A mother has revealed she lost nearly half her body weight after extreme morning sickness made her vomit more than 50 times a day.
Michelle Stevens, 33, from Saltdean, Brighton, suffered a complication during her second pregnancy called hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme type of morning sickness which causes severe nausea – the same condition battled by Kate Middleton during her three pregnancies.
The mother-of-three could barely eat or drink for nine months, and was hospitalised countless times as she dropped from 17st 3lb to 9st 7lb – all while pregnant with son Ollie, one.
Michelle explained: ‘The nausea was so bad that I contemplated terminating the pregnancy at points.’
Michelle Stevens, 33, from Brighton, suffered from an extreme case of morning sickness which saw her weight drop from 17st 3lb down to 9st 7lb during pregnancy (pictured before weight loss)
Michelle said: ‘Sickness was the first indication I was pregnant, at just four weeks – but it just got worse and worse and I would be sick more than 50 times a day.’
She was left with constant nausea from the fourth week of pregnancy, saying it was so bad she even considered terminating the much-wanted pregnancy.
Michelle, who is also mum to Joshua, 11, and Sarah, 13, ended up in A&E at five weeks pregnant – just a week after her positive test – thanks to constant nausea and vomiting.
Unable to eat or drink, doctors at Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, grew concerned at how weak and dehydrated she was becoming.
The mother-of-three lost nearly half her body weight after extreme morning sickness made her vomit more than 50 times a day
The healthcare assistant experienced non-stop nausea and was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), and prescribed a cocktail of medication.
But they barely worked and she spent weeks at a time in hospital on IV fluids to keep her hydrated, with a feeding tube up her nose.
Dangerously weak, she had a tube delivering nutrients directly into her veins, and had to have two IV bags of fluid a day.
She said: ‘I was in and out of hospital constantly being hooked up to IV drips and feeding tubes because I was so malnourished and dehydrated.
She could barely eat or drink for nine months, and was hospitalised countless times but said it was all worth it for her adorable son Ollie who was born last June (pictured together)
‘I hardly noticed the weight coming off because I was so ill.’
Soon her size 22 clothes were hanging off her size 10 frame.
Michelle said: ‘The sickness went on for the whole pregnancy and it just seemed to get worse and worse.
‘The doctors told me it was one of the worst cases of HG they’d ever seen.
Doctors told her it was the worst case of the condition they’d ever seen and she spent weeks at a time in hospital on IV fluids to keep her hydrated, with a feeding tube up her nose
‘I was in and out of hospital constantly and I was crying literally every day. It was a very dark time for me.’
She considered a termination, but stuck it out due to guilt, and for the sake of her IT consultant husband Gavin, 39, and the kids.
Finally Ollie was born by caesarean section on June 4, 2020.
The tot was rushed to NICU with a collapsed lung as a result of the traumatic pregnancy and she went to ICU for monitoring and further treatment.
Michelle went down six dress sizes and lost seven stone and 10 pounds while she was pregnant (pictured before, left, and after pregnancy, right)
Doctors told her it was the worst case of the condition they’d ever seen – but Michelle said it was all worth it for adorable Ollie.
She said: ‘I was over the moon to finally have Ollie and we adore him – although my pregnancy was absolutely horrific and I’d have given anything to be able to eat normally, even if it meant staying large.’
Finally both mother and baby were able to come home ten days later.
Her size 22 clothes were soon hanging off her size 10 frame and she has been left with an undiagnosed stomach condition which means she can’t gain weight and eating is painful
Michelle has been left with an undiagnosed stomach condition which means she can’t gain weight and eating is painful.
She said: ‘I still have stomach problems now – I had wanted to lose a bit of weight before I got pregnant but this was certainly not what I had in mind.’
She added: ‘I have a dietician who is looking for answers, but even now I’ve had Ollie it’s incredibly painful to eat.’
Baby Ollie was born by caesarean section on June 4, 2020 and was rushed to NICU with a collapsed lung as a result of the traumatic pregnancy but is now healthy
Despite her ‘pregnancy from hell’ she said the main thing is Ollie is happy and healthy.
She said: ‘I had HG with my earlier pregnancies but I never realised how severe it could get – this was like nothing I’ve experienced before.
‘But we are so grateful to have Ollie and we adore him – that’s the most important thing.’
Mothers who suffer the same severe morning sickness as Kate Middleton can vomit up to 50 times a day and even face hospitalisation
Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a pregnancy conditioned where expectant moms experience severe nausea, weight loss, vomiting and dehydration.
Mild cases of HG are able to be treated with a change in diet, rest and antacids. But more severe cases can force the expectant mother to stay in the hospital so they can receive the nourishment they need.
About 70 to 80 percent of women will experience some form of morning sickness throughout their pregnancy.
But the number of women who suffer from HG is not well known because the majority will often go unreported because they treat it at home or in an out-patient care.
The cause of HG remains unknown, but the severe nausea is believed to be due to the rise in hormone levels in the women’s body as it changes to house the growing fetus.
HG symptoms typically start during the first trimester at the four to six week mark and peak when the woman is nine to 12 weeks along.
While most women will experience relief as the enter their second trimester at 14 weeks, some will have severe nausea throughout the course of their pregnancy.
Source: American Pregnancy