Blogging is an interesting world. Some are insightful and compelling like this from FlipChartFT. Some are thought provoking and make you question things like this from Rob Jones. Some are about daily life and the struggles of divorce like this from Rob Harrison. Some are about profession and current thinking like this from Neil Morrison. Some are about a specific industry like this from Mervyn Dinnen.
And some are so joyful and heart warming that you are compelled to come back and read the next one like this from Jane Blackmore. I don’t know Jane. I’ve spoken with her once on the phone for about 5 mins, but that was to talk shop, which is a shame because we would have had far more fun talking about family’s I gather. But I do know Jane from her writing. A working mother with 3 kids not that far in age from my 3. Daily trials and tribulations they throw her way and how her husband (He who helped create them – a wonderful turn of phrase!) helps along the way.
In today’s post she writes about a personal matter, which will resonate with any couple who have tried for a baby are likely to experience. Miscarriage of a baby. It’s a heart wrenching experience, that we too have felt, and it’s a sad thing to go through.
I’d like to talk about a different experience of pregnancy.
When my wife and I were trying for out first child, and we found she was pregnant, it’s a joyous time! I am not one to keep my mouth shut, and duly told EVERYONE. Seriously, there was not one person I knew at the time that didn’t know! I loved that we were on this journey, and loved the thought of having a family!
But, after a few days of finding out, my wife started to get morning sickness. It wasn’t restricted to just morning’s though. It was all day. After two days, she couldn’t keep anything down. We were worried for her health, and for the health of the baby. A trip down to the maternity ward and they did some tests which showed her ketones were low. This effectively meant she wasn’t eating enough, she was dehydrated, her sugar levels had dropped and she wasn’t producing enough proteins due to the lack of food.
She had to be put onto a drip to rehydrate her, and kept in for observation. After 3 days of being in hospital, they did a scan to make sure baby was ok. I will never forget the phone call. 8.40 in the morning on may to work, about 10 mins left before I get to the office.
Crying wife “Sukh, I’ve just had the scan”
Me thinking the worst “Oh, is everything ok?” What does the scan show?”
Crying wife “We have twins.”
A shocked and stunned Sukh “NO WAY”
Crying wife > crying
Me “Shall I come back to the hospital?”
Crying wife “No, it’s ok, just come later”
Me – Big Solid Ear to Ear grin for the rest of the day. As a complete aside, I subsequently went on to broadcast my news to the world, ringing everyone I knew and sending text messages galore – social media was in its infancy in those days (2006). Later, when I was with the wife and my parents had come to visit, they advised:
Them “We should keep this news quiet for now while she recovers”
Wife “He’s told everyone.”
Originally we thought this must be the reason for the extreme sickness. It all made sense now! She was carrying twins, double the trouble, double the sickness! Alas, no.
The doctor finally advised she had hyperemesis. Hyperemesis gravidarum is it’s full name. It’s an extreme form of sickness in pregnancy which means the mother has a lot of difficulty keeping any food or fluid down. It’s also very rare. Mothers will typically have some form of sickness, and it can be quite a lot, but for a smaller population, they experience this extreme form.
This is what the experience of hyperemesis was like. My wife had to take 7 weeks off work because of the sickness. In that time, she had to spend between 2-4 days every week in the maternity ward due to the hyperemesis. While she was at home, she stayed away from the kitchen and spent much time on the sofa. Her sense of smell was heightened something chronic and anything that had an aroma was undesirable. She ate little because she was too scared of being sick. She hated pregnancy and felt like she was being an awful burden on the family.
Personally, I hated seeing her like this. I didn’t care about cleaning up after her, nor being at her beck and call. I was just worried about her health, and of our little unborn babies.
It wasn’t until about 16 weeks into the pregnancy that she finally overcame the hyperemesis. And when she finally did, things made a slow return to normality, as much as they could for a mother carrying twins!
We were hoping it was restricted to the twins, but when she fell pregnant for the third time (second time being the miscarriage), she again suffered with hyperemesis. Thankfully this time she didn’t have to be admitted to hospital, but she still struggled for about 5 weeks this time.
And it’s why I’m reluctant for us to try for more. Those of you who follow me on Twitter, may be aware that my brother-in-law’s girlfriend has recently had a baby who is now 12 days old! My wife is obviously broody and making wild claims about having a fourth. I would love this, particularly as I’m an only child so a big family would be a wonderful thing to happen! But I am more than happy with our 3 and I cannot bear to watch my wife go through another bout of hyperemesis.