Well, here i sit. I’m now 32 weeks pregnant. Let me tell you, it’s been a real journey and struggle. I have suffered (until about week 14 of my pregnancy) without the help i needed. I have a pregnancy condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is not a very well understood condition, and there hasn’t been much research done on this illness because it only affects pregnant women (and who wants to test things on pregnant women, right?).
Unfortunatley, dealing with how sick i was took it’s toll on me mentally, emotionally and of course-physically. I lost over 10lbs, in weeks 6-14; and my mother finally got my very uncompassionate OB to finally prescribe a home-care service for me so i could be adequatly hydrated and given continuous anti-nausea medications from my own bedroom. I had made two trips to the ER, and it added up to over $1,200.00. I needed help. A service called Matria/Alere came to my home and gave me an IV drip of fluids which i had for several days, several different times as needed. I also was given a Zofran medicine pump which was a type of subcutaneous medicine that i wore 24/7 until about week 25 of my pregnancy.
Although thankful for the IV’s, and the kind nurses who called or came by the house to start my IV’s, it was a difficult process for me to have to go through. I didn’t get relief from my constant nausea–it was a total waiting game just being (im)patient that my hormones weren’t settling, or easing up on me. When the nurses came to find a vein and start my iv, i would always end up being stuck 2-4x while they struggled to find a good vein. They blew two of my veins out so bad my arm swelled up for 24 hours. It wasn’t their fault, i have difficult veins—but the process was painful, and on top of everything else sometimes all i could do was lay there and cry–just wanting it to be over. I’d sink deeper into self pity and depression, wondering–why was God allowing this to happen to me? Am i going to make it through this? Am i going to die?
I felt so alone, so much of the time. Jamey worked at home, and took care of me through my entire sickness when he could (which was a lot). My mom also came over most days to bring me magazines, fuzzy socks, and her love and support. My dad came over too, several times, to just sit with me, pray with me- or read me a devotional. But, then–i’d be alone again. Lost in the thick nausea and darkness of my bedroom.
It was a tough time, and it did something to me. I can’t say what exactly, but it took me to a very dark place, somewhere i could have never imagined i’d ever go in my life. Some of the thoughts i had, and decisions i almost made during that time shock me but i felt i had lost complete control, and many times–had no choice. I also never anticipated that i’d take any drugs while pregnant, only to be so sick that i took many different ones–sometimes all at once; and it still didn’t help. The nausea was completely debilitating. Sometimes i would salivate so heavily from the nausea i would have to keep spitting in a cup beside my bed to keep myself from vomiting, only to vomit anyway eventually. It was so disgusting. Sores covered my tounge from the stomach acid that kept having to be passed through my mouth from the puke. I couldn’t shower sometimes for a week or more, and when i did–Jamey had to help me and i sat on a bucket in the tub because i was too weak to stand. Other times, all i could do was wash with a soapy rag while lying in bed. Basically sponge bathe. I literally felt like a dying cancer patient.
Those are just some of the gory details. There are more, and some that only my husband would really understand somewhat–and still others that only another woman with HG could possibly comprehend. It’s a hard price to pay, to get to the prize—a beautiful baby.
So here i sit, at 32 weeks pregnant. I am told Jamey and I have made a little girl, and we are so excited. It feels good to be able to feel well enough to eat things again, decorate my baby’s room, do her laundry, and wear maternity clothes instead of pajamas all the time. It feels so great to take a hot shower, and enjoy the smell of soap and shampoo and of being clean. I cannot wait to have my baby, and experience the joy and reward of all my effort. But there are still fears.
The medicines i took while pregnant are not all considered “safe” for pregnancy. Not many medicines are. I pray health into my little girl as often as i think to, and pray that she is perfect in every way. I already have so much inside myself to work through, i can’t imagine if she was injured in some way by the things i had to do to stay alive while i was pregnant. It’s a fear that i can’t let myself run wild with–or i’ll go back too far into the darkness.
Now, I cling to Purslane Kate Hoff’s birthday. The day Jamey and i pray about, and practice for with all our relaxation and belly breathing. We can’t wait to see her face, and hold her in our arms.
I also awake everyday to the knowledge that, deep inside,—i feel far away from God. Before my pregnancy, i felt so close to Him–closer then i’ve ever felt. And so loved. I truly felt i understood his love in a new way–and i did. But now, i struggle with doubts and confusion as to why i was so sick and why my biggest fears came true most of the time. It’s hard for me to get past at this moment in time. But, i am trying and i want to fix what has been broken. I believe one day i will be healed from these “wounds”, with the support of my husband and by the Grace of God that i do still believe is upon me.
One day at a time, all i can say to the Lord is ….”God, i believe-but help my unbelief”.
And, until I’m done being “pregnant, and Pursey is in my arms—it’s a daily struggle but i know that it will be worth it in the end. That’s what everyone tells me. I just can’t wait to experience it for myself.