in the third grade talent show i recited shel silverstein’s poem sick while wearing pajamas, dragging a blanket and with slept on braided hair that had been ratted. i still remember most of it, to christian’s non-surprise since i tend to have a memory for very random things.

i cannot go to school today, said little peggy ann mckay, i have the measles and the mumps. a gash, a rash and purple bumps!…

i love the ending, when after peggy’s many protests and self-diagnosed ailments, she realizes it’s saturday and she is miraculously cured. i have been anxiously awaiting my very own saturday.

with my other pregnancies i was always very sick. so much so that one co-worker, who did not experience morning sickness in the slightest, accusingly said, you don’t even seem excited about this pregnancy! as i was ducking under my desk and aiming for my trash can. that sickness came as a shock. i’d heard of morning sickness – but, like the uninitiated, assumed it pertained to, well, the morning. that has not ever been the case with me. it is an all day long nausea that does not subside. nothing eases it, not any kind of prescription drug, or vitamin, or other kind of remedy. unless you count sleeping.

with this pregnancy i expected the sick which arrived my birthday week – but i had naively hoped it would diminish after the first trimester. i was not prepared for the sick to have a worse name, hypermesis, requiring me to experience IVs for the first time in the hospital.

my friend tallie, who heroically birthed her third baby in her bath tub, had the duty of taking me to the hospital the first time. i hadn’t been able to keep anything down for three days. i was weak. i was crying. i was non-responsive. tallie about passed out when she saw my urine sample was a deep, dark color. i remember she asked the nurse with the gold eye-shadow if she was an IV specialist because her wimpy friend was scared. gold-eye shadow nurse did a great job, and afterward tallie understood why i would not be birthing my baby in a bathtub. (i am kind of a pansy chicken).

during the first few months i disappeared. if i wasn’t in my bathroom, i was on the couch watching law and order and ncis reruns or i was in my bed. i did not clean. i did not cook. i did not open my fridge. i did not floss (don’t tell christian). i did not swallow any prenatal vitamins. i was sad as holidays passed me by and i couldn’t plan menus and cook treats. i cried at least daily. christian told me to pray to get through each day. i worried that i couldn’t do this a second time. that this might be it. after all these years, i pre-emptively mourned the fact of just one child.

it was a tenuous situation since i was already anxious about the viability of the pregnancy and not necessarily in a position where i was shouting the news from the rooftops yet. friends grew worried and then suspicious and some people caught on. many tried to reassure me that being severely sick was a good sign. but that theory meant nothing to me since i had been sick before with no results. others love to say, but you are sick for such a good reason! i’m sorry, but, sick is sick. one of my favorites is, at least you have an end date! which is super reassuring to hear in march that you’ll maybe feel better by the end of september.

the comment that takes the cake goes to christian. he informed me this week, after consulting his meticulous journals, that the last time he vomited was back in 1997. june 20, 1997 to be exact. what kind of freak hasn’t puked in 16 years!?!?

as the weeks gratefully turned to months i would look forward to milestones. 13 weeks. i had never been here before. perhaps 13 weeks would feel differently. it did not. 15 weeks. my doctor guessed i’d feel some relief. i did not. 20 weeks. by 20 weeks perhaps it’d all ease. it did not. and here i am at 22 weeks and still feeling the same. no renewed energy for my second trimester. some days are semi-okay while others are rougher than rough.

even though i think it is unfair (i know, i know, life isn’t fair) and i cannot fathom doing this again – when the little baby-o goes crazy practicing capoeira several times a day, i just sit and marvel at the little person who is very much alive inside me. growing off what little i actually consume and thriving.


19 thoughts on “sick.

  1. Robin this breaks my heart! And makes me feel incredibly guilty. I am so sorry you feel so awful and I hope it goes away so you don’t have to endure this the entire time.

    1. Thanks Abby! I definitely don’t think I’m the woman who will talk about loving pregnancy! But don’t feel guilty – I really wouldn’t wish this on anyone!

  2. June 1997 is a few months before we got married. That is a long time!!! I love that Christian could find the actual date. I remember waking up one morning sick and asking Paul if we could just switch for one day. I knew it didn’t make sense but I just felt that if I could have one day off, I could make it. I wish I could take a day or a week for you.

    1. I know right? It’s a super long time. I was trying to explain how it felt and that’s when he reminded me he doesn’t often puke! Who knew. Switching for a day would make a big difference!

  3. Oh man, not the update I was hoping to read, but yay! for a healthy little dance party in there! I had a rare condition with my pregnancy that caused full body rash and itching. When it first started, I thought, “Itching, small price to pay.” But after months of sleeplessness and waking up from the little sleep I did get in puddles of blood because I was sleep-scratching, I was a mess. I still have many scars on my body, but I think the psychological wounds are slowly healing. Sending good vibes your way.

      1. Oh, I think HG is worse, at least based on what I’ve seen a few other friends experience! It’s just a wonder at the many and varied ways that pregnancy can wreak havoc on our bodies 🙂

  4. My fingers are crossed for you that it gets better fast. Throwing up is the worst sick. It just takes so much out of you. I threw up while getting on the freeway, driving Josh’s new car. It came so fast I just caught it in my shirt!! I’ll say a prayer for you that you can laugh about this soon.:)

  5. So sick with my first. It was my last semester of college, and I was very, very lucky to have sympathetic instructors and professors. I remember stumbling into an elevator, not obviously pregnant, but thoroughly green at the gills and looking blearily at a very pregnant woman and asking, “Do you still feel sick?” and she looked puzzled and asked, “Sick? I haven’t been sick at all.”

