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.
“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.”