MY TOP TEN TIPS IF I HAD MY TIME OVER AGAIN
1. CHANGE YOUR DOCTOR OR ASK FOR A SECOND OPINION
Ok, I did this but only because I moved house and my second doctor wasn't any better than my first. If your doctor doesn't believe how unwell you are don't let them send you away after every appointment with nothing more than when you went in! Make sure you get treated. I left it far too late to do this. I was treated by my GP and community midwives until I was 35 weeks (apart from my hospital stays). Neither of them had the first clue about hyperemesis. Everytime I went to see the doctor, I was in and out within 5 minutes. I didn't want to waste his time as I just accepted that nothing could be done for my condition and I was just to suffer it. Once I started seeing consultants I was given better care, they still didn't stop the sickness or control the bleeding but I felt I was in better hands.
2. TAKE SOMEONE TO YOUR APPOINTMENTS WITH YOU
Again, I did this far too late. Steve never came with me until I was 36 weeks. He told the doctors things I had forgotton and also things from how he was seeing it. I have a bad habit of not mentioning certain things to avoid being admitted to hospital. Funnily enough I was admitted into ward 37 straight after the first appointment Steve came too!! I'll forgive him one day..... Even if you can't take your partner or whoever is watching you every day I think it would still have been nice to have had the company when I was waiting to go in. I didn't want to bother anyone and didn't want Steve having to take loads of time off work.
3. LOOK FOR INFORMATION ON HYPEREMESIS YOURSELF
You'll be given no information at all on this condition so unless you research it then you can't understand it. One thing I have learnt is how much rubbish is on the internet but there are some good websites. A lot of it is irrelevant because it is American but certain information is worldwide. Not that they worked for me but there is a lot of information on non-medical remedies like preggie pops and sea bands. If nothing else it is good to read other peoples hyperemesis stories. It helps you realise your not crazy or alone!
One site I recommend is: www.helpher.org/. It is working on finding a cure for hyperemesis.
4. KEEP A DIARY OR A BLOG
I've looked back on my blog many times to see when I had good weeks and what drugs worked better than others. It isn't even written for everyone else to read although if it helps anyone then thats an advantage. I know that other girls with hyperemesis have read my blog and left comments. People keep telling me that I will forget this and have another baby but I keep telling Steve that I will NEVER forget as I have it all written down in front of me.
Easier said than done for 9 months!! I am very bad at this but it is true, I am better on days I do nothing. It is sole destroying doing nothing day after day but I find that I manage to do a little bit each day rather than big days out. There is an end to it when you can go out as much as you want (and I'm nearly at it)!!
6. JUST STOP!!
As I write this I realise how badly I handled this illness. I went for a couple of months where I couldn't cook for Steve or clean the house, I struggled to clean up after the dogs and I tired myself out big time having a shower. I realise now its ok not to have an immaculate house all the time when your unwell and Steve was more than capable of feeding himself! Its hard to change habits as I seen it all as "my job" and felt lazy and guilty when I was unable to do it.
7. IGNORE PEOPLE WHO DOUBT YOU
Even at 37 weeks I think people doubt that I actually have an illness. I feel like I am just a nuisance and a hassle so I don't expect people to go out their way for me. I suppose, as I have said before, unless you have suffered it you can't understand it. Over the last few months when people have complained they have a sickness bug I want to hit them! Thats what I have had every single day since September but for some reason its different. All I can recommend is just stay away from people who doubt you then it can't upset you.
8. GET AWAY IF POSSIBLE
I know I said rest but even though I was sick and very tired before and after our trip to Paris it was the last chance we got to be alone on holiday before baby arrives. It was well worth it. If you have the chance to get away for a night or two and are able I definately recommend it.
9. DON'T FEEL GUILTY ALL THE TIME
I spent months feeling guilty about things.
- not being able to hug people
- taking things out on Steve
- having people running after me
- not keeping a nice house for Steve to come home to
- not being able to attend things and cancelling lunches etc
- not being able to work
the list goes on....
Feeling guilty never helped at all. This is only 9 months of your life, everyone knows what your normally like and will be like once its over.
10. STOP WORKING
If your not able then don't do it. I went back in September and lasted a day, I went back again in January and lasted two days. It made me so ill and it wasn't worth it at all. You get no thanks for trying and you ARE sick! Physically, emotionally and mentally. I was putting myself and my baby at risk by working. I'm not the kind of person who is off work all the time for colds or a sore arm so I need this time off and I'm going to take it.