Happiness through a haze.

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With each of my pregnancies, I’ve literally felt like I’ve been dying. No doubt with a couple of them I was very close. There’s morning sickness and then there is Hypermesis Gravidarum.

Here is what regular morning sickness does not look like:

Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting, Nausea that does not subside, Vomiting that causes severe dehydration, Vomiting that does not allow you to keep any food or liquid down, Food aversions, Weight loss, Decrease in urination, Dehydration, Headaches, Confusion, Fainting, Low Blood Pressure, Rapid Heart Rate.

It’s very very serious and, sadly, very often not taken seriously enough by health care professionals. With each pregnancy I’ve lost about 20 lbs due to these symptoms. It’s very difficult on everyone. The hardest part for the one suffering is when people tell her to “suck it up”, or that it can’t be that bad. What is bad is noise and motion causing you to feel nauseous enough to start dry heaving. What’s sad is when your little one climbs on the bed to hug you and having to hide your face in the pillow or push them gently away because the smell of their breath is enough to set you to vomiting again. Due to sickness I’ve never enjoyed pregnancy very much. Somewhere around 5 or 6 months the sickness lets up enough to enjoy some semblance of normalcy for a few weeks before it starts all over again, or new and different symptoms of pregnancy arise. God bless women who have easy pregnancies. I envy their glow.

Now, while I may wear a lovely shade of grey in my cheeks, and blown blood vessels all over my face from vomiting, I would never say that I am not grateful for the end result. It’s what carries me through to the end. With each baby and each pregnancy I’ve learned how to survive the sickness a little more, a little better. Everything smells bad. I eat cold food. Or pre-made food. Cold is better. I’m sickest during the day, so I am able to eat better at night. And drink at night too. Through a straw. The feeling of liquid in my mouth makes me gag, so a straw helps. Chewable vitamins. I can’t stand to swallow pills–I gag and heave. Brushing my teeth also makes me gag, so I rub them with a soft cloth to clean them.

As sick as I’ve been, and drained and stuck in bed as I’ve been, I’m still so grateful that past experience is here to help me now. I must admit, the fact that it has not been as bad as past pregnancies has had me a little on edge. I know what feeling pregnant feels like to me. This is the most manageable that my sickness has ever been. I have no idea if that means something or if it means nothing and I’ve just been blessed a little more this time around. I suppose only time will tell.

For now I’ll be grateful that I’ve not had to visit an emergency room for hydration. Thank you Jesus.

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