Hyperemesis gravidarum isn’t just morning sickness. Don’t you just hate it when you are experiencing something and someone adds ‘Oh its Just….’ Unless you have experienced the issue never use that sentence when discussing it with an affected person. I was lucky in my pregnancies that the only morning sickness I experienced was nausea. This felt bad to me as I couldn’t eat properly for the first term. But this was nothing compared to what poor Jen from Just Average Jen experience.  

Just Average Jen’s Birth Story

Most people discover they are pregnant when their period is late so they do a test and the blue line tells them that inside them a baby is starting to grow. I suspected before my period was even due because all of a sudden I was being sick, not just morning sickness, all day sickness! It was different to anything that I had every experienced before and as my period was due a few days later and we had been trying to conceive my suspicions were this was morning sickness. A test a few days later, when the sickness had not subsided, told me that yes I was pregnant.

At 24 this was my first baby, I had no idea what pregnancy was supposed to be like and although I had friends with children I hadn’t seen much of them during the pregnancies so I wasn’t sure what was normal. Back in 2004 there was much less on the internet than there is now and it was much less easily accessible, I didn’t have internet at home or on my mobile phone so the information I had was all based on parenting magazines I had bought since I discovered I was pregnant and talking to others.

‘The sickness got worse’

Whenever anyone asked me how the pregnancy was going I always said that I had sickness but never being one to draw attention to myself, and unfortunately being in an abusive relationship at the time I never complained or said anymore about it. I wasn’t actually entirely sure that this level of sickness wasn’t normal. As the weeks progressed the sickness only got worse and I was struggling to hold even a glass of water down for long most days. As my bump was growing I was feeling more and more unwell as I was struggling to keep much in the way of food or drink down.

At around 16 weeks I was admitted to hospital and put on a drip to increase my fluids and medication was tried to ease the sickness. This was the first time anyone suggested that this level of sickness was not normal and I had a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (the same condition that years later Princess Catherine/Kate would go on to have). After a few days in hospital I was discharged with some antiemetic medications to help control the sickness. The medications they had finally found to work reasonably well for me were usually given to help people suffering with sickness due to chemotherapy! Whilst I was on the ward a student doctor gave me a piece of advice which at the time seemed rather bizarre and almost like an old wives tale.

Finally, being able to eat

Finally I could eat again and hold a meal down for a short time. I was still being very sick and only holding small amounts of food down but this was an improvement on how I had been. Then I remembered the advice of the student doctor which didn’t seem likely to help but thought I may as well try it, nothing to lose. The advice was to never drink with my meals and to leave half an hour between a drink and any food. I tried this and it helped immensely.

Although I continued to be sick through the rest of my pregnancy, until I went into labour, it was much more manageable and I was holding drinks down and little bits of food so my daily functioning was better than it had been and I was actually working at work rather than running backwards and forwards to the toilet and back!

Welcome to the world Benjamin

My son Benjamin was born a day before his due date a healthy 9lb 1oz. I, on the other hand, lost four and a half stone during pregnancy. Where most people gain weight during pregnancy I lost it! Due to it being such an artificial loss as such I quickly gained it again, and more! I have not had another child since Ben, mostly just due to circumstances but also there is a little bit of worry that I will have such a difficult pregnancy again. I do now know though that if I have another baby I will ensure that if sickness is anywhere near that level I will seek medical help and medications to help but also avoid eating and drinking at the same time because that worked pretty well for me at making the sickness I had more manageable. Ben is 11 now and despite the pregnancy that I had I wouldn’t swap him for the world, except maybe when he is pestering for credit for his Xbox!

Just Average Jen is a lifestyle and food blog by Jen, who lost over 10 stone dropping from a whopping size 30 to a slinky size 6-8 just by eating more healthily. Jen shares her tips, recipes and reviews on everything linked to weight loss and healthy eating on her blog. Jen is just an average kind of woman, a mum, a girlfriend and just like the woman next door, she also shares how she is overcoming self confidence issues and finding who she is now, her lifestyle and an all rounded blog about just your average woman.

Ways to find Jen

You can find Jen blogging at www.justaveragejen.com and watch a video about her weight loss at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgXLvpRK4Eg  If you wish to follow her on social media use the following links www.facebook.com/justaveragejen www.twitter.com/justaveragejen www.instagram.com/justaveragejen

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