, the less responsive I was the more irritated she got and her rant became louder and more aggressive.  She must have given up at some point and chose to impatiently stab me with needles instead, but my poor, shrivelled, dehydrated veins were cowering deep within my arms. On the third violent attempt (still have a scar on my right hand from one failed stab!) I was finally hooked up to a bag of sweet, sweet fluids. Begging for admission and stronger antiemetics, we were told they were too expensive and casually handed a blister pack of 6 Prochlorperazine tablets instead. With the bag of fluids only ¾ finished, I was swiftly discharged and essentially asked to leave.

Whilst Prochlorperazine works for some people it is essentially a step down from Metoclopramide on the treatment pathway but with no other options available we left the hospital clutching my sad little blister pack feeling very desperate and completely alone. What were we going to do!?

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