It All Happened Again

Well, it’s been two years since I updated this blog. And I have wanted to update so many times, so that I can show anyone out there reading, that there is hope. You can get back to joy. Real true joy, whatever the ultimate outcome of your pregnancy is. But at the very current moment it is going to be hard for me to write about that. Because right now my boat is adrift at sea, disconnected from that part of my soul; but I did think what better way to see if it drifts back into port than by writing and getting it all out. My catharsis.

I will give you a little update: I stopped updating the blog for very good reason. I was extremely busy.  We did actually go on to become foster parents as I posted, when we were looking into it.  Fostering is definitely a journey, and luckily I would say overall we had a very good experience with it, with very few heartbreaks.  But it does take strength to walk that road- if you are considering it.  We have adopted two beautiful babies, and perhaps I will spend time writing all about that one day soon. About the journey, about the love, about how society views it, and yes, about how it is different than creating biological children, and how even though you can be so over the moon in love with your adopted child, you still mourn the loss of certain expectations and dreams. But that story will flow when it flows. Today I write what the title suggests, about my third experience with HG, my fourth pregnancy.

As I already stated I adopted two beautiful babies. And as you recall I have two biological children. With 4 children (really 5 because we do have a foster son), my house is full and my family felt complete. So, we were shocked/dismayed/excited (insert any and every adjective in the book) to learn that I was indeed pregnant again.  After lots of tears and quite a few choice curse words, I began diving into the world of Hypermesis Gravardium again.  I dug out my books, I dug out the binder I created five years ago. I ordered every tea, tincture and morning sickness cure I could possibly think of. I made early doctor appointments, filled prescriptions, reached out to friends and family for help (talk about learning who is really there for you), came up with a plan with my husband and I settled in for the ride.

And it was a fast and furious ride. And we did everything right this time. We were PREPARED, we were DETERMINED,  we were HOPEFUL, and we were SCARED AS HELL.

The hyperemesis hit at 5 weeks. I had multiple bags of fluid and an overnight hospital stay.  The zofran they gave me worked for a few hours, and I thought, I am going to get through this pregnancy, I am going to have another baby! But then as quickly as the zofran worked it stopped.  I had a great OB and midwives this time and so many supportive people around me. I am not going into all the medical crises that I experienced this time, though suffice it to say it was very similar (and just as severe) to the last two pregnancies prior. This really is a debilitating condition that I believe to be very dangerous to the mother, it lots of ways not just physically, (though the medical profession and media tends to downplay it). My health care practitioners started the arrangements for a PICC line, and a zofran pump and heart monitors and  eventually steroid treatment, and I started in my head to make arrangements to get out of this hell again.

And that’s what I did. Yes, again. Even after I swore I would never make that choice again. I read my own blog and reminded myself of the pain I felt, and I pep talked myself into continuing on and I really tried. I gave it my all, and my husband gave it his all. But as a testament to how strong and horrible HG is, we still decided that I could not continue on with the pregnancy.

And this time, I will testify that I have not dropped into the dark hole that I fell into last time. I am now one month out from my D & C procedure, and there is so much that I have learned about myself and my husband and my family. I am very sad, but it comes in waves this time, I am not drowning like last time.  I let the waves wash over me, I feel the sad and I remind myself that it will retreat, and it does.

I recognize, because of this experience, that last time, I made the right choice for me. I always doubted my decision, that I was rushed into terminating, that I panicked and that perhaps the sickness wasn’t that bad…but it was! This pregnancy reminded me that it really truly is that horrendous. And there was always a part of me that wondered  about getting pregnant again (perhaps HG would hit again) but it did and it seems that it will every time, and in fact it actually seems to be getting worse with each pregnancy. And can I tell you, that I was in the best shape of my life, and the healthiest I have ever been? After the last pregnancy five years ago I vowed to get my body healthy, in hopes of staving off the HG, and I poured a whole ton of effort and energy into that, to cope, to have a goal, to have hope. But I am certain now that HG has nothing to do with diet and your health prior to conceiving.

I am reconciling now that there are all types of pregnancy and infant loss. I am letting go (or trying to) of the guilt.  The position that I am in when pregnant, forces me to make a heartbreaking choice, and no one has to understand or accept it, except me and my husband.  Ultimately, I made the choice for the family that I have here, already earth-side, I believe it was a choice of selflessness, though I certainly understand those that think it selfish, and maybe it is even a little of both. All of this just isn’t black and white.  But, regardless, it is my experience and if you have never experienced HG (as a pregnant woman- then trust me your opinion will always be limited by not having all the facts) and I still mourn for the little soul that won’t be in my arms, and I mourn the loss of dreams that my husband and I had, I am working on the acceptance stage.  If someone can’t understand the true loss I feel, then they are lacking the very thing that makes us human: compassion, that is their issue they need to work on- not mine, so I am also working on not taking other’s shortcomings personal.

