Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for PSS

We are very lucky to have some amazing adventurous fundraisers, and Hayley is most certainly one of them. We interviewed her about the why, the where and the WOW HOW MANY DAYS?   

What's your relation to HG? 

I’m the middle child of three girls, both my sisters have suffered from HG and my mum suffered with all three of us. There’s a running joke in the family that I should get pregnant to see if I get it too. – for some reason I’m not too keen!!

Why do you want to raise funds for PSS? 

Watching my sister’s go through it was awful, we’d all grown up with stories of how ill mum had been with us, but none of us really understood what that meant. When my younger sister Steph was pregnant with her first child we really had no idea what to expect. She was sick so many times a day I lost count, she dropped clothes sizes – instead of buying maternity clothes I was giving her my old clothes that were a size smaller. She was hospitalised multiple times for dehydration.

When my older sister got pregnant, I think we all prayed that she’d have a ‘normal’ pregnancy. But no such luck.

My sisters have this bond of support now with each other that they don’t have to suffer through HG alone. They have someone else that shares that experience. Steph is now a mentor for PSS to support other people with HG and Kerry is planing on becoming one soon and I’m so incredibly proud of them.

We’re all very close as sisters, watching the people you love and are closest to, go through this and having no idea how to help is awful. But I saw how much having the support of PSS helped my sisters and I wish that the support had been available to my mum when she was pregnant with us. So I might not have be able to give them the support they needed in their pregnancies, but I can raise money so that those that can provide the right support will always be there.

How are you fundraising? 

I am hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, this is a 4 day hike going up 13828ft (4214 metres) and across 26 miles

Have you done any training or planning for the hike? 

I joined a gym in January and I’ve been going around 3 times a week (which is a big shock to anyone who knows me!), so by the time I go I will have been training for 9 months! In these last couple of weeks I’m trying to get in some more outdoor walking but it’s difficult to fit around work.

Has this always been a dream or goal that you've wanted to achieve?

I have always wanted to hike the Inca Trail, I’ve been planning the trip for the last couple of years and I always knew when I did it I would be fundraising for something, the question was what.

How does fundraising make you feel? 

Fundraising makes me feel useful, throughout my sister’s pregnancies I felt pretty useless in helping so it’s nice to be able to do something that will support the people I love.

Thank you so much for raising much needed funds for Pregnancy Sickness Support Hayley and Best of Luck! If you'd like to show your support for this high feet along the Inca Trail, Donate here http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=HayleyBarnden&faId=824163&isTeam=false

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Tilly + Cub donate to PSS

5% of Sales from our Planter and Otto Homeware baskets will be donated to Pregnancy Sickness Support. 

"The work you do is invaluable and so I am so pleased to be able to offer something to raise funds." Said Jo the founder of the company.

The baskets are handwoven in Ghana by fairtrade artisans using natural fibres and traditional craftmanship. So they are far more than beautiful baskets, they support their makers, their communities and are sustainable produced, and each one is completely unique.

"I am a Mum of one with another on the way later this year, and set up Tilly + Cub a couple of months ago. I struggled with serve sickness at the start of this pregnancy, I was bedridden and unable to move without vomiting. It was not an easy time and the information on your site and the use of your forum really helped me through.Thankfully i have made a full recovery and so far all is progressing well."

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Interview with our Great North Run Fundraiser Amy - Lets talk running post HG

With The Great North Run just a few weeks away we've interviewed one of our  GNR Fundraisers to ask about her reasons behind raising funds for PSS and what its like running after having her baby girl. 

Why do you want to raise funds for PSS? 

I want to raise funds for PSS because they have helped me since I was first put in touch with them when I was about 11 weeks pregnant. I had never heard of Hyperemesis before and through them I managed to gain knowledge so that I could get the care that I needed. I was also allocated a peer supporter who was frequently in contact with me during my pregnancy, she was amazing and I honestly can't thank her enough. The online forum was also a massive help. It was great to have people to vent to who understood what you were going through, and we all seemed to help each other through it. There was 2 people on the forum who I particularly connected with, you know who you are, thank you.
It's because of all this help that I want to give something back, help other women who are suffering and create awareness of what is an incredible charity and more awareness of hyperemesis its self.

How are you fundraising? 

I am fundraising by running the Great North Run. It was a crazy idea I had while pregnant. I liked running before I was pregnant and had actually planned to continue running while I was pregnant, because of the HG though I couldn't run at all. I was feeling really low and suffering a lot with the HG so I thought I needed to do something, something for me and to help others. I put my name down and got a place. Having the place actually gave me something to focus on that wasn't pregnancy related that I needed to get too. I've never run a half marathon before so it's going to be a big challenge.

Whats it been like running again after pregnancy & HG? 

Running has not been easy after pregnancy and HG. My muscles all wasted when I had HG and I was unable to do nothing to keep fit as I was pretty much bedridden most of the time. Having a hungry baby who doesn't sleep through the night doesn't help either. Still though it's a lot easier than having HG. The first time I went for a run after being pregnant I cried happy tears because I thought "I did it, I survived that pregnancy."

