I remember learning I was one of those 3-4% of women when I watched Princess Katherine stand outside the hospital, flowers in hand, Prince by her side—that extreme morning sickness unable to be hidden any longer.
I realized that while most women feel sick for those first weeks, most overcome it, moving into that glow of motherhood, a smile upon their face, life moving forward as if nothing were happening to them.
By the way, this post is meant to make you smile, laugh even. I am not seeking sympathy nor am I trying to make it seem like I have it SO hard. For the benefit of my own sanity, it’s just better to turn something not always fun, into something funny.
I had to do it when Graham was in the ICU, laugh and poke fun at myself and him because the stress of the situation was oftentimes overwhelming. Sure, there were tears and sad times, but if there were ONLY tears and sad times I knew I’d be lying right next to him in an ICU bed diagnosed with a case of the ‘crazies.’
I feel a little crazy as of late because for now my body has been taken over by this precious ‘parasite’ and while it continues to do its job and grow this baby, my brain is not happy about it. Something inside my head wants to rid itself of its dwelling, as if it’s not sure what this thing is and what it’s doing here.
It’s number four for me so you’d think I’d be prepared and able to handle the changes.
This time around there are many others in the house witnessing the shenanigans. The older boys run for their lives when I awake in the morning. If I didn’t know any better I’d think it was my bed head, or perhaps my choice of clothing that makes them run.
But no. It’s what’s coming out my mouth that makes them vanish. They peer at me sometimes, at first scared, but these days in complete annoyance.
“Mom, just eat something.”
“Mom, just stop.”
If only it were that easy.
Often they yell for their father, who at the beginning of every pregnancy starts out so tender and sweet during my dismay, rubbing my back, bringing me water, a tissue.
But now, he runs too.
He takes the kids and away they go. Or sometimes, they continue on with whatever it is they’re doing—building legos, eating breakfast. It’s as if nothing were happening to me. As if I didn’t feel like my insides were going to become my outsides. I know there’s nothing anyone in the house can do for me. So, we’ve all accepted it as normal.
Once when I was pregnant with my eldest, I too had to go to the hospital. It got so I couldn’t even keep my swallows down. Somehow though, I don’t think I was treated quite like the Princess. I lay on a bed in the ER hall, the IV dripping life back into me, Graham overtired and exhausted from it all.
When it was all over I don’t remember standing for the cameras looking washed out, yet somehow still cute. There were no flowers, no get-well wishes. I simply limped home with my stainless steel bowl used for exactly what you’re thinking and readied myself for more of the same.
Thankfully, I DID have a Prince who drove me home!
Fallon, my youngest and only girl, is too little to understand any of what’s going on here. She climbs over me while I’m slumped over and enjoys copying mommy’s silliness by leaning over the toilet herself. Her sound effects come included.
In the beginning if someone would have told me to stand on my head while eating a lemon—that that would do the trick, I’d have done it. So, after the home remedies, advice, counsel and yes, finally medication, I’ve learned nothing works for me.
But I’ve still learned some amazing things through it all:
I’ve learned what to eat so when it comes back for a second visit—it won’t taste so bad. Cheerios are my best friend. I like the Honey Nut ones the best.
I’ve learned to line my purse with nuts, mints and other ‘snacks’ in case of emergencies. My glove compartment is stuffed with Wal-mart bags to help aid my cause. You may wonder about the common holes found in these bags, but a quick knot in the bottom holds anything entering perfectly.
When I do venture out to church or to pick up the eldest from school I am usually fighting the feeling. The watery mouth is right there and my biggest fear is vomiting all over you when you’re talking to me. That strained look in my eye? That’s me fighting hard to focus on anything but what’s happening inside.
Vomiting outside in the horse corral would seem convenient, even fitting. Yet I often panic when my dogs show up to help with ‘clean up’. What’s that verse about the dog returning to its own vomit?
I’m sure you’re not smiling anymore. Now you’re just grossed out.
Whether you think this funny or not. The truth remains. A woman’s body is an amazing thing. I remain blessed and fortunate to experience life inside of me when so many can’t.
Someone once told me a sick pregnancy is a well-established pregnancy. Perhaps they were just trying to make me feel better. Either way, it helps a bit knowing this life is growing and taking root. As it was designed to.
These next months will feel long, the winter dragging and enduring just as my sickness.
Yet, spring is coming!
I’ll still somehow gain 40 pounds, add a few extra stretch marks to the library and probably end up with some form of acid erosion on my throat. But, this gift at the end? This bit of Graham and bit of me woven together into his or her own person is mind blowing for me to think on.
It makes everything this mom is going through now, completely worth it.
I’m not really into taking ‘selfie’ pictures of myself. Especially pregnant. But, if I were a horse I’ll look similar to this come mid July.
P.S. Thanks for all the sharing of the kindle version of ‘The Dark Stretch’! The last time I checked it had been downloaded 1,450 times! WOW!!!