As you've probably already figured out, I am a major advocate for raising awareness of Hyperemesis Gravidarum and supporting women and their families suffering from severe pregnancy sickness. And this isn't just because I work for a charity doing just that!
Since my own pregnancy I have been passionate about creating change so that other women never have to feel as isolated, scared and helpless as I did. As a volunteer (and now member of staff) for the charity Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS) I have met so many amazing women who have experienced exactly the same isolation and suffering and it is through the community we are building up that we are most able to support others who are currently in the throes of HG.
Which is why I am so excited about our most recent fundraising and awareness campaign... have you seen it?
The Big Brew is all about friendship and community. It is about coming together with friends, family and colleagues for a cuppa and a cake and enjoying the simple things in life... the things which women suffering from HG wish so desperately to enjoy but cannot because they are so very sick.
Imagine, for a moment, that you have spent the past few weeks in bed, unable to move without causing another bout of vomiting. You're feeling so alone and yet the one thing you crave the most - some company - can be the worst trigger of all. Movement, talking, smells (even those you normally do not notice) can all set of a painful and terrifying bout of vomiting or dry heaving, and even if they don't the exhaustion from fighting through the rolling waves of nausea and hoping not to vomit all over your guests is immense. However much you crave that company, sometimes the only way you survive is to simply avoid it.
That's the reality for many women during pregnancy and it is painfully traumatic to be denied such simple pleasures as having a cup of tea (even without the company to share it with) or having a natter with your closest friends. It's hard to comprehend the way in which it takes over your entire life unless you have been through it yourself, which is why PSS runs a national network of volunteers who offer peer support via phone, text and email to any woman who requests it.
However the vital support and information PSS provides women and their families via the website, helpline and support network cannot continue to grow and flourish without funds. The charity currently receives no funding and so we run entirely on donations received from fundraising efforts of our supporters. And that's where you come in...
Join us by holding a Big Brew event on (or around) the 15th May 2014 to coincide with International Hyperemesis Gravidaum Awareness Day
We're not asking for much. We don't want you to commit to a major challenge or a regular donation. All we're asking is that you consider holding a Big Brew event of your choice (tea party, coffee morning, picnic etc) and ask those who come to offer a donation. By enjoying the simple pleasures of tea, cake and company you can raise awareness of the importance of support in times of need and the funds we need to keep offering that support.
It's so simple and we've provided everything you need to make your Big Brew event as easy as possible, including printable posters, invites, thank you cards as well as all the info you will need on how to donate any money you raise. Whether you raise £1, £5, £20 or even £100 it will all add up and make a massive difference to women who need our support.
If you can't hold an actual event, perhaps you can attend a virtual one! I shall be doing this because, as you know, I have not been well and May is already very busy for me with my endoscopy and the Handmade Auction (also raising funds for PSS). Whilst I cannot find the time or energy to hold an actual event, I shall be meeting with friends online for a natter, adding my donation to the pot, and having some fun in the process.