HG Heroes: Iris (8) & Dilys (5)
I had HG in both my pregnancies. In my first I was signed off work for the majority of the pregnancy. I suffered dreadful insomnia because the nausea was so intense, and my eating was limited to one or two safe foods. I vomited several times a day and retched constantly. I avoided hospital in this pregnancy and was told I was lucky despite missing out on months of normal life. I was not as ‘lucky’ second time round, the vomiting was far worse and I was hospitalised 3 times. It took 7 different antiemetic pills before I could function at all. I struggled to eat or drink and I was still mainly bedridden. I missed 8 months of my older daughter’s life while I lay in one room, dehydrated and lonely. My baby came a month early and she was underweight. I found it very hard to come to terms with the guilt of this and the feeling that I had neglected my older child. Almost 6 years later I can see how strong I was and this challenge with other inspirational women who have also suffered HG will be a fitting way to mark my recovery.
Until I was 21 I genuinely thought they turned the aeroplane engine off on aeroplanes after take off and glided over the ocean. I was very confused when this didn't happen the first time I went to America
The biggest challenge for me will definitely be the Kayaking and the cold at night!
HG Heroes: Megan (10), Georgia (6) & Imogen (2)
My HG pregnancies were amongst some of the lowest times in my life.
The dreams of having glowing, healthy pregnancies long gone!
I had never heard of HG before I was taken to hospital with what we thought was gastroenteritis. At only 3 weeks pregnant (not showing on a pregnancy test) my blood work showed that I was indeed pregnant. I was hooked up to a drip, put in ward alone and told that it would pass by 12 weeks. How wrong that was! I was unable to stomach smells, swallow my own saliva at times and functioning day to day became a monstrous task.
My admissions to hospital continued throughout my entire pregnancy, I was often told it was in my head and that I should stop my medication for my unborn child's sake! I was too poorly to advocate for myself. I just managed with the help of my family to see it through. By the time my daughter was born I had lost my job, lost some friends and had put a massive strain on my relationship, but she was here and healthy... so we boxed up our experience and moved on to looking after our amazing baby girl.
Our story is pretty much the same for both my next pregnancies, and at one of my lowest points having our youngest, my local GP told me that here was nothing that she could do, and asked me if this was a 'Wanted baby?'!!! I lay on the floor in her Drs office in the foetal position and cried until she had to help me!
When our youngest was born, I knew instantly that I could never put our family through that again. We were now a complete family and that was that. Until all those experiences and endless months of feeling isolated and alone, not believed, guilty and sick caught up with me in one go! The experiences that we had suffered all felt too real, and was too much to process. I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD. HG doesn't just end when pregnancy ends, the effects that it has you and those around you are immeasurable.
I didn't know about PSS until after the birth of Imogen. I was trying to find answers on the internet for why I still felt the way I did even though I was no longer pregnant. I really wish I had found them sooner. I booked tickets for the next conference and forced myself to go. I was so scared; I had never met anybody else who had had HG before. I was so overwhelmed to finally be understood, that when I was asked to speak about my experiences, I started to talk and burst into tears! I managed to tell my story and be comforted by the most amazing group of people, who just 'Got it!' I signed up as a Peer support volunteer as soon as I got home that day.
That’s why I'm here, and doing this challenge! To raise awareness and funds for this amazing charity. Should my daughters need the help of PSS, it will be there, continuing to do the amazing work it does. Helping women through the darkest of times.
I have a MASSIVE phobia of Tomato Ketchup!!!
My biggest challenge will be dealing with the heights! Eek!