I had so many expectations around pregnancy. I expected first and foremost to feel like a whale from the get-go and gain a tonne of weight. I

I had so many expectations around pregnancy. I expected first and foremost to feel like a whale from the get-go and gain a tonne of weight. I

I had so many expectations around pregnancy.

I expected first and foremost to feel like a whale from the get-go and gain a tonne of weight.
I expected to have morning sickness for maybe 10-12 weeks and then really enjoy my pregnancy.
I expected to still be able to work completely normally up until the final few weeks.
I expected I would still be able to train the whole way through with modifications but be very active and fit/strong.
I expected I would be able to nourish my baby and have it as a time of eating great quality food, whole foods and really give this baby the best start to life possible with a degree in nutrition after all.

And as I mistook about 90% of the above.

Instead from 7 weeks in, I had my head in the toilet bowl.
I actually thought I got away with it as sickness didn’t kick in until around this time.
Instead, I vomited and dealt with major food aversions on and off my entire pregnancy.

In particular, the worst weeks being weeks 12-25 and then I thought it was coming to an end and again kicked back off again around 35 weeks.

And when I say kicked back, in it didn’t stop.

But my head wasn’t in a toilet bowl for a few weeks and I was able to work more efficiently.

I don’t think I understood at all how difficult pregnancy can be until this. I had clients who suffered morning sickness before and encouraged them to “just eat what they could.” I now know this was at times ignorant advice.

There were times when I would sit and beat myself up mentally and go “are you being lazy?” or “are you genuinely ill?” Then I would attempt to force food down and either vomit or dry reach.

Some days nothing would even come up, it would be a combination of bile and water, and blood at times.

The combination of no food in my stomach, vomiting also then resulted in severe constipation, not to mention I had suffered 2 miscarriages prior which meant I was put on progesterone for the first 12 weeks of this pregnancy. Not to mention at one point tearing an intercostal from coughing and vomiting combined.

So the combo of progesterone + morning sickness = Immense constipation.

I swear I looked more pregnant at 10 weeks than what I did at around 25 weeks due to this.

On the outside, HG looks good… You often LOSE weight during pregnancy, and I lost about 6 kilos between weeks 7 and 25. My main losses in the second trimester at a time when your baby should begin to grow.

So as much as I had people constantly telling me “but you look great” I felt like f*cking dying, no food = no energy, no vegetables and micronutrients = even less energy, the only foods I could keep down some weeks were bread, dry crackers, maybe some fruit/nuts and liquids. I would have given anything to gain 6 kilos not lose it if that meant that I didn’t have to suffer anymore.

When we began working with my midwife, she was the one who really saw how bad it was, after I passed out a few times. She forced me to medicate, which I had been avoiding. Trying to be a hero and I didn’t want the baby to deal with any unneeded meds. I wanted to get through it naturally, which looking back would be the thing I would change next time ASAP. Ondastrenon becomes my best friend. It stopped the vomiting. It stopped the dizziness and even though my appetite at this point was bleak and still had food aversions, it allowed me to keep some food down. It allowed me to again regain weight and the baby was growing.

alice pregnancy week 25

From week 25, I began to regain weight. In weeks 25 to the end of pregnancy, I managed to gain about 6 kilos back, meaning I basically started pregnancy at a similar weight I started it. This being said I lost a tonne of muscle mass and didn’t get shredded that’s for sure! I simply changed my composition.

So enough about mum, how was baby doing?

The thing with an HG pregnancy is normally your bub is thriving.

But mentally, when you’re not gaining weight, barely showing, you’re freaking out about the baby thriving. Is the baby growing? Is she getting enough nutrients? Those were the constant thoughts I had. I would beat myself up chronically about it. I’m already failing as a mum were the thoughts in my own mind.

When in reality she was killing it.

Wrapping up the pregnancy.

As the pregnancy continued, I had a few more positive weeks. No, I still couldn’t eat a lot of foods but I began to find a few that worked for me and my appetite improved a little around weeks 27-34 and I thought I was in the clear and began to up my calories and gain more weight which really eased my mind around her health.

We did a scan at 36 weeks and bub was measuring a little small, but healthy, and then a rescan at 39 weeks, where again she was measuring on the smaller side but now her placenta cord flow has dropped and some other signs that she was no longer really thriving in my womb, so the suggestion was an induction a few days prior to her due date. I won’t go into this in detail as it will be in her birth story. But this was a bit of relief to me.

Why? Because this was at 39 + 5 days and I was well and truly over being pregnant by then, with an HG pregnancy, you can focus on all the gratitude in the world which I did, and what got me through. BUT you still are allowed to feel like dog shit also. And not love the pregnancy experience as much as some other women. This doesn’t make you a bad mum. It makes you real and only about 3% of women have a pregnancy of this degree of sickness.

I still loved being pregnant, don’t get me wrong, I loved the kicks, seeing my body change, feeling her grow and loving myself for a whole new set of reasons. But if you have a friend with an HG pregnancy or suffering one yourself, I bloody feel for you!

I write this now post-birth of my beautiful perfect daughter, to say that once she came out, I felt nausea leave my body. I no longer had the food aversions. I no longer felt not myself. I felt me again. And I was surprised how fast this happened.

Alice, Sean and Newborn Millie

Once I also saw her, had her lay across my chest after I pushed her out, I didn’t even remember the sickness anymore, and I looked to my partner a day later and said let’s do it all over again.

Things worth having often challenge you the most and that’s what this pregnancy taught me.

I’ll probably get it again with my next pregnancy, and look I’m not rushing back into it! But I would 100% go through that 9-10 months of sickness again for another healthy, beautiful child and put my body through that selfless act for it. But I’m going to need a minute haha!

And you know what, having a newborn now 10 days old writing this, the sleep deprivation crying, vomiting, etc is 10000000x better than being pregnant with an HG pregnancy. BUT worth it!

I am so grateful for the lessons it taught me, but yes, I’m not rushing into another one right away!

Alice and Millie

Final Top Tips If You Have an HG Pregnancy:

  • Eat calorie-dense foods. Calories are all that matters, not so much food quality.
  • Supplement things in your missing from your diet, e.g. for me red meat aversions – iron supplements.
  • Get regular blood tests and scans of bub to ease your mind.
  • Stay hydrated, especially if you have been sick, coconut water and electrolytes are a great place to start.
  • Rest when you can. NAP, get more sleep. It does help.
  • Remember it’s ok to slow down and take a step back (hard for me to do also) but essential, don’t feel guilty for listening to your body.
  • Be grateful that you are pregnant, but it’s also ok to feel a little down about it at times, just don’t stay there.
  • Ask for help or at least speak to people about it if they can’t physically help just to have a caring ear.
  • Seek medical attention if you can’t keep food down for 12-24-hour periods of time.

All of it worth it for our baby girl Millie!

Smiling Millie

Coach Alice

February 23rd, 2020