I am pregnant. 22 weeks + 1 day. Maybe I should have written about this sooner- just to give my readers a little more insight as to what is happening in my life right now, but you’ll have to forgive me. Because I’ve already forgiven myself.
As a pregnant woman, growing in the age of social media, I have found myself trapped in one of the most unforgiving stages of my life. I’m not quite sure how it became this way. I have heard stories from so many women of past generations, speaking about how they lost themselves in pregnancy: the most guilt-free period of their lives. I wonder when that period ended.
I have been “blessed” with morning sickness, a diet of saltine crackers and bile. If you’ve ever had morning sickness, you know that it does not end once the clock strikes twelve. It ebbs and flow with every smell that passes your nose, every change in temperature or increase in humidity. It comes back when the sun gets too bright and when your husband touches his fingers to your skin. It wakes you from dead sleep and pleasant dreams. Every sound too loud will send you sprinting for the bathroom. It makes it impossible to gain weight for your baby, clean, cook, go to the grocery store, work, or change the toddler’s diapers. But you have to. Because you are a mom. And you have been “blessed” with morning sickness.
I spoke out about this a lot with my first pregnancy, begging for relief, suggestions, compassion:
“Try ginger tea”
“Try ginger candy”
“Try ginger ale”
“… Crackers, water, bread”
“Just eat whatever you can to feed the baby”
“Just smile through it, you have too many obstacles ahead to start complaining now”
Doctors told me it would go away after 13 weeks. In my first pregnancy, I was “let go” from my job for having missed one day of work. I stayed home, vomiting bile when I couldn’t hold down water. I sat in a dark room, cringing at the sight of any bright light, any scent other than my own. At 13 weeks it got worse. I was prescribed medication that I could not take for (proven) fear that it would give my baby heart defects. More advice:
“Go out for a walk”
“Stay out of the sun”
“Talk to your doctor about ____ medication”
“Aren’t you worried that drugs will hurt the baby?”
“Try smoking weed”
“Weed will give your kid brain damage”
“Why can’t you just suck it up”
“I wish I was that thin when I was pregnant”
“You should really be gaining more weight…”
The last time I got sick during my first pregnancy was 35 minutes before my son was born. It was just water. My son weighed 5 lbs 12 oz, born at 39 weeks. I gained 10 lbs throughout my pregnancy. I lost 3 of them during week 37. I walked out of the hospital weighing 5 lbs less than I did before I got pregnant.
I am 22 weeks + 1 day today. I have gained 2 lbs since getting pregnant. And last night I broke blood vessels throughout my entire face while vomiting. I have been “blessed” with morning sickness. And no, I have not found relief. I do not want your suggestions. And most of all, I do not expect compassion.