A couple of weeks ago, I shared this post on how I was doing pregnancy differently this time around and what I was doing to keep my hyperemesis gravidarum under control.
(If you don’t know what HG is – it’s supreme crazy chronic morning sickness that results in all day nausea and vomiting. It’s an awful, awful, awful illness that can be life threatening if not managed correctly.)
Anyways, at that point, I was suuuuuper excited about the fact that I’d managed to avoid hospitalisation.
Woo hoo! I was thinking. This sucks biiiig time but at least I’m not THAT bad.
And then, as hyperemesis has a tendency of doing – it got worse. Much worse.
It got bad.
As my acupuncturist said:
Hyperemesis is like a many-headed monster. You cut one head off, you think you’ve got it treated, and it grows another. It’s incredibly difficult to stay on top of.
So I ended up in emergency for hydration drips and medications three times.
And then I got admitted to hospital as an inpatient for four days. My doctor wanted me to stay in for longer but I was really missing my lovely husband and daughter and soft soft bed by that point, so we agreed for my hunky love to nurse the shit out of me, and to head back into emergency as soon as I couldn’t keep fluids down again.
Please know: I’m not that strong and positive about this. I’ve heard from a number of HG suffererers who’ve wondered how the dick I can be so positive all the time. Please let me assure you, I’m not. I’ve cried every single day for the last five weeks. I’ve felt gloomy, depressed, completely rooted, unable to keep going, wondering: what the fuck was I THINKING getting pregnant again?
It’s such a bullshit illness that’s hard to describe. It’s relentless and emancipating. As one of my Facebook tribe said “I can usually see the positive in anything, but when I was going through hyperemesis I found it difficult to find any blessing in it. I still can’t.”
I feel the same. I think it’s a ridiculous invention and really wish women didn’t have to suffer from it.
At the same time, I’m immensely grateful for many, many things:
I’m grateful that Ostara is old enough to cope with me being ill and immobile and away from home. I’m grateful that my hunky love isn’t tied up with a job out of the house, and can easily cover my absence in parenting and tending to the house. I’m grateful that Chris’ parents moved into our granny flat in March – they’ve been a huge support with looking after Starry and making me food.
I’m grateful for our house. It really is a beautiful space to be in – it’s so quiet and surrounded by green and fresh air and it’s just lovely to be here. I actually don’t mind vomiting so much when I’m outside – I feel like all the trees are leaning over me whispering in sympathy and the wind brings just the right amount of cleanse and everywhere, everything is green and fecund and alive and everything changes in a moment so it’s hard to stay stuck in misery.
I’m grateful that I live in Australia and am tended to by the amazing health care service here (all my emergency visits and hospital stay costs me zero! How amazing is that?) I’m also grateful that I don’t have to worry about money for medication – especially since one of them is kind of expensive. I am hugely grateful to the kindness and loving care and hardworking energy that those earth angels called doctors and nurses and midwives are. Those people CARE, and they make it their lives to tend to others. I was struck silent often by how amazing they are. I will never, ever grouch about taxes again. I will happily pay them with love knowing just how much of an impact they are making on so many lives on a daily basis.
I’m grateful for my business team – they really are incredible. I’m grateful that my business is set up to keep on rolling without me – still providing amazing programs and customer service to our wonderful clients. I’m grateful that even with me laying in a bed unable to move for most of a month, my business thrived (here’s the article I wrote about how to gear your biz to do the same) – and even GREW. It actually had its largest ever month after I wrote that article(!!) It completely blows my mind – it feels unimaginable to the Leonie of three years ago!
I’m grateful that I managed to be puke free for the Academy coaching call I had scheduled in. We ended up having a bloody magnificent time talking all about creating a six figure team (recording is available in the Academy). I’m grateful that I’ve had pockets of puke-free time since hyperemesis began five weeks ago. I’m especially grateful for this afternoon’s pocket of peace after a week of laying strictly horizontal to limit the voms.
And guys, one day (hopefully soon), I’ll stop talking about voms completely.
HOW GREAT WILL THAT BE?
I’m immensely, immensely grateful for modern medicine. I’m a big ole alternate-therapy loving girl, but I am absolutely not afraid at all of combining the best of Eastern, Western and hippy medicine. They are all tools in the toolbelt and they all have their place. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a bloody serious illness – if I was born a couple hundred years ago, I’d be well and truly el fuckedo right now. It can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, termination of pregnancy, organ failure and death. In fact, many biographers postulate that Charlotte Bronte (author of Jane Eyre) died from hyperemesis gravidarum in her first pregnancy. At my point of hospital admission, my body wasn’t producing enough glucose to sustain a growing baby, and my muscles were starting to break down.
I hate to think where me and wee baby would be if we didn’t have the support of modern medicine.
Most of all, I’m grateful that I still have a strong, healthy wee babe inside me. I have asked myself a million times over the last five weeks:
Do I REALLY want to be pregnant? Do I REALLY want another kid?
And the answer is this:
No, I don’t really want to be pregnant (for some women it’s a blissful experience – for me it’s a tsunami of vomit at this stage of the game). No, I don’t want to be this sick.
But I really want this child.
I love this child already. I love that it chose me. I love what its spirit feels like.
I love that Ostara has chosen this child too. I love that she talks to wee baby already, and asks to put her head on my belly so she can listen and talk to her sibling.
I love that my husband is unwavering in his belief that this child belongs to us.
And despite everything – despite it all –
Love is calling me forward.
As ancient as the beginning of time, love calls upon us to do what we could not do without.
Love asks of us great things,
so that we may be given the greatest gift of all.
I’m sending you love, peace, gentleness + kindness to where you are right now,