Because memory fails.

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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.

(For more information about hyperemesis, check out Helpher.org, and these great blog posts. It helps to know I’m not alone in this.)

11 Responses to Because memory fails.

  1. Oh Mama. I feel your pain. It pains me that Hyperemesis has decided the size of my family. It pains me that I never got to know what a beautiful, healthy, happy pregnancy looked like. Yes, of course it will be worth it, but that doesn’t detract from every day you suffer. Just yesterday I was lambasted by someone for saying that I didn’t bond with my baby till the third trimester. She wanted to know how you could NOT be excited about a new life and pretty much made me out to be a bad person – and said ‘yeah, morning sickness sucked’. She could have said anything and I’d have been okay with it, but ‘yeah, morning sickness sucked’ pushed me over the edge. :(

    Unless you’ve lived it you CANNOT understand it, and I understand it and really feel for you.

    What drugs have you tried? The only one that worked for me in the end was Ondansetron (Zofran) and I was on it for 16 weeks (From 10 to 26) and, Oh, I understand the guilt. I am so sorry. I wish there were words to express my feelings on this. I hope you have so much support around you (someone said that to me when I was sick and had no one but my working husband, and I sobbed) :(

    You are not alone though. There are plenty of us.

  2. Chance says:

    *hugs* oh little sister I wish I was there to take care of you.

    Remember that what the girls will remember about it, in the long scheme of things, is that mom was sick for a while when she was pregnant with *****. Because no matter if they remember it being boring or that they watched a lot of tv and ate cereal nearly every meal, they will get a baby out of it too and what comes next has a way of dulling all those memories.

    and no one in the world (other than me of course :p) loves you and the girls like Tom does, so he will remember how much he loved being a super-duper-superdad, and how proud he is of his wife for making those most beautiful clever children of his. :)

    I love you, Ivy. be as gentle with yourself as you can be. <3

  3. kait says:

    Oh dear. I am so sorry you’re going through this. I had hyperemesis with Sam (my first pregnancy) and I luckily I was living with my parents and had no other children. I stayed in bed for about 7 months, had tons of drugs that made me feel worse in a different way and was so depressed someone would talk to me and I wouldn’t hear for a few minutes. I wish there were something I could do from way over here. Instead we will be thinking about you and sending blog love. You are a wonderful mother with the most adorable and kind hearted girls I know. Tom sounds amazing and I can’t imagine he doesn’t love you even in the trenches of sickness. Do not – DO NOT let yourself think of how this is going to ruin your kids’ lives. in 8 months there will be a baby and you will be recovering. You can’t remember Beck’s pregnancy, I bet the girls can’t either. *hugs*!!!

  4. alysn says:

    I am so sorry you are struggling like this. I had awful all day nausea for three months straight. I didn’t go through hyperemesis so I can’t really relate, but I can sympathize. I don’t know what variety of treatments you have tried but I really found a lot of relief in prenatal massage – I think specifically because the practitioner I have been seeing is a Reiki master and trained in Qi Gong. I can’t explain it and I don’t bother trying but she worked on me when I was 12 weeks along and hadn’t eaten anything other than dry cereal for a week and when I left her office I went shopping, bought real groceries, actually ingested some protein – it was a miracle in my eyes. She is also helping me through some very severe intercostal/rib pain since this kid has decided to grow directly up into my midgety thorax instead of out. Maybe if you can find someone with similar training in your area it could bring some relief? Whatever happens, you are a strong and beautiful mother – you’re children are safe and healthy and happy and you are the best mother they could ever wish to have. Praying isn’t exactly in my repertoire but I’m thinking about you and your family. I hope things ease up soon.

  5. jodie says:

    Oh Ivory…I wish I was still up the road and able to cook some food for you all and hang out with the girls. You have an amazing family and you are a truely inspiring woman!

  6. Sarah says:

    Oh, Ivory. How miserable. You have said many a time how much this all sucks for you, but it’s hard to know how really awful it can be if you haven’t been there personally. Please, please, if you need help remember that you have a huge community of people around you who WANT to help you and are happy to do so. I know that I would be happy to take your kids for a couple hours, drive you to yoga, bring you (or just your family) food, and let you lie on my couch while the kids entertain each other. And if all of that is still too much, know that we are thinking of you and loving you.

  7. KRIS says:

    Thinking of you, Ivory. I’m glad that you share this–I will pray for health, relief, comfort for you. I thought I had it bad with Micah–just battling an awful infection for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy but I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel. If counting down the days until your little one comes is what you need to do, then do it and know that you will treasure that little one so much when he/she comes. <3

  8. Lise says:

    I’m so very sorry you’re going through this.

  9. Adrienne says:

    I am so sorry! I know that misery so well. I had HG during all three of my pregnancies, and it got worse with each one. I damaged my teeth, my throat was raw, my nose bled, my lips peeled, and I scared my kids to death. The guilt, the pain, the embarrassment, the fear, and most of all the physical misery – it’s impossible to describe to people who have never experienced it.

    Have you asked to have IV fluids at home? Some health care providers will do that and it’s a big help.

  10. Lacey says:

    Oh Ivory, I feel so bad for you :( I’m thinking and praying for you

  11. Pingback: Never doing the time warp again. | thetrivialpursuitofhappiness.com

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