When I look back through the archives to see if Becky’s pregnancy was as hard as I remember it, I come up short. I made reference to it occasionally, but not often, and when I did I tried to keep it light. I never wrote about how my lips bled from dehydration, losing 30 lbs, or how many times I called Tom at work crying, light headed and scared. I never wrote about the drug cocktails we tried, and about the horrible side effects. I never wrote about the fear and guilt that I was hurting my baby by not being able to eat (and the possibility that the drugs were not riskfree). I never wrote about the dozens and dozens of times I threw up quietly in public toilets, or in ziplock baggies I carried in my purse. I never wrote about the crushing depression, the feeling like I was nothing but a drain on my family, and the quiet fear that that pregnancy had been a mistake. I never wrote about it because I hate to feel like I am whining (which is why it’s taken me a month to publish this was well). I never wrote about it, because I wanted to forget it. We were in the middle of selling one house and renovating another (we officially moved over here when I was 7 months pregnant (and still throwing up daily)) and there just wasn’t room in our lives for me to be that sick, so I tried not to focus on it. I tried to act normal, take care of my kids, and be happy.
And, in the end, I had my beautiful Becky (and a body ravaged by malnutrition). It WAS worth it. And, in that old cliche of motherhood, I forgot how bad things had been. I was sure another pregnancy could not be that bad since the first two had been so easy, and slowly forgot the reality of that 40 weeks of Becky’s pregnancy.
I remember now.
Things are not good over here. I’m 13 weeks pregnant, and down 20 pounds. On a good day I puke less than 10 times, but on bad ones it’s worse. I have bruises from IV attempts, I spend all of the time Tom is home on bedrest trying to stay hydrated, I feel useless in taking care of all but the kids’ most basic needs, and all those same fears and guilts are coming back. I take the drugs when I need to, but the side effects are almost worse than the hyperemesis. I feel like we’ve tried everything reasonable, and I am still failing, so I am having a hard time even wanting to try. I just want to go to sleep, and wake up 39 weeks pregnant and in labor. I am so sad that this will be my last pregnancy, but so relieved as well. I have a constant chant going through my head, that this will be worth it. This will be worth it. This will be worth it. It will be. It has to be.