Mourning Sickness

Concerning Weeks 4-7 of first successful pregnancy

I learned early on a hard lesson about denial and how much one is in control of one’s own experience in pregnancy.

I found myself more pregnant than I’d ever been and without any signs out of the ordinary. Totally textbook: no bleeding, nice and bright positive home tests, fine labs. Enough that we told our immediate family right away. (Who were well trained, by the way — “We’re pregnant.” “For real?”)

But not enough to feel out of the woods, even a little. Maybe I’d feel better once there was a heartbeat at our dating ultrasound, but that was still 3 weeks away. I wanted to stick to my trying-to-conceive diet. I didn’t want to make any plans (although I totally did get us a midwife without delay because those can book up fast and we wanted a specific practice at the end of our street).

(I’ll split off all the things I know of that can go wrong between a positive test and a confirmed heartbeat into a hypothetical future blog post, so that it’s easier to skip and come with a content warning. Suffices to say I knew enough than to even be sure I had an actual embryo growing inside me.)

The strangest part was I refused to believe I was feeling sick. Sore boobs, sure; those hit me even with my blink-and-you’ll-miss them miscarriages. But nausea? Ha; I’m not some Fertile Myrtle symptom-spotting 5 days after I ovulate. What’s next? “oooooh I don’t like the smell of fish TIME TO DECORATE THE NURSERY.”

Except… I was sick. Before six weeks I was already ucky enough I didn’t want to eat much except salty, processed crap. It came and went throughout the day (so I prefer “nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP)” to the moniker “morning sickness”) and I stopped being able to take care of dinner every night, a responsibility I felt very possessive of in my quest to pull my weight as a childless homemaker.

It was hard to accept I was sick as if doing so was buying into the pregnancy emotionally. Even harder was the fact that I didn’t feel at all what I had heard of from my girlfriends. They had stories of puking all the time (but it always sounded like the puking was punctuating an otherwise normal day) or ending up in the hospital with the most extreme version, HG. But here I was, not puking, yet not able to go about my day either. The degree of nausea is correlated with viability, making me wish I was sicker if I was going to be useless anyway. I was miserable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *