Bubsandbeans | Health

Hyperemesis gravidarum, what the keyboard warriors don't see.

by sarah 24. June 2016 17:21

I have talked before about my struggle in pregnancy with Hyperemesis gravidarum, a real, debilitating illness in pregnancy. It is an illness and unfortunately one that I have noticed can often cause a lot of people to cast judgements and assumptions about on social media.

Just today I saw a post on Facebook from one of the big baby gossip sites, the ones with the great click bait titles, like my struggle with "Princess Kate disease" or why i want to abort my child! (Both related to HG by the way)

The comments on the article were just as extreme, Comments if you have more than one child it can't really be HG, as I couldn't have more than one with HG, comments like no sympathy for Princess Kate she couldn't have had HG if she was out in public at twenty weeks, real people with HG don't do that. Other comments saying HG is just in your head, most people get morning sickness they need to get over it.

I wanted to scream at the computer, my frustration building, do you know what sometimes, people with HG do actually go out in public, do you know sometimes they have more than one child, do you know that it is not Morning sickness! It is a disease that affects 0.3–2.0% of pregnant women, so it is more common than you realise. 

I suffered with HG for all four of my pregnancies, (crazy I know), I was sick with each pregnancy right up until I went into labour, often being sick 50 plus times a day. I tried all the drugs, the food tricks, ginger, fruit tingles, salty food, sweet food, no food, flat lemonade, and do you know what nothing really worked. I spent 34 odd weeks vomiting. Sounds awesome doesn't it. Do the maths that means i was sick over 6000 times over four pregnancies.  

But like Princess Kate do you know what I still had to do things, I still had to get older kids to school, visit sick family members, go to appointments, had to look after toddlers, and to the outside to all these keyboard warriors they would say. It couldn't be that bad you did your grocery shopping last week, you couldn't have it that bad if you travelled to Melbourne to see your new niece. It just bad Morning Sickness.

What they don't see is the buckets living permanently in the car, the random stops at the side of the road, the fact you walk into a room and your first thing to do is find out where the toilets are, they don't see the times you spend hours sitting on the floor of the bathroom, to sick to move anywhere. They don't see the trips to emergency when you are so severely dehydrated you can't see straight. 

They don't see the money spent trying to repair the damaged teeth, often too badly damaged from the acid that ate away all the enamel. They don't see the $1000 of dollars spent on drugs that don't stop you from vomiting food, but atleast let you keep down some fluids so you are not left sitting at ED with three other children in tow. 

They don't see the scales dropping in pregnancy, but then the scales rebounding so drastically after each pregnancy as your body has spent the last seven-eight months in starvation mode.

All they see is a few words on the computer, a random picture on the internet, and someones else's assumption of what is going on. 

What people who are suffering from HG need, what they want is understanding, not judgement. Everybody's pregnancy is different, everybody's HG is different, and we need to stop looking from the outside and making sweeping statements, and snap judgements.






Health | Life as a Parent | Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding

Mum guilt vs Genetics

by sarah 8. December 2015 15:54

Mum guilt vs Genetics

Mummy guilt, at some time or the other we all feel it.

Guilt over a variety of things, like guilt over discipline, tv, ipads, food, yelling, child care, nappies whether to use disposable or cloth..

But what about the other type of guilt the guilt you feel when your genetics impact your child. The irrational guilt, that you know is not your fault but you still can’t help but feel it.

How do we deal with that?

This week my beautiful daughter Miss 3, after heading to what I assumed was a routine eye test last week is having to go through some more extensive tests on her eyes. Now we have been warned that she will be unable to see and focus for about 24 hours after the test and will probably be very miserable. Very quickly the mummy guilt sets in.

You begin to feel guilty knowing that you are knowingly inflicting pain on your child, whilst still in your heart knowing that it is the right thing to get the tests done.

You begin to feel guilty that she inherited your eyes and is having to deal with the ramifications of that at the young age of three, the prospect of wearing glasses, patches.

You begin to feel guilty thinking should I have picked it up earlier? How could I have been so blind-sided by the results. 

You begin to feel guilty that you even feel guilty about it when there are people you know are dealing with their children having life threatening diseases, and she will still be able to live life to the full. 

I don’t have the answers on how to deal with these feelings that I know are irrational.

But I know in my heart that they must be irrational as I myself have inherited my eyes from my genes too.

As a child I didn’t feel anger, frustration about it, I might have complained with the daily ”eye exercises”. And even now if my parents talked about Guilt I would easily and confidently tell them to relax, it was out of their control.

You know it’s irrational as apart from never becoming a air fighter pilot it really wont have any huge impact on her life.

You know its irrational as nearly 9.3 million people in Australia wear glasses or contact lenses, meaning nearly 40% of Australia’s population do.

