As I near the end of my second trimester of pregnancy, I thought I would reflect on my journey with bump so far. There have been a lot of highs and lows second time around, mainly caused by the severe sickness I suffered with in the first trimester… The beginning… And finding out!
We hadn’t been trying for baby no.2 for a long time but we did receive the ‘magic ovulation box’ soon after so I was quietly confident. Basically this is a pack of ovulation sticks from Boots (or possibly Superdrug) which has been passed through my group of friends. Anyone who has been given this box has fallen pregnant within a month! I was the fourth person in the chain. Whether it was just positive thinking or mystical, I guess we will never know 😉 But it worked.
After the high of getting the box, we had another, falling pregnant within a month. I tested early even though I showed no symptoms and the line was so faint that I thought it was a negative result. I was about to throw it in the bin and a sliver of a line caught my eye. Andy wasn’t convinced so I tested again for the next two days. This was the result on Day 3. Even then the line was quite faint.
A week later the sickness started. Initially it was just feeling a bit queasy at the smell of a takeaway and the following day it kicked in… Completely. Nothing I ate stayed down and it was exhausting. I lay on the sofa and my eyes just kept closing. Annabelle kept trying to get me up and about to play with her or just keep her company but my eyelids felt so heavy. My mum had to drive up from London to look after Annabelle as there was no way I could sleep instead of looking after her. As well behaved as she is, she is only a toddler and I couldn’t risk her safety by falling asleep even for a minute.
This then became my ‘routine’ for the next few weeks. Sleeping like a newborn, trying to eat and running to the bathroom. I became dehydrated and lost nearly a stone in weight. My calves would ache walking up and down the stairs and I would be breathless. As well as feeling exhausted, I felt like such a bad mother. Annabelle wanted my time and attention and all I could do was sleep. On top of the guilt was the worry about baby’s growth and development. I tried anything and everything to keep food or drink down, ginger biscuits, milk, vitamins but nothing worked. My mum had to work part-time at the University so she drove Annabelle and I to stay with her in London and my Uncle would help to look after Annabelle while she was at work.
A few weeks in, I knew I couldn’t go on like this as I didn’t want to cause any harm to the baby. I needed to have folic acid and nutrition for bubs and I needed energy not only to prevent organ failure for me but to be able to look after Annabelle as a mother should. I phoned the NHS helpline and if I’m completely honest, they were awful! They reluctantly ‘booked an appointment’ at the hospital, which turned out to be nothing at all. There was a two-hour wait and they hadn’t given the hospital any of my details. I couldn’t stand the smell or bear sitting in the waiting room so after the receptionist took pity on me, she asked the nurse to see me. This was a complete waste of time too. She made me feel like I was being a hypochondriac and told me that everything I was going through was a completely normal part of pregnancy. She suggested I wait another couple of hours to see the doctor but I had had enough. I wanted to go home.
My mum drove us back to Bath and I booked an appointment with my regular GP. It was two-hours of discomfort and sickness in the car but worth every minute as I can’t sing my GPs praises enough. She is amazing! She squeezed me in and researched Hyperemesis gravidarum into such detail. She wanted to make sure that she chose the best medication for me. I had Prochlorperazine (Stemetil). I was still sick with this tablet but I wasn’t dizzy as I was with Cyclizine and the longer I took it, the less sickness I experienced. She referred me to the early pregnancy clinic at the Royal United Hospital as I had been bleeding and I had a scan at 8 weeks. Baby was amazing and exactly the right size. Everything looked healthy and as it should.
I carried on taking my tablets for another few weeks, I could eat (which was such an amazing experience after weeks of sickness) and began to gain weight ready for trimester two…! Please be sure to stay tuned for that, the next episode, and a more positive, happy and healthy experience. Bx