My Hyperemesis Baby Loss Story

baby loss two little ladies one missing termination in pregnancy hyperemesisGrief is a funny old thing. It can hit you when you least expect it, for little to no reason at all or the slightest memory reminds you of the hurt that is hiding away just below the surface. Today as I went about my normal day it hit me. Consumed me. All I could feel was grief, guilt, anger, sadness and disappointment. As I went about my day my only thought was trying to stop the tears from flowing.

This week is baby loss awareness week. A time to be open, and honest and aware that baby loss happens and behind each loss there is a story, there is a person just trying to get through the day. On this day it has been me. If I am truly honest I think I have not been allowing myself to feel it for 3 years, and I need to let it out.

It has taken me a long time to accept that it is grief I am feeling. I am grieving. And I deserve to grieve. I lost a baby. I lost my baby in a heartbreaking way. I shouldn’t be ashamed, I shouldn’t sweep it under the carpet and I shouldn’t feel alone.

If you have read this blog before you may know that I suffered from a form of severe pregnancy sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I went through this with both my little ladies and have written about it here and here. I have also touched upon a loss I had inbetween, written to say I am sorry to the baby that never was. But I have never shared the truth. The truth that surrounds this loss, the reason it is so hard to talk about and what eats me up every single day.

This is my story. My story of pregnancy, my story of loss, of heartbreak, and one that does not have a happy ending. It is my story, but it might be yours, or a woman you know, don’t know, have heard of or read about and it is rarely all as it seems. It isn’t always black and white. And this is my grey.

It was a warm June day in 2013, just a week after ovulation and I awoke to an all too familiar feeling. I felt like the bed had been spun around whilst I was asleep, and just like that I knew. I knew that after 9 months of trying for baby number 2 I was pregnant. The telltale feeling inside my brain that the world will not stop revolving. This was so early.

At just 3 weeks pregnant I didn’t have that time of knowing I was expecting and not being symptomatic. That overwhelming joy, the secret you willingly keep but fear it might burst out of you any second or that you have it written all over your face every time someone looks at you as you try to contain the smile beaming from ear to ear. I didn’t get any of that, I got hyperemesis, again.

I allowed myself the excitement of the pregnancy test, the joy of telling my husband that there was a baby growing inside of me and the planning of the rest of our lives. I wanted this, we wanted this, we had done it before we could do it again.

This I told myself over and over and over in the following weeks. As I was so sick I could barely lift my head off the pillow, as I sat on the floor of the toilets at the job I had only been in 6 months because I couldn’t call in sick, crying so hard and silently begging not to be heard as I retched repeatedly. Hoping that no-one made conversation with me because with just one word came the wave of sickness again and again.

But I could do this. Couldn’t I?

Everything got worse, fast. My throat became raw from the pure yellow burning acid, I couldn’t walk, or stand, or talk. I could no longer stand daylight, the smell of the carpets sent me dizzy and getting dressed was torture as the slight hint of a waistband or any material touching my skin made me sick.

But the worst part. The most heartbreaking of all. I couldn’t be around my 2 and half year old Eva. Her smell made me sick, her voice made me sick, the movement of the bed as she sat silently just to be near me made me sick and I wept buckets as I asked them to leave. To leave me alone in the dark bedroom that had begun to feel more like a prison. Where I could just about make it from the end of my bed to the ensuite toilet but couldn’t always make it back again as I fell wearily in and out of sleep on the cold tiled floor. The place where my husband would beg me to drink something, where I would beg him to make it stop. To please help me.

I don’t remember anything that happened outside of myself those few months. I didn’t eat, I didn’t drink, I didn’t live. I had a wonderful understanding GP who saw me through my first pregnancy, she did everything she could, everything she knew. I was admitted to hospital countless times. Some better than others and some genuinely crushing as they said there was nothing much more to do but wait until it passes. It passes. Those words you pray will be true. You cling onto for dear life as every day gets closer. And it doesn’t pass.

