I read a blog today that floored me. I am 22 weeks pregnant. I am 22 weeks pregnant and have hated just about every minute of being pregnant. I have hyperemesis. While I have been extremely sick, I only have it mildly compared to some women. But, I have it nonetheless. I read this blog this evening and I can truly say that I wept. I wept to be able to be understood. I wept for joy that I could be understood and wept for the sadness that someone else has had to have been that sick, to understand. It's an odd feeling, to hate a phase I wanted to badly to experience. I honestly expected to enjoy being pregnant. The normal pregnancy symptoms have not been so bad. I can handle being uncomfortable, constipation, headaches and the feeling of my baby moving within my body. I can handle that. My hatred lies in that hyperemesis. While I am greatly improved now, and don't deal with the extreme nausea as much as I did before, I still deal with it's after effects. I still have bad days where I have trouble functioning, where I wonder what day, what week in this pregnancy I will finally be free. So many days I spent in the shower..for hours, letting the water hit my face. Trying to sip the shower water, praying to keep it down so I wouldn't dehydrate. So many times I dreaded taking the only medicine that helped me to not throw up, because even swallowing that tiny pill led to hours of nausea.
"Yet keeping silent feels false. It feels as if I am advancing the myth that pregnancy is second nature for every woman, a blessed joyride, the ultimate signifier of true womanhood, the realization of every dream."
When I read this, I felt, for a brief moment, understood. When there are so many women in the world eager to conceive and cannot, speaking up about being miserable while pregnant seems like an injustice. But, really, does one woman's pain outweigh another's? Does a horrid time in someone's physically reduce the fact that bringing a new life into the world from being a miracle?
Pregnancy has proven to be a bigger sacrifice than I expected. Because of it I feel that fight to carry my son everyday. I watched a news airing on hyperemesis that said some percentage of women who experience hyperemesis end up aborting their babies because they cannot handle the sickness. I heard this and wept. (ok, so I weep a lot, sickness and hormones...). I can partially understand these women. I have spent the days wondering if I would ever feel better again. I have experienced depression, to some degree from this. I have laid naked in a tub asking God for mercy to make it to that night so could sleep, just so I could sleep and escape the agony for a few brief hours before facing another day of it. I have spent time weeping when I could NOT fall asleep, oh cruel insomnia that would rob me of my few hours of peace. And cruel, hyperemesis that would not even let me be truly emotional and cry to release my sadness, my anger...because it would only lead to more vomiting. Hyperemesis is an ugly beast, one that I will be glad to be rid of, if not soon, at least in another four months (ugh, to even say that is agony).
I have been blessed to have people reach out to me even when they don't understand. I don't them to be able to, I would never wish this on any woman. But, for tonight, I am enjoying the feeling of being understood when other cannot grasp it. Even though I am nauseous as I type this, being understood is a small solace. It is a light at the end of the tunnel, that someone has gone through this and survived. They have held their child, experienced that joy and not felt the nausea. For this I hope.
I didn't get pregnant to enjoy being pregnant, as much as I wished I would, I got pregnant to have a baby. One day I will look into my son's eyes and tell him the fight he and I went through to remain healthy. One day I will tell him these things and tell him he was worth every minute of it. And you know what? I think he will tell me he loves me. That moment will be one of the proudest of my life. For now I hold onto that hope, and enjoy being understood...for now...