When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified that I would deal with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a severe form of “morning sickness” that can plague the mother for the entire pregnancy. My youngest cousin dealt with it during her first pregnancy and had an awful time. She had to get much of her nutrition through an IV. Having a child at home, I wasn’t sure how I could possibly deal with that.
Thankfully, I wasn’t that sick. Instead I had about 4 weeks of 24/7 nausea, but no vomiting . . . though there were many times when I thought vomiting would be preferable. During that time I also caught some sort of terrible stomach virus and spent 14 hours puking my guts out every 30 minutes or so. I lost 4 pounds that day and it took me nearly a month to gain them back. During this period, I wasn’t sure how I would get through the day, but obviously I survived. Despite how awful I felt, this was not the worst part.
As the nausea picked up, so did the fatigue. If you know me, you know I like to go-go-go. I don’t like sitting around, and I definitely don’t like napping. I’ve always hated it. I wake up grumpy and cloudy-headed. But I had to start taking naps in order to get through the days. Many days required two naps, which was hard to pull off with Little Dude around. Thankfully he was amazing during that time, even though he didn’t know about the baby. And some days I had to enlist the help of some friends to watch him so I could sleep. I still find myself needing a nap many days, and I still hate it. But it’s still not the worst.
The sore – no, painful – breasts, the backaches (already!), the general aches and pains as my belly grows . . . those all sucked. Round Ligament Pain . . . holy cow that’s awful. No one tells you about that one and then all of a sudden you’re doubled over in pain, convinced you’re going to lose your baby. I woke up the other morning when this kicked in as I rolled in my sleep and I gasped pretty loudly, waking up my husband and apparently scaring him.
I had insane pain in my belly button the other week that made me nearly cry. It’s totally normal, apparently, though it seems a bit early for it. It went away after about 2 hours, but it was super weird. I found that I have a lot more earwax than normal, which is a little icky but really isn’t that bad. That’s a thing too. I have more dark spots, like overgrown freckles, on my face and I have to really amp up the sunblock usage to prevent it from getting worse. Glowing, radiant skin? I wish.
The mood swings and tendency to cry at just about anything is simply annoying. Who has time for that? Not me. Yet it happens. Bleh.
All of those things are crummy, but none of them are horrible. Do you want to know the very worst part of this pregnancy?
The worst part of this pregnancy is not having my mom around. I didn’t get to tell her that I was pregnant. I didn’t get to tell her I am having a girl. I can’t ask her questions about her pregnancies with my brother and me. I can’t call her to bitch and moan about all of those things that I listed above. She won’t get to feel the baby kick. She won’t get to see or hold the baby. She won’t get to see her grow. My daughter won’t know her Moogie (what the grandkids call her), except what we tell her. Little Dude doesn’t remember much about her, but he remembers certain things and we talk about those things often to keep those memories alive. She won’t even have that.
I knew all these things, but it wasn’t until last week when I thought about our daughter’s baptism that it hit me. I don’t know why I’m thinking about that already, but I am. And it hit me that my mom wouldn’t be there. My mom didn’t attend church regularly, and I’m not 100% sure what she thought about baptism (her beliefs changed over her adult life and we didn’t really discuss them). But to me, her absence at this event is already devastating. I cry every time I think about it, including now. It makes me sad to know that she’ll only know what we tell her about my mom. I never knew my grandfather, as he died when my dad was 16. It always made me sad that I didn’t get to have that relationship with him, so I know how she’s going to feel as she grows up. It sucks.