I took tablets, I had drips, I had terrifying allergic reactions to anti sickness meds. I lay on my own in A&E, shouting wearily, slurring my words as I slipped in and out of consciousness that my heart was beating too fast and pumping out of my chest. Lying on the bed alone wondering what happened to my life as my world spun, as doctors rushed around me, alarms going off and an ecg machine quickly strapped to my chest. Sensing the worry, the panic and not being able to do a thing. Eddy would carry me time and again to doctor after doctor for some help.

I was scared to be left alone with my child, I would beg my husband not to leave me to go to work or call on relatives in desperation to pick me up off the kitchen floor and take Eva away. She would cry heartbreaking tears that she just wanted me. She didn’t nap, she would sit on the floor by my bed just to know I was there.

Much of this time is a blur for me, but there are memories that will never fade and moments I will remember forever whether I want to or not.

My body started to give up, I had done this before why was it so hard? Why was my body not coping? But it wasn’t. My heart which has already gone through so much in my life was showing signs that it was struggling, I started getting palpitations and irregular beats. They couldn’t even find my blood pressure.

I was chronically dehydrated, my veins collapsed, I wasn’t coping with the cocktail of medications, I was bruised all over with attempts to insert a cannula and had to endure some pretty horrible attempts.

My kidneys were under pressure, I started with infection after infection, they were giving up too.

I couldn’t do this

At 11 weeks it was decided that I was too ill to go on, but too ill for anyone to help me.

I had to make a choice to terminate. To choose between my own life and the one of my unborn child. A choice that isn’t really even a choice. Every bit of my heart wanted to choose the baby, I should choose my baby. But what good is a baby without me. What good is life for my daughter without me? Would we even make it through? It didn’t feel like much of a choice. Even writing down choice makes tears well up in my eyes. I didn’t choose this. I would never choose this. It just isn’t me.

We sought help, we visited countless doctors, 3 different hospitals and even BPAS. They all told me there was nothing they could do. I was rejected, there was no help. In my lowest of lowest moments, I was scared, and alone. Doctors at the hospitals said they couldn’t help and BPAS said they wouldn’t help. That I was too ill. Too ill to be helped. Too ill to make this stop.

My husband fought for me. By this point even opening my eyes was enough to make me throw up and on numerous occasions I had to be carried out of the house. We found help. We went to a hospital with a Hyperemesis unit. To seek a termination. I felt ashamed and too ill to fight, to see all these doctors who hide the screen away when they scanned me, to assume you don’t care about the life that is inside of you when in truth it is all you would want in the world. What I wouldn’t give to have that picture now.

Then came the day I will remember vividly for the rest of my life. 12th August 2013. A day not documented but engrained on my brain forever none the less, no matter how much I wish it wasn’t. The day I said goodbye to my baby. The day I was dressed in a gown, wheeled into theatre, where the nurses held my hand as I cried because I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. Because I wish that someone could just help me through. But I knew that I had to. That I couldn’t get through. The day I wanted it all to end. But the day in truth that changed me forever.

The following weeks were hard, really really hard as I didn’t sleep, as I wept uncontrollably at what I had had to do. As people didn’t understand, through no fault of their own but because we decided not to share the details.

I couldn’t grieve with other mothers who lost a baby through miscarriage because I felt a fraud, I did this and if I said that, maybe they would hate me. Maybe they would hate me as much as I hated myself. But I didn’t do this. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my choice. But I wish every single minute of every single day that I didn’t make it. I am sorry to my baby that I wasn’t braver, that I didn’t fight for them and that we didn’t make it. If I could turn back time and ask for a miracle I would in a heartbeat. For me to hold that baby in my arms. To know him or her, to see their face.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum took my baby. 