How does fundraising make you feel? 

I just want to do something to help all the other women suffering. After suffering with HG you wouldn't wish it on anyone. I plan to get more involved with PSS and hopefully volunteer once I have recovered a bit more.

What was your HG Story and how do you feel now?

HG robbed me of any enjoyment of pregnancy. My pregnancy was planned and very much wanted, but due to not having great care and not knowing about hyperemesis in those early weeks I actually considered an abortion. When vomiting about 80 times a day I honestly didn't think I would even survive the pregnancy. Luckily I then heard about PSS and I was diagnosed with HG when I had to go to A&E because I was so dehydrated. I still feel guilty for considering an abortion now but that is something I am getting help with. 

I was unable to go to work much due to how ill I was, or the days I would drag myself in I often vomited at work and on the way there and back. My social life was pretty much none-existent. I would try my best to put on a brave face but that probably did more damage than good.
HG I think is hard because so many people just don't understand it, hearing people say over and over "oh the sickness normally goes by 12 weeks", "have you tried ginger", "eat little and often", "try eating crackers before you get out of bed on a morning" really wears you down because the truth is if somebody had told me that chopping my arm off would get rid of it I probably would have done it. Even the combination of the medication I was on didn't get rid of it, made it slightly better but then you have the side effects of the medication to deal with on top of that. If anybody else has been on high doses of ondansetron you will know what I'm getting at here. The nausea was crippling and unrelenting, I would have a couple of good days when I vomited 5-10 times a day then I would have the bad days, and then I would end up in hospital needing IV fluids and IV medication. Going to hospital just became part of the routine in the end, I knew all the staff there by name. The vomiting and retching with HG is on a whole other level. It's so violent, you vomit until you are vomiting blood, you often wet yourself which is humiliating but you can't help it, I also used to get scared that I was going to crush the baby.

Your other half also becomes your carer, emptying the sick bowls, washing your hair, doing all the housework and everything else. I don't think they get enough credit and often people don't realise that they could use some help too or a break. 

I was too sick to have a baby shower, and all baby stuff was bought online or by relatives.  We attempted to go to baby stuff shopping once on one of my good days, went on an evening thinking oh it will be nice and quiet. When we got there a parent to be event was on and we had to leave, the sight of so many people enjoying their pregnancies upset me too much.
I also suffered a severe allergic reaction to one of the anti-emetics which nearly killed me and the baby. I'm eternally grateful to the midwife and health care assistant who helped me that day. I've never been so terrified and I don't think my baby girl and I would be here today if it wasn't for them.
I was induced at 38 weeks because I was getting weaker and weaker and the thought of more weeks of HG was unbearable. The induction was started on a Wednesday and I finally gave birth on the Friday. I vomited throughout. As soon as the placenta was out, all the nausea and vomiting stopped. It was a surreal feeling.

I felt great for a couple of weeks after the birth and then it finally hit me just how ill I had been. I now no longer feel hungry or thirsty and have to set reminders to eat and drink. I guess when you haven't been able to eat or drink properly for so long you just get used to it and that becomes the norm. I have nightmares that I have HG again, I don't like being around anything that reminds me of pregnancy or my pregnancy. I had to go to the hospital and walking up that corridor again terrifies me.
I know all this should eventually improve with time. Lots of people ask me if I would have another baby. To be honest that question hurts as I still haven't got over the first pregnancy to consider doing it again, and it would be harder a second time round as my daughter would be pretty much without a mother for 9 months. 

I guess one positive to having HG is that I feel I probably cherish my daughter more because I fought so hard to get her here.

Thank you Amy, we wish you the best of luck on the day and for the rest of your pre-race training. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Top 20 Running Tracks

We thank all our lovely running friends especially the women from Run Mummy Run for their contribution for our list of current Top running tracks for the end of the Summer.

Anything by Calvin Harris
Anything by Moby
Anything by Prodigy
Mostly Anything by Green Day


Fight Song – Rachel Platten
Firework – Katy Perry
Born This Way- Lady Gaga
Gangham Style – PSY
Dog Days – Florence and The Machine
Stamina – Cia
The Rocky theme Tune
Lets go - Calvin Harris
Scream – Usher
Empire state of mind- Alicia Keys
Don’t you worry child – Swedish House Mafia
Try Anything - Shakira
Red Light Spells Danger- Billy Ocean
Mr Bright Side – Killers
Black Widow – Rita Ora
Work Bitch – Britany spears
The greatest – Cia
Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys
Reach – S Club 7
Do I wanna know – Artic Monkeys

We’d love for you to consider running on behalf of PSS, you even might be up for the challenge of ‘Nine months of RUNNING’ Here’s a current list of Runs in your area via https://www.runnersworld.co.uk/event/search

We hope this inspires our current runners in their training, if you’d like to sponsor one of our fundraisers please visit their pages below

Amy – Great North Run 

Sophie – Great North Run

Claire – Yorkshire Marathon

Good luck in your training Ladies 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Busking for PSS

7 Year old Joseph is hard at work at his home in Dundee getting ready to perform on the streets of the city as a Busker to raise funds for Pregnancy Sickness Support

Joseph's mum Heather suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum in both her pregnancies, Joseph is looking to raise as much money as possible to support the charity.
You can read more about Heather's experience here

"I am so proud of Joseph - not only for his musical efforts, but much more so for the fact that he wants to raise money for charity." Said Heather.

