Some exciting news!

I don’t really know where to start this post, especially since I have only started blogging again very recently after 4 months of nothing.  I’ve been meaning to write something for a while but every time I start, I stop. For fear of I don’t know what really, but anyway, I’m here now and I’m going to post this no matter what, as I have some big news to share.

The reason for the majority of my silence over the last 3 months is mostly because I have been very unwell, in and out of hospital and mostly bed bound. However, the reason behind my sickness is incredibly exciting, I am pregnant!  Before I start blabbering on about how horrendous the first trimester was and your start thinking of me as some moaning mummy to be- let me assure you that I couldn’t feel more overwhelmed or privileged to be carrying this tiny little bundle and despite my 13 weeks of morning, noon and night vomiting (up to 40 times a day) alongside countless other symptoms, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything.

Before I begin I also want to say that in no way is the condition I had during my first trimester anything to do with my Type One Diabetes, it’s completely separate and something that any woman can get during her pregnancy.

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On December 26th and being in the earliest stage of pregnancy I started with extreme nausea and vomiting. It started off feeling a bit like severe motion sickness, but I couldn’t shake the nausea. After several days without any food or drink and constant sickness I had to be carried in to A & E by my husband, Ports, where I was swiftly diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, given a 3 inch injection in to my bottom (Merry Christmas!) and sent on my way with a few leaflets and a bag of anti-sickness drugs. 24-7 and 7 days a week for 13 weeks it clung to me. Even when I was sick there was no release as the nausea was still there. In just 13 weeks I lost 10kg (22lbs) and had been in and out of hospital and the early pregnancy unit on a concoction of rehydration, drugs and drips. My idea of pregnancy had always been that, other than my insulin, I was going to be the healthiest and happiest mummy-to-be and wouldn’t be taking anything else other than the usual folic acid and vitamins. Well, let me tell you that idealistic plan went straight out of the window. The anti-sickness drugs seemed to do nothing, but I was too scared not to take them for fear of my already challenging scenario being somehow worse.

Trying to balance my blood sugars as well as deal with the sickness was a task in itself. I couldn’t eat, or drink, even a single sip of water would leave me retching. Because of this I ended up with something called ketoacidosis which any one can get, but is particularly dangerous for diabetics if your sugars are high. For me, mine were the opposite, they were very very low and because I couldn’t eat or drink I was struggling to get them up. My body had basically gone in to starvation mode and so I had to be in and out of hospital on a drip to rehydrate me. It’s amazing once you are diagnosed with something and you start researching it, you realise how many thousands of other women there are going through exactly the same thing. I knew that morning sickness existed but I didn’t realise how severe it could be and by severe , this meant debilitating and for someone with Type one diabetes, life threatening. Hyperemesis Gravidarum isn’t widely spoken about until you Google it and read about all the women who have struggled with it. Some in an even worse state than me. I remember reading, one rainy afternoon at about 4 pm when I had spent the last 4 hours on the bathroom floor being sick with blood and bile that a woman had gone to full term with this HG and only on giving birth did it actually stop. I burst in to floods of tears at the thought that I too could be taking the same journey. The woman had started her pregnancy at 9 stone and by the time she’d had the baby she was 7 stone.

Diabetic PregnancyOn my 6th week pregnant I had an emergency early scan, as they wanted to check that a) I wasn’t having twins (as they are notorious for causing HG) and b) It wasn’t something more sinister. As I was wheeled in to the room and climbed on to the bed I just remember feeling so deflated and worried. The very personable sonographer was so positive and calming as she put the warm gel on my tummy. No sooner had the transducer touched my skin, we immediately saw a tiny sack and a very big heart beat! Hearing it and seeing it was the most magical moment of our lives so far. Ports burst in to tears and so did I. I was most certainly pregnant with just one tiny, growing treasure.Diabetic Pregnancy

Not only was I unfortunate enough to suffer with the HG I also had multiple other pregnancy symptoms, some unrelated to the HG: severe constipation (9 days was my record), headaches, boobs that were so swollen and heavy and that had come from nowhere- the only thing on my  body that was big! Then possibly the worst symptom of all (yes, there was another) excessive saliva and the constant need to spit…. not just a couple of times a day, this was needing to spit saliva every ten seconds. There was no escaping it. Luckily I was so ill I couldn’t go anywhere any way, but the times I had to go to hospital I had to carry a towel with me in which to spit. It was VILE….I would go through 4 full-sized body towels a day, plus cups / bowls and containers and because of this my mouth was red red raw, swollen, dry and would bleed constantly. I’m not going to sugar coat this story as I think it’s only fair of me to be honest, and on those women who are still suffering from HG.

Ports, my parents and brother were incredible. My rocks. It must have been so awful for them to see me struggling and in such a terrible state, but they bought so much light to my very very dark days and I am so very  grateful to have them as I literally couldn’t have got through it without them. It’s amazing how feeling so unwell for so long can completely alter your usual ability to rationalise and see anything positively.   There were so many moments where I was inconsolable and couldn’t speak for pain and sickness, but all I could think about was that I was nurturing such precious cargo and I would and had to get through it.