It has been 3 years. 3 really hard years. Of course there have been good times and I went through pregnancy again to have my amazing littlest lady. But it has changed me forever. I lost my job in the midst of my grief, unfairly. It has been and continues to be a really tough journey, to come to terms with what happened. I honestly don’t think I have ever really grieved. I haven’t allowed myself to admit the truth to more than a few people because it hurts too much. It just bubbles away inside of me. I don’t feel I deserve to grieve and I should. Every time it surfaces I push it back in fear I will have to explain myself to anyone who happens to talk to me and have me cry on their shoulder. Like I have something to hide. I am afraid of being judged and because really I don’t want it to be true.

But it is true. And this is me saying that I need to grieve, that I am struggling and that this happened. This is my story.

I lost my baby, I miss my baby, I wish I could have named them, laid them to rest. I am grieving so much more than anyone knows. I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to remember.

I am very lucky that I have two of the most amazing little people that call me mum. I would never want to be without them. Yet to me there will always be someone missing from this picture. A someone that we do not know, that we cannot see but that will live in my heart forever.

I am a mother of three. Two in my arms and one in my heart.

Xx


I am sharing my deeply personal story for people to be aware. Because I don’t want to be ashamed and because I want others to get help or fellow mothers not to feel alone. And because maybe it will help me. It’s not saying I want sympathy. I don’t. I have to live with what happened to me everyday and I will find a way to do that. Just please don’t hate me, because believe you me I hate myself enough for everybody.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a condition which has so many forms and so many stories. But it is something that we can help. I can share my story and I can try and make a difference.
If you have suffered, are suffering or know anyone else that is then there is wonderful charity Pregnancy Sickness Support that is not only there to help and support women and families through such hard pregnancies but also trying to make a difference to future understanding, treatment and research. So maybe this choice needn’t ever have to be made again. 

 

baby loss two little ladies one missing termination in pregnancy hyperemesis baby loss two little ladies one missing termination in pregnancy hyperemesis scan 

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51 Comments

  1. October 13, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    This is such a beautifully written, powerful post. I can only imagine what you and your family must have gone through. I have so much admiration for you and your bravery in sharing your story. I hope sharing it has helped you and I am sure it will help others in similar situations. Lots of love xx

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Thank you so much Lisa. It was a big decision but has helped enormously xx

  2. October 14, 2016 / 9:18 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I’ve just sat here and read it thinking I was having a bad day and ended up crying for you guys. You are a strong, brave woman and a great mum with nothing to be ashamed of, you had absolutely no choice and did the best you could. Sending lots of love x

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      You’re very kind. Thank you xx

  3. Mummy Jo
    October 14, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    I went through the same and I feel the same. That how can I ever be sad for my second child’s loss when there are women who lose their babies. But I lost mine too, I lost the baby I wanted with every ounce of me but couldn’t carry. i feel it’s a dirty secret. Thankyou so much for sharing your story. Now I know I’m not alone in my grief and I am truely sorry for your loss xxx

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:03 pm

      I am sorry you went through the same and you can be sad. It is a different kind of loss but still a loss. Sending you lots of love and healing. you are not alone. x

  4. Carrie
    October 14, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I’m so glad you’ve felt able to share this. I hope it gives you even a little peace and some reassurance that talking about it can help others. If it’s not too personal a question – and please ignore me if it is – I’d be interested to know of any coping strategies, both medical and emotional, that got you through your third pregnancy.

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Not at all, honestly the third pregnancy was the same as the first so it was bad but not as severe as the second. With hindsight I just knew I had to get through it so I tried to stay positive and allow myself feeling low and letting go when I couldn’t do anything of which there were lots of times. Emotionally was tough but again allowing myself to feel it and not hide it or feel guilty really helped. I would say the biggest thing is asking for help as much as you can xx

