Hello everyone.

It has been absolutely ages since I wrote on here I think. I thought I would give a background to my life with this horrible phobia that is Emetophobia. By no means am I cured, and I still have bouts of it so any advice would be greatly appreciated. At the same time this is my experiences so far, and some of it may help others. Please forgive me, I am known to write War and Peace when I start, but I like to be sure I have explained myself clearly and covered everything (I have OCD too, so maybe that explains it?!)

I am 33 years old, married for 6 years and me and my Husband live in the UK. I work in adult education teaching ICT. I am also pregnant with our first baby, who is due in January, and found out that we are expecting a baby girl.

I can't remember when I first became Emetophobic. I went for a great number of years without being sick, and I wonder to some extent whether this contributed to the Emetophobia. I am no medical expert, just wondering why it developed I think. I would avoid people with bugs, not go in public toilets if I could help it or use a toilet if I know someone has been sick in there. I could give a few examples but a recent one is from last year. My Husband got drunk with our next door neighbour in April last year and was sick in the bathroom toilet (we are lucky to have three toilets in our house), then in the June a family member stayed over our house, got drunk and was sick in the same toilet (and up the walls and the floor). I did not use that toilet until the end of December and only went in the bathroom up to that point to have a bath, which is rare as I have showers and the shower is in the end suite). Yes, it was cleaned, but I still couldn't bring myself to use it. I go in now but am wary, and this was over a year ago now.

I was sick in December, between Christmas and New Year. We believe it was something that we had eaten as my Husband didn't feel too good either at the same time, but I unfortunately was ill. After this I decided to buy the Thrive book to help overcome Emetophobia. We had decided to start trying for a baby as well so I knew I needed to do something about it as Emetophobia was stopping me from having children, which is something we both wanted. Also, with us heading to mid 30's we knew if we were going to start a family we needed to start soon.

We found out I was pregnant Easter weekend. Yes, we were happy as it was what we wanted. However I have to say that I found it hard to show my happiness. The reason was Emetophobia. I just couldn't see past the possible nausea and/vomiting in pregnancy and/or labour. I couldn't really plan things beyond that day, I didn't want to go out or return to work the following week after having annual leave, and we were having a couple of nights away the week we found out I was pregnant and I didn't want to even go there in case I was ill. I have to say I did go away, I did go back to work and did go out. I went to the doctors the day after I confirmed I was pregnant (it was a Bank Holiday when we found out) and I spoke to the doctor about how I was, and he said it sounded like anxiety. I didn't have any medication for anxiety, and still not on medication for anxiety, but I was having these anxiety attacks (if that was what they are, I believe they are minor if they are) daily. At work one day I called for counselling from my car one lunch time and had a moment whilst in the car, and believe there was a high chance that if I had my handbag with me I would have gone home.

I got referred to high intensity CBT, which I am still doing now. It is good but I am not 100% sure it is working for me, but I am still going along. I did the Thrive book, which was really good but you need to keep it up. I was going to start the book again but when I was about to start CBT I thought it was best to see what that is about before doing the book again. I have a few weeks left of CBT so I may start it again when that has finished.

I am now 21 weeks pregnant. Up to this point I have not suffered with vomiting in pregnancy. I have had a bit of nausea but I don't know if that was pregnancy related or anxiety related and once I got over the anxiety the nausea went. All I hope and pray for symptom wise is that I continue to not suffer with nausea and vomiting throughout the rest of my pregnancy and labour.

Yes, I still worry, but I am not like I was in the early stages of pregnancy. I worry when I read of pregnant women having morning sickness return later in pregnancy in case it happens to me, and I am worried about labour in terms of nausea and vomiting (I have even considered requesting a c-section with anti-emetics and epidural to limit it).