I am grateful that I had the right to make a very personal decision for myself. I did not take it lightly, and it isn’t a matter of not being strong enough to continue the pregnancy. I do have to remind myself of that. My husband reminds me constantly and tells me that I am the strongest woman he knows, and I think one day I will go back to believing it.  I can recognize that my story unfolded as it did five years ago, exactly as it had to in order to lead me to the children I have now, and there is a strange beauty and peace in that.  In my most saddest moments, I remind myself that this too will eventually lead me down a path of joy again, and that I will only be able to see that in hindsight, so I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

My experience this time around as you can tell by comparing my first post to this,my last post ( I think), has been different and in some ways the same. The heartbreak is the same, the sadness is the same, the loss, the frustration, the mourning, but there isn’t shame or guilt this time. And there is more acceptance, awareness and self-respect.  It doesn’t really fit into a box, and your experience doesn’t have to either.

And lastly , a political thought, or a human rights thought, if you will.  This is a time where debates are raging over our health and reproductive rights, and women’s bodies are on the front-line of this Constitutional war. I believe, as they say, that the personal is  always political and the truth is a highly valued and carefully controlled commodity, in our society; This has become part of my motivation to share and offer my personal/political truth and experience with pregnancy,  Hyperemesis and abortion. I like to think that when people speak the truth to each other that things can change and people can come to each other (and the collective experience we are having) with compassion, sympathy, support, understanding, respect and most importantly love.

Posted in abortion, adoption, grieving, hyperemesis gravidarum, Pregnancy loss, theraputic termination, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Kate Middelton and Hyperemsis, or as the Media is Calling it “Acute Morning Sickness”

I was really excited and really sad to see the breaking news story yesterday about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy.

I mean, knowing anyone is suffering with it is horrible, but could this possibly bring some light to the issue, maybe even some funds for research? That would be a good thing.

I was discouraged reading media reports referring to HG as Morning Sickness and I was even more discouraged reading comments from people, which most involved things like “suck it up Princess.”  Hyperemesis, is not morning sickness! It is actually an illness.

It is horrible to say to a woman or anyone “suck it up”, just as you wouldn’t say that to someone going through any other illness. It’s heartbreaking how women, and especially pregnant women are treated and cast aside and their medical needs dismissed.

Don’t people see this as a HUGE social problem?!?! Is it just ignorance, this violence that is perpetuated on women (specifically pregnant women), by society, the medical community and even our very own sisterhood?

So much for compassion, I guess.
There is comfort in that, even if reading doesn’t make her sick, I’m sure she has better things to do with her time than read ignorant comments.  This woman is fighting for her life and her baby’s life, and some people have the nerve to say “welcome to pregnancy” or worse things that I wouldn’t even bother repeating. Really? In what world are we expecting that pregnancy should be synonymous with suffering.  (ahem sounds a little like a man’s world to me). Also, I’m sure she is receiving really good care and her concerns are being validated and addressed.

But maybe now, other women will get to benefit from that same treatment as the world is hopefully becoming educated on the issue. Fingers crossed, and fingers crossed for the Princess that this passes quick, and her and her baby are healthy and get the right care they need.

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Has it Been 5 months Since I Last Posted?

I have “penned” many updates in my head to this blog, but I never got so far as to actually update.  Life is going on.  I have a few ups and quite a few downs, unrelated to babies or pregnancy  just work, school, home life stuff, etc.

I still think about my baby everyday, or at least I think I do.  Some days, I wonder if I thought about her yesterday, and I can’t remember, so there actually might be some days where I don’t think about all that transpired, does that make sense?

My littlest just had his birthday, and it was around his birthday that I first found out I was pregnant, so that brings up some memories for me.  And we are heading into the month of my termination. It has been two years, which boggles my mind.

I actually can’t believe some times, that it has been two years and the pain can still be so fresh, and then other times I can’t believe how much has transpired in those two years, and what a lifetime ago it all seems, and how much progress I have made.  I really went from a heap of mess, to actually being able to sort of function, and smile and even enjoy life.

Of course, I look at my kids and a huge pang of sadness will overwhelm me, and I will have to catch my breath, but I can and I do…and you will too.

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On My Heart

I’m going to share with you all something else that has been on my heart for a while and I have been quiet here for so long, because I have been exploring it, seeing if it is really there and true and something that I want to write in black and white. I don’t want to seem too flighty, one minute I say this, one minute I say that, though I think that is typical of someone recovering from a trauma or filled with grief.

After the termination, my bar fees were due.  Lawyers are encouraged to do pro bono work, it’s not required.  Every year when my fees are due, they ask you to sign up for things or report what you’ve done. Well I did nothing that year and that felt wrong.  Why wasn’t I doing more?  I had experienced love and charity and caring from others, it was a wake up call that I should also be giving that, and because of the circumstance I was in, I felt compelled to check the box next to child advocate.

