Because I’m an optimist/dumb, I thought I would take to motherhood like a duck to water. I thought I would be that glowing pregnant lady, wandering the farmer’s market, pausing with a secret smile every time I felt a kick. I thought I was going to be one of those people.
First off, I got knocked up. Which, yeah, okay, that part was pretty great, but then came the “morning sickness.” I had read that you don’t necessarily get it in the morning, but wasn’t expecting it EVERY WAKING MOMENT OF MY DAY. When I dragged myself into the OB’s office for my first appointment, I looked so miserable that they thought I was there to get an abortion. Not that you necessarily have to be miserable about abortions, but you know what I mean.
“No no, this was on purpose, I’m just so sick I can barely move.”
“Oh!” giggled the nurse, switching from gently careful to full-blown enthusiastic on a dime, “That’s totally normal!”
“But… but I mean all the time.”
“Yeah, they really shouldn’t call it morning sickness, should they? Oh well, it’s only three months!” she chirped merrily.
I managed not to punch her in her cheerful face.
So there I was, basically living on the couch, eating nothing but yogurt and quesadillas (upside: my hubby is really good at making quesadillas now), waiting for it to be over.
Do you know how long three months is?
Finally, the second trimester was in sight. I made it! I can get my life back!…. any day now…. come on, body… I’m waiting here…
I woke up every morning for the next seven months naively hoping that the omni-present urge to hurl would go away, just like everyone assured me it would.
“Oh yeah, sometimes it lasts a little into the second trimester,” sighed the yoga mom, flipping her perfect ponytail. “I actually cut back going to the gym to every other day for a little while there!”
“The motion of walking makes me nauseous.”
“Yeah, I know, right?! I mean, I couldn’t even look at the elliptical for a couple of months!”
[insert internal screaming here]
Meanwhile, “Oh, you look fantastic!” squealed a well-intentioned friend.
“Thanks, being on the edge of vomit must agree with me.”
“But your hair! Your skin! Amazing!” she insisted, as if I had found a secret face wash that held the key to immortal youth.
“I haven’t showered in days.”
“Well it suits you!” she continued, wistfully staring at me as if she, too, would like to feel like she just got off the vomit comet.
Imagine having the flu for the better part of a year, while a parasitic creature keeps insisting that the most comfortable spot in your torso is pressing directly under your rib cage.
Basically, I was a delight to be around.
And before you ask, yes, I tried ALL THE THINGS. Ginger tea, special crackers, all the fruit, none of the fruit, mint infusions, magic gummy bears, getting exercise, staying perfectly still. No one fully understands why morning sickness happens, or why it’s worse sometimes and easier others, so apparently that means it’s a free-for-all when it comes to unqualified medical advice. Which is kind of annoying, because it means there are a hundred things for you to try before you can finally give up hope and relax into your own misery.
Eventually, I kind of got used to it? Or at least got comfortable in the giant pregnant-lady dip I had created in the couch cushions. Pretty much everyone around me had given up trying to solve the unending nausea, and it got a little easier, because honestly? Trying and failing over and over again is sometimes worse than just kicking back, giving up, and watching old episodes of Star Trek on Netflix.
And when that little succubus finally got yanked out of my body, guess what? Even full of meds, IVs, and with an enormous C-section gash across my stomach that made me think of being impaled by a marauding Viking, I felt better than I had in 9 months.