I'm Natalie and I am from Bristol, England although I have recently moved to New Zealand. All of my experiences with HG took place in the UK. I have 3 children from 3 HG pregnancies which ranged in severity from moderate to severe, intractable / refractory HG.
HG with my first pregnancy began during week 7 when the morning sickness I had been having spiralled out of control. I received pretty horrendous treatment from my GP who diagnosed my condition immediately but then did not prescribe any medication to control the nausea or vomiting. I was left to suffer until week 10 by which time I had become totally incapacitated and had lost 15% (around 21 lbs) of my pre-pregnancy bodyweight. I had major food aversions including vomiting at the thought of food, smells were banned and I was only able to lie in bed on my side in a darkened room with no light, sound or movement. The lowest point came when I was throwing up every 15 minutes on the dot and dry heaving in between. I most surely had become dehydrated but still was not prescribed medication or admitted to hospital. It was a living hell. I had become was totally unable to care for myself which resulted in me leaving my husband for the first time in over 2 years of marriage to move 120 miles away so I could live with my parents to enable my mother to look after me 24/7.
It was only then that I was finally given medication (by a different GP) to control the vomiting. She did give me the option of going in for IVs but my natural aversion to the NHS and hospitals (I work in one) not to mention the particular hospital in question (ewwww) and my stubbornness (or stupidity) meant I took the decision to carry on as I had been. With the meds, the vomiting drastically reduced to a couple of times a day (totally manageable in comparison) but nothing touched the nausea. I also lost my job as a result of taking so much time off sick but I was just too ill to take them to an employment tribunal even though I had a great case.
Going into my next pregnancy, having found this site, learned about HG and written a protocol, I was adamant I would not take the same treatment as before. I had found the best GP in all of Bristol (or even the world!) and he was fully prepared to be proactive with my treatment. So when the nausea and vomiting began at 5 weeks, I immediately started meds. With that pregnancy, even the the nausea was ever present, I only vomited around 2-4 times a day but it was a total breeze compared to my first pregnancy. I still lost 12% of my pre-pregnancy bodyweight (14lbs) but was not nearly as bad as before. I put on my first lb at 24 weeks and it remains one of my highlights of my pregnancy!
It took over 3 years to pluck up the courage to go for our no. 3. I honestly thought from the years of being on HER, having written material that was published on the management of Hyperemesis that somehow I would be in control of the HG. Boy, was I wrong. I knew almost straight away that I was pregnant, well before any extra blue line turned up on a pregnancy test. Food was YEUCH! By 5 weeks I was dehydrated I was admitted by 6 weeks. I then spent 3 weeks in and out of hospital trying anything and everything to stop the vomiting but nothing, absolutely NOTHING worked. The longest I managed to stay out of hospital was 36 hours. By 9 weeks, the Drs stopped sending me home and I remained as an inpatient on the ward. All my fluids and meds were by IV and injection. the low point was when I was referred to a dietician who said if a treatment combination couldn't be found, I would have to be tube fed. We finally found a combination of medications that worked and I went home around 12 weeks on a cocktail of meds.
During that pregnancy I tried Bonine (sent over from a friend in the US), Phenergan, Stemitil, Cyclizine, Metoclopramide, Ranitidine, Zofran, Hydrocortisone, Prednisilone, Domperidone, plus others such as Pyroxidine (B6) and other nutritional supplements the dietician prescribed.
I think it is fair to say that it was worse than both of my previous pregnancies combined. It was hideous. I hope that is not too depressing to read. I think what made it manageable (just about) was my support network, a GP (different to the one in my first pregnancy but in the same GP practice) who was nothing short of amazing and a lovely Registrar.
If I never get to say this anywhere else, I will say it here: the staff from the nurses to the domestics on Cotswold Ward at Southmead Hospital were brilliant. Thankyou for the bottom of my heart.
I feel I have experienced the spectrum of treatment for HG on the NHS can be extremely variable; it can be great or it can seriously suck. Needless to say, I am keen that nobody should have to endure the same kind of treatment that I received during the first 10 weeks of my first pregnancy. I know in comparison to our HG sisters across the pond, the management and treatment of HG on the NHS is very different. Drugs available to them are not so readily available to us (if at all) but I want everybody to get great treatment across the board. I am also interested in helping to minimise the impact HG has on the other aspects of our lives. So, if you have any questions or need help with preparing protocols etc. do get in contact and I will do my best to help.
Last edited by Natalie
on Jun 24, 2008 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2003 - DD
2006 - DS
2010 - DS