Why does this British mom-of-two think the next time will be different for her? Read on to learn about her plan…
Claire Barwell terminated pregnancies in 2007 and February 2011 — because she couldn’t handle the crippling and severe nausea that caused her to vomit up to 40 times a day!
She suffered during four pregnancies from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which causes severe nausea. Sufferers are typically unable to eat or drink. Claire battled through the condition to deliver daughter Bethany, 10, and Abbey, 6. But when she fell pregnant in 2006, she was terrified.
Her marriage to her first husband was in trouble and she was unable to cope with the sickness without his support, so she reluctantly underwent an abortion after 12 weeks. “I felt so dreadful that I just wanted to get it over and done with,” she says. “I didn’t feel happy about it, but the decision was clear in my mind…Afterwards I was crippled with guilt. I felt desperately low. It was not something I was proud of at all.”
Claire, met second husband David just 6 months after the abortion. Despite her bad experiences, the couple were both keen to have kids together and were thrilled when Claire became pregnant in December 2010 – but the symptoms quickly returned, worse than ever.
“I was bed-bound, sick and drowning in misery. I remember thinking: ‘How can I survive like this for another seven months? I rang David in hysterics. I told him I wanted the baby, but couldn’t go on like that.”
Unable to cope, she took the decision to abort the baby. But amazingly, the four horrifying experiences haven’t put Claire off trying again.
She reveals she’s “desperate” to get pregnant again, insisting it’s “the only thing that keeps me going.” And she has recruited her sister to help her stay strong and resist the temptation to terminate again: “If I become pregnant, my twin Suzanne has agreed I can stay with her, as only she really understands how bad things can get.”
Despite criticism from pro-life campaigners for her decision to terminate her babies, experts are weighing in on Claire’s side — insisting HG is a misunderstood condition. “far more serious than anyone realizes,” explains pregnancy psychologist Dr. Brian Swallow. “Women consistently say they feel quite alone because there is insufficient help. Morning sickness is just seen as something women have to put up with.”
What do you think HollyMoms? Does she deserve our sympathy? Or is she crazy to want to get pregnant again?
— Ian Garland