I read this article in the Daily Mail (I know... I know...) today and instantly I felt angry, and sad, and concerned and I suppose bereaved a little bit.
This article is about a woman who has hyperemesis - not morning sickness - but hyperemesis. Surprisingly I would say the majority of people, even women, don't know what Hyperemesis (Also known as HG) is. It's not morning sickness - it's not cured with a ginger nut biscuit, or a Rich Tea (but thanks for offering). It's full on.It's vomiting multiple times a day. It's feeling nauseous. It's vomiting blood because your innards are in shreds. It's dehydration. It's weakness. It's feeling like you have a parasite inside you and not being able to fully appreciate the baby you are growing. It's horrendous. It makes you have horrible thoughts. It drove me to the brink... it's NOT MORNING SICKNESS
Readers of the blog will know I suffered from HG when I was pregnant with Cara. And I'll be the first to put my hand up and say my condition was pretty low end compared to some people. I had one three day hospitalisation. I took daily medication. I threw up every day. In one week I lost 11lbs through dehydration alone. And that was at the lower end of the HG spectrum.
While all that was going on I had to work, I had to care for my then four year old (who became so used to his mammy being sick he would rub my back for me). I had to try and keep my sanity. What I put my husband through in those nine months was horrendous and I'm amazed he didn't walk out. I cried. I suffered panic attacks. I prayed for an early delivery even though it would have been harder for my baby. When a msicarriage threatened earlier on I spent a good amount of time wondering if it would be a good thing because this was the most horrible physical and emotional experience of my life.
When my daughter was born, (five days early, mercifully) she was healthy as could be. I stopped being sick as soon as she was delivered (after throwing up violently throughout her delivery). I still feel physically sick whenever I'm anxious. It takes very little now to make me ill but we are both fine and happy and I'm a very contented mammy. She was worth it.
But would I do it again? Not a chance. My pregnancy and HG is the primary reasons I will never have any more children. Even if I won the Lotto and could afford to be at home and raise them all in a luxurious, yummy mummy fashion (my other stumbling blocks to motherhood) I wouldn't do it.
I could not put myself through it. I could not put my husband through it. Or my children. Or my family. I could not countenance ever willingly doing that it myself or any of us again - so I won't.
Do I grieve over that decision? Some times. Generally speaking I feel done. I feel lucky. I have two healthy children - one of each flavour -and they are a delight to me. Some times though I get that urge - that maternal feeling - that urge to hold my own baby. The biggest high I ever had in my life was when my daughter was put on my chest after a wonderful delivery. I'd love to relive that moment.
But I cannot relive the 9 months which preceded it. Still, I am grieving for the glowing pregnancy I never had. My first pregnancy was marred with antenatal depression and I was determined to enjoy the second... well, that never happened.
I could never risk it again. And I don't understand how the lady in the article can keep going, with two terminations under her belt, knowing what the risks are. Some times the best decision is to just stop - you don't do it again. I hope she finds the peace to make that decision herself.