I wrote this post before I was able to publicly share my pregnancy. I’ve since started what I call a “drug cocktail” – a mix of Zofran, Unisom and vitamin B6. It’s helped make my days tolerable, though I do still experience days that feel impossible.
Dear Hyperemesis Gravidarum,
For the second time, you’ve stolen the joy from my heart and replaced it with sickness and suffering. For the second time, you’ve caused me to view my pregnancy’s first trimester as a burden to bear instead of the celebration of life that it rightfully deserves to be. For the second time, you’ve caused me to live life by the hour, just praying that I’ll make it through another day.
I mourn the pregnancy that I should have had. The joyous one that makes you glow with happiness (…or hormones). The one that makes you burst with excitement and want to share it with the world.
Instead, I find myself going down that same road of isolation that I went through with C. Not being able to make it to the events that I planned with old friends; and not being able to attend the new social groups that I want in order to meet new friends in my new city. It terrifies me that this pregnancy will mirror my first one completely – including creating the perfect storm for PPD. Hyperemesis, why do you rob me of a joyful experience?
I find myself only focusing on the day in front of me. If I even consider that I have weeks left of my first trimester, I am overwhelmed with panic. If I entertain the idea that the hyperemesis will not subside by week 14 like it did with C, I’m convinced that I will not survive my pregnancy. So I live hour by sickening hour, trying to drink enough fluids. Trying to eat enough foods. Even though most of the time my gag reflex is stronger than my ability to choke fluids down. Even though every time I eat food, my stomach is ready to reject it at any moment. It never does, but the dry heaving is very real and powerful.
Sometimes the thoughts that I won’t make it through this – that I can’t make it through this – run around in my mind. I’ve thought these things before, with C, so logically I know that I can survive this. But it’s so hard to believe it when it takes all the effort I can muster just to get out of bed.
Hyperemesis, you’ve made me realize that even though I always wanted a large family, this might need to be my last pregnancy. I don’t think I can go through this again. I just can’t. And that makes me feel so guilty, and angry with you for taking that dream away from me.
I’m strong. I can fight you. I will fight you. One hour at a time.