Pregnancy Comes In All Shapes And Sizes: Hyperemesis Gravidarum, PIH and EMCS
A Guest Post with Katy from KatyKicker Blog
Hyperemesis is a severe form of sickness in pregnancy. Some pregnant mothers even require hospitalisation for the replenishment of fluids. It can be mentally exhausting as well a physically exhausting.
PIH stands for Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. This is where blood pressure becomes elevated as a result of the pregnancy. Extra monitoring is required to ensure blood pressure does not become dangerously high, complications such as growth restriction in baby could occur too.
Thank you to Katy for telling us her story of coping with complications through pregnancy.
Please tell us a little about your family.
My family comprises myself, Katy, 29, my husband Thomas who is 30 and our 1 year old daughter Daisy. Daisy was born in March 2016 and I had quite a difficult pregnancy and a difficult birth.
When did you realise that your pregnancy sickness wasn’t just pregnancy sickness?
Around 14 weeks when it still didn’t stop. I got to 16 weeks, and couldn’t keep water down, and I knew it was bad!
Did you feel you were taken seriously when you asked for help with the sickness?
Yes. My own GP was wonderful and prescribed medication for me at 16 weeks.
Were you prescribed medication? How did you feel about this?
Yes, to be honest I felt relieved. I was so ill by then and had already lost 1 stone.
Were you hospitalised? How did you feel about this?
Yes, many times throughout the last few months. Each time I would feel upset to have to stay, and a little scared. However, at the same time I felt relief to have a drip, and some injections, and begin to feel a little better.
Did the sickness subside at any point during your pregnancy?
I had a few days throughout the entire pregnancy, maybe 5, where I wasn’t being sick from waking up until bedtime.
When did you develop PIH?
My blood pressure shot up at 8 weeks and stayed high until my daughter was almost 1! It was a LONG time to feel unwell.
How was it explained to you?
I was told that my body was struggling with the pregnancy and my blood pressure had gone up as a result.
Were you placed on medication for PIH?
Yes. I was prescribed a beta blocker suitable for pregnancy which helped considerably. I was then kept on this until my daughter was about 1.
How did you find all the extra monitoring for both conditions?
I had 10+ growth scans, I had multiple days where I spent hours in the maternity & foetal assessment unit and I was sick of the dopplers by the end. However, I was grateful that such monitoring exists and a close eye was kept on us.
How did suffering with HG and PIH affect you mentally?
I was convinced that my daughter was going to die during my pregnancy and as it turned out she almost did!
Now about the EMCS
When did it become apparent that the labour was either not progressing as expected or that there was a problem?
I was in the 38th week when it was finally apparent to people other than me that there were problems.
This may sound like there will be an obvious answer but how did you feel when the doctors said you needed to go into theatre?
I felt relief. I knew that my daughter was in trouble by then and I wanted her delivered safely.
Do you feel you and your partner had adequate communication given the situation?
Yes, at the end I did. Not before that however. I was disappointed that things dragged on for several days, however, they want to avoid c-sections so I do understand.
Once in theatre were you kept awake or did they feel it necessary to give you a general anaesthetic?
Yes I was kept awake – I was really pleased to see my daughter born.
Tell us a little bit about what happened in theatre.
We went in as my placenta was suffering, I had a huge blood loss. My daughter was born safely within 10 minutes and then I wasn’t allowed to leave theatre for more than an hour. This meant that we couldn’t have our first cuddle in the theatre but I got to watch my husband having one which was lovely.
Did you and your partner feel supported throughout the experience in theatre by medical professionals?
Yes, when we were in the theatre we were kept informed and despite it being an emergency by then everybody was calm and professional.
How was baby once he/she was born? Did you get to hold them?
Daisy was great! She was just over the threshold for needing to visit the SCBU and she had a team of people there to help check her over. She weighed 5lb 13oz which was small considering she was almost fully grown!
At any point after the events did any doctor / midwife discuss the events with you and your partner? Did they ask you how you felt? Did they answer any questions you had?
Nobody said anything to us afterwards, other than to say that my daughter and I had been rather unwell and we were fortunate to already be waiting outside the theatre when the real problems arose. Nobody gave me any support or help, besides a midwife who spent 15 minutes teaching me how to latch my daughter on. Besides that I was pretty much left alone for 2 days other than medication time. It wasn’t great and I couldn’t wait to get home with my new baby.
How are you now?
I am doing great thank you. I’ve got rid of all my anxiety and the feelings that I carried for the last year around my birth. I may even go on to try for another baby one day in the future. I’m really grateful that my daughter made it here safe, and is thriving now despite some health problems since her birth.
My channels are: