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Journey into the world of hyperemesis gravidarum...
19Jun 17

THE JOY OF HG

Happy Father's Day!

In celebration of Fathers Day yesterday i asked Ian to write a guest blog to raise awareness of what it is like for husbands and partners supporting their wives/partners through HG.... Here's to the Joy of HG 

Finding out your partner is pregnant is one of the most incredible things that can happen to you. 

I found myself overjoyed and excited at the prospect of my then fiancé and soon to be wife growing our child within her. The expected ongoing joy and excitement of 9 months of waiting for the new baby boy or girl to arrive. My partner glowing with pregnancy and happy to be carrying our child, although evidently concerned with the arrival process! 

Sadly none of this was to be the case beyond a couple of weeks. 

Around week 4 we were pregnant by week 6 she was vomiting endlessly. Unable to hold down toast or even water. I witnessed her glow diminish and her shrink in size. Spending my time concerned for her wellbeing instead of excited for our child’s arrival.  I effectively nursed her when I was home, and during the week when I was at work I worried incessantly as to whether she was ok, had she managed to eat or drink.  Had she managed to go an hour without vomiting? 

Being called to be told she is in hospital and on a drip to try and re-hydrate her is not a nice call to take. This call multiple times is horrendous. 

She probably should have been in hospital more but stubbornly refused to go. 

Most women seem to enlarge when pregnant. This is natural; there is an additional person in there! Not my wife, she continued to fade away. She was able to do less and less and I worried more and more for her and the baby.  Maintaining a positive and strong stance in front of her whilst internally being frightened is not fun! 

Having no one to engage with about the problem, as no one else could possibly understand the situation meant I had to deal with all of the challenges and worries on my own internally. 

There was no free time. I either worried and looked after her, or worried and strived to get home to look after her. 

 The pregnancy could not pass quick enough.  The sooner the baby arrived the sooner my wife could recover.  Why was she so ill?  No one seemed to have an answer other than ginger biscuits or some other ridiculous old wives tale. 

Fortunately she did survive, we had a beautiful daughter and I could finally relax, as she regained strength and became herself again. 

The zombie was once again being replaced by my vibrant and feisty wife. 

 So we decided to have another child.  It couldn’t be as bad surely!  Of course it could, and it was.  Fortunately this time the Dr’s understood the condition and she was prescribed some heavy hitting ant-sickness drugs.  This did not prevent her from once again withering down and ending up in hospital. 

When not in hospital struggling to cope with our eldest daughter, as activity was too much and she was unable to cook as it made her violently ill. 

I once again had to deal with the emotional challenge of supporting a very ill wife whilst at home and away for prolonged periods.  Dealing with a situation by phone, when all I wanted to do was be at home. 

Again I had no one to talk too as still no one else could understand my situation and my emotional struggle. 

My wife was not to see the struggle I went through as I did not want her to worry, when the priority was keeping her as well as possible and positive. 

Fortunately the second time she had support from mental health midwives and PSS which greatly helped her, and for that I am grateful. 

Perhaps husbands need to acknowledge they need support as well, not all the time but every now and then just some re-assurance so you can maintain the positive persona for your sick partner. 

I did not share my feelings with my partner so as not to upset her, and get her down.  This perhaps was a mistake. My wife being an emotional creature felt more alone without my feelings and fears, and as if she was not understood.  I as a very much task, not emotional person find it hard to engage emotionally and see the positive show as primary.  What is best is communication, understanding and support. 

Hopefully in the future more men will realise this and reach out to potential support groups and not see it as a failing or weakness.  It takes strength to engage, and open up with your problems.  Women understand that some men may not be emotional creatures and therefore what you perceive as simple sharing of feelings will ease a problem is something which is beyond your task orientated partner. 

Communicate and support for each other is key!  Pregnancy I’m afraid for the HG suffering couple is not pleasant.  It is something to deal with and defeat prior to the joy of a new born child and the recovery of the partner you love.

For further information and support please contact Pregnancy Sickness Support by Phone: 02476382020 or Email: support@pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum - The Definitive Guide by Caitlin Dean

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About Me

I am mother of three beautiful children and wife to a fantastic and supportive husband. I am a nurse, a farmer and a trustee for Pregnancy Sickness Support. I love working hard and spending time with my kids.

About this blog

Information and support for pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum. Views are my own and do not represent those of any other organisation. Information provided here should not be a substitute for medical advice. My aim is to raise awareness and encourage sufferers to know they are not alone.

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