  5. Leanne
    October 14, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have just wrote a mirror image of my story almost to the same dates! I too continue to struggle with part guilt, part regret. No body understands the true trauma we go through other than hg mums. I had no support (not even from my now ex partner) and was often found collapsed on the floor by my 5 yr old daughter. Now married, I would love to have another baby but know my body cannot cope with the horrendous pregnancy that comes with it! I have struggled to put my heartache into words to make people understand me, and thanks to your story I now feel that would be an easier task. Lots of love to you all X

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      Thank you for your comment and I am so so glad that it has helped you in a small way. It is truly horrible and is tough for anyone to truly understand without having been through it. I too am not able to go through it again even though I would have otherwise had another one so I can see how it would be a tough decision. sending lots of love to you for the future x

  6. S
    October 14, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    Wow in tears reading this. its so powerful and beautifully written. No-one can understand Hyperemisis unless they or a loved one has experienced it. I was lucky that mine ended at 26 weeks with all of my pregnancies and afterwards i felt fantastic although the mental scars remain( along with a phobia of being sick!) I have 3 beautiful boys and one angel baby that i lost between my 2nd and third. I will not be having any more babies although i long for a forth my body will not cope with another HG pregnancy and neither would my sanity and i couldn’t put the rest of my family through it again. I had the same where i couldn’t bear the smell of my other children or husband any movement near me made me sick i ended up in hospital too. Please don’t hate yourself if you would have carried on you more than likely wouldn’t have made it and so neither would your baby either. stay strong x

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      Thank you. I can completely understand and I too couldn’t put others through it again which is one of the biggest things. I am sorry you went through this, HG is horrible. x

  7. Laura
    October 14, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    Ugh. Aside from the having other children part, I feel like I could have written this myself. Like you my HG started at 3 weeks, like you the medications were so much they started to work against me. The iv fluids they gave me stopped workin and started to poison me. Every muscle, every part of me was in pain from vomiting so much. It took us 4 miscarriages to get to this point where we could actually get past week 6 of the pregnancy. Then, like you, week 11 came and we were forced to say goodbye. It was not our choice, it was not what we wanted but we were told that it was so severe and so very early on that if we didn’t do this awful thing then I may not make it. HG took our baby too and my heart felt every single word of this blog. I felt the same as you. I was in a group of women trying to conceive after miscarriage and to tell them was so scary. I knew they wouldn’t understand, none of them had ever experienced HG so why should I expect them to understand. As expected they judged me and it made the guilt I already felt, so much worse. I don’t blame them, I hated me too. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Jo
      October 14, 2016 / 4:51 pm

      Laura, I have had several miscarriages and I won’t judge you. Ending a pregnancy to save your life is a horrendous choice. However it happens, losing a much wanted and longed for baby hurts. It hurts so much. Much love to you.

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:16 pm

      I am truly sorry that you went through this and felt this judgement too. It is hard that people without direct understanding can really get it. I hope you have come to some healing and please know that you are not alone. lots of love to you x

  8. Katie
    October 14, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story-you are very brave and will have helped so many women through your words. It is so heartbreaking- I am truly sorry for your loss xxx

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      Thank you, if I can help just 1 person not feel alone I will be glad to have shared it x

  9. Ruth
    October 14, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Wow this is so so sad. I’m so sorry you had to make this horrendous decision. I’m so sorry your baby isn’t with you xxx

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you x

  10. Cori Cruse
    October 14, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    This is my story too in many ways. A desperately wanted baby. The nightmare of HG. My GP’s surgery completely and utterly failing to even diagnose HG and therefore leaving me untreated.

    What I too wouldn’t give for that scan photo. For something tangible aside from the hellish nightmarish memories.

    I never allowed myself to grieve. Never believed I deserved to, given the ‘choice’ I made. But, 6 and half years on the grief is so very fresh and raw.

    HG has stolen something so very precious from us all and my heart breaks for those who stI’ll have that choice to make.

