Greg Rutherford’s fiancée, Susie Verrill, has recorded her experience of suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum during her third pregnancy.
Olympian Rutherford and writer Verrill recently announced via Instagram that they are expecting their third child, a girl.
Verrill has since shared a powerful video diary documenting the last six months of her suffering with the pregnancy condition that is characterised by excessive nausea and vomiting. The Duchess of Cambridge also suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and required hospital treatment while pregnant with her children.
Verrill, who is also mum to Milo, six, and Rex, three, was also diagnosed with HG during her previous pregnancies.
Sharing a series of short clips, which have been edited together, Verrill explains she is keen to help others suffering with the condition to feel less alone, as she has spent months in bed, struggling to go downstairs in her home for fear cooking smells would trigger her sickness.
One particularly emotional entry comes when the mum-to-be cries as she tells the camera: “It is sometimes not enough to know that there is a baby coming at the end of this.”
The diary also follows Verrill as she is taken to hospital after she was sick 15 times in just eight hours, and she documents her experience of hair loss as the condition worsens.
In the accompanying caption, Verrill explained she decided to make the video diary because it helped her feel just that little bit less isolated while she was suffering from HG.
“Our decision to try for baby number three began with terror (from me), apprehension (from Greg) and a treatment plan/prophylactics (meds to take before conceiving as a prevention, from the doctor),” she explained.
Watch: Duchess of Cambridge experienced hyperemesis during pregnancy.
Though Verrill describes feeling “terrible”, she says her HG hasn’t been as bad as it was during her pregnancy with son, Rex, as this time she is on prescribed medication.
“I only needed to visit the hospital for a drip once, managed to keep vomiting to once every 1.5 hours and ‘only’ lost 5% body weight,” she explains.
Having thanked the charity Pregnancy Sickness Support for their help, Verrill goes on to reassure others who have the condition that support is out there and they don’t need to suffer alone.
She goes on to thank her fiancé and family for their support throughout the last six months of her pregnancy.
“From keeping me mentally together, to washing my bedding, to putting up with the incessant switching of ‘safe’ foods and endless trips to the supermarket to get me anything obscure I might fancy trying to nibble for a couple of seconds,” she writes.
“I’m so grateful I can be back to being a mum and while I’m not fully recovered, I’m so grateful to get to this point.”
Verrill’s followers were quick to thank her for sharing the emotional post and shining a light on hyperemesis, with many sharing their own experiences of the condition.
“Thank you so much for sharing,” one wrote. “I can relate to everything you've said. Only just started feeling like I'm coming out the otherside, but I'm the same to only feeling like I'm operating at 70%.
“I'll take it over how I have been feeling the last few months though. Sending so much love.”
“Gosh I found it hard to watch that video, it brought it all back for me. Five and three years on I still have to grip the sink whilst cleaning my teeth,” another shared. “Really hope the next few months are a bit easier for you.”
Other commenters said watching Verrill’s video made them feel less alone.
“Thank you for sharing this, I think so many people need to see this,” one wrote. “So many people just think that 'morning sickness' is nothing but for some woman it is such a lonely struggle that feels like it will never end!
“Thank you again so so so much for sharing this, I really hope it brings more awarenesses for HG and what some women go though! Also slight comfort for everyone else suffering to know they are not alone.”
What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
Pregnancy Sickness Support describes HG as a severe complication of pregnancy. Sufferers can find normal functioning difficult, struggle to maintain adequate food and fluid intake and some can experience vomiting in excess of 30 times a day.
Exactly how many pregnant women get HG is not known as some cases may go unreported, but according to the NHS it is thought to be around one to three in every 100.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is diagnosed when a patient’s health, wellbeing and ability to have a normal lifestyle are compromised due to the sickness and nausea they are experiencing,” explains Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife.
“If a pregnant woman is admitted to hospital for treatment, a doctor will assess them and a plan of care will be made for their needs. Although treatments can temporarily relieve symptoms, it is common for them to return.”
Gilchrist says those diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum can expect to be offered an anti-emetic (anti-sickness) medication via an injection until they can tolerate this in tablet form.
“They may also be offered intravenous fluids (IV fluids) to rehydrate them whilst the right medication is found to help ease their sickness,” she adds.
The NHS recommends if you are being sick frequently and cannot keep food down, you should tell your midwife or doctor, or contact the hospital as soon as possible.
There is a risk you may become dehydrated, and your midwife or doctor can make sure you get the right treatment.