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Shockingly common pregnancy symptom left Keira Rumble so sick she wanted to die

By Maddison Leach|

After experiencing six heartbreaking miscarriages, Keira Rumble was so fixated on falling pregnant that she didn't think much about what it would actually be like.

When she finally fell pregnant with son Hunter through IVF in 2020, she assumed she'd just be sick in the first trimester. She couldn't have been more wrong.

"I kept comparing myself to other people that seemed to be thriving during pregnancy, and I was doing the exact opposite," Rumble tells 9honey.

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Keira Rumble during her first pregnancy, when she experienced HG for the first time.
Keira Rumble during her first pregnancy, when she experienced HG for the first time. (Instagram)

It began with fatigue and nausea, then bouts of vomiting and dizziness. It felt like the only time Rumble wasn't spewing was when she was asleep.

Despite recognising her symptoms as "a red flag", she was afraid to seek help.

"For so long was brushed off as just morning sickness [...] I didn't want to be seen to be complaining," Rumble says.

"I was going through this internal battle, thinking I should be so grateful that I'm pregnant."

Rumble only realised something more serious was afoot 20 weeks into her pregnancy, when she posted on Instagram that 'morning sickness' had her vomiting up to 10 times a day.

Soon after, her phone pinged with a direct message from a stranger.

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A mock up of an Instagram DM Keira Rumble received during her pregnancy.
A mock up of an Instagram DM Rumble received during her pregnancy. (Nine)

"This girl from Hyperemesis Australia reached out and she was like, 'This actually isn't normal. Have you looked into hyperemesis gravidarum?'"?

Years on, she still wonders what would have happened if that woman never reached out.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is characterised by severe nausea and vomiting lasting days and can leave pregnant people dehydrated, underweight and with vitamin deficiencies.

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The debilitating condition affects between 2-10 percent of pregnancies in Australia and requires professional medical support.?Rumble knew none of that before she got sick.

The stranger's message directed her to the Hyperemesis Australia website, where a quiz concluded her HG symptoms were "off the charts".?

That was the validation she needed to finally take her concerns to her doctor, who confirmed the diagnosis and was shocked she hadn't brought it up sooner.?

All that time, she had just thought her debilitating symptoms were normal morning sickness.?

Keira Rumble during her second pregnancy, when she experienced severe HG symptoms.
Rumble feared judgement for her personal medical decisions, especially after sharing her fertility journey so publicly. (Instagram)

"I felt a little bit of relief, because I finally had an answer," she says, but she was still hesitant to speak openly about it, even when she started taking medication to manage her HG symptoms.

Like many pregnant Aussies, Rumble feared judgement for her personal medical decisions, especially after sharing her fertility journey so publicly.

Weighed down by the pressure to only show the "good parts" of pregnancy, she hid the worst of her HG between COVID-19 lockdowns.

"I didn't have to go to work, I could work from my office or my bed. I didn't actually physically have to leave the house," she says. "I really tried to put on a brave face."

When her son Hunter arrived in July, 2021, Rumble was overjoyed.

Keira Rumble holds her son Hunter, born July 2021.
Rumble holds her son Hunter, born July 2021. (Instagram)

Not only was she finally a mother, the months of nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and dehydration were finally over.

Going into her pregnancy with daughter Goldie the following year, she prepared to face it all again; this time, she would be ready.

Rumble hired a nanny, started running her businesses (Krumbled Foods, Habitual Beauty, and Mini + Me) from home, and built a support network around her.

"I naively never thought that it could be worse," she says, "which I now know was very silly."

The second time around, Rumble's HG was so severe she was vomiting up to 40 times a day.

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Keira Rumble during her second pregnancy, when she experienced severe HG symptoms.
"I naively never thought that it could be worse," she says, "which I now know was very silly." (Instagram)

Most days she could barely get out of bed and when she did, she would often faint.

On one occasion, she collapsed at home alone after putting Hunter in his cot.?

Partner Anthony arrived home soon after and took her to hospital, but the terrifying situation left them both rattled. Rumble sunk into a dark place.

"It was just soul destroying, the darkest time of my life [...] I was suicidal. There were conversations about termination because I was just so unwell," she says.

"The only thing that was allowing me to really push through was my son."

Keira Rumble holds her son Hunter, born July 2021.
"It was just soul destroying, the darkest time of my life [...] The only thing that was allowing me to really push through was my son." (Instagram)

Hospital visits, medication, and regular IV fluids helped her manage the symptoms, but Rumble struggled to be a mum and CEO in the face of her devastating condition.

"Every fortnight was a struggle to pay wages" and she was lucky to work for herself, because she "would've had to quit" any other job.

It's a scary reality too many pregnant Aussies with HG face amid the current financial crisis.

One of the few silver linings was that she finally opened up about HG to her 350,000 Instagram followers and was flooded with support.

Strangers messaged her with their own stories and encouragement that helped see Rumble through to the day Goldie was born in May 2023.

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Keira Rumble holds her daughter Goldie, born May 2023.
Support from other women helped Rumble get through until daughter Goldie was born in May 2023. (Instagram)

In a few days she'll be one, her birthday falling just shy of International Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day (May 15).

It's a bittersweet reminder of what Rumble went through to bring her two children earth-side and she's sharing her story so other parents don't suffer silently.

Severe, persistent nausea and vomiting that affects your daily life "is not normal" and no one should be afraid to seek medical support or medication.

Hyperemesis Australia was Rumble's "lifeline" through her pregnancies and she encourages anyone struggling to reach out.

She'll also be donating 20 percent of profits from the sale of her Hydramama products to Hyperemesis Australia today to help fund vital support services. Learn more here.

If you or someone you know is in need of support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue. In the event of an emergency dial Triple Zero (000).

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