You know its it’s irrational as you didn’t do anything to cause it to happen, well except make a beautiful and cherished child.

But still the guilt sets in, you try to explain it to others, to yourself but you can’t as deep in your heart you know you shouldn’t feel this way.

Have you ever had to deal with this guilt? How did you cope?









Health | Life as a Parent

When your pregnancy isn’t really a beautiful thing – my experience with HG in pregnancy.

by sarah 24. November 2015 06:45

Pre-pregnancy I heard all the comments about pregnancy, how amazing it is, what a “magical time” pregnancy is, you hear about the the pregnant glow, the joy of pregnancy, but what happens when you suffer from debilitating HG (Hyperemesis gravidarum).

How do you reconcile your own feelings of pain, nausea and at times despair with the picture every one has been giving you of what pregnancy is like.

I have four beautiful children and unfortunately with all four children I suffered with severe HG, each pregnancy seemed to be worse than the last. It is not something you forget but somehow many of us HG survivors go back and have subsequent children but we do not go into this decision lightly.

HG is debilitating, it affects between 0.5 – 2% of pregnancies, it causes severe vomiting, severe nausea, and due to these dehydration. Unlike ‘normal morning sickness’ it doesn’t go away at the end of the first trimester,  and can cause weight loss in pregnancy.

My HG lasted up until moments before my beautiful children where born.

I am a very positive person, and a very private person and when people would ask in pregnancy how I was going I would say Great, but I wasn’t, it wasn’t. The problem with not telling anyone how you are really feeling is then you also don’t get the right support that you need. If you suffer from HG you need support, you need help. Especially if you have other children that require your care. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who saw that I wasn’t ok and not only helped me through it, but graciously picked up the slack with the housework, our other children even when working full time. He made sure I told our OB and our midwives exactly how I was so I could get the right care.

When I walked into hospital to give birth to my fourth child I weighed 8 kgs less than when I feel pregnant. This is definitely not a weight loss regime I recommend, especially as your body goes into starvation mode and I pilled on over 10-15 kgs very quickly within a few months of my beautiful boy being born as your metabolism is non existent. 

There are other side effects after pregnancy you need to deal with, I went to the dentist for a check up before I feel pregnant with my first, my teeth where perfect, I had no need for fillings, no dramas however, after 9 months of constant vomiting when I went to my dentist check up I found I needed multiple fillings, the constant vomiting and the acid that it brings up had ruined my teeth.

People who have never suffered from HG can sometimes find it hard to understand how debilitating it is. With each of my pregnancies I would vomit at least 50 times a day, for the whole 9 months, that meant I lived with a “special bucket in my car”, had towels covering seats and floors in the car just in case.

Its bursting a blood vessel in your stomach from vomiting so much and then dealing with months of vomiting blood

There is the way you have to give up your pride, I have not forgotten the amount of times I had to vomit in public in a random bin, a gutter, a random garden, a friends bathroom. When you go anywhere your first step is to see where the toilet is as you know that at some stage you will be making a visit their.

It’s the hospital visits when you have done all you can yourself to stay hydrated, but nothing you do has worked. Its trying to explain to some ED doctors that it is not ‘just morning sickness”

It’s the shame you feel, when you resort to medicine to try (often unsuccessfully) to just keep one meal down.

It’s how you feel that you are failing your unborn child, like your body just isn’t good enough to keep your child safe.

Its how you feel like you are failing your other children, when you don’t have the energy to play with them, when you cant cook normal meals because the smell has you running to the bathroom.

The fact you have no choice but to tell people early, like the royal couple found, all our pregnancies we told people very early, very hard to explain why you are vomiting all the time without people being concerned about catching some nasty bug. 

It’s the feeling of frustration when other people don’t understand and tell you “to enjoy this pregnancy” that you cant be upset, overwhelmed, sad as you should count your blessings that you are in fact pregnant.

Its the utter feeling of confusion, being so happy and amazed with this new life growing inside of you, but also wondering how you are ever going to make it to the end of the pregnancy.

Its trying to explain to your other children that whilst you are sick, you are not ill. My older children were often in tears during my pregnancy with my younger two as they would see me being sick, and not understand that I wasn’t ill.

HG is a debilitating part of pregnancy, but it is only a part of the pregnancy, if you are suffering from HG, don’t loose hope when you are sitting on the bathroom floor, try to focus on the other parts, the way in which you feel your baby move inside of you, The joy you get while planning your nursery, trying to choose a name for your baby. The fact that you know that there is an end to this, the HG will end and when it does you will have an amazing new baby to love, cherish.

It’s the knowledge that you are giving your other children a new sibling to love and cherish.






