Bubsandbeans | Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding

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

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

An Auntie's Story - International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

by sarah 1. October 2015 11:35

International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

An Auntie’s story

I still remember vividly the day my life was changed, my innocence lost.

Until this day I was immune, immune to the heartache of pregnancy loss, I had seen one of my parents friends go through the loss of their daughter at 38 weeks, as a teenager, however I felt removed from the situation, until I received the phone call from my sister one lunchtime.

She told me – please pray for me, for my baby, the ultrasound technician has found something wrong, we are heading to hospital to get further ultrasounds.

My husband walked in the door about ten minutes later and I calmly told him what she had said, and then I said I am going for a walk, and then I ran, I ran to a lake not too far away that I used to walk around, and I walked, I prayed, I cried. I prayed that the technician was wrong, I prayed for peace, I prayed for my sister and her husband for their unborn first child.

I continued until she rang me back with the news, it looked like her child, my niece had a condition that made her incompatible with life. She would not survive the pregnancy.

I cannot remember exactly how long it was between her amniocentesis and the day my niece passed away, I am sure as a parent my sister does though.

What I do know is that my niece is precious, so very precious. I know that as I cuddled her forever sleeping body that day, so tiny, so precious that I loved her, that I love her as much as I love my other nine nieces, and four nephews. I know that as an Auntie not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. If I could tell my niece one thing, it would be how precious she is, and although she may have never taken a breath on this earth, she is as precious to me, and valued as much as all my other nieces and nephews.

I know now that there are a lot more babies “Born sleeping” than I ever realised we just don’t talk about it. Only 14 months later as I was heavily pregnant with my own daughter I watched two friends lose their bubs both at full term just days away from their birth. Since then I have heard many more stories, watched friends grieve.

But not talking about it doesn’t make the grief any less, doesn’t make the reality any easier to get through.

These beautiful babies need to be remembered, their parents loved and cared for.

So this month I not only recognise the one in four people who are directly affected by this heartbreaking loss. I recognise the Grandparents who grieve for lost grandchildren, children that grieve for their siblings, Uncles and Aunties like me that grieve for their lost Nieces and nephews.





International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month | 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

10 Baby shower gift ideas - under $50

by sarah 20. June 2015 21:52

Heading to a Baby Shower and not sure what to get? Here is our top ten Baby Shower gifts. Not in any particular order :-)

1 - The pregnancy book for men - $23.95

The perfect Baby shower gift as its for the Dad's Its a prenatal book that is packed with information realistic but not to scary information

Whilst it is filled with wise advise, it takes a humorous approach to it making it a book that Dad's to be will actually read.


 2 - Organic cotton wrap - buster boo $39.95

Our Organic wraps are handmade in Australia, from high quality 100% GOTS certified Organic Jersey cotton. With gorgeous modern designs.  

These wraps are perfect for babies to snuggle into for comfort or tucked into the pram, bassinet or car-seat.



3 - Sophie the giraffe - $26.95

 Sophie Born in Paris in 1961, has been a favourite teether for children the world over for over 50 Years. The perfect Baby shower gift. I'ts  a 100% Natural Rubber Teething toy -derived from Hevea Tree Sap.



4- Headband Giftset - $39.95

 Perfect Giftset for a little princess

Includes 10 gorgeous headbands, all packaged in a gorgeous Suitcase


5- Age Block set - $26.95 

Your friend will be able to record your babies age in Days, Weeks, Months or years with our gorgeous range of Age blocks, available in either Blue or Pink colours.



6 - Nesting suitcases- From $15

Sweet kids nesting suitcase sets, they can be purchased individually or in sets of 3 or 4 Perfect for decorating nursery, for storing toys and other items.



7 - Money box set - first curl, first teeth

 These gorgeous moneybox will be a keepsake for years to come.

Comes with a couple of gorgeous little boxes to keep bubs first teeth and first curl



8 - Nursing Covers

Our nursing covers are the perfect gift for mums to be that are aiming to breastfeed. We have a huge range of nursing covers and scarves, in designs to suit anyone's taste.

Nursing covers are a great way to provide full coverage, whilst still allowing full eye contact with the new bub.



 9 - Galaxy star projector and Sound Machine

Your friend will love to Turn their child's nursery and bedroom into a magical galaxy of twinkling stars, all whilst listening to their  favourite sounds of nature



10- mum2mum dreamswaddle - $36.95

Gorgeous 100% cotton swaddle, is totally fitted and adjustable and makes swaddling a new bub easy. It has a unique double wrap system to ensure bub stays secure all night, and the double ended zip at the front makes for easy nappy changes.


















Gift Ideas | Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding