When I was pregnant with Rory and Alfie, my pregnancy wasn’t straight forwards.
I had hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), aka severe morning sickness. With high profile people such as the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) experiencing such symptoms, there is much more awareness of this condition, but what isn’t made aware is the further problems that can be caused.
Yes, severe morning sickness causes dehydration, weight loss and low-blood pressure, but the treatment can be dangerous too.
When I found out I was pregnant, so much became clear. What I thought was a stomach bug, was obviously more. What I thought was dizziness was low blood-pressure.
Following countless trips to see my GP and midwife, being admitted to hospital to have fluids through a drip, and following advice such as eating a small amount before getting up of a morning, a doctor finally diagnosed me with HG.
He said it is common in a multiple pregnancy and if my symptoms did not get any better, that he would prescribe me with anti-sickness medication.
Days later, having barely stopped vomiting, he prescribed me with metoclopramide hydrochloride.
Little did I know; this would lead to one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I suffered with a rare reaction called an acute dystonic reaction. Just hours after returning home, Zak had to ring 999 when my entire body seized up. I was unable to move, talk or process thoughts.
The reaction is so rare that the paramedics thought I had taken recreational drugs.
They did not believe Zak when he explained I had taken anti-sickness medication.
How could something so common as morning sickness cause such a reaction? Their failure to accept the cause of the reaction I was having meant my treatment was delayed.
It was not until nearly 9 hours later that I was seen by a doctor who realised that I was seriously unwell and administered the treatment I needed. Up until that point, I had been seen as little more than someone wasting valuable NHS time and resources.
But this is the reality of HG. The complications and problems that are not broadcast by the media.
HG is not just morning sickness.
It is a fully debilitating condition that comes with a whole host of complications and risks for both the mother and the unborn child (or children).
It is not something that should be trivialised or ignored, nor a waste of resources.
It is not the fault of the mother and no woman should be penalised for a condition out of her control.