When I was pregnant with Adam I suffered from a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). It is a severe form of pregnancy sickness which affects 1-1.5% of pregnancies. HG is a debilitating condition which for me required several hospitalisations and left me bed bound for 9 months. Every day was a living hell. Throughout my pregnancy, as I lay there being ill, I would think about the adventures Adam and I would have together. I made a promise to myself that once the Hyperemesis was over I would value each day. Hence we took part in the play challenge and started this blog.
It was during the play challenge that it really hit home to me – how am I going to look after Adam during my next pregnancy? The idea of being separated from him for nine months petrifies me. In my last pregnancy I couldn’t look after myself for 9 months let alone an active young child. Although I can live in hope, there is an 80% chance that I will suffer from HG again.
I now volunteer for Pregnancy Sickness Support – a UK charity that provides information and support to sufferers and encourages further research into the condition. I am the administrator for their Forum and regularly see the concerns of members who are planning another pregnancy or are currently suffering from HG. How do you entertain your other children whilst you are so ill for up to nine months? The guilt they feel is immense.
So I decided to find some sort of solution – a way that could help HG sufferers entertain their children. During our play challenge I started to look for activities which didn’t need any preparation and that a child could play with independently. Minimum preparation for maximum distraction!
There is a dedicated section of this blog for HG sufferers which can be found on the top menu. All the activities suitable for HG sufferers can be found there as well as information on HG, the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity and my ‘Nine Months Of’ fundraising campaign.
When putting together the activities suitable for HG sufferers there had to be some criteria for the activities to be deemed HG friendly. There is no point doing an activity which involves food or has an odour as these are bound to trigger vomiting. Even the smell of play dough can cause a sufferer to reach for the sick bowl. The activity also had to be mess free – an HG suffer will hardly be in any state to clear away a messy activity.
Please note though that the things which can trigger HG will vary from person to person. It is likely that an HG sufferer in the early stages of pregnancy will be unable to complete any of these activities. At this stage, every day can be a monumental challenge that must be conquered. Child care will take precedence.
Here are the HG friendly activities from our 100 day play challenge. Click on each link below for further information on each activity:
1. Non-Messy Paint Mixing – Day 6
2. Coin Drop – Day 7
3. Acorns - Day 8
4. Peg Drop - Dy 14
5. Penguin Hooks – Day 15
6. Fabric Tissue Box – Day 16
7. Guttering Fun – Day 22
8. Pom Pom Pipe Cleaner Drop – Day 23
9. Magnetic Penguin – Day 34
10. Number Stickers On Cars - Day 35
11. Cotton Wool Fun – Day 37
12. Christmas Baubles Dunking – Day 43
13. Christmas Bows – Day 46
14. Toy Tea Party – Day 47
15. Bubble Wrap Ball Pool – Day 52
16. Train Track Bowling – Day 53
17. Pom Pom Fun – Day 57
18. Decking Car Ramp – Day 60
19. Chalk Mark Making – Day 67
20. Wax Crayons – Day 72
21. Magnet Fun – Day 73
22. Colour Wonder Colouring Book – Day 74
23. Wooden Block Drop – Day 76
24. Masking Tape Pull – Day 78
25. Cupcake Case Counting – Day 80
26. Block Bin Drop – Day 81
27. DIY Reverse Kerplunk – Day 84
28. No Water Car Wash – Day 85
29. Ball Drop – Day 86
30. Pom Pom Mirror Drop – Day 89
31. Pipe Cleaning Posting – Day 96
Adam and I will continue doing a daily play activity and each week we will add at least one play activity which is suitable for a HG sufferer and her child. We shall also add it to our Hyperemesis Pinterest board. These activities could also be used for women post pregnancy during feeding time to entertain their older child.
One day I hope to be brave enough to go through HG again. For the time being I will savour every moment I have with Adam.