Name: Anna Davis
HG Heroes: Elodie (3) Non Hg pregnancy & Saorise (8months)
My diagnosis of HG came late, I was 16 weeks pregnant and had been excessively suffering with nausea and sickness since week 3. Doctors were unsure what was wrong with me as I hadn't had it with my first pregnancy, so were reluctant to give me medication, I was told that over the counter travel sickness meds, ginger and pressure bands would fix it. It definitely didn't. I saw several different doctors through my constant and persistent turning up to the doctors surgery every other day, demanding to speak to someone about how ill I was feeling. They did urine test after urine test but there were never any ketones so clearly I wasn't dehydrated. Eventually a doctor said to me hyperemesis gravidarum, I had never heard of it and wasn't exactly sure what it meant. I went home relieved that my illness was a real thing and that finally someone had heard me. that was when I found PSS on a Google search. My sickness became manageable around week 20, I didn't completely stop being sick but it was down to about once a day, but the nausea never let up and didn't until I had given birth. The first 20 weeks of my pregnancy had already taken its toll both physically and mentally. My partner became my carer and I missed my daughter, my triggers were clean smells, water from the tap, clean clothes but by far my worse triggers were the smells of my daughter and my partner and of my own skin and hair. I lost weight, muscle tone and suffered severe hair loss, I looked in the mirror and didn't recognise myself. I flitted between anger and misery, it felt so unjustified, why had I got this condition? My family and friends disappeared, those that knew didn't understand the condition and many didn't even know I was pregnant, we had gone into survival mode and lived within the four walls of our house and never went out. I spent the best part of 12 weeks confined to my bedroom, apart from my hospital visits. Having suffered with anxiety and depression before, I saw the warning signs coming but that still didn't stop the darkness from entering our lives. The isolation was very hard for me, I thrive on social interaction and love being around people. I was also referred to consultant led care at the hospital at week 18, as me and the baby were below the 10th centile, I was told that HG shouldn't cause this and my baby was small because there was something else wrong, I then had growth scans every 14 days and was told that unless I started eating and gaining weight they would deliver my baby early. I was devastated. I slowly started to gain weight and finally at 39 weeks the consultant agreed to sign me off his care, I wanted to deliver at a midwife led unit that I was recommended in Lichfield - in a different county to where I live. I was put in touch with the midwives there by my own midwife, as they had experience with HG pregnancies. This was the only place I felt understood and safe in my entire pregnancy, I managed to get in to see them three times during my pregnancy for assessment and treatment, but by that time the worst of my HG had passed. I'm 8 months post HG now and still feel the repercussions of the condition, I still struggle to verbalise my experience without crying, my mental health has vastly improved but I feel as though I now have scars that I will carry with me forever. Unfortunately irrevocable damage was done to some relationships with friends and family which is a tragic shame but one thing I learnt from suffering HG is who my people really are.
Before mummy life I worked security in the VIP area at VFestival which meant I looked after the celebs & met the likes of Kings of Leon, Paul Weller, David Guetta & Jessie J
The biggest challenge for me will probably be the cold, I struggle to sleep if I'm cold and also suffer with poor circulation so cold weather is always hard.
Name: Amy Armstrong
HG Hero: Luna (1)
I first started vomiting from four weeks. By eight weeks, I was bed-ridden and vomiting about 80 times a day. It was isolating and really violent vomiting, I was throwing up blood. Finding out I was pregnant was the best news I ever received, but eight weeks down the line I was considering an abortion. My first visit to the doctor he said it was common morning sickness, words which felt like a death sentence. I felt there was no other way out, I felt like I was not going to survive. I thought if I didn’t have an abortion, the pregnancy could kill me. I didn't find out I had HG until I was taken to A&E. A family friend put me in touch with Pregnancy Sickness support and I saw a different doctor from then on. I got put on medication and then on my good days I would now vomit between five and 10 times, and those days would be two to three times a week. On my bad days it was absolutely horrific, and I would need to go to hospital. The HG went once she was born but the after effects haven't.
My daughter is now a year old but I am still suffering with PTSD and get help for this every week. I get anxious and panic about situations/things that used to trigger vomiting when I was pregnant. I am terrified of vomiting and of getting pregnant again.
I have a pet pussy (cat), my pet sphynx Walt
I will find the rappelling/abseiling most challenging as I don’t like heights.