My HG story: Bernadette Haigh

I found out I was pregnant with our son 4 days before our wedding in 2013. The news came as a surprise and instant vomiting. I knew nothing of HG so naively went off on a 3 week honeymoon to Bali where I ended up in hospital (far from ideal). They got me stable enough to fly home where I then went on to spend some 40+ more days in hospital and a further 6 months bed bound. I needed full time care so we moved in with my parents. I couldn’t work and I struggled to comprehend ever feeling well again. During this time I tragically lost someone very close to me. It was the darkest time of my life. I couldn’t grieve properly because I was so physically unwell. I had a c section as I was too weak to labour, still vomiting on the operating table. But within hours of his birth it was like someone had flicked a switch, opened the blinds and cleaned the windows. I bounced out of hospital and for the next few weeks did great, until the emotion and grief caught up with me. When I was alone I cried every single time from the trauma of it all. I couldn’t comprehend how I got here or what had happened to me. Life moved on, I had a gorgeous baby and was grateful but there was something still very dark inside me that I couldn’t identify.

When we decided to try for a 2nd baby I made every possible plan to be able to cope with the HG but never actually considered that it wasn’t going to happen. Over the next 4 years we lost 7 babies at different stages throughout the pregnancy. It was soul destroying to say the least. From specialist to specialist, test to test they couldn’t give us any answers. When you have this much loss people around you have no idea how to respond. It was a very lonely time and the deeper I got the more internalised it became. In early 2018 I was diagnosed with secondary infertility, it was then we decided that emotionally we couldn’t do it anymore. The roller coaster was destroying the beautiful life we already had. To help come to terms with the decision I decided to seek therapy. This was the healing I so desperately needed on so many levels. Over time I became very comfortable with our decision the fog finally started to lift and we made life plans to suit. Come Christmas just gone and I wasn’t feeling so great, my husband laughed but I knew it.. It was happening. An absolute miracle and here we are almost 8 months pregnant with a very unexpected baby girl. It has been yet another diabolical HG pregnancy. I’ve felt like such a failure as a mother, a wife and a woman. Trying to remain grateful that I have the baby I wanted so desperately whilst battling the horrendous physical symptoms, depression, PTSD and body memories from the first pregnancy. It’s survival at best.

I’ve got my eye on the light at the end of what has been an extremely dark and at times solitary tunnel. I hate that I’ve had to experience such a painful journey but I’m so proud to be a HG warrior!! Big love to all you mummas. You’ve got this!