    Thank you for your bravery in sharing this. x

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:28 pm

      I am so sorry that you have this story too. You absolutely do deserve to grieve and I hope you get the healing that you need. Sending lots of love to you x

  11. Sarah
    October 14, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    I can relate to this so much but could never put it into words the way you have. I’ve had 2 terminations because I wasn’t strong enough to continue with the hell that is HG. NO-one can understand the guilt you are left with or the decisions you make when you have planned a pregnancy but then have to do this. I even told family I had a miscarriage asni felt so ashamed.
    Much love to you x

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      I am sorry for your losses, it is a difficult subject and we too told everyone the same as I didn’t feel strong enough at that point to say anything different. You are not alone xx

  12. Carrie
    October 15, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    I had to reply because I’m someone who had hyperemesis and a miscarriage. With my second son I was in a drip. I can honestly say I’ve never felt more ill. I literally felt like I was dying. I peed once a day if that, I looked horrendous. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t be near my eldest. It was hell.
    Fortunately they got my drugs right in the end but I can completely see why you had no choice to make that decision.
    I still feel guilty for those months I lost with my eldest, I doubt he really remembers now but I do.
    Thank you for sharing your story X

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 20, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I agree it is hell and It is absolutely something that is hard to understand without direct experience. My eldest doesn’t really remember that much either but I don’t think I will ever forget. I am truly sorry for your loss x

  13. Laura - Little Ladies Big World
    October 20, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    Thank you for your comment. I agree it is hell and It is absolutely something that is hard to understand without direct experience. My eldest doesn’t really remember that much either but I don’t think I will ever forget. I am truly sorry for your loss x

  14. October 21, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    I am curious how many women have to make this heartbreaking choice because of hyperemesis. Why isn’t there a treatment for this condition? Medicine has come so far and is so inadequate at the same time. My heart goes out to you all.

  15. October 23, 2016 / 11:31 pm

    This is such a beautifully written post. But my heart breaks for you so much that you have had to write it. And that you had to make that awful choice that wasn’t really a choice at all. You have every right to grief. You lost your baby. You should have been able to hold them in your arms and love them but that was cruelly taken away from you. But I hope you know that by sharing your story you will have helped many other women. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    • Laura - Little Ladies Big World
      October 30, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      Thank you Lucy for your lovely comment it means so much. x

  16. March 3, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I’ve only just seen this post and oh my gosh my heart was breaking more and more for you as I read each word. Words can’t possibly describe the hell it sounds like you went through. Sending you so so so much love, I really am sorry you had to go through this. You’re so brave to share your story, I bet this will help so many people. xxxxx

  17. March 4, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    What a powerful post. I have no experience of it but the way you describe it is just horrendous. I was listening to the talk about it on the radio yesterday and was really shocked at how many people suffer from it this badly. What an awful decision to have to make. I’m so sorry that you and so many others have been through this. Sending love.

    • March 28, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      Thank you, I didn’t know how bad it could be myself until I went through it and I think it does need to be more widely known x

  18. March 4, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    Laura, I am so, so sorry for your loss. This is such a heartbreaking and brave story for you to share. You have every right to grieve the loss of your baby – the choice was taken away from you. Sending you big virtual hugs xx

  19. Emma
    March 4, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    What a brave and beautiful post. I can’t imagine being in that position. I hope sharing your story brings you some healing x

  20. March 4, 2017 / 7:57 pm

    I had to terminate my first ever pregnancy due to severe hg at 11.5 weeks 10/07/2010 what made matters worse was my next pregnancy I suffered all the way throughout and he ended up being born 10/07/2011 which is a constant reminder of the trauma I went through but also the magical memory of my son coming into this world. I didn’t suffer with my second son then had 2 miscarriages and now pregnant with a girl due 14/04/2017 I’ve had 10 hospital admissions this pregnancy alone so far I generally tell people I lost my baby but knowing it was by my decision will be a guilt I will never forget. I’ve been called a baby killer, unfit mother the lot but over the years I’ve built up a thick layer.

