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New mother Sarah Button: On that first day I was sick 17 times

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

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New mother Sarah Button suffered the same rare illness as the Duchess of Cambridge is suffering with during her pregnancy.

Eight and a half months her life was put on hold until he was born by emergency caesarean.

Within days of finding out she was pregnant, Sarah, from Midsomer Norton in Somerset, was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).

It left her mainly housebound – bedridden, unable to eat and drink or tolerate light and noise.

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"I was very excited to find out I was pregnant," she recalls, James is the first baby for Sarah and partner Richard.

"But within days of finding out I was pregnant the nausea started and on that first day I was sick 17 times.

"I couldn't get out of bed or keep anything down, it was then I soon began to realise this wasn't normal. The next day I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

"HG is a condition at the extreme end of the pregnancy sickness spectrum and it was potentially life threatening for me and the baby," she said.

Sarah, says within a week of finding out she was pregnant she had her first hospital admission as she needed to be put on a drip to replace the fluids she was losing. At her worst she was vomiting up to 50 times a day, she couldn't eat, her body was dehydrating and weakening and needed help with the basics of life from washing to dressing.

In the course of two months she was admitted to hospital six times with specialists saying she was one of the worse cases they had seen.

When Sarah was nine weeks pregnant she started to take steroids, she also had to have the conversation with specialists as to whether to terminate the pregnancy if the illness got worse. She would have needed to be admitted to hospital frequently but a service being pioneered by Sirona Care & Health's community IV therapy nurse specialist Emma Moxham allowed her to be treated at her home; in fact she is the only person in the country to have been able to be treated at home according to the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity.

"It was really hard to be excited when I had this horrible illness – all I wanted was for this hell to end, it was difficult to view myself as being pregnant. I just saw myself as being really ill," she says.

"I had gone from being a person who never had time off work, was very fit, very healthy who didn't take medication. It was a really isolating condition."

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  • tomsjan  |  December 05 2012, 8:21AM

    In our day, before the gormless masses discovered the need to live their lives through others, health and pregnancy were very private matters not to be aired in public, let alone in the media. I wish her the very best and if she is suffering I sympathise, but we really do not need a blow-by-blow account of each day and on that I agree with Honeybunny - let the poor girl enjoy or suffer her pregnancy but in private! I only hope they haven't been forced into the open too soon - telling family, let alone the world, is always a little risky in the first 12 weeks. Leave out the speculation until later. Al this rubbish about what it's like to be a royal child and what they might call it is tiresome already and a bit like Christmas, by the time it gets here the shine will have been taken off a little.

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  • Pompeybelle  |  December 04 2012, 6:32PM

    Ah, clearly none of the doctors have the faintest idea what they are talking about when they say it can cause dehydration, low weight babies etc. It's all the mind. So that's all right then.

  • Jeda1066  |  December 04 2012, 10:23AM

    Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a real and horrible illness - it's not just "in the mind". I think it is just best now not to even glance in the direction of a woman's magazine or mainstream news item as the details will be there thick and fast.

  • honeybunny55  |  December 04 2012, 9:17AM

    ""But within days of finding out I was pregnant the nausea started and on that first day I was sick 17 times"" So let me get this right ----- it only started when she KNEW she was pregnant? Does that not make it a little "in the mind"? A friend of ours was the same - up until she knew she was pregnant she was just a little off colour, then the minute it was confirmed she started throwing up. But what really concerns me is that we are now to be bombarded for months with a daily report of up-chucks and other symptoms ad nauseum (no pun intended!). She's pregnant - --- get over it and let her get on with it.

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