Facts | Health | Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding

What to expect in the first five years in Language, both Speaking and Listening.

by sarah 3. September 2015 21:56

My youngest is almost two and I have noticed the one thing that seems to be the most talked about conversation with other mum's with children his age is Speech, and whether their ability to speak and listen is 'to the norm"

With each child at so many different abilities some times its hard (even now with our fourth) to wonder is my child developing normally. Even within a family every child has different strengths, and if you have one children strong in language and the next is more physical it is often hard to work out whether they are developing normally.

Our oldest son was diagnosed with sleep apnea when he was three and a half and needed his Adenoids and Enlarged Tonsils removed to fix this, due to this he suffered some language difficulties and we saw a fantastic speech pathologist who worked with us to get his speech back on track, we recently went back to her for a quick check up and she gave us a great fact sheet from the speech pathology of Australia that tells you what to expect in the first five years.

By the age of one, your baby should be able to.

  • Respond to familiar noises, such as the telephone ringing, vacuam cleaner, car in the driveway
  • Understand simple commands, such as yes, no.
  • Recognise their own name
  • Understand the names of familiar people and objects
  • Say Dad, mumma and a few other words
  • Tries to make familiar sounds, such as animal noises

By the age of two, your toddler should.

  • Say the name of simple body parts, such as nose or tummy
  • Listen to stories and say the name of pictures
  • Understand simple sentence, such as where's your shoe?
  • Use more than 50 words, such as no, gone, mine, teddy.
  • Talk to themselves or their toys during play.
  • Sing simple songs, such as twinkle, twinkle or Baa, Baa black sheep.
  • Uses some pronouns instead of names, such as he, it
  • try simple sentences such as, milk all gone.

By the age of three, your child should be able to. 

  • Understand how objects are used, a crayon is to draw with.
  • Recognise their own needs, such as hunger
  • follow directions
  • use three to four word sentences
  • begin to use basic grammar
  • enjoy telling stories and asking questions
  • Have favorite books and television programs
  • Be understood with familiar programs

By the age of four, your child should be able to.

  • Understand simple shape and colour name
  • Understand some time words, such as lunchtime, today, winter.
  • Ask who, what and why questions.
  • Use lots of words, about 900, usually in four to five word sentences
  • Use correct grammar with the occassional mistake, ie, I falled down
  • Use language when playing with other children
  • Speak clearly enough to be understood by most people.

By the age of five, your child should be able to.

  • Understand opposites, such as high and low, wet and dry, big and little
  • Use sentences of about six words with correct grammar
  • talk about events that are happening, habe happened or might happen
  • Explain why something happens, such as Mummy's car stopped because Daddy forgot to petrol in it :-)
  • Explain the function of objects, a hair brush is to brush your hair.
  • Follow up to three directions, ie, Stand up, put your shoes on and grab your bag.
  • Say how they feel and tell you their ideas
  • Become interested in writing, numbers and reading things.
  • Speak clearly enough to be understood by anyone.


*If you have any concerns trust your insticts, early intervention is essential, there is nothing to lose by making an appointment to see a speech patgologist for advice. 


Facts | Health | Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding

Why Sunglasses are so important

by sarah 12. June 2015 13:42

Did you know that even your eyes can get sunburnt?

We want everyone to know how important it is to not only protect your child's skin from the suns harmful rays, but also their eyes as well



UV exposure can cause short term and long term effects on the eye, from sunburn of the eye, (photokeratitis), cataracts, even macula degeneration (In the long term), even cancer of the eye, eyelid, or nearby skin.

Children's eyes are at greater risk to sun damage than adults, as the part of their lens that helps with filtering UV Rays has not fully developed. They also on average spend more time outdoors than adults, so what does that mean - due to the amount of rays that get through to your eyes as a child, by the time your child is 18 on average they would have been exposed to more than half of their lifetime exposure.



Damage to eyes can start early, and unfortunately is cumulative, that is why it is so important to start early.

To see our range of sunglasses for children 6 months - 12 years offering UVA and UVB protection

Shop here 



OTHER FACTS - Children are exposed to more UV rays in high altitudes, tropical locations, or highly reflective environments like the snow, sand or water.

People with Blue eyes are more susceptible to sun damage than Brown eyes

 If you don't wear sunglasses you are more likely to get wrinkles, crows feet around the eyes due to squinting.

U2 singer Bono wears sunglasses all the time because he suffers from glaucoma, an eye condition


Concerned about your child keeping them on, their are handy packs called Ready to Fly - that is a strap that attaches to the sunglasses to allow them to stay on child's face, however what I have found with my children, because they have been wearing them from such a young age, just like children with normal glasses they are not a novelty now so they keep them on their eyes.






Facts | Health