A couple of weeks ago, while I was sequestered away in the turquoise cabin by the sea, I had a feeling that something was trying to push its way forth into the world. And it was stuck. How did I know it was stuck?
I was grumpy as all get out. Kvetchy and itchy, feelers out like an octopus, groping and seeking.
I wasn’t at home with myself.
I talked to a friend about it.
I feel a bit like the Velveteen Rabbit,
Am I real?
They were kind and they listened and they reassured me that I was a Skin Horse.
And then they said:
“You still seem a bit traumatised about your pregnancy with Beth? Can you write about it?”
“No, the words won’t come.”
“Draw it out?”
“Ugh. I could try.”
(Obviously, I was resistant as fuck.)
But I thought:
What harm could there be?
Anything better than feeling like this.
Better than feeling adrift at sea, my boat untethered from the port of my soul.
So I took a black pen, and started. It all begins with a dot, then a line.
And the dripping tap of words became a gushing tsunami
and I wrote and I drew and I wrote and I drew
late at night on the couch by my love
in the bright light afternoons at the cabin by the sea
and I wrote and I drew and I cried
and then I bought an old typewriter
and typed and typed and cried and typed
until all the words were out,
all the stories told,
all the loud roar
was quiet inside me
and my boat
drifted slowly home
This is the story of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The story of a pregnancy lived with a debilitating illness. The story of vomit.
It’s not an inspirational story, I don’t think.
I didn’t want to make it one.
I wanted it to be roar. Raw. Angry. Vulnerable. Painful.
I just wanted it to be my story. My story written and told. Wrested down on paper.
I offer it for any woman who has ever been through H.G.. Or who is going through it right now. Or anyone with a debilitating illness. Or any woman who wants to understand.
I just offer it.
With all my self,