I told a very small group of friends from the start who were equally incredible. I was so scared about the what ifs but I realised pretty quickly that just listening to their funny stories, their worries, their daily lives and their words of encouragement helped me no end in carrying on.

The positive day came on my 12 week scan, which was during my 13th week of pregnancy. I woke up that morning with no sickness and only a tiny bit of nausea. It was almost a feeling of normality and I couldn’t believe it. Part of me panicked  a little as I suddenly feared there was something wrong as all the symptoms I’d had for 13 weeks solid had virtually disappeared! We went along to our 12 week scan and there was no longer a sack and a heartbeat but a tiny little human being body kicking its little legs and doing turns. It was incredibly overwhelming and from that moment, the nausea went and only 3 days later, the spitting stopped too and slowly my body began to heal. Throughout all of this, the baby was of course fine. It’s amazing what the mother can be going through and yet the baby remain in complete health. The sonographer said that the baby was quite similar to a parasite, in that it would just take exactly what it needed and not leave me with not much else!

I know I am incredibly lucky not to have HG any more (touch wood) as a lot of women suffer from it for the majority of their pregnancy, they can end up with feeding tubes and on a permanent hospital ward. My sugars have remained quite low but have certainly stabilised a lot from being constantly hypo and actually my diabetes has been the most manageable it has ever been (HBA1C 4.5%). The support I have received from the hospital has been incredible. I have to attend weekly appointments, either with a midwife or a nurse and then I have a once monthly diabetic nurse appointment and a joint diabetic professor and obstetrician (every 3 weeks). It’s monitored so closely and taken so seriously and I am very fortunate to feel secure that I am being looked after.

Hyperemesis Gravadarum Pregnancy

For the last 9 weeks I have got my strength back, I am eating and drinking normally and I have no nasty symptoms.  I have put the majority of the weight back on that I had lost- and I have a wonderful bump that’s growing at a rate of knots and makes my heart flutter every time I look at it or touch it. Only in the last 3 weeks have I started showing, but it has been a rapid growth! I was especially proud last night when we popped in to the supermarket and the cashier said to me “how long have you got”, I didn’t know what she meant to begin with, and then suddenly it clicked, pregnancy lingo.

I am now 21 weeks pregnant and yesterday we had out 20 week scan, also known as an abnormality scan. Everything was normal and healthy for now with our tiny little bundle kicking its legs and having hiccups on-screen which broke my heart in to a million pieces. I can’t believe how in love both P and I are with it already and I will do absolutely anything in my power to keep my precious cargo safe.

Hyperemesis Gravadarum Pregnancy

The baby is due on 24th August, although because of my Diabetes I will not be allowed to go to full term so I will likely be induced at 37-38 weeks – unless my little womb lodger decides to naturally evacuate (safely and securely of course!!) before then!

I know this is going to seem strange for some of my readers, as you follow me for recipes on food alone, but I want to share my pregnancy journey in the hope that it might help other HG sufferers and those with Diabetes……and of course, any one who has a genuine interest in pregnancy! We all have a different story to share and I hope you will enjoy reading about mine, warts n’ all.

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21 thoughts on “Some exciting news!

    • Thank you so much, Cheryl and thank you for all your lovely messages and concern. We are so excited and happy and I hope you will enjoy reading more of my journey! :o) Emi x

  1. Congratulations Emma. I had wondered where were the recipes! And well done to you for finally telling the true story of pregnancy. I wish more people told the truth about pregnancy and year one…a pampers advert it is not! No matter how hard we try to do our best and how much we all love and adore our children. Please keep sharing and most importantly being truthful..

    • Hi Jane, thank your for your message! Yes, I was completely out of the blogsphere’ for a while, but I hope to be back full time now with lots of new recipes and pregnancy stories (all very truthful of course, I just hope not too brutal!!). I don’t see the point of sugar coating anything just to make it sound nice, people want to know real stories and struggles as it’s more relatable! I just hope people don’t mind me blogging about pregnancy when it was predominantly meant to be a recipe blog! Emi x

  2. Congrats 🙂 You are positively glowing! All the best and hopefully it’s smooth sailing ahead. I was diagnosed with Type 1 almost a year ago now and being a “female of reproductive age” I have heard all sorts of stories, so I am glad to see that you are doing well x

    • Thank you so much, Debra! I am sorry to hear you were diagnosed with T1D a year ago, but I hope you are having lots of support. There is so much to be positive about and T1D should certainly never hold you back from doing any thing you want to do! Emi x

  3. Oh huge congratulations! Reading your HG story has me in tears. I am so so sorry you’ve been through that. I suffered for 26 weeks during my 4th pregnancy and there has never been another time we’re I’ve felt so desperate and miserable. It really is hell, and I did not have symptoms as severe as you. My heart goes out to you and I hope you continue to bloom for the rest of your pregnancy! Thanks for sharing this post xx

    • Thank you so much, Susanne. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like suffering for 26 weeks, it sure is the most debilitated I have ever felt, as there’s just no escaping it. I am so lucky to be symptom free of it now, but I am still very aware that it could come back and any feeling of nausea I have does send me in to a little panic. Thank you again for your kind words. Emma x

  4. Congrats. I am delightes ur syptoms have gone. I have had 2 HG pregnancies were it lasted right to the end (including during labour) i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy. Enjoy your pregnancy and enjoy the baby when they arrive they grow so so fast.