Its been a strange journey becoming an Attorney ad Litum.  I am the only idiot blubbering during training.  It’s a hard field to be in, but I was crying because during training, I was sitting there and thinking, I am meant to be here. It felt right, and scary and exhausting. I have always thought about doing work like that, and here I was finally was doing it.

Then I got my first case, and I’m still  on it. And the little baby I represent, is just beautiful. And I love her, and want to do right by her. I hope her Mom gets her act together, and if she doesn’t, I hope this little girl finds a beautiful and safe and loving home.  And I am grateful that she has finally found a good temporary foster situation.

And well, I was thinking, we have a beautiful and loving and safe home…

and deep in my heart I know that I am called to this.  And my husband who was against having more children, well, he too feels called to this too. And the pieces are just coming together and feel right.

We are going to foster a child. We are in the stages of becoming foster parents. Its a long and ardent process, as it is state-run, and I don’t know if you have ever dealt with the inefficiency of state/government agencies…

This fits for us.  We had feelings about adoption through an agency that we couldn’t reconcile, I always wish my children were closer in age, I am to nervous to get pregnant again… The list goes on, and on.  This fits for us. We hope eventually we will find a foster child that will become permanent.  We are also ok with nurturing a child, while their family life becomes more stable.

We know this is not for weak people, this is going to be a long, emotional journey, with a lot of heartbreak along the way.

The good news is, we are not  strangers to heartbreak.  I have been on this path for a long while, before the termination, and because of the termination, and we really feel like all the broken roads have brought us to this point and this decision.

And there it is, out of my heart, and on paper, in black and white.

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Sometimes You Have to Fight that Battle More than Once to Win It.

I’m not entirely sure why the title of this post feels right to me today, but it does. I don’t know what battle I’m referring to specifically.

I think I must be PMS-ing right now. In fact about 50 pregnancy tests have confirmed that that is what must be going on. Because clearly I am not pregnant.  Thank goodness for the dollar store because i would go bankrupt if I bought these many tests at the drug store.

I was absolutely sure that I am happy with just two children and I don’t want another right now, I even voiced these sentiments out loud, to my husband. I felt really good about it, really confident. I am happy, I don’t want anything to change. My two, are a LOT of work. And my son is just starting to get to a place where life with him is manageable, and we can take him out and its even enjoyable,  (even though he still gives us a run for our money).

Then this month, I had a week where I was convinced I was pregnant and I was terrified, not just of HG but of having another child (the HG plays a big role in it).

However, instead of feeling relief,  I cursed every single test that said negative. And I cursed the dollar store for obviously making crappy and wrong tests. And I cursed the people that are getting pregnant, And then for good measure I cursed myself, because I thought I was done fighting this battle.

…But I guess, I am not. It still rages on in my heart. And today I feel restless and angry and disappointed, and I’m not entirely sure why.

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Public Forums

I read this article. I loved it.


It doesn’t have to do wtih HG. It has to do with speaking your mind, discussing uncomfortable issues, making it personal. The author is speaking specifically about Rape.

I am an open book. I will discuss anything at anytime with anyone.  Once upon a time it was  in regards to Sexual Assault. These days I speak more about the termination. Sometimes, depending on my audience, I refer to it as “when I lost the baby” but mostly I say, when “I terminated my pregnancy.” It shocks people to hear it. That’s ok. It’s suppose to. Because we are made to think that its a private decision, you shouldn’t feel bad about it, but then again, don’t talk about it either…

Well I did it, I felt horrible, I still feel horrible, it was the worse possible decision I have ever made in my whole life. I think I was led all my life to believe it was a viable alternative, and I would just feel fine about it after. But I don’t and if everyone did, wouldn’t they  discuss is more? Or maybe it is something that makes people uncomfortable for a reason, just like speaking about rape. Its wrong, its unpleasant, its better left unsaid.

But the thing is, it’s not better left unsaid. 

 None of it. ask me about either experience, I’ll even unpolitically correct tell you which one hurt worse, and which was harder to survive.

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Oh Well.

I really thought I was pregant. I was even throwing up, although I didn’t feel nasuaous all the time, but I would have to seriously run to the bathroom and throw up.  We only tried once, and I know the timing was off, but that has never made a difference in the past. But I am not pregnant. I’m just sleepy and vomitty I guess. I was sad and relieved all at the same time. Oh well.  We probably won’t try this month, but maybe I’ll get all dreamy and forget what vomitting feels like by February and maybe I’ll be able to convince the hubby to try one more time.


Update: remember that “butt game” I told you guys no one would want to play with their kids, but i posted the link anyway, well I had a headache and I played it with the kids, while I laid down and they loved it, I have never seem them so excited, I swear. So maybe it is a good HG game to keep in mind.

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