I was pregnant! I peed on a stick and discovered that my husband and I had made a baby! This was the beginning of my happy, glowing pregnancy.
That euphoric feeling lasted for approximately two weeks, and then it hit. Like a ton of bricks. The first wave of nausea. Morning sickness.
I had known many pregnant women and most of them didn’t have morning sickness. Others experienced mild nausea, but nothing too serious. I assured myself that I would get through this initial discomfort and enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy. But it was not to be.
Nausea soon turned to vomiting and I was throwing up all day, every day. (Why on earth is it called morning sickness?!) I had to rid the house of anything scented -- candles, plants, lotions. The smell of my squeaky clean husband turned my stomach. I gagged on my own saliva.
A glowing pregnancy? Hardly. I quickly lost ten pounds and the nausea and the vomiting intensified. But the physical discomfort didn’t compare to the emotional pain I was experiencing.
I dreaded opening my eyes to greet the next day because if I wasn’t sleeping, I was puking. It was so hard to face another day of sickness. It was like having the worst hangover of your life -- forever.
I missed a ton of work. Every now and then -- at my boss’s insistence -- I dragged myself to the office only to end up lying on the floor of the empty boardroom, crying my eyes out.
My boss was frustrated and I feared he’d fire me. Thankfully, I was protected by the Family Medical Leave Act, so at least I hadn’t lost my job.
The doctors in my OB-GYN practice assured me that the morning sickness was a good sign that the pregnancy was progressing in a normal, healthy manner. Puh-lease! I hadn’t eaten, and I threw up every prenatal vitamin I took. How can that be healthy?
The guilt that I was starving our baby was overwhelming. My doctors said the baby was getting everything she needed from my body and wasn’t starving -- I was starving, but my baby was getting ample nourishment.
One day, after about four solid months of my throwing up around the clock, my husband came home from work to find me -- with my barf bucket -- lying on the couch… again. He said, “This is really hard on me. I miss my wife.”
His words cut me like a knife. These were our last months as a couple before our baby arrived to make us a family. We thought we’d spend the pregnancy together in joyful preparation, but we were worlds apart.
The negative feelings were overwhelming, and I worried that they might hurt our baby-to-be. Every book I'd ever read told me that stress was bad -- but why didn't any of those books tell me how to handle this sickness?
The vomiting and the overwhelming emotional trauma continued relentlessly. Then, one morning, I opened my eyes and the nausea wasn't there. I was hungry. For the first time in four months, I wasn't sick. I was going to be okay! But more importantly... I was going to be a mom.