    • Wow, I can’t ever imagine what that must have been like going all the way to full term and then go through labour with it. It’s something that I would never wish anyone to go through as it’s mental and physical torture. It was hard to actually write in to words how bad it was, as I don’t want people to think I’m being dramatic either as I did find a few times that people would say “but it’s just morning sickness”- which would literally put me in despair! It’s so lovely to have had so much support from other HG sufferers like yourself, and know that I am not alone in my thoughts. Wishing you happiness and health, Emma x

  5. Congratulations!! I’m so glad you’re feeling better now. I had HG in both of my pregnancies and it is awful. Thankful you have a great team taking care of you!

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Kristin. I am sorry to hear you were a sufferer too, there seem to be so many women who were and it’s so nice to receive the comments and support. I am so lucky to be under such good care and so lucky that I only suffered from it up to 13 weeks. Wishing you happiness and health, Emma x

  6. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I run a group on Facebook for women with HG which I started many moons ago after suffering with it myself during my pregnancies and all right to the end, unfortunately we have even lost a baby due to this illness being so bad. The first time I had it was at a time when it was even less known about than it is now and I never wanted anyone to be alone with it like I felt when I had it which is why I started the group. I was much like the woman you read about, started at 10st and when weighed a week before I had my first son at 35 weeks, I weighed only 7st 12lbs with him still inside and he was born at 5lbs 7ozs. I want to thank you for sharing your story and not holding anything back. I seek out these kinds of stories because it fills me with confidence that maybe I could do it again. I will also share it on our group. I’m so glad your HG stopped after the first trimester. I sincerely wish you well in the weeks to come and hope that it does not return for you and you can have a joyful and restful pregnancy. I’m sorry you had to go through it but it was nice to hear you had such support around you. All the best. Laura x

    • Thank you so much for your kind and honest message, Laura. I am so so sorry to hear that you lost a baby due to HG and that you’ve suffered so much with all the pregnancies. I feel so lucky that I am HG free now, it honestly felt like I’d been reborn when the symptoms stopped. It’s such a dark and debilitating time, and unless you have had it yourself or lived with someone who has, I just don’t think any one quite understands what we go through and how you become a mere shell of yourself!
      So many people have said to me, “you’ve not been ill you’ve just been pregnant” and I literally cant explain how much I want to (a) hit them, but (b) make them see just how horrific HG is, it’s not “just” morning sickness, it’s life altering / stopping !! I tried to be as honest as I could bee in my blog post, it was hard to be so open but as I read it back I think I could have said more- but I don’t want to fully put people off pregnancy for life!! Anyway, thank your for sharing it in your group- I would love the join the group if you could send me a link or let me know what it’s called – my email’s paleowithmrsp@gmail.com
      All the best to you and your family in health and happiness, Emma x

  7. Congratulations!! I work in healthcare and work with a lot of ladies who suffer from hyperemesis and it is a truly horrendous condition. Thankfully, once they give birth it often becomes a distant memory and most don’t let it deter them form having another, and many also don’t get it the second time around. well done for staying strong, it sounds like it’s been so tough.
    Farah x
    http://www.vatkinary.com

    • Your right by saying that a lot of people don’t let it deter them from trying again but it can make it very difficult to take that step. However, although there are cases known where women don’t get HG in subsequent pregnancies it is actually very common and much more likely for women to get HG in each pregnancy after they have had it once unfortunately.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. I can’t imagine what you see on a daily basis, those poor women! I just hope I can get through the next 3 months without any more complications (I’m touching lots of wood!). Thank you again and take care, Emma x

  8. I came across your blog while browsing twitter for recipes, and am so delighted to have done so — as a type 1 diabetic who’s hoping to become pregnant soon, I’ll be following your journey with great interest! (There are so few UK blogs out there for type 1s and pregnancy.) Sorry to hear about your rocky first trimester, but glad things are going more smoothly now. Congratulations, very exciting!

    • Thank you so much for commenting, I am pleased that you found me! I know, there are so few t1 pregnancy blogs out there and a lot of the online groups I come across are just filled with horror stories that no one needs to hear! Good luck getting pregnant , my biggest advice is a solid hba1c and to start taking your high dose folic acid ahead of conception! 🙂 Emma x

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