Dear future self..
Hello future self, am hoping you’ll never need this blog post, maybe I’ll be lucky and you never will. For other readers this is about pregnancy, specifically mine, if you’ve never been pregnant you might want to look away now, this isn’t going to be a fun read!
So dear self, you by now probably have two lovely (sometimes) children, hope the mini Mallow’s are doing well and keeping you happy. But you are reading this, which means you are broody for another, if you are lucky you went for that sterilisation and the broodiness will just have to go away, however if you didn’t and there is still a chance you could get pregnant again then this is your wake up call. A horrible blast from the past.
Now I know you won’t have forgotten the hyperemesis gravidarum, but you may be minimising it. So here’s a few bits and pieces to refresh your memory. Three hospital stays within a fortnight. Yep three. Remember that these were also the first nights you had ever spent away from mini Mallow no.1. Want your first night away from mini Mallow no.2 to be a hospital stay too? Didn’t think so.
How about the really helpful nurse who told you to be grateful when you were sobbing your eyes out about facing 9 months of not eating again? That was good fun wasn’t it?
Then of course the obvious burning bile when your stomach was too empty to bring any food up but you were still vomiting regardless. Followed by the blood from your throat. And those coffee granule type pieces mixed in with the bile, can you remember the stench of the bile? How about the thought of even sipping water being enough to make you retch? Ginger biscuit?
Remember wanting nothing more than to soothe your red raw throat with ice, but even ice made you gag? You couldn’t even look at the kitchen, let alone go in there because just the thought of it sent you scurrying to the toilet.
On the subject of the toilet, you know how at the beginning you were thinking you were fed up of hugging the toilet and the sight of the toilet’s innards? Turns out that it’s even more soul destroying to be sat on the toilet and vomiting into a bucket because your pelvic floor is wrecked, especially as you only found this out after wetting yourself in a public toilet. Nothing quite like walking out of a public toilet with cold urine down your legs and vomit down your chest. You’ll feel just like a glowing satisfied pregnant woman then. Oh and while you are sat on the toilet vomiting into a bucket? Your legs will ache and shudder as your body strains to expel whatever is left in your stomach, and the pain coursing through your stomach and lower back will be made worse by the position your are forced to sit in. But expect to be sat there for a while, multiple times a day and night.
Your face was covered in broken blood vessels, your eyes too, your skin was pale and dry and your lips were cracked and sore. Your hair was lank and greasy (often with vomit in it) and here’s the real fun bit, you struggled to have baths of showers as the feel of water splashing against your head/neck/face/chest/belly made you nauseous. So you felt unclean on top of everything else. Dry shampoo only does so much, and the smell also made you feel sick.
On the subject of everything making you feel sick, basically that’s true. Even wearing clothes means fighting off nausea as the weight of them will make you feel ill. Smells are the worst understandably. That means if neighbours are cooking, or someone walks past with food, or someone needs to eat in the same house as you, you will be sick.
Now I know you might be saying that the second pregnancy had the HG under control, but here’s some things you may have forgotten about that. The reason you weren’t being so sick in the second pregnancy was because you were on medication used for those going through chemotherapy and a large daily dose of steroids. These were the only things standing between you and regular hospital visits. And they weren’t exactly fun either. The anti-emetic is known to cause quite severe constipation, let me just remind you that you spent a fair amount of time on the toilet with tears in your eyes wondering if anyone would let you have an epidural at that point. And yes, you were being serious, it bloody hurts. Talking about blood, there was that too, tears down there are really fun. Oh and the cramps when no amount of straining was working? That was lovely too, lots of writhing around in pain, especially in combination with round ligament pain and SPD.
The steroids were fun too, aside from the obvious concern when taking large amounts of steroids, you had to take so many pills that just the act of taking them made you feel sick. Even better if they broke in your mouth, which they frequently did. Then there was the weird bruising all over your legs. And the headaches/migraines. Remember you couldn’t take your migraine pills for these, just paracetamol and an ice pack on your head.
The steroids also increase your risk of diabetes, which is already a risk for you. At the time of writing this I don’t know if I’ve got gestational diabetes or not. If I don’t then I’m damn lucky.
Even with those strong medications I still only stopped feeling nauseas constantly around the 24 week mark, that’s 24 weeks of near constant nausea. And I don’t know if the nausea will return as I go into the third trimester.
Now on to the pain. Your favourite bit.
There’s the obvious SPD, that hurts like hell, and going by these two pregnancies – it gets worse each time. This time I’m waiting on crutches as I keep not being able to put weight on my right hip. That’s really fun with an active toddler, fancy it with two of them? And you’d be surprised by how many things become difficult, sitting on a toilet (which you do a lot – between the constipation and the tiny pregnancy bladder) really hurts, getting in and out of cars, any steps, just getting up from a sitting position, and don’t even think of sitting on the floor or climbing into the bath. And sex? Hahahahah.
Then add in round ligament pain, especially if the baby is a kicker (which both have been), you will feel like screaming every time you feel a kick.
Oh and in the first pregnancy at least you had such horrific pains that you were going into hospital to be monitored regularly in the last trimester. Still no idea if that awaits me this time. Just picture lying in the hallway sobbing and begging for it to stop.
You do a lot of begging for the pregnancy to stop. Every day in fact. It’s often your first thought on waking and your last thought before bed. No matter how you much you try to put on rose tinted glasses, pregnancy disagrees with you – badly. And it drags on and on. DO NOT ever do this to yourself again, it’s not worth it.
[Edit] The nausea came back within days of writing this and then a few weeks later you were vomiting again, or you were until your waters broke early and mini Mallow 2’s heart beat kept slowing and stopping. You may never know if it was the HG that caused your body to reject her, and if you get pregnant again there may well be a chance your body rejects the next one before they are capable of surviving.