The Reality Of Hyperemesis Gravidarum From A Dad's Perspective

In his first post as our resident Dad Blogger, Adam Yates from 2 Nerds And A Baby writes about his partner's extreme morning sickness, and how they coped as a family. 

When we first found out we were expecting a baby, I was excited and nervous. Nervous about having a tiny baby that will be reliant on us, but excited that I was going to be a dad!
However, the very last thing I expected was for my partner Eileen to spend the next nine months extremely sick. Nothing I knew about pregnancy could have prepared me for hyperemesis gravidarum.
It is so hard watching the mother of your child go through months of vomiting 20 plus times a day without being able to do a single thing to stop it.
It hit a week after we found out, starting off as extreme nausea. Suddenly we went from eating takeaways in bed together to surviving on soup because the smell of anything else was too much to bear.
We went from being anxious about becoming parents to being terrified that we’d lose the baby. Eileen was hospitalised at around 9 weeks, unable to hold anything down.
IV fluids and injections of anti-sickness medication helped for a few days but not long. Unable to function she had to leave work, with a baby on the way that was terrifying for us both.

I tried my best to stay positive, but the excitement and joy we felt about the baby was being sucked away by the miserable situation we were in.
I felt so lucky to be having a baby but so unlucky that it was destroying my girlfriend. I didn’t know how to make things better; the complete and utter feeling of helplessness was awful.
All I could do was take over everything else at home so she could focus on doing whatever she could to feel better. Leaving for work every morning was horrible, knowing how sick she would be at home, alone.

Obviously, pregnancy heightens your sense of smell, and that, coupled with extreme sickness, meant that sometimes she couldn’t bear to be around anyone.
 
The smell of my washing powder, my hair gel, deodorant, shower gel, food, anything could set her off vomiting for hours.
 
We should have been enjoying our time together, but instead, we were both alone.
 
We couldn’t go out together as a couple, once we went to Ikea to get nursery furniture and Eileen was vomiting into a cup as we rushed through the shop.
 
Every time we reached a milestone in the pregnancy we were assured the vomiting would stop. All we wanted was a pregnancy like everyone else seemed to be having.
 
Even in labour she was vomiting.
 
It stopped as soon as Oscar was born.
 
It was like an added bonus to having the most beautiful baby boy.
I cannot imagine how hard it was on my girlfriend, the toll it took on her mental and physical health really put us both off having another child.
I missed my partner; hyperemesis took away the woman I knew and loved but motherhood brought her back.
We’re expecting baby number two at Christmas, this time around I knew what I am doing and Eileen knows how much it will be worth it.
I am so proud of her for going through that and coming out as an amazing mother.
It has made us stronger as a couple.

Written by Adam Yates, one-half of the two nerds that make up 2 Nerds and A Baby. Co-creator of toddler Oscar and another one due Christmas 2018, he is "winging my way through nappies, nap times and soon enough night feeds!"

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