    Oh those days of sipping Coke, since that’s the only thing I could keep down sometimes. (I don’t remember who suggested that, but it was a real blessing to have at least one thing that would stay down.)

    Hope things improve, even just a little bit!

    1. Oh man I can’t imagine going to school while feeling this way!

      And amen to the Coke and Squirt and Sierra Mist. It seems the majority of my calorie intake is either pop or popcicles!

  6. Oh Robin, so so sorry! I completely empathize with you…I hate being pregnant. Sick is sick, so true! But one thing I learned is I can do hard things! In the beginning mine did improve from vomiting a few times a day to only once a day or even every other day. And during the last couple of months even though I was huge, I was only nauseous a couple times a week. It was much better, but with the twins I vomited on the operating table and I was FASTING!!! I hope yours improves towards the end as well, waking up nauseous every single day is the pits. I kept a journal of each time I vomited during both pregnancies and guess what…one baby was not much better than having two in there. Like Christian, I only puked on my mission one time in 2000 (before then I can’t even remember I was probably 7!) And then BAM, I reached 7 weeks in 2007. It was AWFUL! I wish I could come hold your hair back or get you a towel. (On a sidenote, German has only thrown up once in the last 15 years and I think our strong stomachs were passed on to our three children because they rarely throw up, which is pretty much a miracle when you have small children! In 5 years Audrey has only thrown up twice and Lucy once. Sage not yet and she is almost four. I am VERY grateful!) I will keep you in my prayers.

  7. My new favorite quote by Jeanette Wells (author of “The Glass Castle”), “If you’re willing to discuss what you’ve been through, people become unashamed of their own secrets.” I love that you just share it like it is on this blog. Pregnancy is miserable–but I’ve heard that hypermesis is the worst. Hang in there, pal.

  8. I’m so sorry. I really feel for you. I remember sitting on the bathroom floor and crying because I was so sick. Even today, it is hard for me not to get cross at women who have been pregnant and never sick.
    P.S. I know it is impossible, but I tried never to think about another child when I was pregnant or recovering. Becky told me to buy some newborn diapers or newborn clothes and then put them out where I could see them to remind me of the beautiful baby that will come. It didn’t help with the sick, but it helped to think about something else.

  9. I ate tortillas and powerade every day for weeks on end, and Kyle cooked all the time (he kept spicing up meals until I gave him an ultimatum–bland bland bland or I was firing him and we would starve). I also hated all of those “You’ll feel better at 12/15/20 weeks” comments, because as those milestones passed I just got more and more bitter. I almost never took prenatal vitamins because they made me throw up worse (I finally found one that I could keep down when I was like 34 weeks. I don’t feel bad that I didn’t take them earlier because I threw them up within the hour so they weren’t doing much good anyways).

    Being sick for a long time is very, very different than being sick for a few days or a week. People don’t know what to do or how to sympathize after a while, and it seemed to make them really uncomfortable that I was still sick and throwing up even though I was in my second or third trimester. I called my mom more than once and told her that this whole having babies thing was overrated and I might stop at just one. I had a friend who had been sick on and off for a few years, so I would go over to her house and we complained together about being perpetually ill and how nobody understood us. It didn’t make me feel any better physically, but it was nice to complain to somebody who understood what it felt like to be sick all the time. She told me to never drink red powerade if I might end up in the hospital that day–apparently if you throw up red they have to do tests to make sure it’s not blood and it complicates everything. I only bought purple and blue powerade after that.

    I threw up one last time the day I gave birth to Ruby. I feel like it was the last hurrah of what had plagued my pregnancy.

    Other people do have worse pregnancies, but that doesn’t mean that what you’re going through isn’t hard for you. It’s ok that it’s hard, and it’s ok that sometimes you aren’t handling it with a lot of grace. I know how much it sucks to be sick all the time, but I also want to say that it’s worth it on the other end when you’ve got a cute baby. It’s a lot easier to forgive a cute baby that you can see than one that you can’t that’s sucking away your health and nutrients. 😉

    God bless.

  10. What will I do with my baby-o?
    What will I do with my baby-o!
    What will I do with my baby-o, if he don’t go to sleep-e-o.
    I’ll wrap him up in calico, wrap him up in calico,
    I’ll wrap him up in calico, and send him off-a to his daddy-o…
    I’ll send him north and I’ll send him south!
    I’ll send him north and I’ll send him south –
    I’ll send him north and I’ll send him south, I’ll put a little moonbeam –
    in his mouth.
    I’ll ask the mourning dove to sing,
    a sleeping song on feathered wing,
    and then my baby he won’t cry, he’ll be a-sleeping, by and by.
    Oh, what will I do with my baby-o?
    What will I do with my baby-o.
    What will I do with my baby-o – if he don’t go to sleep – e – o.

    Shhhhh. Love you Bidee.

  11. 😦 Not much happy about all-day-sickness. So sorry! Maybe you’ll follow my trend…I was the sickest with #1, less with #2, etc. You can always hope! 🙂

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