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.