My husband rested his hand on my shoulder.
“I thought you said your morning sickness was subsiding,” he said.
He knew when daggers of how dare you say something that stupid to me flew from my face, he should recant.
“It’s NOT morning sickness. It’s nausea. I have it all day long!”
He quietly backed out of the kitchen.
We’re expecting our third child in May and although I am thrilled and blessed by healthy, full-term pregnancies, pregnancy doesn’t have a history of being nice to me.
Nausea with my son, our second child, resulted in a subcutaneous IV pump of Zofran, from week 13 through week 25. I would puke morning, noon, and night; frequently waking up in the wee hours of the morning to run to the toilet. Food would not stay down, liquid would not stay down, my own saliva even triggered major gag reflex. Even after home health care visits, training on how to change the IV site, prime the battery operated pump, and catching the tubing on door handles, the vomiting finally ceased, but the sick-to-my-stomach feeling never went away.
I was diagnosed with a mild form of Hyperemesis gravidarum.
It’s unrelenting, excessive nausea in pregnancy and prevents little (if any) food and fluids.
I vividly remember the angelic home- health care nurse that first came to educate me on HG, the pump, and medicine. I was broken, weak, depressed, and desperate for some relief. I sobbed, certain that if things didn’t change, my baby and I wouldn’t make it.
She reassured me it was temporary and gave me a 400 page book. The title escapes me three years later, but I read that book cover to cover in a matter of days.
I read stories of women, so deathly ill that pregnancies were terminated to spare the life of the mother. Many women were hospitalized the majority of their pregnancies because they would become overly dehydrated if they weren’t.
I found comfort and encouragement in the pages of that book. I wasn’t the only woman dealing with violent vomiting, in fact, these women had it much worse and many were left with sad, even fatal outcomes.
Eleven weeks into this pregnancy and it would seem that I have escaped HG.
I certainly don’t feel like running a marathon. Most days, I don’t get far from the couch, but generally I can function. I’m not losing weight, nutrition or my intestines.
I’m pretty sure this will be my last pregnancy. So, every time I pull my head back out of the toilet, I’m quietly trying to remind myself, “Savor this experience.”
Admittedly, most days my alter-ego fires back “shut up!”
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs every Monday on momaha.
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