Stefanie suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum during her pregnancy and shares her experience with us.
Where & how was your baby born? Was it as you expected and did you have any support / tools?
My baby was born on 14 July 2020 at St Thomas Hospital, London. I was 39 weeks when I went into labour so it wasn’t unexpected but I definitely didn’t feel ready yet either. I used the audios a lot during my pregnancy which helped with my anxiety and feeling more calm in the moment but I had so many interventions during labour that I didn’t use any of the tools I had planned.
What are your top tips for others going through birth?
Inform yourself. I was so scared of giving birth but by doing the online hypnobirthing course I knew exactly what was going to happen so when I lost my mucus plug at home I knew exactly what it was. I would also acknowledge that things don’t always go to plan and prepare yourself a bit for that. It doesn’t make your experience less authentic.
What aspects of your journey are you most proud of and / or did you enjoy?
I am proud of getting through a pregnancy with having severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum from week 5-birth with being admitted to hospital at 5 weeks, 5.5 weeks, 6.5 weeks, 28 weeks, 35 weeks and 36 weeks. I never thought I would be able to do it but somehow I made it through.
If you could do anything differently what would it be?
I would have probably gotten help for my mental health sooner and go private instead of waiting for an NHS referral. I would have also tried to make sure I saw the same midwife throughout my pregnancy so I felt comfortable with someone and see a pelvic floor therapist beforehand.
What helped you?
During my pregnancy, I was extremely lucky that I got the best HG care at St Thomas as some women are being denied fluids and medication. The hypnobirthing course helped me get informed and relax and is definitely useful now as it includes a COVID-19 section.
The midwives, nurses and obstetrician at St Thomas were also amazing as they really reassured me and helped me calm down when I had to have surgery after a third degree perineal tear.
Did you suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum as well? Read our new blog post A Pregnancy Journey with HG or join us for an Instagram Live on 15 May at 7pm with Charlotte, producer of the Sick film and Brushed Off YouTube series.
If you want to find out more about perinatal anxiety and HG, please see Charlotte’s new documentary Hyperemesis & Perinatal Anxiety.