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Sarah's HuGStory

Compared to some of the women who have submitted their HuGStories I had hyperemesis relatively mildly, although I didn't think that at the time!! If someone had told me last November that I would still be vomiting in July I really do not know what I would have done.

I have two sons, two year old Harry and 11 week old William. With Harry I had the normal 12 weeks of sickness and vomited only a few times. With William it was a different story altogether.

I started vomiting at 5 1/2 weeks pregnant and the pattern seemed to go that I would have 3-4 days of awful followed by a few feeling a little better ( by that I mean just feeling sick instead of feeling as though I was about to throw up the whole time). At nine weeks I was admitted to the gynae ward for the first time for re-hydration therapy. They put me in a ward with two other women, the temperature was sub-tropical and in the middle of the night they admitted another woman with HG, so I had to listen to her throwing up in the bed opposite (that sounds really selfish, but if I hear someone vomiting when I am well it makes me want to chuck, so you can imagine how this made me feel!!). I was moved to an empty ward.

I am British and live in England where the treatments don't sound quite as "advanced" as some described in the USA. I was given various anti-sickness drugs to try and take the edge off the nausea. On my first admission I was told it probably wouldn't be my last and they were right, I was admitted nine times for HG and finally at 36 weeks for high blood pressure.

I was signed off work at 5 1/2 weeks pregnant and have not yet returned. Fortunately my employers have been great.

I too went through the guilt about having a toddler who just saw his mum laid in a heap on the sofa, we went from going to all sorts of social events, music club, toddler group, etc, to doing virtually nothing. I am very lucky as Harry is very good at entertaining himself.

At my low points I would lay on the bathroom floor in the arms of my husband (we are childhood sweethearts) and just howl, I begged him to help me and once I even begged him to kill me. He is my rock, I couldn't have done it without him.

I also thought terrible thoughts and still feel guilty about that.

My husband wasn't allowed to wear his usual deodorant because it smelt too strong, my mother-in-law offered to do some laundry and I couldn't use the bedding because the detergent she used made me feel worse. I remember searching through my drawers for a nightie that hadn't been washed in anything too strong smelling!!

I am an active member of the National Childbirth Trust ( a charity here in the UK, supporting parents through pregnancy, birth and parenthood) and am training with them to become an antenatal teacher - but all that had to be put on hold, I couldn't attend my monthly tutorial in London because I couldn't bear the car journey.

I tried all the alternative therapies; Ginger capsules, homeopathy, vitamin B6, seabands, hypnotherapy and acupuncture.

The only thing I found useful was the acupuncture, this took the edge off and kept me out of hospital for longer periods.

I had to endure people telling me its all in the mind and my mother telling me to "just get on with it", this does not help, until you have felt sick all day every day for months you just cannot pass judgement on those that have.

I more or less insisted on being induced at 38 weeks, I had had enough and my consultant explained the risks, but also added that pregnancy is not a trial of endurance.

I went in on 23rd June 2000 and when I was examined it was discovered that I was 3cm dilated, the midwife broke my waters and after a 5 1/2 hour labour William was born.

My son is gorgeous and after a few problems at birth (unrelated to HG) he is a big healthy boy, now 11 weeks old.

I originally wanted four children and this week packed away some of the clothes William has already grown out of, many of them those Harry had worn.

And I cried. I cried for the babies I wouldn't have. I cried that I would never have another baby, one of mine would never wear those little outfits again. I try to savour William as a baby as it goes so fast.

I couldn't do it again. I am scared that the over-riding urge to have another will overtake my fear. I won't be sterilised but we are taking contraception very seriously.

To all of you out there going through this, it will end, maybe sooner, maybe like me, not until you hold your baby in your arms, but one thing is true, when they gaze up and smile their first smiles, it will all have been worth it.

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