"I am going to busk on my violin and keyboard during the summer holidays to raise money for a tiny but vital charity, desperately needing funds, called Pregnancy Sickness Support.  They helped to bring my little brother Theo into the world so I think that they are very important.
For those of you who can't come and see me perform in person I will try to share a video for you to enjoy." Joseph said.

You can watch Joseph perform this Saturday (15th July) in Brechin outside of the local CO-OP as part of the Brechin Harley Davidson In The City Festival

You can support Joseph by visiting his Virgin Money giving page and donating what you can

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

My doctor never used the phrase “hyperemesis gravidarum.”

During my first pregnancy, my doctor never used the phrase “hyperemesis gravidarum.” 
That first trimester I had pretty bad morning sickness, which was especially hard to manage at work. A key moment? Travelling to Manila, Philippines at around 10 weeks, I was pretty embarrassed to make the government van pull over to the side of the road as I had gotten very sick!
I tried all the usual remedies and just lost weight and got sick. Most days I kept nothing down but the ice cream in the evening. It became some sort of science and I knew all the places where I could duck out to get sick. My eyes grew bloodshot from being so ill so frequently with such force.
But not having a lot of support in the way of knowledgeable friends and family, I carried on until about week 19 when I was throwing up before going to my parents’ for Christmas, and the toilet seat smashed my nose, giving me a nose bleed, too. I called my doctor and demanded anything that would make it stop.
I don’t think I realized how bad it was until one day in January I forgot to take my ondansetron. By the time I got into work, I was throwing up all the water I had consumed and couldn’t even keep that down. Luckily, as I was in the US, my doctor’s office had a local clinic walking distance away. They stayed open through lunch to see me and gave me IV fluids, anti-emetics and a dark, quiet, soothing room to lie in.
At 7 months, I was moving to the UK and was petrified now of being without ondansetron. While I never was able to eat much, at least what I did eat was staying down. My doctor gave me enough prescription to get me through the 9 months and luckily my son was born just a day or two before I ran out. That’s the day the nausea lifted –I felt the difference the moment he was born. Hospital food never tasted so amazing.
When we decided to have a second child, I didn’t expect that my toddler would be nursing throughout my second pregnancy. I also didn’t expect to get so sick. As I never had a diagnosis, I didn’t know that I had an 80% chance of reoccurrence. And by 5 weeks, the old cycle started right up again.
I found it much more mentally straining. I had an unfortunate time battling with various NHS practices to get the drugs I needed. Ondansetron was no longer cutting it, once I finally got it. The consultants I saw didn’t believe I was so ill, and certainly didn’t understand why I was still nursing my son. While I never was admitted to the hospital, the mental strain of proving myself over and over, begging for drugs I knew I needed to keep me out of the hospital, asking for help from anyone who would actually talk with me and not just proscribe from a distance, was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. Nothing has ever made me feel so invisible, so like a vessel, so unhuman.

If I am being honest with myself, I haven’t really let myself explore what happened to me mentally. Feeling guilty enough at being so sick and exhausted, my toddler needed what little I could give him. My heart broke when he would stroke my back as I threw up again and again, my solace being at least he wouldn’t remember being so young!

One of the few ways I could keep my strength through this time was by fully immersing myself in my hobby of motherhood – woven baby wraps, a type of baby carrier made from long cloth. I would lay next to my sleeping toddler, just so happy to have that stillness, and scroll through Facebook posts and bulletin boards reading about these woven wraps – old classics from 10 or more years ago, searching different language buy/sell/trade boards to find them, preparing to make memories with this new baby whose initial memories of pregnancy I so wanted to forget as quickly as possible. Instead I was focusing on all the new memories I would have of keeping her close in beautiful fabrics, made of cashmere and silk, and building up friendships with mums also in this hobby along the way.

Now I’m coming up on 10 months postpartum and my beautiful daughter is a delight. She and my son play together happily. I am still be recovering, physically and mentally, but I am also so grateful to have a chance to give back to PregnancySickness Support for the essential support they provided me while I was going through the worst of the worst, navigating a system that didn’t want to work with me. 

Next month, on 6 May, I am co-organising The Wrap Show  – an event focused on those beautiful woven wraps brought to London for the first time. Part of the proceeds from the show and our charity tombola and raffle will go to PSS and I couldn’t be more excited. We have guests coming from over 19 countries and brands from 4 continents.

I hope that other carers who are going through such difficult times can find their support, whether it’s through great charities like PSS or through support networks like that I found in woven wraps. 

For more information on The Wrap Show please visit the website and pop over to the Facebook page