    • March 28, 2017 / 12:51 pm

      Oh gosh I am sending all my love to you and so sorry for your loss, similarly my littlest was born in February when this baby would have been due and it certainly makes it a reflective and difficult time. Congratulation on your little one too x

  21. March 5, 2017 / 9:03 am

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this, HG is pure evil, but the fact that so many people still don’t have a clue or even acknowledge the hell it puts you through is so cruel. I know for me when I was at my darkest time, just knowing I wasn’t alone gave me a lift, so I’m sure anyone who reads this in that awful place, will see some light, big love x

  22. Lucy Law
    March 10, 2017 / 1:12 am

    Thanks for sharing your story I could see myself in your words. I had to say goodbye at 10.5 weeks. It’s nearly a year now but today the tears are flowing, today the grief is bubbling over. I have three children all HG pregnancies but it became progressively worse no3 was sickness all the way through this time even light made me sick and I couldn’t bare anyone around me. I was dying my kidneys were failing so I chose me to be a mother to the three who need me but this has changed me and my marriage . My husband decided that we should never do this again and had the snip to protect me but somehow this doubled the grief. It is easy for people to say be greatful for what you have and I truly am but today its OK to say I am not OK. It is difficult for people to understand unless they have gone though HG but thanks tonight as I sit unable to sleep with the waves of pain I don’t feel so alone. Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day.

    • March 28, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      Oh I am so sorry to hear this and my heart breaks with you, we too made the same decision to not have any more and it breaks my heart every day because I wouldn’t have chosen it this way at all. It is ok not to be ok. Sending lots of love our way x

  23. Catherine
    April 4, 2017 / 2:41 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. My heart breaks for you and I am sending you so much love. You are tremendously brave and I admire your strength. I had HG with my son and am so scared to try for baby #2. I am sending you tons of love and thoughts of healing as you grieve. Big hugs, mama.

    • August 18, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment and love, choosing to have another baby is so hard and I send love back to you x

  24. Marisa
    July 3, 2017 / 11:26 am

    Your story made me sob. I am going through HG right now and I understand, I understand so much. The part that made me saddest was when you said you hate yourself. I wish you didn’t. Something devastatingly tragic happened to you and your family. It happened to you, but it wasn’t something you did. Reading your story it is completely clear that you never had the luxury of choice.

    • August 18, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      Thank you for your kindness it really means the world and I send you so much love through your pregnancy it is such a horrible thing for anyone to go through truly x

  25. Laura
    August 12, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    I want to wrap my arms around you and tell you to stop beating yourself up. You did not make this choice; it was made for you – by your body; by fate; by God whichever you believe but it was made and it was made for you. You must not feel ashamed but brave as what you went through was hideous. You not surviving would have been tragic in its own right but think about what you did for your daughter; the one you already had; the one that needed her mummy. Surviving may have felt wrong but survive is was and that is how you should view yourself. What is there to be ashamed about there? After my fqther passed away and after my miscarriage I sought counselling and it really helped make a difference. If you try it and don’t like the counsellor find another one. All the best xx

    • August 18, 2017 / 11:29 pm

      Thank you so much your words, your virtual hug is very much felt and I do think that counselling may help me even this far after the event x

  26. September 21, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    I can only imagine what you must have been through and it breaks my heart to read your story, but I absolutely respect and admire you for sharing your experience in the hope of supporting other families. With much love xx

  27. Jenn
    September 24, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    I’m so sorry you dealt with this, I too suffered over 20 years ago through both my pregnancies. I was literally a skeleton I also have a double uterus which required me to take horrible meds for preterm labor. Take this away from your experience mama you are here!!!! You can be there for your children and raise and love them! Thank goodness for safe medical treatment to save lives❤️❤️❤️ I feel you are so brave! Never be ashamed never feel
    Less! Choosing to save your life is brave and important for every woman no stigma should ever be placed❤️❤️❤️ Much love, beautiful article

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