Life Is Good
Blogging wasn't easy during those dark weeks in February and March when I was horribly nauseous with the bitterly ill named "morning sickness." (Ah, if only it limited itself to the morning!) I was hard-pressed to find anything to write about because all I wanted to do was bitch and moan. Instead I said "I have jury duty!" I didn't mention that I had to get special permission from the judge to eat crackers on the stand, or that my fellow jurors thus knew I was pregnant when many of my friends had yet to learn the news. (More at a later date on my ambivalence about the "wait 'til you're through the first trimester to tell" strategy.) Or I said "I went and got acupuncture!" without mentioning that the acupuncture was a last-ditch effort to stop the vomiting. (It didn't work.)
Not that I didn't bitch and moan. I was pretty stoic for the first few weeks. Then I entered the "puking every day" phase, which lasted about three weeks, and during which I was really too weak and miserable to complain much. Once that lifted, though, and I realized from my experience with my first pregnancy that I was likely in for at least another month of this general digestive malaise and soured appetite, I opened my mouth and let the bitching begin. My poor Old Man was the main recipient of my daily litany of wishing it would end, cursing my luck as a prego-prone-to-the-pukes, and generally whining about how bad I felt and much I missed enjoying food. My mom also heard her share.
When I was pregnant with O, I was sick for ten weeks. And it sucked. But it wasn't as severe as this time. I felt queasy most of the time, and really nauseous some of the time, and I'd puke every few days during the worst phase. But it was an "oops! there it goes!" kind of puking. The food was in your stomach - now it's in the can. Oh, well. That was gross.
This time the puking got to be a daily thing, coming on like clockwork at around five or six in the evening, inevitable. And it was a squalid, incredibly carnal affair. More like "you will now violently evacuate everything down to the depths of your stomach," rounding off with a series of dry heaves. I stopped using the can. It was just too horrible. I couldn't face it. The bathroom sink became my target of choice, and some days I would look up at myself when I was finally done and, seeing my pale, haggard face, would think "this is killing me." It really felt like it was.
I was glad when that was over. But morning sickness, I know all too well, doesn't just "lift" one day. It tapers off, little by painful little. You stop puking every day, but your appetite remains completely dysfunctional. You have to keep something in your stomach or you feel worse, but nothing sounds good, nothing smells good, nothing tastes good. And for me, the few things that worked inevitably became persona non grata after a couple weeks of constant nibbling at them. Red Oval Farms Stoned Wheat Thins? I never want to look at another one again, ever. Thin pretzel sticks? Keep them away from me. Even my very own homemade chocolate chip cookies turned on me, after two weeks of me baking a batch every couple days and eating them constantly during my waking hours. I may not be wanting a chocolate chip cookie for another couple of years, and I never would have believed that possible.
But - huge sigh or relief - that shit is over. I am feeling good. I am enjoying food. I am loving life. About a week or so ago, O. said to me "Mama, you haven't puked in like a month!" Yes, my little dear, yes.
I know that a small number of other women have it worse. Some women have to be hospitalized for dehydration because they can't keep anything down. I personally know women who were nauseous during an entire pregnancy, and my heart bleeds for them. But there are many more women out there who manage to gestate without ever feeling the pain of "morning" sickness, or who have such a mild form for such a short time it barely fazes them. To those women, I say: don't tell me "wow, I never had that." Not yet. I'm not ready. Just say "you poor thing," and count yourself very fucking lucky.