As I near the end of my 9 month HG journey, I can't help but feel immensely grateful. First, for the fact that it will all soon be behind me but more importantly for all the ways it stretched and expanded what I perceived to be my personal physical and emotional limit. I realized, more vehemently, that I am a strong woman. I am a fighter. I have endured the most brutal months of my entire life and I will soon hold my prize in my arms.
The 2nd stage of HG was physically so so much better. I went nearly 2 months with barely any vomiting incidents. Even when I did, I no longer retched through my whole body. It mimicked food poisoning more than anything instead of the all consuming convulsions that rocked me some 60x a day during the first 4 months. I started to not only keep water down but other liquids like juices and soups. I stopped being as sensitive with scents and even welcomed occasional cuddles with Momofuku. There were still bad days, and after months of being severely dehydrated, I still got bi-weekly visits from my home nurse to administer IVs at home. I was couch bound for days straight dragging my IV pole into the bathroom and all around the house. In the beginning Mike would try to come home early or leave late so he could help me with hanging new IV bags or flushing out my veins, in the end, I started to do it myself. I felt so empowered the first time I flushed my own line and when the final bag ran out, I even pulled out the tube from my vein. I started to eat food again! One night, a good friend stopped by to visit with Mike and brought us In-and-Out. Truth be told, I was never a fan, preferring much more my beloved New York Shake Shack Stack. But that night, I gulfed it down. 30 some minutes later (that was all I could manage) everything came back up but at least I ate...at least I kept it in for 30 minutes that night. Eventually, I stopped needing daily IVs at home and didn't need to call every week for my home nurse to return but my giant white medical box still sits in my living room at 35 weeks. Because you see, it's not over until the baby is here.
Lately, it's been so bad again. Last night, after throwing up a second time for the day and having thrown up just about every day for 3.5 weeks straight, I burst into tears on the couch again. I feel so so so tired. Tired to my very bone. I'm 37 weeks along and eight and a half months in, I'm hitting a new wall. In the third trimester, a myriad of normal pregnancy symptoms accompanied my increasing nausea and vomiting. I developed a bad case of gestational carpal tunnel right around the holidays. My right hand cramped so horribly that I had Mike steady them while icing my annual sugar cookies. I was hand fed when my fingers no longer wrapped around any eating utensils. At the worst, I couldn't even close them around toilet paper to wipe myself after using the restroom. Now, I have such bad insomnia and I basically just stay up all night. All night, while I sit awake on the couch, I experience such intense heart burn that I sometimes groan out audibly. All the while the baby kicks aggressively into my ribs, a femur bone running across the side of my stomach, just below my breast line. I feel and look in amazement at his strength but also wince and cry out at what I can only describe as a 2nd degree internal organ injury. Last night I experienced a lamp cramp so severe I screamed into the darkness trying and failing to reach my fingers towards my calf. Mike leapt out of bed and scampered over my side to help. Peppered in between are vomit sessions that are ramping up in frequency at an alarming rate. My stomach is so big now I can hardly bend over the toilet correctly. Needless to say, vomit gets e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.
It's not been all bad. It's certainly nothing like the first 5 months. Back then, I wanted to terminate the pregnancy. I wanted to end the life that I prayed for, planned for, and waited a lifetime for. Back then, I wanted to end my own life. I was in so much pain and misery that all I saw was black. That was absolute hell. I felt so alone. In the last few months, I've been engaging with the world again; with scents and people and food again. I've even felt well enough to shoot my own maternity session. I was able to embrace this little miracle again. I prepared for his nursery, nesting, washing, folding, decorating. I keep buying him gifts of all kinds, celebrating his existence and how we have both survived HG so far. I can't wait to meet you in just 5 weeks little one. Today I heard an amazing sermon preached. From the pulpit, a question was asked of the congregation, "write down one thing that you want in life right now" I wrote down "to meet you".
Come soon, be safe, you're so strong
P.S. not done with maternity photos. I plan to take a crap load of photos since I've felt "better". I'm going to document and celebrate the heck out of this pregnancy. Stay tuned~