Until relatively recently, it was believed that ‘Morning Sickness’ was psychosomatic.  It was a hysterical reaction by hysterical women to a situation that they were suddenly quite frightened off. The cure was getting the hell over it.

Fortunately we know a little more these days but there is still sometimes a feeling that the discomforts of pregnancy are something that women should forebear with a smile.  I understand, there are women out there who would love to be pregnant and can’t conceive and there are women out there who have lost pregnancies and I know that those of us lucky enough to be able to conceive and bring healthy babies into the world should be grateful, but to be expected to suffer in silence through what is nothing less than a brutal ordeal is heinous.  It’s cruel.  When it comes to severe morning sickness, that just can’t be done.

Did you know that Emily Bronte is thought to have died of morning sickness?  No?  Neither did I until this last week.  She suffered with the same condition that lands several hundred women a year in hospital, the complete inability to keep anything down until they become so dehydrated that their veins start to collapse and their internal organs begin to shut down.

I had a brief brush with severe morning sickness.  It lasted a week. I started to feel better when I found that diluted grapefruit juice sat more comfortably than water.  That allowed me to be able to keep down a little of what I ate and take my anti-natals again and the injection of vitamin B6 appears to have been enough to put me through to a better place.  I went from struggling to keep anything down, to puking three times a day to struggling to eat and gagging a lot but not puking, to being weak, half a stone lighter but mostly back to normal.  It was one of the worst weeks of my life.

For some women, there will be no such breakthrough.  Their depleted bodies won’t suddenly remember that yes, actually food is good and important, they will just continue depleting and depleting being admitted to hospital over and over again to be put on a dip and have vital fluids and nutrients restored to their systems.  For some of these women the symptoms won’t end at the first trimester either, they will continue for the whole nine months.  Nine months of constant vomiting, sometimes as frequently as 40 times a day.

That is hell on earth.  Yet they endure it.  They live through it and with it and they survive and take care of their babies and I salute them.  That’s a hell of feat.  Well done ladies.  And what deep wells of bravery must they have access to in order to have the courage to go through it all again?  Wow.  I don’t know how you do it but well done.  Just well done.  My respect is infinite.

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