Pay It Forward
Okay okay, so the HG world rallied! And I’m not a quitter!
Thank you all for your kind messages of support and appreciation for my work. I’ll carry on for now!
I’ve come up with a Pay It Forward initiative so that we actually can provide some books for free to those who need them the most, but first I want to explore some of the barriers to involvement which I know all too well within the HG world.
One of the biggest challenges we face when trying to raise awareness of Hyperemesis Gravidarum is that so many of our women are deeply traumatised by their experience and can’t face fundraisers in which they have to discuss the condition with people they are trying to get donations from. Many of our women plan never to be pregnant again, even though plenty would desperately love more children. So they feel they need to leave the HG world behind and can’t face getting involved or doing fundraising events or activities.
Some women still harbour feelings of embarrassment about the condition as they were made to feel so shameful during the pregnancy – “You’re just pregnant you know” “you’re bringing it on yourself by not thinking positively”, “Your selfish to be taking medication in pregnancy – think of your baby”, “Your just not one of life’s copers are you”… all fairly standard comments for Hyperemesis sufferers to encounter during pregnancy which have a tenacious and toxic effect on our self-esteem and leave us feeling broken and humiliated.
I get that… I really do. But… how are we going to change the future for our daughters and granddaughters if we don’t put our foot down and say ENOUGH!
We are not weak
We are not selfish
We are not negative
We got an illness
It was an horrendous battle to get through each day at what should have been a happy and amazing experience growing our babies
We endured intense suffering for months on end, often with little to no understanding or support from those around us
We experienced the humiliation of other people accusing us of weak and pathetic
We are mocked by the public and belittled in the media
But we fought for our babies and our lives
We made difficult decisions, weighing up risks and seeking evidence to help us
We had to learn for ourselves as our doctors didn’t know
We had to defend our rights to life and health and reproduction
We didn’t all win…
And those of us who didn’t make it through faced grief and guilt and yet more battles
So… we must unite, we must stand tall and proud for the battles we’ve fought. We must speak up and defend our sisters. So our daughters can say this:
I got an illness
I received compassion and support
I was given treatment
It was still hard but not as hard as it was for our mothers
We all won
Please – Join me in this, Pay it Forward. I have set up a system so that people can donate my booksand HG packs to women who contact the charity via the helpline, the volunteer network or through our social media. You pay for the book online and it stays in our office until a women in need is identified, then we post it out. Please consider donating what you can and remember that the income from the books support the HG charities.
For those of you who don’t feel able to speak, I understand that, I really truly do, but please consider donating what you can and supporting in other ways. When you think of charity… think of HG! Pregnancy Sickness Support in the UK and the International HER Foundation… both are run on absolute shoestrings, driven forward by volunteers: dedicated survivors. Without support from the women they support they will be resources which are lost.
And don't forget to share and encourage others to do the same!